It is nothing special. I'm sure the fellow cinematographers might've specifically wanted to go a bit against the grain here, plus they must know some technical details about all the productions that we don't. And I'm sure that some hard work went into "Lion". But for me personally it's all about how the visuals elevate the whole picture, how they enhance the experience and make it stand out. I love cinematography that has a voice, and I think "Lion" is the weakest of the nominees precisely because it doesn't have that. It's just shot. It looks decent and all that, and there are some impressive bits here and there, but mostly I found the look of it to be quite flat and sterile. And faceless. Whereas literally all the other nominees have a very specific visual language to them. I think it's one of the most disappointing things to happen during this awards season.
I agree a lot with what JangoB said. I didn't see it as overly impressive or unique to its movie, but I am sure that actual cinematographers saw a lot more of how difficult it was to achieve that those of us who aren't cinematographers don't really see. Also explains why it ended up getting that nomination, but won't win at the Oscars. The other 6000 people who aren't cinematographers will be voting for La La Land because visually it's a more interesting film.