PureView cross-platform smartphone camera shootouts and data points

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If there's anyone who strolls around with more smartphone and their cameras than me, it's Marc from the PureView club. He's currently packing the Nokia 808 PureView (naturally), the Nokia Lumia 1020, the Nokia Lumia 1520, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and (don't laugh) the first Jolla phone. Plus he's had a crack at the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 as well. And he's put the motley posse through a number of shootouts, linked and quoted below.

Starting with the latest piece, over to Marc:

Enough numbers. Let return to the small aviation airport. The light was bright, it was a clear afternoon and the clouds on the horizon made for an impressive scenery. All camera settings were on automatic – I didn’t change the white balance, didn’t put any focus to “infinity” (although that might have been wise in this case).

The shots aren’t very interesting from an artistic point of view (although the clouds are beautiful). But to see how the different cameras cope with the contrast of the bright sunlight and the darker foreground – I think that’s what makes these shots worth your while. And the 640 x 360 crops, of course, showing which offers you the best detail.

Here's the overall scene:

7 Nokia Lumia 1020 Sky 5MP

And now onto the crops from the default resolution images:

First the Nokia Lumia 1520, followed by the Lumia 1020.

7 Nokia Lumia 1520 Sky

7 Nokia Lumia 1020 Sky 5MP

No doubt in my mind the Nokia Lumia 1020 gives the best result.

The difference with the Jolla is once again immense.

7 Jolla Sky

Comparing crops from the two 8MP results is interesting as well of course.

First the Nokia 808 PureView oversampled result of its 41MP sensor…

7 Nokia 808 PureView Sky 8MP

…versus the 8MP oversampled result from the 20.7MP sensor of the Xperia Z1 Compact:

7 Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Sky

The difference is quite clear – apart from the small plane :-) Last, the same 640x 360 crop coming from the 9.6MP result of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (no oversampling is involved here)

7 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Sky

I think in this case once again, Jolla loses. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 takes 5th place, followed by the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact.

Nokia takes the lead, in my opinion with the Nokia Lumia 1520 in third place, 808 PureView second and the Lumia 1020 as the winner. Not because I simply want it to win, but clearly since it handles the contrast best and shows the most detail in the crops.

You’ll find all the original shots on Flickr (the same set as from the previous comparison of the six smartphone cameras). As always, I’m looking forward to your opinion as well: what’s your favorite shot?

Which sounds about right for these conditions, and showing up Nokia's larger sensors and oversampling in the 808 and 1020 very well. Of course, far more detail could have been obtained, and the margin of victory widened, by using some or all of the lossless zoom too.

Marc's second piece, with similar hardware loadout, was shot indoors in a well lit department store. Here's the full scene:

1 Nokia Lumia 1020 Easter 5MP

And here are some of the crops, by device:

Now, let’s have a look at the crops I got from these shots – starting with the lowest resolution of 5MP (the 808 PureView and both Lumia’s). Fourth crop is from the 6MP (Jolla), followed by the 8MP (Xperia) and 9.6MP (Samsung in 16:9). Hover your mouse over the shots to be sure which camera was used. 

1 Nokia 808 Pureview Easter

1 Nokia Lumia 1020 Easter 5MP

1 Nokia Lumia 1520 Easter 5MP

1 Jolla Easter

1 Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Easter

1 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Easter

Well, as far as “fluffiness” goes, it’s obvious the Jolla isn’t really able to show much details. The “fur” of the Easter bunnies appears to have turned into a mushy substance with its 6MP camera. It’s even downright embarassing in comparison, but hey – it’s a relatively “cheap” smartphone as well…

The Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020 offer the best result, obviously profiting from their 41MP sensor and PureView oversampling As may be expected, the 5MP result from the Nokia 808 PureView even shows the most detail (most likely due to its bigger sensor size).

Finally, Marc had tha chance to try out the imminent Samsung Galaxy S5 and pitched it against his trusty Lumia 1020:

So let’s move on to the crops, the details, the “pixel peeping” some like to make fun of (like if details aren’t important :-)

I’ll share the crops from the shots in the same order, according to size – so 5MP (Nokia), 16MP (Samsung), 34MP (Nokia). As always, the 5MP crops will show more of the scene, and you get “closer” with the same sized crop of the 16MP results from the Galaxy S5. And remember the 34MP results from the Lumia 1020 do not benifit from “oversampling” and are likely to show more noise.

So first the Alfa Romeo’s front wheel: you’ll see crops from the 5MP Lumia shot, the 16MP Galaxy result and the 34MP Lumia high-res capture without oversampling.

Nokia Lumia 1020 - Alfa 8MP 640 x 360

Samsung Galaxy S5 - Alfa 640 x 360

Nokia Lumia 1020 - Alfa 34MP 640 x 360

I must admit I’m surprised to see the detail from the edges are even  smoother in the 34MP (not oversampled) result coming from the Lumia 1020, than on the 16MP, pretty pixelated result from the Galaxy S5.

I've only lifted small sections from Marc's pieces, so do see the hyperlinks above to read the full articles. It does seem as though the Galaxy S5 camera follows after the known characteristics of the S4, in being fast-focussing and decently detailed, but with evident processing artefacts if you look closely enough.

I'll have my own 808 vs 1020 vs Galaxy S5 (and HTC One M8) camera shoot-outs shortly here on the 'All About' sites, so watch this space. My gut feel? 

Source / Credit: PureView Club