One of the banner features of the Lumia Cyan update for high-end Nokia Lumias is the addition of Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio recording for video. The feature is a collaboration with Nokia and Dolby, along with the hardware needed in the Snapdragon 800 chipset and the four HAAC (high-amplitude audio recording) microphones
Ever since the Lumia 1520 received Cyan and Dolby recording, people have been asking for a sample. Last night, I managed to catch Pennywise, Bad Religion and the Offspring in Boston, where the Offspring were celebrating the 20th anniversary of their hit album Smash (1994).
The video was recorded at 1080P and 30 frames-per-second, along with Directional Stereo (it uses the microphones on the back of the phone to "aim" at your subject) and Surround sound on (aka Dolby Digital Plus 5.1).
If you want to get technical, the Lumia 1520 "generates a MP4 container with a H264 video stream, the DDPlus audio stream (E-AC3) and also a stereo stream (MPEG AAC Audio)", at least according to Bernhard Koenig in our forums, who is impressed.
The video is admittedly grainy, but it is low light, and I did have the Lumia 1520's 20 MP sensor zoomed in quite a bit for most of the show. The sound is certainly impressive considering the amount of bass present during the recording, which is filtered out using a 100 Hz Audio bass filter on the Lumia 1520.
For those who would like to record such moments, my recommendations include one tip: practice.
Even after two concerts recently, I am still toying with some of the settings, and I am curious as to how disabling the Audio bass filter can alter the sound i.e. worse or better. Focusing in low light conditions, holding the phone steady (even with optical image stabilization), and of course, being close to your subject are all also important. Zooming in and out and trying to make a video attention-grabbing is also something that takes some work.
Overall, though, I am very pleased with the video results. After all, this is a smartphone and not a professional recording device. I think it is quite impressive to be able to record such high-quality audio and video in 2014 from something that fits in your pocket.
Related reading: 'Here is what's new with the AT&T Lumia 1520 and Lumia Cyan update'
Do you have experience in using your Lumia to shoot video at concerts? Share your best tips below!