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Scenes from Crete (final) – Nokia 808 PureView, Lumia 1020 and Samsung Galaxy S5

This weekend appeared to be a great time to share the shots I captured during my stay in Crete – this is the last part of what has become a much longer series than I planned to post, also inspired by your enthusiasm – thanks for that! :-)

I’ll start this last post with a few close-ups at the coast. First a detailed shot from a shipwreck that’s been lying around at the Malia coast for years now – I know that since this is my fourth visit to the region. If you like this shot…


…you’ll probably like the result I shared on Nokia Refocus even more… :-)

While I’m at it, let me ask a question to my readers at the Refocus Team. I’d love to have my own corner over at Nokia Refocus or whatever name you will give it soon – Microsoft Refocus? Just like I have on Flickr and Instagram for instance. So it would have to be something like


Can we have that please? The only way I can find my earlier Refocus results is checking my own posts about it (not often enough), look for them in my Twitter timeline (cumbersome) or see them on my Lumia device (and those will be gone as soon as I start using another Lumia). So please: make that possible – thank you very much :-)

Let’s have a look at a few from the close-ups I got from the Nokia 808 PureView at the same beach. What you see below are close-ups taken a full resolution. First, a typical stone formation of lava that ended in sea thousands of years ago…


Next, a colorful fishing net entangled in it further on.


If you find the exact spot where the sensor focused,  100% crops from shots like these are always quite sensational :-)


Time for a drink I’d say, so let’s get away from the beach.

Finally, I’ll share a few results of the Samsung Galaxy S5 next – I liked to fool around with the HDR function, and what you can achieve with it.

Look at this old Zorba, posing unknowingly at a table on the beach cafe terrace in front of me. We were both blinded by the bright sun peeping through the clouds.


The amosphere is great, but you’ll definitely see more with the HDR function active.


Amazing isn’t it? Like someone turns on a bright spot behind you as well. And like I’ve written a few weeks ago, the Galaxy S5 does this in one shot.

I have another example of that, in a Greek restaurant you’ll definitely need to visit whenever you plan to go to Stalida. It’s called “Hellas” – make a reservation if you have to, it’s worth it, the kitchen is fabulous.

Anyway, this is what the “roof” – made of canvas – looks like.


And that’s okay in itself, but with HDR on, well again, you’ll see much more.


I’ll admit it’s not as natural, but still, the effect may come in pretty handy sometimes – like when I captured this nervous stray cat eating raw fish in the shadow on the street.


I managed to compare a HDR shot from the Galaxy S5 with what I could get from the Lumia 1020 in one case – sitting under a tree when the sun was almost at its highest point.

Here’s what I got from the Lumia 1020.


And this is the Galaxy S5 in HDR mode


Not bad from the 1020 at all I must say, but considering the fact the S5 even got more direct sunlight in its sensor, it’s remarkable to see how much more detail it still is able to show.

Well, it’s time to say farewell to Crete now, and I’ll do so with three pictures from all three devices.

First, a panorama shot I got from the Samsung Galaxy S5 – let me add its panorama function is way better than the Nokia Panorama application in my opinion. Either I’m not able to handle that or it needs a lot of work still (like I wrote about half a year ago).

Now you know the thing with panoramas tend to become quite small when you resize them, even when you make them in portrait – so you’ll simply have to watch this on on Flickr to see all details. The original shot – a view from the roof of our appartment building – is about 22MP (6928 x 3152, click on the image to see the 2048 x 932 size on Flickr).


One but last shot from Crete; the setting sun on the last day lighting up a cactus plant, captured by the Nokia Lumia 1020.


I’ll share a 640 x 480 crop from the high-res original


Quite impressive, itsn’t it? And as a final salute so Stalida – a shot with a great bokeh effect, captured from the Nokia 808 PureView.


It has been great fun writing these four posts during the weekend. I hate to leave this theme as much as I did having to go back home again.

The small, but charming town of Stalida – between Hersonissos and Malia on the Northern coast of Crete –  was finally waking up, all our favorites bars and restaurants were opening, the place came back to live the day we had to leave.

But as you will have noticed, I really loved being there, even when visiting it for the fourth time. It was fun to capture it once more. You’ll find all my previous posts from Crete here, all original shots from this year are in this special album on Flickr. For my stories see part 1, part 2 and part 3.

From here, it’s back to work as usual I guess. Next project will be a comparison between the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520, and I’m still eagerly waiting for the Sony Xperia Z2 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Zoom. Also, I hope to get my hands on the Nokia Lumia 930 soon. So there’s no reason for me nor you to get bored anywhere soon I think :-)

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7 Comments  comments 

7 Responses

  1. SAWAN

    2 day back i switched 808 to 1020, now m thinking should i made wrong step , may be i have to byt s5 ???
    what you think

  2. mike

    Wonderful captures as always Marc!!! :) I ‘ve just finished with all of these vacation photos in flickr, and it was like we traveled there too! Lovely photos!!!

    As for the cameras my opinion is the same, nokia 808 still does the best job out there, but the lumia 1020 is very high quality camera too. But I think that rival companies like Samsung and Sony, use much better application for their small sensors, I was amazed by the hdr capabilities of the Samsung device!! I wish Microsoft builts better camera applications soon, while correcting the lumia 1020 yellow tint. The Nokia Refocus is a bright example, that a very good application enhances the camera’s capabilities to the maximum!!! And I ‘m still waiting for the 3rd in a row big sensor device from Microsoft. Maybe a 1 inch sensor, with a powerful flash, variable apperture, OIS and maybe some optical zoom, like the Samsung K zoom but slimmer. That would be the next camera king for sure!!! :D

  3. Hi Marc,

    Very nice collection of those hundreds of pics! I can only attest to the feeling of enthusiasm you get when seeing the results coming from the Nokia, in my case the 808. Having a first go with it during a weekend in Paris two weeks ago I felt like being a kid in a candy store the entire day. The only downside is that you tend to grab your phone almost every instant you see or think a nice subject is at hand…So ‘social awareness’ can be a bit blurred sometimes, can you acknowledge? ;-)

    But as far as your collection goes, I feel the 1020 tends to over-saturate, whereas the 808 comes over more natural. Especially the reds of those unaccounted flowers in series 2 are a bit harsh on the eyes. Same goes for the handling of the blue skies. It just feels a bit over-realistic being unprocessed.

    Keep up the good work, as I will try to do the same as ‘newbie’!

    • Marc @PureViewClub

      Hi Jon, thank you very much – and you hit the hammer right on the nail regarding “social awareness” I’m afraid :-)

    • bigs

      I think the “red” harshness is one of the attributes of using a BSI sensor. I think it has something to do with light bleeding from one pixel to the next and the red channel seems more susceptible to this

  4. bigs

    impressive shots Marc. The collection of a complete holiday. Good to see you getting creative with the 808. I find the out of camera JPGs on your flickr to be very informative with the 808 rendering slightly nicer JPGs in daylight over the 1020. The 1020 shots could have benefited from DNG capture to get the most out of the 1020.

  5. Swadip Sonawane

    Fabulous shots as ever. Galaxy S5 is doing pretty well.