As part of the recent 'Black' firmware update from Nokia for its range of Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphones, the camera-centric 40+ megapixel Lumia 1020 becomes the first smartphone that I am aware of to be capable of producing RAW files, in this case using the open DNG format.


Conditions this morning weren't ideal for photography but I took some shots to establish an initial impression of the potential benefit of Lumia 1020 RAW files.

Here is the un-adjusted JPEG the 1020 recorded:


I could see on the screen that the image was going to be too dark in the shadows so I added 0.7 EV exposure compensation. Even so, the image is cold and dark and large areas of the bright sky are burned out.

Now this is my version of the image adjusted in Lightroom 5.3 using the Lumia 1020 DNG RAW file:


No brush or graduated adjustments were made - just levels, contrast, saturation and some clarity adjustments, plus sharpening and noise management. This is a much more pleasing image and you can see less blown highlights in the sky.

And next, some pixel-peeping crops at 100% (1 image pixel to 1 display pixel):


Unadjusted from the full resolution JPEG (31 megapixels in 16:9 format).


From the Lightroom DNG RAW adjusted version.

The JPEG processing in the camera has managed noise too much, losing a lot of detail. However, the highlights in the golden figure on the sign have been protected better.

Clearly, processing a RAW DNG from the Lumia 1020 can produce a considerably better result than the in-'camera' JPEG, at least under challenging lighting conditions like today. I suspect the benefit may be reduced under more agreeable lighting, but nevertheless - Nokia should be heartily congratulated for adding DNG RAW capability to the Lumia 1020.