A day at the Zoo with the Nokia Lumia 1020


It has been almost unanimously agreed that the Lumia 1020 has the best camera on a smartphone. To show just how great the 41MP PureView camera is I took a trip to the Memphis Zoo and snapped as many photos as I could. The 1020 performed great, and I was able to get a lot of awesome photos. I also recorded a stunning video, which you can see at the bottom of this post.

The photo above is a shot of the entrance to zoo. The 1020 does great in bright sunlight, as long as it isn’t confronted with hue contrasts.

(Click on images to enlarge)


This is one of my favorite photos from my trip to the zoo with the 1020. My daughter and I are feeding this bird, and the camera caught it in great detail.


Here is the same photo zoomed in and cropped. You can see just how much detail the camera captures in the seed and in the bird’s feathers. The colors of the bird are also faithfully captured.


This is an example of a high resolution image from the 1020. WordPress condenses pictures down, so what you get directly out of the camera is much better. The detail isn’t quite as good in this photo because I was playing with the manual focus to get a macro shot.


This is a shot that I cropped from the previous image. It is the small leaf in the top left.


This shot is of the same shrub, but with the opposite manual focus effect. Here, the foliage close to the ground is in focus, while the leaves close to the screen are blurred. The manual focus gives you the ability to get some nice artistic effects that are usually only possible with aperture and focus manipulation using a mirrorless system camera or DSLR.


This photo of a pond at the Memphis Zoo shows good and bad aspects of the 1020’s PureView camera. The ripples in the water and fine details in the shadows are impressive. However, you can also see how the 1020 tends to struggle with the contrasts of light and shadow on a bright, sunny day. Unfortunately, there is no HDR feature in the Pro Cam app to help with this.


This shot was taken in low light. There is visible noise, but that is common when shooting outside without a flash. The 1020 is capable of taking good low light photos, but you have to work a little to get them. Leaving the settings of the Pro Cam app in auto won’t always give you the best shot.

And here is a video of my daughter and I feeding another bird. You can see here just how much detail videos have, and how well the zoom feature works. The audio recording is also quite good. There is only a little talking here, but it is worth noting that the birdhouse was very crowded and noisy. My daughter’s voice comes through clearly, despite this. Note that, while the YouTube version looks ok, the real thing is much better.

What do you guys think of these photos and video? Are they impressive?

  • Edgar Cervantes

    Nice! That video!

  • Seriously. I am blown away by that video.

  • Edgar Cervantes

    I need a 1020. lol. Would be great for events.

  • Liberal Republic

    Nice pictures