The article takes the two camera phones through several tests, both shot at 8 megapixels (i.e. with the 41MP 808 in 8mp 'PureView' mode):
- Indoor shot of an office photo board - it's fair to say the 808's image is already looking crisper and better lit, even at web page resolution
- Cropped in version of the same indoor shot, showing a dramatic difference, with the 808's photo showing far more detail and almost zero noise
- A standard outdoor macro shot of a flower - the iPhone 4S image was more saturated, that's the way Apple chooses to tune its algorithms, though the 808's photo had more 'bokeh', i.e. artistically low depth of field
- Cropping into the macro shot, the 808 shows almost no digital noise, i.e. it has 'pure' pixels, while the iPhone 4S, despite the outdoor lighting, is showing noise and artefacts
- Another indoor, low light test, of a drinks vending machine. The iPhone's shot has slightly warmer colours, but the 808's photo is crisper
- Cropping into the vending machine photo, the iPhone's image is pretty good, but the 808's still has noticeably better detail
- Next a shot against a moody sky is used to test HDR capabilities. The iPhone wins this test, thanks to having HDR built into its hardware, while the 808 has to rely on bracketing exposures for later HDR combination on a desktop
Overall, Jacqueline concludes that:
Overall, the argument of whether the Nokia 808 PureView is able to beat the Apple iPhone 4S' camera boils down to individual preferences. The Nokia 808 PureView delivers sharper and less grainy images, which is great if you print out a lot of your photos. The iPhone 4S delivers better colors and has the added advantage of an HDR mode.
Again, we're still waiting for a review 808 PureView here at AAS Towers, but this test vs the iPhone 4S was one I wanted to try and Jacqueline has done a cracking job in terms of photo-overview/crop methodology. Kudos.
PS. Obviously the 808's camera is ultimately vastly better than the iPhone 4S's, but the CNet piece is seeing the two cameras from the point of view of a general user rather than from that of a hard core camera phone geek.