Nokia 808 PureView vs. iPhone 4S Sample Photos

by Volker Weber

I took both the 808 PureView and the iPhone 4S on one of my bike tours and shot a few photos on each camera. They were both on full automatic. In this mode the iPhone shoots 8 MP images and the PureView is in 5 MP 16:9 mode. I used digital lossless zoom in a few sample images on the PureView, and I shot one image in full resolution.

I chose full automatic mode because (a) Nokia recommends the 5MP PureView mode for best results and (b) since I don't want to ruin photos with the wrong settings. As I get more accustomed to the 808, I will use some of the artistic features.

PureView samples >
iPhone samples >

Update: As night falls, the differences become a lot more apparent. PureView left, iPhone right.

   

Comments

I didn't zoom into a 1:1 pixel peeping mode, but from afar images from both cameras look good to me.

Clearly in most photos the iPhone uses settings that most users would subjectively like more. Specifically more contrast and more vivid colors. But that doesn't say much about the camera I think. And as a result of more contrast you can see less detail in shadows of the iPhone's images.

In photo 8 (boats) you can see that the iPhone' exposure automatic does a better job. It uses a shorter exposure time (or similar) to capture more detail.

There is only one photo which really turns the whole thing upside down. In photo 17 (train shed) the iPhone's image is less vivid, with lower contrast than the PureView's one. Did you smudge the lens?

Mariano Kamp, 2012-06-12

No, the lens is clean. The iPhone is also more aggressive sharpening the photo. The PureView files are much smaller and differ more in size. Less noise.

I agree with you, that both sets look "good enough" for me. This will change when I venture into deeper water. The PureView has a powerful flash for instance.

Volker Weber, 2012-06-12

I appreciate the comparisons. As my current phone (E71) reaches the end of its life, I find myself looking at phones that will also be my primary camera. Obvious choices are the iPhone and possibly the PureView. Based on what I see, the 808 does take marginally nicer shots. I look forward to seeing some examples with the flash.

Andy Reimer, 2012-06-12

For my eyes, the Nokia produces more vivid colors. Sharpness seems better on the iPhone (I also suppose more aggressive sharpening).
On high ISO settings, the Nokia is a clear winner, that's obvious.
But both are quite capable cameras I think.

What about handling - autofocus speed and shutter lag on the Nokia?

A comparison with the Samsung Galaxy S3 would be interesting.

Sven Bühler, 2012-06-12

Handling is pretty good. You can either use it in full automatic, go to scenes mode, where you tell it generally what you are looking at, or you can go full manual with three custom settings you can quickly change.

Once you are focused, there is no shutter lag. Zoom is instant since it's digital without interpolation. I have not made up my mind about focusing speed. I need to shoot a few hundred frames before I can come to a conclusion. With this capable shooter probably a lot more. It feels very natural so far.

The big question remains: is the iPhone 4S good enough? It's a much tighter package with broad software support. While Symbian Belle FP1 is really nice, it's clearly a dead end.

In bright daylight I see no real benefit in the PureView besides a wider view angle and 16:9 without crop. As soon as you go indoors or shoot at night, it's no competition. This is where the PureView leaves the iPhone in the dust.

And we have not talked about videos in concert setups. Full HD with digital lossless zoom and microphone that can capture 140 db could provide for some great footage.

Volker Weber, 2012-06-13

Handling is pretty good. You can either use it in full automatic, go to scenes mode, where you tell it generally what you are looking at, or you can go full manual with three custom settings you can quickly change.

Once you are focused, there is no shutter lag. Zoom is instant since it's digital without interpolation. I have not made up my mind about focusing speed. I need to shoot a few hundred frames before I can come to a conclusion. With this capable shooter probably a lot more. It feels very natural so far.

The big question remains: is the iPhone 4S good enough? It's a much tighter package with broad software support. While Symbian Belle FP1 is really nice, it's clearly a dead end.

In bright daylight I see no real benefit in the PureView besides a wider view angle and 16:9 without crop. As soon as you go indoors or shoot at night, it's no competition. This is where the PureView leaves the iPhone in the dust.

And we have not talked about videos in concert setups. Full HD with digital lossless zoom and microphone that can capture 140 db could provide for some great footage.

Volker Weber, 2012-06-13

The 808 is much better, especialliy in imaging and video recording and as an fully-fledged multimedia device!

Ante Gotovina, 2012-06-13

Wau! The low light performance on the 808 is amazing!

If you have time it would be interesting to set the contrast and sharpness parameters on the 808 to match the iPhone’s and see comparisons between those pics as well.

Good stuff! Can’t wait to get my hands on the 808!

Peter Grahan, 2012-06-15

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