The other day I was listening to a local “tech” show on the radio. Normally this show talks about apps, security “issues”, and occasionally new products. On this particular episode the topic was “the New Nokia with the big camera”. Pocketnow readers are rolling their eyes right now, you all know that by its name: the Nokia Lumia 1020. The phone was being pummeled by these “radio heads”. Eventually they got around to talking about the source of their frustration: Instagram doesn’t run on Windows Phone. I wanted to pick up my radio and scream: “Instagram doesn’t matter!”
Instagram is great
Don’t get me wrong, the social network and tagging aspects of Instagram are amazing. You can search images by location, by tag, by person… all kinds of stuff. You can discover new places, things, and people, and you can share your own photos quickly and easily.
Unfortunately, the resolution of photos shared on Instagram is limited. From a technological standpoint I can see why. Overlaying all those filters and effects on top of your images requires the overlays to be created for the exact dimensions of the image. Rather than making many different overlays of varying dimensions, the app shrinks and crops your images to fit the sizes of their filters.
Historically this cropping and shrinking takes your photos down to 612×612 — not very high-definition. If you’re running the latest version of the app on a supported device, that resolution gets bumped up as high as 2048×2048. While that may sound like a lot, it’s only around 4.19MP.
The main camera on the Lumia 1020 is 41MP. Doing some quick math, that means the Lumia 1020 is almost ten times better than the current maximum resolution that Instagram can handle. Put another way, that image that you took on your Lumia 1020 was 7712×5360. Instagram would have thrown away 37,142,016 pixels — around 90% of your picture.
Instagram doesn’t matter
The Lumia 1020 is all about that phenomenally awesome camera. Taking pictures with Instagram negates that benefit and “dumbs down” your images by a factor of 10 (and that’s without applying any filters). On this particular phone, the lack of Instagram doesn’t matter. Your pictures will be better, higher resolution, and much more “pretty” since you can’t “downgrade” them with Instagram.
Enjoy the phone! Revel in your pictures and the memories they just captured!
If your life revolves around Instagram, I’m not knocking that — this isn’t the phone for you. If you value high-resolution images with great saturation, hue, and luminosity, you’re one of the people who will +1 this article and share it with your friends, because you already know the value of a good picture. To you, Instagram doesn’t matter as much as your memories.