Sunday, 16 June 2013

Photography: 808 vs N8 vs 920 vs 820 Part I

I recently went outside equipped with the Nokia 808 PureView, the Nokia N8, the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia Lumia 820 to take a few pictures for a short camera comparison.

For easier publishing and more convenient reading on your side, I decided to release the result in different posts.

Read on, to see the first picture of my comparison ;)

Macro Flower

A camera comparison just would not be complete without a close-up flower shot.
So let's start with that...

Nokia 808 PureView
The Nokia 808 PureView was used in "Creative Mode" settings.
8 MP (16:9), Close-Up (Macro), Vivid Colours, everything else set to automatic.

Nokia Lumia 920
The Nokia Lumia 920 was mostly set to automatic settings.
Only Close-Up (Macro) mode was active, everything else on default.

Nokia Lumia 820
On the Nokia Lumia 820, like on the 920, I only changed the focus mode to Close-Up (Macro).
Everything else is set to automatic.

Nokia N8
As you can see, the Nokia N8 stands out because of its 12MP (4:3) resolution.
The focus mode was changed to Close-Up, other settings are set to automatic.

I would like to clarify my choices in the settings.
While the Symbian powered N8 and especially the 808 offer easy to use interfaces for changing the camera settings, the Windows Phone camera interface is very uncomfortable.
Which explains, why most settings are set to automatic on the Lumia phones...

I took multiple photos on every device (at least two per phone), with different settings, 'till I was satisfied.


Let's take a closer look at the details.
I cropped an area of 640*360 out of the photo's. Due to different camera resolutions, we don't have the exact same size in the cuttings. Also because of slightly different focus points, I decided to crop the sharpest point of each picture, instead of the exact same point.
(Please post some feedback if you have suggestions, how to handle this in a better way!)

Cropped Comparison 808/N8/920/820


In good light, the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 seem to be on par.
Not much for detail on those two phones and the colours are slightly wrong too. Since the flowers are really tiny, the result isn't as bad as it may looks. I would say it still is above the average phone camera's... but definitely no match for the N8 and 808.

The Nokia N8 has the most accurate colours, but had some issues with the focus.
It just didn't want to focus on the little flowers and choose the leaves behind it instead... in all fairness, this may be my fault and the detail is still amazing!

The Nokia 808 could have matched the real colours too (like the N8 did), if I hadn't decided to use the "vivid" mode.
Overall, the 808 may does not reflect the real scene (according to my choice in settings), but it looks simply gorgeous... definitely my favourite here.

I'd like to hear your opinion about the sample photos here.
Feedback/critics about my comparison is welcome too of course ;)
Just drop a comment below!

Part II is coming soon...

Photography: 808 vs N8 vs 920 vs 820 Part II
Photography: 808 vs N8 vs 920 vs 820 Part III


  1. I have my "old" N8, and did the same things that you did comparing N8 vs 808. Most photos are not easy to say with which camera was taken. Using flash, well, there is a difference, I think the 808's xenon is much ´powerful. And as I use CameraPro, all settings are at hand, much better and easy to adjust and personalize.

    1. Yes, I agree... when it comes to macro/close-up photos, the n8 and 808 are very close.
      Usually the N8 is even a little bit better, since you can get closer.
      If you take a close look, the N8 shot here did show a little bit more detail than the 808.

      the 808 won here (imo), because of the endresult.
      the colours, bokeh effect, perfect focus... but when it comes to details, the n8 did better (and with some adjustments, could have matched the vivid colours too).

      what worries me way more, is the fact that the 820 gets so close to the 920... shows that the 920's only great thing about the camera is the OIS, which is useless in daylight :(

      but i have some more, easier to compare pictures for the next part of my comparison :)

  2. I use CameraPro, too - love this app - the virtual Horizon is a great feature!
    But, Daniel, you don't need any comparisons anymore - just accept, that the 808 is the best... ;-)
    Took allready so many great pictures with this...
    ...and I love the audio-quality of videos or also audio-only-records...
    THAT is a point too, that no Smartphone can match:
    ...and my newest: Audio-Record of a Jazz-Jam-Session (me playing piano...)
    After record added some high and low EQ - and a little reverb - and master compression/limiting
    If you listen with good speakers/earphones - you can hear every nuance of the doublebass - and the drums... - and the annoying loud talking women at the start ;-)

    1. Hey Sascha,
      I don't have much experience with CameraPro, what is the virtual horizon, sounds interesting?

      You are right of course! The comparison is not meant to defend the 808's leader position, but to see what the Windows Phone cameras can do.

      Anyway, better posting a few "hopefully" interesting shots than posting nothing 'till my 808 is back from repair :p

      Great examples for the audio recording by the way!
      Thanks for sharing ;)

  3. night mode????

    1. well, i have a low light comparison in mind...
      but the next few pics i will share are all in daylight

  4. Oh i miss my N8 and 808 already...I am one of those who jumped ship from symbian to android and now i regret it...(sigh)

    1. well, the latest samsung galaxy has a pretty nice camera.
      what phone do you have now?

    2. I have an S4 right now but i think the 808 is just good enough for me...

  5. If you use CamerePro you can also do touch focus. Touch the area/point where you want to focus.

  6. Marko Mylosewitz27 October 2014 at 19:08

    n8 is the king of colors, much better photo from it