Another look at the Lumia 640 and Lumia Camera 5.

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The Lumia 640 is one of the first non-flagship devices to be graced with Lumia Camera 5. As we did with the Lumia 830, we put our tourist hat on and took a walk around London to try and get the best out of the camera.Lumia Camera Introduction – Lumia Camera is the default camera app on the Lumia 640 and indeed you would have to go out of your way to use Microsoft Camera (accessible via settings only). On the Lumia 640, you have access to the same amount of features as the flagship 830, with options for rich capture, Lumia moments et al present.

Lumia Camera Introduction – Lumia Camera is the default camera app on the Lumia 640 and indeed you would have to go out of your way to use Microsoft Camera (accessible via settings only). On the Lumia 640, you have access to the same amount of features as the flagship 830, with options for rich capture, Lumia moments et al present.

To get the most out of your Lumia 640’s camera you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the interface and capability of the app. The app provides a simple interface for both power-users and novices alike. An initial screen where you have the usual camera options, and then a manual mode where you can control the finest details of the camera.

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Here’s a simple explanation of what all the various settings do and how they affect your images.

White Balance – This is a simple tool used to control the colour output of the image using white* as a base, Images skewing towards the warmer colours of the scale will lead to an orange tint in photos, those which are cooler will have a blue tint. You can manually adjust the white balance to make it more to your taste using the dials in Lumia camera. Of course you’ll also need to have your screen calibrated as accurate as possible using the display settings in Lumia devices and a white object (clouds, white jumper, card etc.) to use as reference.

Focus – You can control the range of focus using the manual focus dial in Lumia Camera. As a tool, it is pretty good for taking macros or creating a nice bokeh effect in photos.

ISO – ISO controls the light sensitivity of the camera. The lower the ISO, the less light sensitive it is and vice versa. In general you use higher ISO to get faster shutter speeds in low-light scenes. However, images get more noisy and grainy at higher ISOs. 100 is typically the setting you’ll want to use for crisp, sharp photos. The manual settings mean you can dynamically adapt the ISO to compensate for lighting or to capture certain effects, and there’s no harm in choice.

Shutter speed – This is self-explanatory. Shutter speed controls the amount of time the shutter is open for. It’s a useful tool for freezing motion in high speed subjects like birds and waves. On the other hand, higher shutter speeds allow you to create beautifully blurred images. Both have their uses and the Lumia Camera interface makes it easy to adapt based on intent.


Camera Experience –Just like before with the 830, I went around London with the 640, taking photos of various places in London. This time I started from Marble Arch, went through Hyde Park and stopped at the Palace.

This first photo was taken half by guesswork. The screen of the 640 doesn’t seem to be as resistant to sunlight as the similarly specced 830. No matter, using the grids feature, I just focused on lining on one portion of the screen and letting the rest fall into place. The result is fairly pleasing below. The 8MP camera of the 640, while not being a zeiss lens or pureview spec manages to capture just enough detail for an alright photo. For the price, that’s not bad, let’s also not forget that it’s a much better camera than the previous 620 and 625 models for a lower price than either.

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This second set of photos were taken in the park proper. The Lumia 640, while an admirable performer, loses out detail due to its smaller sensor. The addition of Rich Capture to the scene doesn’t appear to change much to my eye. The image as a whole retains a dull quality to it with colours appearing more muted than they should be.

Finally, the last set of photos show the difference between using the Lumia 640 to capture buildings vs capturing nature. The shots of the palace are fairly impressive, they provide sufficient detail and image clarity that editing can bring out some potential. However, in the second set of images, it’s not so rosy. Once again the colour and detail in the nearby fauna is quite dull and muted, as an effect, the scene doesn’t have quite the same effect on the 640 as it does when captured by the 830.


The Lumia 640 has a fairly good camera. It is not outstanding, it will most likely not win you any photography prizes unless you happen to be a master photographer.

As far as Lumia cameras go, it isn’t the best one. Bearing in mind that the Lumia line did produce devices like the 1020 and 1520 that’s not too bad.

However, as far as mid-range cameras go, the Lumia 640 straddles the line between acceptable and good, often straying towards the latter in day to day use. How you’ll feel about it is very much dependent on the kind of image you intend to capture.


What do you think of the Lumia 640’s camera? Let us know in the comments below.

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