Nokia Lumia 1020 crashes a wedding, comes away a winner

There’s very little debate that the Nokia Lumia 1020 is capable of taking some fantastic pictures.  But would you test that theory on such a memorable event as a wedding?  An event where the moment doesn’t always afford you the chance to re-take the picture?

Wedding photographer Joy Marie Smallwood took such a chance at a recent wedding that took place at Capella Pedregal in Cabo, Mexico.  The results held true to the Lumia 1020’s reputation.

Smallwood is usually armed with a range of DSLR cameras and in using the Lumia 1020, she commented:

“The quality of the photos we took at the Cabo wedding using the Lumia 1020 were crisp with a great depth of colour and totally exceeded our expectations. The 41-megapixel sensor is pretty outstanding for a camera phone.”

Smallwood was equally impressed with the controls Nokia Camera provided, allowing her to adjust the ISO and other settings to better match the lighting conditions that she faced.

You can find the high-res copies of these and more images over at Nokia Conversations.

Thanks, Richard, for the tip!

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

  • Such top notch quality!
  • Love mine!
  • Sure, it's stellar but you can't match the ability to add an external flash (and yes, you need that) or change the depth of field. I wouldn't replace my dslr gear with this, even though I would be first in line if it ever came to VZ.
  • The xenon flash on the Nokia 1020 is amazing. Its a synched flash not just a light, and will fill a room.
  • You need to be able to do more than fill a room with a flash for wedding photography. aS great as it is, it is no competition for a Canon 600EX-rt.
  • Stop comparing professional equipment designed to do one task with a phone.
  • The point of the article was to compare the phone to professional equipment. I love the phone and would love to own it, I just think it is senseless to suggest that this phone can replace professional euipment. Just because people choose to do it, doesn't mean they should. When I looked at the larger version of the couple in the cave, there was a lot of noise in the image, too.Also, not seeing any catch light in the eyes and it appears as though they are not lit well.
  • Oh yikes, you're right about the noise in the cave image. Overall I do think the images are great, aside from that one.
  • If you think about it a little bit you may find that this article was geared towards the non-professional who wishes to take a leap into the photography world, but might not because they feel their camera/phones lack quality or features. This publicity stunt is nothing but a demo of the capacities of the phone. I don’t think they wish to discredit DSLR. In fact they are not saying their pictures are better, they are saying they are acceptable and comparable in many scenarios. For the lack of interchangeable lenses, the camera does take some pretty amazing pictures. Just think about it:
    If you want a camera and a phone why not buy the Lumia 1020? How much does a phone and camera cost?
    Option 1: On contract phone ($100 ~ $200) + Camera ($300~$1500)
    Option 2: Lumia 1020 Admittedly, I have a Canon 70D, though I am not a professional I like the flexibility the 70D gives me for both video and photos. On the other hand, the one thing that is always with me is my phone and I am incredibly happy with the high quality 35mp feature when the 70D is not around. I do get your point though, as a professional you wouldn't want to give up your nice pricey camera, super flash and interchangeable lens for something so limited.
  • I have to agree. Every picture, including the sunny shots seemed to have too much noise. I really like the phone too (i personally use a Lumia 920) but i hope the photographer took those pics in addition to using a DSLR for the couple.
  • I think you missed the point.
  • Oh really? A high-end camera is better than a phone? You don't say.
  • if I am not mistaken you can get bluetooth ontrolled external flashes, then a dev, like me or hundreds of others, could write a controller app for it using the Nokia Imaging SDK and some Bluetooth Stak programming you could get the same app quality with external flash control on the 1020
  • Bluetooth control over external flashes if mostly conceptual at this point. Most photographers have invested big bucks into some type wilreess triggering system already. Also, as a photogrpaher, I can't make plans based on what developers might develop. There is a woeful lack of high-quality apps geared towards the photography community comapred to Android and iOS.....but what else is new. We can't get apps developed towards the functionality we have now for either WP8 or W8.1. Everything is geared towards the every day user, not an advanced user. 
  • I have to agree with this. No way would I swap out a DSLR for a phone at a wedding, even the 1020. I'm not a pro, but I've been shooting SLR for more than 25 years as an amateur, and there is no substitute for off-camera flash.
  • Such camera
    Much zoom
    Many megapixels
  • I just had a call from two local bands in need of promo pictures. They want me to shoot some promo pics and I'm doing it all on my Lumia 1020. I've got the grip a tripod and a monopod. Should be interesting.
  • lol..i read porno pics.. i was like WTF!!!
  • Deep zoom
  • If a photographer turned up at my wedding with a lumia 1020, they'd be straight out of the door after a swift beating
  • I can understand that if they showed up with ONLY a Lumia 1020. If they had it alongside their DSLRs, then that might be a different story...
  • But then again great photography lies with the photographer not the equipment.
  • That is not really true. a great photographer with crappy equipment can't get many of the shots you need to get for a wedding. If you don't have the right gear, the shots will be poorly lit.
  • And yet great photography has happened in the past.
  • A good artist never blames his paintbrush. LOL just had to say it. I agree with your statement, though.
  • The key is Who behind the gun. Everything would be great if handled by a pro!
  • I agree. The skills of this wedding photographer enable her to make full use of the camera (or in this case, camera phone) despite any technical limitations.
  • I saw the Conversations page on this. Gorgeous photos! Wow!
  • I hope they got a discount, lol. I mean the pictures are nice but i'm not sure i'd be comfortable with a wedding photographer filming my event with a cameraphone.
  • Yes, an iPhone would have been ridiculous.
  • Now if only the 1020 could help this couple stand a chance at having a successful marriage then that would really be something!
  • Wonderful pictures!
  • I think that it is obvious that the photographer also brought along their professional camera and associated equipment. Using the 1020 was just to see how it fares at taking pictures at an important event.
  • Extreme scenario that is always open for misunderstandings.... I mean, make no mistake, it's an interesting test to be made, much like that iPhone 5S slo-mo video for fashion event and whatever. It does kinda show that the 1020 is currently the best smartphone camera out there.
    But no serious photographer would ever use a 1020 for wedding photography.
    No matter how much marketing campaigns, news and blogs will hammer on, among others... smartphones, no matter how good their cameras are, does not replace dSLRs.
    The low light shots are too noisy, you are loosing too much detail even on daylight photos, and even if it's not that much noticeable on the web (for some at least, I noticed it plenty), it'll certainly show on print.
    That's on quality alone... let's not even get into details like gear, backup, workflow, etc.
    But hey, at least RAW is coming. :D That is, of course, to fit with clients' expectations. But if you ever hire a photography agency to do a proper professional wedding photography session, and they show up with a 1020 alone, you are getting ripped off. Keep in mind that this ad was tailored to make the 1020 look good. More common wedding scenarios could be absolutely ruined (not the event, the album) by trying to be registered with a setup like that.
  • I cant wait for the next iteration of this device. With Snapdragon 800 or 805, this will be able to record 4K and HDR video which would compensation for the small pixel's lack of dynamic range in video mode. Having said that, 1020's dynamic range is far superior to anything at the same pixel size in the market whether smart phone or point and shoot.  Ive put together a clip of this phones "capabilities" and here is my NOKIA 1020 album:
  • Wow, big gamble, much akin to me deciding to leave my DSLR on the maintain in favor of my Lumia 1020 on my family vacation to Hawaii this summer. It was a great trip, and got some stellar pics too. :)
  • Can ANYONE tell me where was this wedding conducted at? It's BEAUTIFUL!!!
  • it was in Cabo, Mexico
  • This is one of the reasons I'm getting the 1020 as my next phone (the other being WP). I don't have a dedicated camera, and frankly I don't really want to take the cost of buying one plus a new phone even though I would like to be able to take some quality pictures (mainly for social media). It seems like the best cost-to-quality-ratio phone out there!
  • Both the bride and the photographer are cute!