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Fourth comparison: Nokia 808 PureView vs. Lumia 1020 – Hilversum City Hall

When I drove by this morning I  couldn’t resist parking my car to make a few shots of the City Hall in Hilversum in the bright morning sun – with the Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020, as you are used to by now.

No close-ups this time, but a really big building. All settings as in the previous comparisons on auto, except for the 808 with color tones on “vivid”. Nokia 808 PureView first.

City Hall - landscape - Nokia 808 PureView

Taken from the exact same distance, note you will get more in your shot with the Lumia 1020 (see there is more sky above the tower)

City Hall - landscape - Nokia Lumia 1020 - 1

Crops from these two shots:

City Hall - landscape - Nokia 808 PureView - crop

City Hall - landscape - Nokia Lumia 1020 - 1 crop

Next: two shots in portrait mode – since it’s such a beautiful architecture

City Hall - portrait - Nokia 808 PureView

Again, you get a bit more in your shot with the Lumia 925 (now noticable on the left side):

City Hall - portrait - Nokia Lumia 1020 - 1

And two crops from these shots as well:

City Hall - portrait - Nokia 808 PureView crop 2

City Hall - portrait - Nokia Lumia 1020 - 1 crop 2

Colors are different as we’ve seen before, details are very comparable in my opinion, although I tend to think the 1020 is a bit sharper in these comparisons.

I actually like the colors better from the Lumia 1020, in my opinion – “warmer” and more “pleasing” – but as always I’m open for suggestions. And yes, the originals are on Flickr too, including the crops. To be continued, no doubt :-)

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44 Responses

  1. deadhead

    It was pretty obvious from the start that the 808 has superior IQ.. all of these tests are a good confirmation.

  2. Cod3rror

    I don’t know what is it with 1020, but I don’t like the images it produces.

    They look over processed and have this strange fuzziness to them. Not to mention so much grain and noise. I’d even go as far as saying I prefer Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5′s shots to 1020′s, they might have lower detail but they don’t look so artificial.

  3. Junnior Reis

    I agree with Mr. Tian!

    Another comparison that shows how superior the 808 is compared to 1020!

    Look at the pictures, in the center of picture, 808 Provides slightly more detail than the 1020 (In Full Resolution), but at the corner, the superiority of the 808 is brutal … The 1020′s detail is awful, noise, blurry and lost detail!

  4. MarcV

    I read http://www.tequnique.com/camerapro” On Nokia Meego and Windows Phone 8 CameraPro offers full manual control and real RAW images as only known from professional DSLR cameras.”
    I have no idea how well this works as I use a 808, but it should circumvent the postprocessing of the 1020. Would be very interesting if you check this out.

  5. Richard Shepherd

    I tried to do a comparison on the 808 with White Balance set to sunny and cloudy as I mentioned right down at the bottom of all these comments:


    Have a read of my description notes and these were 16:9 34MPs shots if you right click you pick orig size (12MB file after joining the 2!)
    I’ll be honest I’ve seen a bigger difference in other shots, but it’s a subtle difference, that seems to be the 808 all over :)

  6. Richard Shepherd

    OMG just want to get this on the front page:
    64GB lumia 1020 to come to UK 1st October!
    Not sure if I believe it or not but if it’s true, I’m a patient man and I will wait till 01-10-13:

    Wow! Nokia may be listening to the feedback….. :) I hope so!

    • bigs

      think there was always going to be a 64gb version coming out, but was just a matter of when.

      With 64gb, one can capture hd 1080p videos with confidence they will not run out of capacity. Also capturing more full res images or the combination of both a 5mp and 38mp image will need that storage capacity when travelling abroad.

  7. jake20

    yea, something off with the 1020 images.. look at this crop comparison


  8. Yeah, after this comparison, to be honest, I have to be proud to own 808.
    This is the first time I go to flickr because Marc did not crop at 100% (mean native size).
    Let aside the differences in sharpness and color tone.
    I realize that, in the center of picture, 1020 and 808 seem to have the same detail, but at the corner, the 1020′s detail is awful, noise, blurry and lost detail :v I’m afraid to say that.
    And one more thing, the shadow parts in 1020′s picture are no way as detail as 808′s picture, so much noise, only the light parts probably are the same ;)
    This is apply for all the pictures 1020 takes, lens problem huh?
    Look it for yourself :)

    • bigs

      Mr Tian, excellent observation! The differences really become clear when you check out the edge sharpness!! The 1020 is clearly no where as sharp as the 808. It is that bad that is kind of looks defocused!

      The shadow detail is less in the 1020 due to excessive contrast. I think we can give Nokia a chance to update the firmware, and give us the option to reduce contrast will be a great benefit.

      also with respect to the colors, I really do not like this artificial warmness in every image. It would be nice to show a over cast day for instance as a cold day, rather than a simulated warm day

      I do get the feeling though, the artificial warmness may be implemented to hide some other faults with the 1020, and that may be related to the dynamic range of the sensor. the wam yellow glow has a tendency for forgiving highlight clipping into looking like something pleasing to the eye

  9. George

    For those that like the results out of the 1020 : Punchy colors are achievable on the 808 by simply editing the images on camera with – Automatic Levels :)

    • I hate to edit by the default editor. After save, I think it only remains 60% quality, you can look at the size of the edited picture, or compare side by side. So when I think I need to edit an image, at least I use my Nexus 7 or I use my computer to edit.
      On Symbian, there is http://sourceforge.net/projects/photproc/, you can choose image quality to save your edited picture, but it is just a fast food because of small screen size Symbian’s fone :)

      • bigs

        I agree computer does do better editing than the built in one, but it is nice to know you can edit before sharing, especially if you are on the run.

        Also there is a newish symbian software called Photproc which allows for high quality editing of even full resolution images, but the caveat is it takes a very long tme to render the final image!

  10. Daniel

    Well, everything is greener in the 1020′s garden.

  11. Ryan

    After viewing 4 comparisons, it seems to me that so far the 808 performs better than the 1020 generally. I always go for the most natural colour but sometimes, I do find the colour on the 808 can be a bit darker and hence the one of the 1020 looks warmer, punchier, brighter and more pleasing.

    Nevertheless, detail-wise, the 808 performs much better as the detail in the 1020 is destroyed by the noise and grain. The more you zoom in, the less you can see with 1020 compared to the 808.

    A bit more time with the 1020 and software update could perhaps make the difference. Once again, thanks Marc for these comparisons despite how daunting it can be.

    • bigs

      yes, lets wait to see when Nokia releases a firmware update. Already though the time between capturing images is like 3 seconds between shots when capturing in full resolution, image how much longer it would take if they were to improve the noise reduction process

  12. Dominick

    Anyone notice, the vertical edge of the building on the left and right side of the lumia pics are very blurry. This is more severe on the left where most of the edges are in the shadows. Zoom into the full-sized pic and see what I’m talking.

    Also, the walls of the smaller building on the right most side have lost almost all their details. Where are the bricks?

    At this time, I’m sure we can leave out blue caused by movement as the lumia has OIS. I can only conclude that the lumia has higher noise and the noise filter and saturation have destroyed all the details.

    • SuperMAG

      yess, thats what i said in the other post. but didnt know why it was noisy in sides.

      Can the software refining fix that?

      • Dominick

        I think this could be due to the higher amount of noise the lumia produces in the absence of light. It automatically applies more noise filtering which affects edge sharpness of the building in the shadows. Together with over saturation, which already consistently affects a small amount of edge sharpness throughout the entire pic, this just makes straight edges look screwy. Just my theory anyway.

        On the left/right most of the picture, the softness is due to lens issue and cannot be corrected with any amount of software update. Unless, you want to see false details. I remember someone on MNB (bigs???) mentioned about cropping away 10% on the right and left to get rid of the softness but that’s 20% lost in pixels and IMO not a practical solution.

      • bigs

        I still think the noisy extreme sides of the 1020 image is due to the change in optical and sensor design in the 1020 over the 808

        • bigs

          actually after looking at the clock crop shot, I think it is a combination of factors, the lens, sensor change in design, plusas Dominick says, there is a higher software noise reduction algorithm working here to give a more appealing image, just do not pixel peep too hard.

  13. NokiaBoy

    Something I can’t stand in the 1020 is that it has a higher level of noise and grain, the image it’s warmer and it seems to have some fail in the dynamic range … I’ll be waiting for the update…

  14. Harsh

    Daylight photography by both phones are very good.!

    @Marc, can you please share a post ,with some comparisons in different situations, on both devices at same iso and exposure time settings ?

    As on equal settings, 1020 showed better details than 808..! :D



    • Harsh

      After a long time, i finally saw a comparison, where both chose equal settings..

      1020 is having lesser noise and better details than 808..!
      Do check the numbers from 30-70 at 400% or higher crops..!

      • bigs

        have you checked out the corners of the image, particularly the bottom left corner, and far right hand side?

        • Harshv61

          The corners and 15-20 % area from the sides do have a strange blur and detail loss in 1020..
          But at the center, the details are apt. Right hand side of red button, compare the details of the numbers..

          • Harshv61

            10-15 % areas from sides and top and bottom of 1020 pics have strange oily, blurs. Maybe due to ois.. :/

  15. re_c

    Looks like the 808 captures more Detail and lower noise in the Shadows (Will be the sames in generally dark conditions i think ). Maybe because the higher saturation of the 1020 but more likely because of the smaller pixels of the 1020.

  16. jake20

    Marc, great comparisons! keep up the good work!
    But, on that last crop comparison in this post you say the 1020 image appears sharper.

    This is just artificial.. Nokia is doing a lot of post processing in the 1020 images. They are tricking you into thinking its sharper, by manipulating the colors, tint, brightness, and artificial sharpness.

    Just look at the bricks on the building on upper/lower right side . On the 808 you can see all the lines, but on the 1020 is washed out.

    Everything I have seen so far is telling me that there is no real oversampling happening on the 1020 like we have seen on the 808.
    All i see is post processing on the 1020.
    The 1020 seems like a Lumia 920 with a bigger sensor, which is still a very good thing! but its just not an 808.

    • Lourenco

      There is no oversampling on the full resolution shots. Oversampling happens only on the 5MP photos.

      But I agree with you, the bricks on the 808 are much cleaner and defined than on the 1020.

  17. SuperMAG

    I dont know if its the settings or its like this with all cameras, but 1020 pictures have more noise or the sides while very sharp in the middle.

    is that normal.

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      Maybe someone else (Bigs or Pixel Peter?) could answer that one.

    • Mark

      Its the lens according to various posts in other blogs, the phone is struggling there.
      I am sure some guru will be able to test\measure it to prove one way or another.

    • bigs

      Well, it is really normal. I suspect to get the phone slimmer, Nokia made the sensor smaller, but also the distance between the rear optic and the sensor has to be closer. The closer the optics to the sensor, the higher the angle the light has to hit the sensor. more so at the edges. I suspect that is possibly what the 6th optical element was designed to help correct and reduce this angle.

      Anyway this may be the reason why the sharpness may degrade on the far edges of the 1020 images.

      With wide angle lens, even with DSLRs and interchangable lens cameras, the wide angle and ultra wides commonly suffer from this effect. The difference is though on these cameras, they have a aperture control can be used to sharpen up the corners substantially. For this reason phone cameras like the SGS4, and iphone use a much larger focal length, eg 35mm on the iphone, vs 27mm on the 1020. As the larger the focal length, the less the angle the light has to pass to hit the sensor, when the distance between sensor and optic is small,

      That is why when the 808 was released everyone was really amazed at it’s corner performance for such a wide angle lens on a largish sensor plus a fixed large aperture of 2.4! On a DSLR, wide angle lens get better at f5.6 and usually reach a peak performance around f8.0.

  18. SuperMAG

    The arent 100% zoomed crops???

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      No, just details from the shots I made. Everything is on Flickr, you can download the shots and “crop till you drop” :-)

  19. SuperMAG

    Did u updated the software before this comparison?

    This the first comparison i feel both are totally equal, apart from color difference.

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      No updates available. Maybe I’m starting to understand the camera better :-)

      • bigs

        Marc, just a reminder to please do some comparisons landscapes using the pureview 5mp modes on the 808 and the 1020. In other reviews, the puewview 5mp mode on the 1020 has been not very advantageous over the likes of capturing full resolution, apart from a smaller file size. I think the differences between 808 pureview vs 1020 pureview modes will be greater than the full resolution comparisons

  20. ladik

    i like the collors better from the 1020 but try to change white balance on 808 and it will be better

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      Choose for “sun” you mean? Colors would be closer then, true.

      • RAShepherd

        808 white balance on cloudy amps the colours more, good fun for the more sat type image :)