lumia 102 iPhone 5s camera shootout

You know how they say that sometimes more is less. Some also say that specs don’t really matter anymore. Well, it all comes true in a camera shootout carried out by the folks at Laptop Mag between the Nokia Lumia 1020, and the iPhone 5s. For those who are still keeping track of specs out there, let’s note that the Lumia 1020 comes with a whopping 41MP camera. Apparently that wasn’t enough to beat the iPhone 5s 8MP camera though…

The iPhone 5s conclusively beat the Nokia Lumia 1020 in our photo face-off, taking seven out of 10 rounds–and tying one. Even after updating the Lumia 1020′s camera software, which reduced issues with the blue color cast on many images, colors were still more accurate on the iPhone. Apple’s device also excelled when delivering detail and contrast.

Check out the full shootout on Laptop Mag’s website.

  • Cameron Chao

    Im not sure if this can true. iPhone 5s may have one of the best in the market, but the Lumia 1020 is probably the absolute best.

    • George Yfantopoulos

      Z1 then iPhone 5S are the 2 best cameras right now.

      • Lumia

        No, you are kidding
        Z10 is one of the worst cameras
        Lumia is the best camera

      • Ishaan Malhotra

        hes not talking about z10, hes talking about xperia z1

    • Christopher

      You just saw the proper comparison.

    • Markus Hudobnik

      Try to get past the “41-MP” camera and compare the other aspects of the cameras. I don’t know if this is true or not, but it can seem likely.

      • james cook

        Can’t believe everything you read or see sometimes. I wouldn’t put my money on this article at all…

    • BoardDWorld

      Have you actually looked at the photos? The 5s isn’t just a little bit better, colour reproduction and definition is far superior. Every photo except the skyline is washed out on the 1020. Look at the creases in the vegetables, the water in the Lower Manhattan. The shoes and the news stand text in the scarves. How did the coffee machine get picked over the 5s, look at the menu board in the background then the detail in the machine logo. I can go on and on…

      • Cameron Chao

        i actually havent, because i didnt know there was a link, but i based my opinion on having watched many youtube comparisons on both these cameras and it always seemed to me the lumia took a sharper better photo, now that ive seen the link here, i can say the iPhone 5s color reproduction is far superior.

      • BoardDWorld

        Never compare using Youtube. They automatically undergo a lot of compression when uploaded.

      • Cameron Chao

        i do actually know that, but my view was that both pictures are compressed the same way so it should be still a fair comparison, furthermore, the reviewer usually states which pictures he thinks is better.

      • Christopher

        No, it is not a fair comparison.

      • Raashid

        Uhm, so by your logic, iPhone images look crap when compressed whereas others remain the same in quality? Such dingbat logic you have…

      • BoardDWorld

        No, I’m saying once combined through whatever editing tool then uploaded it is like comparing new clothes that have gone through the washing machine, chicks that have been in a mud fight, steak that has been through the mincer… You can’t compare them.

      • Raashid

        I see your point, but do you do YouTube reviews in such way? ‘Cause if you do, you really need to stop. A porfessional would take the pictures with the individual phones and just store them on the HDD, then append them to parts of the Video before saving it.

        In your words, the clothes (images) are piled up in my laundry basket (HDD) and put through the wash simultaneously, so, whatever happens to clothe A happens to B. It is a fair comparison.

      • james cook

        Sir, I have both. The iPhone 5s and the lumina 1020. I tell you the truth. This article is nothing more than a tainted lie. Go to any camera store and find out the truth for yourself. Even better check out the lumina or read a reputable magazine.

      • Kurt

        color reproduction haha…are you there in person to compare the pictures to the actual items?

    • Chindavon

      Ya if you like blue tinting and washed out pictures, then 1020 takes the crown. If contrast is of no use to you then Lumia is king.

  • Christopher

    Nokia fanbois are going to be so sad tonight and so will be the fandroids.

  • Nuno

    G2 camera is very good to…

  • Leo J. Campos

    Haters gonna hate

  • n0ahcruz3

    http://m.gsmarenadotcom/six_way_camera_shootout-review-998.php i dont think so, if u guys want a non-biased review look it up on that. It consist of GN3, 5s, g2,1020, Z1 & One. You’ll be surprised how the 5s stack up to the competition camera-wise.

    • n0ahcruz3

      Ok anyone else here wanna say something about the 1020 camera? Refer to the website above hope it enlightened some of fanboys here that according to them 5s camera trumps all.

  • Asiz Koju

    apple fanboy has carried these test. Please attach the pictures if it really true. else we also can create an excel chart.

    • BoardDWorld

      You will see at the bottom of this post “Check out the full shootout on Laptop Mag’s website.”

    • Asiz Koju

      there were some photos forgive me for my mistake.
      but how can you make it up. Manhattan at night shots on iphone 5s is really better than lumia’s. I don’t saw any beauty on those shots except some clearly visible noise. and its worth mentioning that these photos seems to be taken on 5mp quality not fully blown 41mp
      last but not least, the quality depends on perception rather. Some of the photos taken i think were way better in 1020 than 5s but the author has voted on 5s. Thats why i am saying these article was written by an apple fanboy.
      If he was really mean to test the detail then please consider wider array of images and test the quality in depth but not such superficially.

      • Umut Bilgiç

        I am sorry, but I am really having a hard time trying to understand the logic behind the interpretation of a proffessional photographer as an “apple fanboy” just brcouse he picked the 5s over 1020. You do not even know who he is! People really should get over the idea of critisizing people over their choice of favourite/desired tech company.

      • Christopher

        Thats what androids and nokia fanbois are. Get use to it . 😉

  • eh

    no offence (i am an apple fan well maybe fan but ive only used their devices so i cant compare) but that table that was made could include any kind of photo. the “score” of 8-3 and picture choices are totally arbitrary numbers/categories.

    for example what if this person had forty different picture types and nokia actually won 28 categories and iphone only 12 and then decided to only show 11 of these choices where in apple won 8.

    • Raashid

      Shhh, can’t use conventional logic here

    • s0me

      But still the iphone camera doesnt win… just look at the damn photos, I cant believe how “blind” ppl are.

      • Umut Bilgiç

        Perfection is perceptional.. You should not be calling people “blind” just becouse they do not share your ideas. Please get over this ego-centric nonsense.

      • iphonesuxcox

        I completely agree with you, the people that think iphone 5s is better clearly cannot tell the difference between oversaturated colors and real colors

  • Quetz666

    Ha ha ha ha. In the same way I’ll tell you the Prius is better than Tesla. LOL. Suckers gonna suck.

  • This is no factual comparison, those are arbitrary scenarios where the iPhone 5s outperforms the Nokia Lumia 1020. There could be millions other where the 1020 outperforms the 5s.

    • BoardDWorld

      We’ll just have to wait for the law of averages to convince you, which is already in play… But, as it is with these arbitrary scenarios where on the 5s the background can be clearly discerned while the foreground is in perfect focus, this alone has broken smartphone camera traits making it a notable choice over any current smartphone camera.

      • K…not sure what your point is.

      • BoardDWorld

        That at least one aspect is factually discerned as better in this comparison? But I know you love being naive.

      • Can’t have a conversation without name calling, how mature. What aspect are you perceiving as better? BTW, just looked at the linked photos and have a different opinion on the ratings:

        Bottles: 1020
        Coffee Machine: 5s
        Octopus: 5s
        Scarves: 1020
        Manhattan at Night: 1020
        NYC Skyline: 1020
        Pumpkin Chair: 5s
        Grover with Flash: 1020
        Low-Light Flowers with no Flash: 5s
        Gourds Close up: 5s

        Total: 1020 = 5, 5s = 5

      • BoardDWorld

        That’s nice.

    • Christopher

      Well you should be ashamed of that 41MP camera if it is gonna draw out to 8MP. Grow up.

      • Must be misinformed of the effects of the MP. You grow up and get your facts straight.

      • Christopher

        I am not misinformed of the effects of the MP, that is why I was not excited about those 41 MP. People who are getting that phone are misinformed and they think that Nokia has the best camera phones. It is funny to see idiots like you defending something.

      • Raashid

        Lol, sounding like a noob, ’cause you clearly haven’t got a clue of what the number of MPs implies. The real value of such high pixel density lies in oversampling for a higher quality image output at more manageable files sizes….

      • Christopher

        The oversampling wont do much if your optics and sensors are not good enough to match the number of pixels.41 MP captured on a small sensor did no better job than 8MP on a bigger sensor. Use some brains before calling anyone else a noob.

        “The real value of such high pixel density lies in oversampling for a higher quality image output at more manageable files sizes”- It is funny how you are still shamelessly defending the Nokia;s camera. The result is right in front of you.

      • Raashid

        It’s funny how you Apple hard-core fans hypocritically reinterpret things to fit your own little arguments. What facts do you have to back those thin-air claims of the Lumia not having a good enough sensor? They’re as logical as this comparison and your other comments; non-conventional.

        You believe whatever you want to believe kid, take the red pill whenever you’re ready….

      • Christopher

        Actually Nokia fans (you) mis-interpret everything before taking jabs. Non sensible comments, weird approach and god knows what technical knowledge you have to make you feel superior in front of others. That is funny and pretty pathetic in my opinion. Better stop making “clever comments” and start writing something useful. You believe what you want to believe because obviously you are but hurt and won’t make sense anymore. Good luck…

      • Boogieman

        Christopher here are some facts for you:
        * 1020 sensor size = 2x the iphone
        * 1020 optics = lens array of 6 aspherical lenses from Carl Zeiss – far superior that of the iPhone array of 5
        * 1020 has Optical image stabilisation – iPhone digital
        * 1020 has Xenon flash and a real mechanical shutter = you can freeze quick moments without blur. Good luck doing that with the iPhone ;D
        Shall i go on?
        * Specwise 1020 wins.
        * Image wise 1020 wins (on all other reviews than this one, most likely paid by apple)
        * Video wise 1020 wins
        The only phone that can compete with the 1020 is the Note 3 whos 4K video recording is ASTOUNDINGLY sharp, but UNFORTUNATELLY witohout image stabilisation. Add OIS to that phone and we have a tie 🙂

      • Christopher

        Here are some facts for you Boogieman.
        * 1020 sensor size = 2x the iphone = Doesn’t matter if all it does is adding a bulk to your phone and taking similar quality pictures.
        * 1020 optics = lens array of 6 aspherical lenses from Carl Zeiss – far superior that of the iPhone array of 5= Doesn’t matter if all it does is adding a bulk to your phone and taking similar quality pictures.
        * 1020 has Optical image stabilisation – iPhone digital: No major difference in the quality except if you are one of those image analysis nazis.
        * 1020 has Xenon flash and a real mechanical shutter = you can freeze quick moments without blur. Good luck doing that with the iPhone=Results are grainy images.

        Shall i go on? Yeah sure, because all that sounded pure stupid and fan boy like.

        * Spec wise 1020 wins= So you are one of those who buy a phone for specs no matter if other phone is faster, better and has a better ecosystem. Makes me laugh.
        * Image wise 1020 wins (on all other reviews than this one, most likely paid by apple)=Again a fanboy who can not stand to lose.

        * Video wise 1020 wins= How exactly?

        The only phone that can compete with the 1020 is the Note 3 whos 4K video recording is ASTOUNDINGLY sharp, but UNFORTUNATELLY witohout image
        stabilisation. Add OIS to that phone and we have a tie :)= Does it matter to you since all you look at are specs and whatsup with if we add then we get that approach. It is not there, end of story.

        I would rather buy a phone that takes awesome pictures and is light,easy to hold, user friendly OS, has a better ecosystem, apps along with a great DSLR instead of a pretentious bulky photo taking phone with non sensible MP count for no apparent reason except to please there fanboys or a big ass phone which is hard to hold while making phone calls.

        Haha good luck buddy, nice try.

      • Boogieman

        Christoper = obious Apple fan boy that has never tested both phones. I have a 5 at work, Note 3 private and my GF the Lumia 1020.
        The 1020 is bulkier but very pocket friendly due to the rounded shape AND you get a bigger better AMOLED screen (so that you dont have to poke 5 times to hit the icons like me and allmost every iphone owner does – it looks silly really).
        All the points I said wre true – dont trust those apple fan boys – they do everything to make themselves believe that they are not a dying breed – everyone has owned an iPhone and now Android and WP are killing them. I understand that they are afraid of not being able to use their “apple only” stuff that Apple locked them up with 😉

      • Christopher

        Lol, a typical fandroid hater who has to prove that he has everything before bashing APPLE. It is always funny ;).
        So here it goes, I have 5S,4S,S5,HTC1,Nexus5,Nexus7 and few older phones that I don’t even remember.
        Pocket friendly? LOL, that actually made me laugh.
        Poke 5 times to hit the icon? Never seen anyone doing that. May be you and your friends don’t know how to use a phone. Really???????????
        Hahahahahhaha, You have no idea what is going on and you are frustrated enough to call people name like dying breed and whatever. But it is still funny. hahhaah.
        Who is not being able to use anything? Those who want to do more buy android or whatever but it is funny when they cry in front of other “Like you— Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah do more, APPLE can’t do more, Even if you don’t want to do more we want you to do more. ” Always funny .LOL
        Hahahahha it is funny how big guys look like a clown when they hold there big ass phones close to there ear to listen to a call. HAHAHAHAHAH Big guys don’t have problem holding an iPhone but they do have problem holding a note 3 to there ears. 😀 But you will never understand that since you are clearly blinded by your hatred against APPLE. You are funny keep em rolling 😉

  • Likephones

    Have a 5s and a G2. I can honestly say the G2 camera is slow to focus and not ad sharp. The g2 camera app has a ton of settings compared to the very basic iPhone app. The iPhone to me takes better and faster puctures.

    • Umut Bilgiç

      I do agree with you. I prefer simplicity over cluster of features. There are videos that explain how to use an s4 camera, 12 minutes long. For the iphone, shoot’n go 😀

  • BoardDWorld

    Check out any camera here:

  • Craig Wayman

    Wait until the iPhone z1F comes out… the Z1 is already out and the camera is kick ass. However; the Z1F has a nice 20.7 MP camera not to mention it is only 4.3 inches!!!!! Awesome the first Droid that isn’t a friggin brick. I swear if the iPhone goes to 5 inches next fall I’m done with iPhones!

    • omrishtam


    • 4p0c4lyps3

      Been nice knowin ya. Coz the bigger screen is a comin.

      • Tom Brady

        I’m telling ya. They make it seem like one customer is the end of the world. Its plenty of folks who want a bigger screen

  • Jim Hart

    The GSMARENA comparison is far less biased, imho, than the one this article talks about.

    • Rowan09

      The GSM arena has 2 categories that the iPhone will always lose in and that’s hardware and software features. The article above is speaking specifically about pictures taken so these are 2 different comparisons.

  • for me the phone is the best

  • Fevostone

    I’m not a camera man but I was taken a few pictures on my 5s in low light last week and I couldn’t believe how good they looked

  • s0me

    Full of Apple bias in here…

  • s0me

    I checked those photos and the iphone 5S is better than the Lumia at 2-3. Real photographers would know about that.
    This is just like the speed thing, “The new iphone 5S is 2(two) times faster than the previous iphone)” in reality it is the same bull****, just the same biased idiots jumping on Apples d.

    • Simone Radice

      Sorry but iPhone 5s is TWICE as fast as iPhone 5…Plain and Simple…There are tons of benchmarks on the net to look….Video card, CPU are A LOT better than iPhone 5… So was iPhone 5 compared with iPhone 4s, and so on…..

  • Chuck Finley

    For starters this was an utterly terrible review, secondly whoever wrote this article should try reading the last two paragraphs of the review instead of just looking at the headline and main graphic and then start screaming HURR DUH IFONE IZ DUH BEST HURR.

  • turco320

    Nokia Fanboys are very dangerous zombies

  • klouud

    I think the most tangible information that we can glean from the original article is that Apple has finally included a camera in their iPhone line that is worth something. The camera on my i4S was horrible! I have been very impressed (for once) with the 5s’ camera – all of my shots have come out perfect! And I can zoom way in and they still look great.

  • João Pedro Nóbrega

    I did this test.. its not true..!! Lumia’s camera is preety awsome … Just try taking a 4sec exposure with a iPhone or set a ISO mark to your preference.. you just can’t…

  • BearManPig

    I call it bullshit.

  • XboxPS

    Apple are great with making great hardware,The numbers are misleading sometimes.1.9 GHz Quad-Core Galaxy S4,Didn’t beat an 1.3GHz Dual-Core iPhone 5S.

  • jocastro

    yeah don’t believe it for a second.. my brother girlfriend has a lumia 1020 and its ridiculous with the camera.. iPhone 5s has nothing against it.. when it comes to camera iPhone 5s fails when going again lumia 1020

  • Kurt

    My Note 3 camera is good….sometimes :-s


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  • Krackr

    Haha..keep attempting..5s beats 1020..nice CAMERA SHOOTOUT..hoohoo..
    You need to perform more research, and more than that learn to draw better conclusions, check your sampling, and the test conditions, and learn to listen to grown ups dear. And when you graduate, come back.

    • Jerwyn Feria

      are you talking about author or someone in the comment section? didn’t understand who you talking to.

  • Boogieman

    What a worthless try to make the iFanBoys happy.
    Lets break it down
    1. Bottles = The lumias dynamic range is far superior. Not that You can see whats on the other side of the purple bottle on the 1020 while the iphone is basically just a puple sploch
    iPhone adds a yellow tint showing wrong WB
    2. Ok
    3. Octupuss I dont know what UV light they turned on for the lumia but both those photos looks tricked
    4. Scarves. If they would be fair they would let you show the full 5Mpix image at least not the cropped crap they link to. The details on the 1020 would kill the icrap in an instant. You also see that the 1020 has A LOT WIDER viewing angle. Also the 1020 was shot in true 16:9 while the iphone was shot in 4:3 which shows the clear bias since both cameras benefit of the higher resolution in 4:3 mode but they only use it on the iCrap 😉
    The 1020 has less depth of field which is what you seek in DLSR’s so one more point to 1020
    5. Hey, learn to use the dedicated camera button and point the center where you want the focus point. Seems like they focuse on the ground and then took the shot for the sky. Fake, not a chance that iPhone draws more light than OIS big size chip 1020, not even with the added grain on the iphone.
    6. Of course 1020 wins
    7. iPhone 5: heavily oversaturated, to dark image which is why it looks contrasty but look on his pants, you miss a lot of details that can be seen in 1020
    8 HAHAHA – FAKE!
    9 Fake again. If its something that the 1020 does NOT have its bluish case. It might have a yellow cast but never blue. This review is so full of it 🙂
    10 Another fake – this starts to get tedious.
    Well – clear win 1020 even if you incluse the last 3 fake image 😀

  • Joe

    If you got bad results with the lumia thats because you don’t know how to work with it

  • janzen fiesta

    I’m a fan of both phones but to set 5s better than 1020 on camera? I think it would not work. Ask for photographers not gadget geeks if which would they prefer and I promise you, later on, you’d be choking on your own words. You can set the Lumia 1020 MANUALLY, and maybe you didn’t know how to work on it. Such a shame.

  • Nicolai Tassani

    Lumia 1020 take photos in raw… hehe. and the test is doing photos with any adjust… its a fake!!!

  • Nyersike

    I have a Lumia 1020, my wife got a 5S iPhone so I exactly know this is just the biggest lie possible… iPhone 5S’s camera is far far away from Lumia 1020’s camera… just download the videos, pictures and check it on a big screen TV… comparing them on the phone’s screen is misleading

  • David Boudreaux

    haha, you’re off your rocker, dude. There is no possible way the 5s, with it’s 3 year-old camera technology, is better than the lumia 1020. Operator error is more likely.