Microsoft shows off the magic of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL camera

As we get closer to the launch of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, Microsoft is starting to reveal more details about these phones. The camera may be the best ever on a Lumia and I am thrilled.

(Image: Microsoft)

I just cancelled my Surface Book pre-order so I can buy a Microsoft Lumia 950 XL. I'm a phone guy and can't be stopped.

Yes, I've admitted to being a negative nelly when it comes to Windows Phone. Last week's limited carrier support strategy frustrated me, but after reading more about the Lumia 950 XL camera and reading comments from readers on my Surface Book post I decided I need to take a look at the new Lumia for myself.

The new article at Microsoft titled Camera magic on Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL was written by Nokia (now Microsoft) camera guru Juha Alakarhu. It appears he had a major influence on the performance and design of the new 20-megapixel PureView camera found in these phones and the results look amazing.

Microsoft states that the new camera include a rear-facing PureView camera with a 20-megapixel advanced BSI sensor, F1.9 Zeiss optics, triple-LED natural flash, fifth-generation optical image stabilization, ISO12800, 4K video, and a 5-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera. The sample images look great, and it sounds like shooting in auto mode, which is what the majority of people do, will result in high quality photos.

Dynamic Flash with three LED flash lights sounds innovative and exciting. Flash photography on cameras has always taken a back seat to everything else, but it looks like Microsoft is using flash in an intelligent way to improve photos taken in dark and well lit environments.

The new Lumia 950 and 950 XL rear camera also supports RAW capture for those who are serious about photography and want full control over the output.

While the camera looks to be excellent, I am also pleased to see the rest of the high end specs on the Lumia 950 XL. With 32GB of integrated storage with a microSD card slot, a Snapdragon 810 processor, integrated wireless charging, USB Type-C charging, Gorilla Glass 4 over a ClearBlack display, 3GB of RAM, replaceable 3,340 mAh battery, a FM radio, and more, I don't know what else I could ask for in a single phone.

So about that Surface Book. I read several very good comments in response to my Surface Book pre-order article and then had more discussions with my buddy Kevin Tofel. The Surface Book is expensive, I don't have a single complaint about my Surface Pro 3, my Surface Pro 3 is used more than any other computer thanks to its extreme portability, I really want to try out Continuum, I prefer to spend my money on smartphones, and with two daughters in college I do have to try to control my spending a bit.

So I took Kevin's advice and ordered a new Surface Type Cover so I can experience one aspect of the Microsoft PC announcements.

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