Results: Low-Light Camera Comparison Quiz

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It has been interesting reading through the answers submitted in my Low-Light Camera Comparison Quiz published recently. Naturally, I expected a lot of people to root for the Nokia Lumia 920 because of its touted low-light capabilities – and they did! It had the highest number of votes. Here are all the nominees and how they scored:

  1. Nokia Lumia 920 – 6 votes
  2. Nokia 808 PureView – 2 votes
  3. Samsung Galaxy S4 – 1 vote
  4. Apple iPhone 5 – 1 vote

I did mention that the camera phone that took the picture in question was an 8 megapixel model. Perhaps out of excitement, there were mentions of HTC One. D’oh! Anyway, no-one got the answer right. All answers were wrong.

The phone that took the amazing night shot was none other than the Sony Xperia P, the same one that took the darker shot. [dodges shoes and tomatoes] Honest! Anyone who was present with me at FourPoints By Sheraton on that night of Mobile Web West Africa Day Two will attest to the fact that I had only the Xperia P in my hands all through. Yet, I was still able to squeeze light out of air 😉

It isn’t rocket science though. Almost any modern camera phone can produce amazing night time shots. Here was what I did:

I. In camera settings, I turned off the LED flash and selected the Night Scene mode
II. Next, I selected the Exposure Value (ISO) button
III. I adjusted the EV/ISO slider to the maximum setting and took my picture.


ISO is a measurement of the amount of sensitivity of light falling on your sensor. It is a measurement of your camera’s exposure value (EV). A higher EV/ISO requires longer exposure and a slightly longer capture time, so your hands need to be really steady so as not to mess up the shot. A higher EV/ISO also means that the resultant photo is likely to be noisier. But hey! At least, you get a picture that is not so dark that you can’t make out what is going on in there.

Here is the first shot taken without adjusting EV/ISO. No flash:

Here is the second shot with EV/ISO cranked up. No flash:

And here are a few more shots taken at the same venue, same time with EV/ISO still cranked up. No flash:



  1. Wao! I became interested in I SO of a camera after the launch of Nokia Lumia 925. I wanted to know what is that thing that makes the Lumia 925 to take low light pictures better than the 920.
    which they said the I SO of the 925 is 3600 at maximum. far higher than that of 920. I checked that of 808PV and it is just 1600.
    after reading this post, I decided to put the I SO of my 808PV to test to see the effect of ISO. Mr. Mo, my next question is this, can’t one combine flash with higher ISO for maximum light?

  2. Andy,

    I am not sure that it is a good idea to combine flash with a high ISO, but do experiment. I won’t be surprised if you come out with certain scenarios in which it is a good idea.

  3. wow… knowledge gained on dat ISO thingy on my phone set to auto. priciate

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