The 808 wins out against four other top camera-toting smartphones

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Billed as the 'last camera (phone) comparison of the year' (I can't promise that!), Basil Kronfli over at Recombu has put up a fairly comprehensive comparison shot collection for the Nokia 808 PureView, the Apple iPhone 5, the HTC One X, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the brand new Sony Xperia T. Six 'rounds' under different lighting conditions. No prizes whatsoever for guessing the winner by a country mile, but nicely written (apart from a few unfortunate typos!)

From the piece:

The iPhone 5’s arrival has meant that we can finally get down to one of the last camera comparisons of the year. The current set of contenders include the HTC One X, the Nokia 808 PureView, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Sony Xperia T. All have been set to shoot 8-megapixel images except for the Xperia T which uses Sony’s 13-megapixel EXMOR RS sensor. While we tried long and hard to give you full resolution images to decide for yourselves, but were unable to upload them all to the site as a gallery, instead, click through on the grids in each section to get a closer look.

Now that the specifics have been covered, there’s really very little to say beyond - let the camera comparison commence.

Landscape 1 - Could you get anymore London?

 iPhone 5, HTC One X, the Nokia 808 PureView, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Sony Xperia T Camera comparison

Not only do we have a bright red telephone box in the foreground, we also have Charring Cross Road in the background complete with the Palace theatre and a production of Singing in the Rain. We picked this shot for a couple of reasons. Firstly, to identify how the red box is conveyed in picture. Secondly, to see if there’s any background blur to complement the sharp foreground and finally to gauge overall quality and exposure in this well lit scene.

Kicking off with the victor and it’s undoubtedly the Nokia 808 PureView. Not only does it deliver the most foreground detail of the bunch, even when compared to the 13-megapixel Sony Xperia T, but it also delivers some slight blur in the background, making the telephone box absolutely pop. While colour isn’t as saturated as the other phones, its reds bear more realistic tones.

In the end, the Nokia 808 PureView was awarded the 'win' in 5 of the 6 test shots (including the 'flash' one below - which was a bit of a shoe-in, but I included the graphic because the Xenon flash is still something I'm going to hound camera phone makers over until the Earth stops spinning...), despite the crops at web resolution on the page looking rather misleading, since the eye doesn't see all the detail. Happily, the author has included higher resolution versions of the crops (just click through, etc.) - so, for example, here's a small detail of the Nokia 808-shot photo of the phone box scene:

Phone box detail

As Nokia promised with the 808 PureView, there's simply tremendous colour and detail. Interestingly, in some of the other test shots, the author found the same as me, that the Nokia 808 PureView (at least with the Belle FP1 base firmware) camera has a tendency to over-expose images slightly when there's lots of light around - watch this space for a re-take on the 808's camera performance once I've had longer with Belle Feature Pack 2...

Here then is the 'flash' test shot. What's so impressive here is not that the Xenon flash illuminated the subject perfectly, but that it would also have frozen the movement had the subjects been human and wriggling, whereas the LED flash on the other phones would have resulted in noticeable motion blur.

Comments welcome, as always!

Crop gallery


Source / Credit: Recombu