In my Lumia 1520 first impressions, I noted that the camera in Nokia's "phabulous" new handset did not appear to offer the quality of the camera in the Lumia 1020. But that was based on viewing the resulting pictures on the device. Having now offloaded comparison shots to the PC and viewing them side-by-side, a startling conclusion occurs. The Lumia 1520 takes absolutely stunning photos that rival and oftentimes even surpass those of the Lumia 1020.

This is most unexpected, and I had to keep referring back to the images' metadata to make sure I was looking at the output from the expected device. But in a series of test shots, taken both indoors under a variety of lighting conditions and outside on a crisp fall day, the Lumia 1520 stood tall. (Literally. I'm here all week.)

This may be one of those times when pictures speak louder than words. And while the layout of this site—and the inability of its CMS to provide a high-quality "lightbox"-style photo presentation may somewhat limit the communication of this material, bear with me. What I'm seeing here is both surprising and very positive.

Let's look at a few examples.

In each case, the Lumia 1020 is on the left and the Lumia 1520 is on the right, and I provide both "normal" and zoomed versions of each. Since the cameras in each device have different resolutions, I've tried to zoom them as close to each other as possible.

Chiminea

House

Newspaper magazine page

Fruit

Kitchen

I'll keep testing this, of course. But looking at these here on the PC, zoomed and normally, the 1520 versions of the photos are always as good (as in the first chiminea set) or better than those taken with the 1020 (the rest of them). I'm really curious to see whether this stands up over time.