iPhone 5 vs. Lumia 920: Image stabilization challenge

Nokia(s nok) introduced new image stabilization technology earlier this month with the launch of its Lumia 920 smartphone, but audience excitement was quickly killed off: The company demonstrated the feature in a video that didn’t actually use Lumia handsets to capture the footage. So how impressive is — or isn’t — Nokia’s “floating lens” technology? There’s one way to find out: a hands-on test.

That’s exactly what Myriam Joire of Engadget did earlier this week. At Nokia’s research and development facility in Tampere, Finland, Joire mounted both a Lumia 920 and an iPhone 5(s aapl) on a mount to capture the same video footage with both smartphones at the same time. The results are quite impressive, with the Lumia video far more stable:

How important is a high-quality stabilization feature in a smartphone? Some may not see the need now, but one only has to look at the trend of smartphone optics to see where things are heading. As Om pointed out this month, handheld devices are fast replacing point-and-shoot cameras thanks to improved image capture combined with connectivity for sharing.

The same attributes could easily apply to video on the go with smartphones eliminating the need for dedicated camcorders. I think Nokia is on to something here and expect other phone makers to focus — no pun intended — more on video capabilities in the near future.