Smartphone cameras are improving. Manufacturers are trying their best to bring SLR picture quality to mobile phones and it seems that they are becoming successful in achieving this goal. Sony’s Xperia series is already considered the best for cellphone photography. But other brands are catching up faster than anyone has expected. Microsoft’s Devices Ambassador and a National Geographic Photographer, Stephen Alvarez shot Aurora Borealis with Lumia 950 camera for an assignment.
When Stephen Alvarez was asked to capture “the Seven Natural Wonders of the World using Lumia smartphones,” he decided to capture the Northern Lights, a natural phenomenon, with his Lumia 950. The challenge before him was low light as all of us face with smartphone photography. So he set the ISO of his Lumia 950 camera between 100 to 400 and the exposure to 4 seconds. And crisp, clear images of Aurora Borealis were captured with a smartphone.
Talking about his experience, on the Windows Blog he wrote, “When they do happen, the lights can be spectacular but they are not very bright. Smartphone’s weak point has always been shooting in low light. Therefore, I did the logical thing in arranging the assignments and put the aurora shoot off to the end!” He then further wrote, “As Microsoft’s Devices Ambassador, I knew Microsoft’s camera phone technology was advancing at a fantastic pace. Once I got the Lumia 950 in my hands, I was pretty sure it was capable of capturing a natural phenomenon that happens only at night.” Just to give you a hint about what the photographer and Lumia 950 have survived: the temperature when Stephen Alvarez finally spotted Aurora was 40 degrees below zero. When he touched the tripod, his fingers burnt due to the cold. In a weather so harsh, Lumia 950 gave amazing results. How can I forget to mention? Lumia 950 camera delivered National Geographic quality images at -40 degrees when there was almost no light available. Great job, Microsoft! You can see the Aurora Borealis pictures shot by Stephen Alvarez here.
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