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Battle in 8MP – comparing the Nokia 808 PureView, Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and Jolla

After I learned it actually is possible to change the settings of the Jolla’s camera to 4:3 (in general settings, not in camera settings!) I knew it’s possible to use it to its full potential – the 8MP resolution. So time for a camera battle once again.

This is a short but – I hope – remarkable battle between three smartphone cameras shooting in 8MP. The Jolla, the Nokia 808 PureView using oversampling as we all know. And the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, manually set to 4:3.

I’m not sure if the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact uses oversampling, since I can’t use the “Superior Auto” setting in 4:3 (I know it’s possible on the Xperia Z2 and I hope the camera software of its predecessors will be updated by Sony). So I can only guess it oversamples the 20.7MP results to 8MP.

Anyway, this morning I chose three scenes. First, a close-up of one of my favorite artefacts: a Mexican mask presenting the Cycle of Life (it has been hanging outside for at least 10 years and the colors never changed much). Second, a shot of an abundant forsythia bush and third of a path in forest this Sunday morning.

You’ll see the resized versions of all scenes here, followed by the crops I made. I’ll do it in alphabetical order this time, so Jolla first, Nokia next and Sony last.

1 Jolla - Mask

1 Nokia 808 PureView - Mask a

1 Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - Mask

Since in all shots I focused in the middle, I made the crops from the middle as well

1 Jolla - Mask

1 Nokia 808 PureView - Mask

1 Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - Mask

Next, the bright yellow forsythia

3 Jolla - Yellow

3 Nokia 808 PureView - Yellow

3 Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - Yellow

And the crops from the same plant:

3 Jolla - Yellow

3 Nokia 808 PureView - Yellow

3 Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - Yellow

And last: the path in the forest. This is the only case in which I changed the white balance to  “sunny” (on all three devices, of course).

2 Jolla - Path

2 Nokia 808 PureView - Path

2 Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - Path

And the crops, again from where I originally focused, the center of the shot (as far away as possible in this scene).

2 Jolla - Path

2 Nokia 808 PureView - Path

2 Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - Path

Now since some have said I’m “biased” towards Nokia, I’d just like to leave the conclusion to you this time. You’ll find the original 8MP shots in a dedicated set on Flickr for you to have a look in more detail if you so desire.

I’m really looking forward to what you think of shots of these three different scenes!

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16 Responses

  1. Howdy! I realize this is somewhat off-topic however
    I had to ask. Does building a well-established website such as yours require a massive amount work?
    I’m brand new to running a blog but I do write in my journal every day.

    I’d like to start a blog so I can share my personal experience and thoughts online.
    Please let me know if you have any recommendations
    or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

  2. Leon

    I’m sure you hear this everyday,but once again thanks for another great comparison.You are doing an amazing job here Marc.
    I have the 808 pureview and will surely get another pureview device when my upgrade is due.
    People are still amazed at the power of the 41mp camera.

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      Hi Leon, don’t hear this everyday actually, and I never get bored with it either, thanx :-)

      • Leon

        I’m from South Africa and the only problem we have here is the long delay from announcement till the devices arrive in our stores for purchase.And the delays is mainly with Nokia devices,the Lumia 1520 was only available a month ago here in South Africa.Samsung S5 and Sony Z2 are already up for pre-orders from all major cellular carriers.If Nokia could only sort out this issue I know the sales will skyrocket here.I also know off atleast 8 people that could not find any Lumia 1020 for the entire December.

  3. Nokia 808 vs oppo find 7 vs galaxy s5 vs lumia 1020 vs xperia z2

  4. Thanks for the great comparison Marc! Nokia 808 pureview king cameraphone, i love my nokia 808.

  5. Ameer Mukadam

    The z1 compact has got the 4.4.2 update which lets shooting at 4:3 in superior auto

  6. Dominick

    Thanks for the great comparison Marc! Nokia wins hands down in all 3 samples.

  7. bigs

    It is nice to see the 808 being used once more to battle against the masses of new smartphones.

    As per usual, the 808, especially in the close up mask shot shows the most detail, with less noise reduction, while maintaining excellent noise control.

    Both the Jolla and the Z1 may not sport the amazing camera and processing hardware of the 808, but to the untrained eye, they still can capture a descent image.

    What is most interesting is how well the jolla performs against the Z1. Not only is the performance remarkably close between the two, but in some instances in these shots the jolla shot seems to retain more detail, which means thew jolla image processing algorithm is posisbly better than the Z1.

  8. Emerson Skeik

    808 PureView Wins… Not a Chance. Physics Wins. Physics Always Wins :-D

    • mike

      I think that you have stolen that phrase from Steve (AAS). :) It is true, you need a very powerfull sensor as a base and built premium software on it to create better cameras. The key is the combination of software and hardware as well… ;)

  9. mike

    Lovely pictures Marc! :)

    I ‘ve noticed in those photos that the Jolla smartphone captures at a smaller frame each time, but the other two are pretty similar. As a sum, it produces very nice pictures (not like the high detail level as the 41 MP pureviews, but quite good). I think that I could buy that smartphone if it becomes availiable in my country. I am impressed that a small company does good things and follows the old good nokia.

    Of course the best of those is the 808! :) The Z1 compact uses sharpening and noise reduction that results in artifacts and lower quality (seen in the crops only). For example, in the forest photos, the bigger letters from the 808 image are almost readable to me, whereas I can’t read anything in the other two due to the lower detail level (Jolla) or the extreme noise reduction (Z1 compact).

    As I said I am generally impressed and I hope Jolla keeps doing a good job and produce high end camera smartphones in the future (over 13 MP).

    Marc do you own or can you borrow any of the lumia 920/5/8 devices? The 808 and lumia 1020 are the big camera champions, so it would be more fair if you compared Jolla and lumia 920 cameras. I think they are almost comparable. Although the lumia 920 didn’t have a huge sensor, it was a powerful device that produced brighter and more visible low-light images than the lumia 1020/808. It would be nice to see how the Jolla stands against a previous high-end Nokia device, like the lumia 920! :)

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      Hi Mike, the Jolla has a longer focal length, that’s why. Looks like I’m about to sell my Jolla phone (something’s gotta give, this club does not support itself, alas).

      Thank you for your kind reaction, as always,

      • mike

        I thank YOU Marc!!! For everything you created here in the pureview club, all these years! :)

        As for the Jolla, I really hope they can manage to survive as a new company and produce some high-end smartphones in the future. It would be a nice alternative, since symbian belle and meego os are both abandonded. We ‘ll see soon..

  10. civichief

    The Jolla is good enough. Could be interesting as next Phone.
    Sony is very good and depending on one’s flavour, its pictures Are mire vivid.

  11. Javier

    I´ll start telling you Marc that… Wow! I like those images =D
    Are so paceful (1st and 3rd one) jej

    And then I have to tell you that I see more details in the picture of the landscape in the ground or in the corners in the 808 picture. The more you go from the middle to any corner, the less details you´ll see on the Z1 compact picture..

    And in the first pictures of the mask, I see the 808 picture with more details in any place than the others (obviously you can see how the bokeh effect starts working in the wood so that is “blurred” because that reason).
    The details from the clay and the spiderweb are clearer in 808 picture and there has been a thing that has caught my attention. In the first picture of the Z1 (mask) the black spot of the face in the middle has a “irreal” white colour around it. It seems to be painted.

    I think that the post-processing process in the Z1 compact is heavier and uses high level of contrast and sharpness losing details.

    And finally I´d say that the Jolla device hasn´t as good camera as the others.