Microsoft Showcases Sample Shots From ‘Magic’ PureView Camera On Lumia 950 XL Windows 10 Mobile Flagship

When Microsoft unveiled its Lumia 950 and 950 XL smartphones a few weeks ago, it seemed to genuinely woo the masses. In fact, the entire event overall was quite impressive, and in a way, refreshing. While the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book were proverbial stars of the show, it could be argued that the biggest gain Microsoft may realize could come from their new Lumia flagship Windows 10 phone devices.

One of the biggest features of these new phones is Continuum, which allows you to connect the phone to a dock, which then connects to a monitor and peripherals. In this configuration, a Windows 10-like environment will be created for desktop use, while the phone interface itself will continue to be available. Improving interoperability further, you can even interact between the two environments. While Continuum on a phone is undoubtedly going to be a niche feature, it's a really cool one.

lumia 950

The other major feature of both of these Lumia smartphones is the camera, a "PureView" 20 megapixel model that makes use of a BSI sensor and f/1.9 Zeiss optics. It also has triple-LED for "natural" flash, fifth-gen image stabilization, and supports up to ISO 12800 as well as 4K video. For the front, there's a more modest 5 megapixel camera.

During the event, Microsoft noted that this camera will generate images with realistic tones and lighting, and even if you're moving, snapping a great photo won't be difficult. In a recent post, the company has offered up some sample images, which it says came straight out of the camera (assumingly with no touch-up or post processing):

lumia 950 xl smartphone sample photo 01

lumia 950 xl smartphone sample photo 02

Click on either of these images above to get a higher resolution view. When you do that, you'll no doubt be impressed. I've personally been very happy with the camera in my OnePlus 2, but it doesn't hold a candle to the clarity of these shots at full resolution. Microsoft's Juha Alakarhu says that it's "SLR quality", and it might be hard to disagree, though we'll reserve judgement until we get a device in hand for testing.

It's also being re-emphasized that low-light situations will be no problem with this camera. While there's no miracle solution for low-light, algorithms and improved optics can at least make the best of the situation, and Microsoft's goal is to make sure the end result has realistic tones, contrast, and of course, reasonably low levels of noise.

Look out, Apple. It appears the cameras in these new Lumias are a force to be reckoned with.