iPhone 5s vs Nokia Lumia 1020 – Camera Comparison

With the 41 MP Pureview Camera, the Nokia Lumia 1020 seems well on its way to bringing the iPhone 5S on its knees.

Though the iPhone 5S can hold its own, in camera quality, the camera of the Lumia 1020 is the undisputed king. There is nothing in the market that can even remotely approach the camera of the Lumia 1020. The two cameras have a different approach, where the iPhone 5S focuses on convenience and speed. On the other hand, the Nokia Lumia 1020 focuses on image quality. The camera apps are also completely opposite. Lumia 1020 offers complete manual control over the settings, whereas the iPhone 5S offers you none.

Best Camera on the Planet

Many have hailed the Nokia Lumia 1020 as the best camera on the planet in smartphones. It is a Windows phone with a 41 MP sensor. The phone is capable of capturing amazing details. You can also zoom in on the photo after taking it. The ProCamera applications enable extensive tweaking with manual settings. On the other hand, the iPhone 5S also sports an excellent imaging application. The camera on the iPhone 5S has a bigger sensor than the previous model. It also includes a dual LED Flash and an image stabilization feature built into it.

In case of indoor lighting, the Lumia 1020 produces a blue tinge compared to the iPhone 5S. The iPhone 5S produces more natural and true to life images, but the contrast is more. It focuses on offering more of the background. However, many users might prefer this. When taking close ups, the iPhone offer more neutral and sharp tones, while the Lumia offers warmer tones with cinematic quality.

One of the additional new features in the iPhone 5S is the dual LED flash. This is able to offer better accommodation for differing light conditions. However, the Xenon Flash of the Lumia 1020 is also much better than the average smartphone camera flash.

Specs Comparison

The Nokia Lumia 1020 has a rear-facing camera of 41 MP, PureView. The lens is a Carl Zeiss Tessar one, with an aperture of f/2.2. It has Xenon flash and autofocus features. The Apple iPhone 5S has a rear-facing camera of 8 MP iSight camera, with an aperture of f/2.2. It also has autofocus features with True Tone flash and dual LEDs.

The iPhone 5s as well as the Nokia Lumia 1020 have a secondary or front camera of 1.2 MP, with a resolution of 1280 x 960p. The iPhone camera also has a backside illumination sensor. Both the phones record video at 1080p with full HD and resolution of 1920 x 1080p. However, the iPhone has an fps of 60, whereas the Lumia 1020 has an fps of 30. For indoors photographs, the iPhone 5S Flash is superior and offers truer colors.


The iPhone 5S is available at around $650; $750; $850 for the different variants, whereas the Lumia 1020 is priced at around $600, without contract. Both the phones are capable of taking equally good pictures in low light conditions. The iPhone 5S pictures show good detail and are accurate, whereas the Lumia 1020 shows a bluish tone. The benefit of the Lumia 1020 is that the user can recompose the image even after taking it. This is because of the extremely high resolution of 41 MP. The Lumia 1020 also offers more control over settings. You can manually adjust the shutter speed, the ISO as well as the white balance, etc. However, if you are looking for a phone that you can quickly whip out and fire off your shots, the iPhone 5S is the better one.

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