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Second comparison: Nokia 808 PureView vs. Lumia 1020 – some close-up flowers

Since I don’t have much else exciting in my garden, a few flowers will have to do for this short comparison. Most important this time, is that the Nokia Lumia 1020 can save a close-up in 4:3 format as a 5MP shot, but it can save the original shot in full resolution at the same time.

To be more precise: it won’t just save the close-up (5MP), but also the original frame you zoomed into, in full resolution.

Now to compare this with the Nokia 808 PureView, this means I do not only need to shoot a close-up in 38MP (if I want the 4:3 format), but also one in 5MP Pureview, closing in as much as possible.

Also, I thought it would be interesting to see what a detailed crop of both full-resolution results would look like…

So in this short comparison, you will see three shots from both the 808 as the 1020…
- first: the 5MP close-up from both devices,
- second: the full resolution result (resized of course),
- third: crops from the full resolution result.

Once again, you’ll see the Nokia 808 PureView  first – please note that I could focus with the Lumia 1020 a bit closer than with the Nokia 808 PureView:

Next, the two (resized) full-res close-ups from both the 808 PureView and Lumia 1020. This time – and even more – you’ll see I could focus a bit closer to the subject with the Nokia Lumia 1020.

Interesting to see in these two shots is that the Lumia 1020 does give a brighter result. I think that in this case, I would prefer the colors and contrast of the Nokia 808 PureView – it just feels like a “more natural” shot.

To conclude, the resized (50% of 1280 x 960) crops of the full-res originals. Again, you’ll see closer crops from the Lumia 1020, since the original full-res shots could be made closer to the subject.

I feel quite sure you don’t need me to come to your own conclusions, but to me in this case, most interesting fact is that you’ll be able to zoom in quite a bit closer with the Lumia 1020 than with the Nokia 808 PureView.

Also, I’m really impressed with the amount of detail the crop of the Lumia’s full resolution shot offers. I’m not saying which one “is better” however – I’ve written before I need much more time to get to know all the possibilities of the new Lumia 1020 (like if I know all of the 808 PureView…).

In these pretty basic shots, the results from the Lumia 1020 are very satisfying to me – it appears to perform better in detail in this case, but maybe less realistic in color. Please remember however, that the shots were not made at the exact same time, and there is a humble photographer behind each shot.

Differences in other words, may have to do more with me than with the smartphone cameras. The outcome is very comparable I think, and I’m looking forward immensely to make tons of more shots with both devices. And yes, I added the originals to a dedicated set on Flickr.

Tomorrow, the new season starts at work, and of course I won’t keep the Lumia 1020 out of my sight. I’ll probably be sharing shots on Twitter faster than I’ll be able to do so here, so please follow @PureViewClub if you are on Twitter as well (or get there :-)

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41 Responses


    Stop Nokia Lumia Music Player…
    Watch solution at forllowing youtube video:

  2. [...] les photos en mode Macro ici. C’est la première fois que Marc avoue que les photos du 808 PureView sont supérieures avec des [...]

  3. johnny

    Everyone trying so dam hard to come up reasons on why the 1020 is better or just as good as the 808 even when the results are right in front of them.

    The 808 images blow away the 1020 here in this comparison.. more accurate, more detail, less noise..

    its not even close, yet you still try to come up with excuses why 1020 is just as good as 808.

    This is the problem when Nokia is giving the popular blogging sites awards, and free phones now.. it makes them very hesitant to be critical and totally honest.

    bottom line is the 1020 camera is NOT better than the 808 for pure imaging (except for having OIS)

    • Cod3rror

      This is true.

    • That’s also my thought :)
      But I hope Marc can prove he is not :D
      To be honest, I’m not impressed by 1020, I just want my 808 have OIS and manual shutter speed setting, not another 920 with 41mpx camera.
      Nokia please don’t sell “PureView” name for that cheap price ^^
      I expect more than 1020 as it is now after having 808.

      • The day 808 was announced, I could only have my mouth in O letter shape all the time :D
        And I had bought it without hesitance at the first week it was on sale, unlike 1020 made me thought a lot “is it worth?”
        But it’s not the case with 1020.

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      Remarkable comment. Show me where I wrote the 1020 is better or just as good as the 808. I never did. I’m showing my first results, comparing both devices as good as I can at the moment. I’m only warning not to draw conclusions too fast, since I’m still learning to work with the 1020. Coming to conclusions is something you obviously want to do nevertheless – up to you, but don’t forget I’m the one supplying you with the material you base your conclusions upon: unaltered and even in full resolution. I have always been totally honest in *all* my comparisons, it’s one of the reasons many guests of the PureViewClub keep coming back for more.

      • johnny

        Dude, look at your own comments… quoted below again. its like you are walking on eggshells here not to upset Nokia. You are doing everything you can to just not come out say what is obviously right in front of you.. The 808 shots displayed here are not even close in comparison.. The 808 is clearly better in this comparison.

        Quoted from above..

        “I’m really impressed with the amount of detail the crop of the Lumia’s full resolution shot offers”
        –> the 808 CLEARLY shows much more detail here.. WTF ?

        “In these pretty basic shots, the results from the Lumia 1020 are very satisfying to me– it appears to perform better in detail in this case”
        –> Dude, are we looking at the same images?

        “The outcome is very comparable I think”
        –> Again, in “this” particular comparison, its not comparable.. 808 is clear winner.

        Marc, don’t get me wrong, i love your site, but I just have to call you out on this one as how i see it.

        • Marc @PureViewClub


          I’m not walking on eggshells, and I have nothing to fear from Nokia.

          Some of my first shots with the Nokia 808 PureView embarrassed me later – I just didn’t have enough experience with it to really do it justice.

          Again: I’m learning to work with the 1020, I don’t want to present my first results in the form of any kind of final judgement (something I see a bit too often on other sites). I’m just sharing what I experience and discover along the way.

          As far as the details are concerned: do you see the little hairs on both the left as second flower in the last crop? That one is from the Lumia 1020. That *clearly* shows more detail than I see on the same crop from the 808 PureView – and yes, we are looking at the same images.

          What you don’t quote – maybe because it doesn’t fit what you are accusing me of – is that I also wrote: “I think that in this case, I would prefer the colors and contrast of the Nokia 808 PureView – it just feels like a “more natural” shot.”

          You may think the 808 is a clear winner – that’s why I always present all material I’m getting from both phones, even in the original, unaltered versions on Flickr: so you can make up your own mind about it as well. I’m not saying you have to agree with me. I don’t mind criticism either.

          But blaming me of being “hesitant to be critical and totally honest” is just a bit disappointing after everything I do to inform you here of what I discover working with the Lumia 1020.

          But hey, maybe I just did get you wrong – I’m only human. A third comparison is coming up real soon.

        • bigs

          Johnny, there is no doubt the 808 is superior currently for low ISO IQ, but the 1020 is not that far behind when it comes to IQ as well. Yes there is more noise, but we are still seeing pretty much the same detail as what the 808 presents. I suspect may be hard for Nokia to fix the noise issue with a firmware update without compromising pixel IQ, but the higher saturation, contrast, and sharpening, I am pretty certain, these can resolved via software.

          The 1020 shots are actually quite satisfying, and look alot better than what we have seen from other review comparisons on the web. Also because the differences in detail is not far off that of the 808, we can we certainty say that it still is better than the iPhone, and the likes of nokias sibling products, the 920 and the 925

          When Marc says comparable, he is saying the differences are not that obvious unless you pixel peep, and the compromise of a little IQ from a smaller sensor is a small price to pay to have a mobile handset that s aesthetically pleasing, a faster optic f2.2 and optical stabilization.

  4. [...] U trenutku pisanja izašla je i druga usporedba Lumije 1020 i Nokije 808 na PureViewClub blogu pa je pogledajte. Ovoga puta su glavni motiv [...]

  5. Richard Hibberd

    Thank you very much Marc for your time to do these comparisons. To be quite honest I have seen your comparisons and others on line and although everybody says how good the 1020 is,( and other camphone comparisons) it always seems to me that they all finish up by saying the 808 colours are MORE NATURAL. I had planned to offer my 808 to my wife and get the 1020 when it comes to UK. But now I’m having real doubts. I was really looking forward to having the OIS but… is it worth spending over £500 just for that.( I’m not desperate to have windows phone or just getting a couple of cms closer with macro.) It seems to me that I might not be the only one who thinks like this or is it that us 808 users are so much in love with our device that we really don’t want see it go!!

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      Hi Richard, thanks for you reaction. I wouldn’t decide anything based on my first two comparisons however. There are too many things to learn and discover…

  6. it’s brighter, warmer and
    the petals lost the detail in 1020′s pics ;)
    that is all I see :D

  7. Junnior Reis

    Marc, please next comparative set the picture quality to “super fine” 808 (95% jpeg compression), since by default it comes with jpeg compression 85%, while in 1020 comes standard jpeg compression 95% !

    Such a measure would make the test fair for both sides !

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      Hi Jnnnior,
      The only changes I made to the “default” settings of the 808 PureView is to choose “vivid” in color tones and “superfine” in JPEG quality.

  8. Junnior Reis

    Marc and other members of the club, do not try to invent arguments… Accept the reality of the facts !

    808 “True Pureview” has largest image sensor (1/1.2”), flash with greater range and power (4 Meters), integrated over microns per pixel (4.89 Microns) !

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      As far as harware is concerned these figures can’t be denied of course. It seems obvious Nokia has chosen a slightly smaller sensor size to avoid the 1020 becoming too bulky (I still remember people screaming about the size of the 808).

      It’s the blend between hardware and software that defines the camera however. Nokia seems to have changed the approach towards that a bit – from a “realistic” to a more “pleasing” result.

      Once again: all results were with all (!) settings on “auto”, I’m looking forward to spend much more time with the Lumia 1020 to find out if I can get a more “realistic” result when changing the ISO settings etc. Less “instantly pleasing” maybe.

      With a brilliant device like this (hardware and software), I’m sure it must be possible to get even better results than what it can already achieve with all settings on auto.

      • bigs

        well said Marc, the 808 will maintain it’s legendary status of having the largest sensor in a mobile phone, and the 1020 can be a phone than combines the two implementations of pureview 1 (pureview like pixels, pureview zoom) and pureview 2 (OIS)

  9. Junnior Reis

    I completely disagree with you Marc !

    Both 1020 and 808 are weak in macro mode and this is easily explained by the optical assembly and sensor 2 devices in this giant !

    Incidentally macro mode is my only complaint about the 808 certainly is the only point that could be improved, but not by the way that Nokia has managed to improve in 1020 !

    Also this comparison 808 fared better, with more detail, better exposure and less noise !

    Sorry to disappoint, but you will make comparative 1000 and 1000 the 808 will do better !

    • Richard Shepherd

      808 weak in Macro Mode? check out my Bee and his pollen & flower:


      Weak is not the word that comes to mind…..are you saying the 808 macro is weak compared to…..an iphone?….no sniggering at the back there! If you’re comparing it to a Canon DSLR with a Macro lens then isn’t it a miracle were talking about the 2 devices in the same sentence? I found a lot of reviews basically stared to complian that the 808 wasn’t quite as good as a DSLR which is kind of missing the point. You could say the 808 is approaching DSLRs becauser they are about the only thing that can beat them but they weight a lot more and are VERY chunky when trying to fit in yer pocket ! :)

      • Junnior Reis

        808 “True Pureview” can only capture images in macro mode at a distance of 20 cm !

        While devices like the Huawei Ascend P6 can capture images in macro mode at a distance of 4 cm !

        So the macro 808 “True Pureview” can not be considered a strong point your camera !

        P.S: Only if using the zoom lossless can work around this limitation, but the price to pay is the loss of oversampling !

        • Marc @PureViewClub

          Hello again Junnior,
          I understood the 808 needs a minimal distance of 20cm, 1020 a minimal distance of 15cm.

          I’m surprised to see you mentioned the Huawai Ascend P6 with its astonishing 4cm. Would you like me to compare those cameras? I could, but it would surprise me if the Huawei sensor really stands a chance…

        • Once more:
          “Pureview” is a marketing concept.’
          “True Pureview” is fantasy.
          Pixels are reality.

      • bigs

        lovely shot Richard, that is the beauty of the 808. Even though you cannot get close, the sensor, lens combo, combined with impressive image processing makes the images captured extremely malleable and hence is able to be cropped with confidence that the image will still look true.

    • 808′s close up mode is good enough for me to not complain :D

      • Marc @PureViewClub

        Lovely shot. Did you also zoom in on this 3MP resolution? In other words, did you use oversampling as well? Great result either which way :-)

        • Yes, of couse zooming to get closer.
          And some tweaks in Lightroom to remove noise to get the PureView-like, but no way It can be as good as true oversampling PureView :)

        • I think it still remains some oversampling effect because I did not take it at maximum zoom :D

  10. natna

    Nice work Marc! In both 808 vs 1020 shootouts
    I really like your fair-square, no prejudice attitude on both phones.

    Will you please stress test the 1020 to see if there is a high iso/high temp, right side of the frame noise problem?

    For IQ shake, I hope your findings make Nokia do some fw or camera app corrections.
    I really miss the 8mp pv mode in 1020′s specs

    • bigs

      yes, a high ISO comparison would be lovely Marc. Natna, I have strong belief that the 1020 will not have the high ISO blue tint on the right hand side of the image, as the sensor is supplied by a different company.

      Anyway, the 808 makes up for daylight IQ, over low light lol

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      To be honest, I was surprised to only see the 5MP mode, even in the “basic” camera software. Nokia seems to be very confident about its new oversampling technique.

  11. Peter

    Nice comparison. The 1020 produces oversaturated pics with less details than the 808. Just look at the full sized pics of the flower. The 1020 has overfloded the leaves with purple color. A shame since this is what the huge pixel count is good for. Any settings on the 1020 that can be toned down?

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      White balance and ISO are the things to work with I guess.

      • Peter

        Could be yes. EV value or increasing the shutter speed could also work since the pics are brighter than the 808s which would indicate that the exposure is a bit too long. But as you said the pics are taken on auto mode and I’m pretty sure there’s a workaround.

      • bigs

        white balance and ISO, will not decrease the saturation of the images, nor will it fix the over sharpening issues.

        Nokia just needs to update the firmware to give options for advanced users to adjust these settings, and possibly add a creative mode like the 808

  12. NokiaBoy

    I can see higher level of noise in the 1020 and grainy

  13. bigs

    Marc, many thx for your excellent comparisons between the 808 and the 1020. I have learned something from your comparison. I never knew that the 1020 could focus a fraction closer than the 808. I suspect it has something to do with the smaller sensor.

    Here we get to see the benefits of the new image processing from the 1020. There is no doubt that more sharpening is working to an advantage for the 1020 image. Not only does the image seem more punchy, but also the hairs on the stem and flower just look so much clearer and more defined.

    What is surprising is the colors, both the 808 and the 1020 renders the purple flower a similar color with the 1020 image being slightly brighter and more dynamic. I am not certain, but with many 1020 images, I have been seen other webposts I am noticing a lack of gradients in the color palette, whereby I can literally see the purple flower change between shades. On the 808 the gradients seems smoother, and less digital. This effect can also be seen in the green out of focus areas. I am not sure which is worst, having lower dynamic range or losing bits during the image process! Also the green in the out of focus background has some sort of radio active glow to it, which seems to all point to overdone saturation.

    Overall I have to say I prefer the 808 image, though it is unable to focus closer to capture a better macro, at least the image looks true and realistic. The macro image from the 1020 seems overdone, and leaves no latitude for any post editing to ones personal taste.