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TEST: Is the Nokia 808 PureView’s digital camera any good in 2021?


Introduction

We just lately took a brief nostalgia journey with the Nokia 808 PureView after we stumbled upon a nonetheless absolutely useful unit virtually by chance (probably not, we particularly went out searching for one). We coated it in a video, going over a number of the firsts and bests it did in 2012 – here it is, in case you missed it.

Having the telephone in our palms, and nicely conscious of the fame it has within the feedback part of most photography-centric smartphone opinions right here, we figured a quick shootout was so as – consider it as ‘The 808 PureView versus The 12 months 2021 Cameraphones’.

Since we won’t do a comparability between the Nokia and each smartphone that is come out prior to now 6 months (for comprehensible causes), we have picked a mannequin to symbolize the state-of-the-art and it is solely pure for that to be our present Editors’ choice for best cameraphone, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

The Xiaomi is very appropriate for this head-to-head as a result of it is the mannequin that dethrones the 808 Pureview because the smartphone with the biggest digital camera sensor (we would reasonably not rely the Panasonic Lumix CM1 with its 1.0″ sensor, as a result of we see it as extra of a digital camera with some telephone performance than the opposite manner round).

For a fast reminder, the Nokia has a 41MP 1/1.2-inch sensor with 1.4µm pixels and a standard Bayer colour filter array (versus the reigning Quad Bayer designs). It was a multi-aspect sensor – which means that it makes use of completely different parts of the imager for the completely different side ratios with absolutely the corners remaining outdoors of the picture circle projected by the lens and unused. The lens has an f/2.4 aperture and a area of view that matches that of a Galaxy S21, so a focal size equal round 26mm. It lacks OIS, although.

The 808 PureView makes use of pixel binning to output 8MP or 5MP ensuing photos, and it did that lengthy earlier than it grew to become the default manner of capturing pictures on smartphones some 7 or 8 years later. Naturally, a full-resolution choice can be supplied, even when you must work your manner by the menus to get there. Zooming in can be a part of the bundle, although technically it is simply cropping the middle portion of the sensor.

Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

The Mi 11 Extremely, however, is supplied with a 50MP 1/1.12-inch sensor on its main digital camera, once more with 1.4µm photosites. The lens in entrance if it has a 24mm focal size equal and an aperture of f/1.95.

This sensor does use a Quad Bayer filter array and outputs 4-to-1 binned photos at round 12.5MP. However it additionally does a exceptional job of short-range zooming in by cropping the middle portion and demosaicking it otherwise for the duty. The once more, the Mi does even have a spectacular 5x telephoto. And a equally spectacular ultrawide digital camera. The Nokia has neither. However that is not what we’re right here for.

Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

We’re right here to check the big-sensor digital camera of the 2012 Nokia 808 PureView towards the even-bigger-sensor fundamental digital camera of 2021 Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely. We shot the Nokia in Inventive mode to have the ability to entry the 8MP 4:3 decision and side, in addition to the full-res 38MP setting. The Xiaomi we saved in Photograph mode for the 12.5MP photos (at each 1x and 2x zoom), switching to 50MP for full decision samples.

Daylight picture high quality

In broad daylight, the Nokia 808 PureView captures okay 8MP photos, even 8+ years later. They do have good degree of element and it is rendered in a really natural manner that the majority present-day telephones cannot handle. Even binned, these do have a tremendous grain to them – not disturbing noise, however a texture of grit the place there is no.

We’re discovering the PureView default publicity slightly too darkish with shadows and decrease midtones needing a lift. Dynamic vary is usually good, although in significantly troublesome high-contrast scenes just like the iPhone mural, the 808 cannot fairly cope. Coloration copy is correct, however restrained when it comes to saturation (that is within the default ‘Regular’ mode, ‘Vivid’ provides a bit extra life, nevertheless it’s not a dramatic distinction).


Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/250s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2567s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/207s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 49, 1/2384s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/242s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 49, 1/2805s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 80, 1/100s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/202s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

The Xiaomi counters with superior tonal growth at each extremes and extra enthusiastic colour rendition with out essentially poking your eyes out. And about that natural rendition of tremendous element, the Mi 11 Extremely is definitely a tremendous instance of issues executed proper, providing a measured strategy to sharpening that brings natural-looking twigs and grass shoots. Oh, and noise just isn’t a factor on the Mi.


Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/168s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2932s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/219s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2456s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/146s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 49, 1/1827s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/160s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/4705s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

The Xiaomi maintains some benefits within the high-resolution mode. For instance, the 808’s photos get noisier right here, whereas the Extremely’s actually do not. That mentioned, the 2 telephones are about on par relating to pixel-level element.

That could possibly be defined by the Nokia sensor’s common Bayer colour filter array which permits it to seize finer info than the Quad Bayer design of the Xiaomi, to which it replies with a handful extra pixels and a decade of R&D finally night issues out. We’re nonetheless in favor of the Mi’s publicity and tonal curve practices.


Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/247s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2419s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/209s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2026s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/242s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2456s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/223s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2182s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/145s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/1464s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.4, ISO 80, 1/100s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/1263s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Daylight samples, full decision (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

The Nokia maxes out at round 2.5x zoom (60-ish mm equal) when in 8MP mode and we figured we would evaluate that towards the 2x mode on the Xiaomi although it is shorter at slightly below 50mm equal, just because it is simple to entry from the viewfinder. Plus, because of the distinction in decision, the themes have about the identical measurement within the body at these zoom ranges.


Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/294s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2764s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/297s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2847s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/167s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/1967s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/165s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/1722s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

The Xiaomi barely has an edge right here intimately, although at first look it does look like notably sharper – whereas the Nokia’s photos are hazier, we won’t level to a element that the Mi resolves and the 808 would not. The Mi’s pictures do have higher definition and micro-contrast. Total, the Nokia does a great job of zooming in, and so does the Mi 11 Extremely with its fundamental digital camera, even with out resorting to its precise telephoto.

Low-light picture high quality

In low gentle, the Nokia can barely put up a combat. It struggles to reveal anyplace close to brightly sufficient in darkish scenes, whereas better-lit facades can have massive areas of blown out highlights round gentle sources. Desaturation can be prevalent.


Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 688, 1/13s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 802, 1/6s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 801, 1/4s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 804, 1/6s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

The Xiaomi, however, delivers glorious dynamic vary even in troublesome scenes and manages to reveal for a lot darker scenes too, extracting element the place the Nokia captures simply pure black. Coloration copy can be higher, with no lack of saturation to talk of.

As a sidenote unrelated to the comparability right here, however very a lot associated to the Mi’s colour science, we’re seeing a notable enchancment in the best way the Mi 11 Extremely treats heat gentle sources and there isn’t any signal of the robust orange forged that we noticed at evaluate time.

Thoughts you, on the Nokia we skilled important flare from level gentle sources which could possibly be as a result of our unit’s age and the situation of its lenses, although we could not spot scratches on the instantly seen lens parts or cowl glass.

Not that we would usually shoot in full-res mode at night time, however we took a few samples at 38MP/50MP for the sake of this comparability. Whereas the Xiaomi’s processing cannot fairly do its factor at this decision when it comes to dynamic vary, it is nonetheless manner forward of the Nokia. The Extremely’s pictures are additionally sharper, higher detailed, and lots cleaner.


Low-light samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 640, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 244, 1/13s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 500, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 264, 1/7s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Low-light samples, full decision (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

Zooming in, issues are lots like in full-resolution mode – the Xiaomi leads in just about all areas together with dynamic vary, element and noise efficiency.


Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 500, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 1673, 1/50s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 3190, 1/17s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 1579, 1/25s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 400, 1/12s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 940, 1/50s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

Video high quality

With regards to video recording, the Nokia is underequipped to correctly compete with the Mi 11 Extremely. The PureView tops out at 1080p/30fps seize, whereas the Xiaomi can go all the best way to 8K/24fps, although 4K at 30fps is a way more life like capturing mode and that is what we used for this head-to-head. We in contrast the 2 telephones each in daylight and at night time.

There’s solely a lot element that the Nokia can seize in its 1080p decision and it is nowhere close to the extent of tremendous textures that the Xiaomi information. That mentioned, as 1080p clips go, the Nokia’s are moderately nicely detailed, even by right this moment’s requirements.

The Nokia’s dynamic vary is equally not a match for what the Xiaomi can extract out of the scene leaving highlights on the brightly lit facades clipped to white, whereas the Mi 11 extremely has managed to retain element there. The Nokia’s colour rendition is considerably lifeless subsequent to the punchier and extra likeable Xiaomi footage.


Daylight video sample frame grabs: Nokia 808 PureView - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight video sample frame grabs: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Daylight video pattern body grabs: Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

In low gentle, the Nokia cannot expose anyplace close to brightly sufficient and captures basically a black body with the occasional automobile headlights displaying up. Thoughts you, it wasn’t but utterly darkish on the time of capturing these samples, because the navy skies within the Xiaomi clip present.

Right here a few body grabs from the above movies for faster comparability, adopted by the 1:1 crops for an much more quick illustration of the variations.


Low-light video sample frame grabs: Nokia 808 PureView - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light video sample frame grabs: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Low-light video pattern body grabs: Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

Last phrases

We virtually thought we would simply dump the photographs and movies and go away them with none commentary, nevertheless it’s most likely value saying a couple of phrases about how issues have progressed through the years. Whereas we do suppose it is apparent, we would nonetheless wish to have in writing that the Xiaomi takes palms down the superior pictures and movies.

Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

That is true in our minds for the daylight nonetheless pictures, although we are able to think about there’d be people who insist that the 808 takes photographically pure-er photos, whereas the fashionable methods of the Xiaomi could also be too… expressive when it comes to colour, publicity, distinction, or whatnot. As for daylight video, the Nokia’s 1080p seize is okay, it is simply that 1080p is not sufficient.

Transferring into the night time, it is past a shadow of a doubt that the 8+ years that break up the 2 telephones have introduced large enhancements in low-light pictures and video recording – each on a {hardware} degree and when it comes to software program and processing. In the end, we would choose a modern-day cameraphone over a decade-old one. Although we’ve got obtained to present to the outdated canine for maintaining with the teenager so nicely. Nokia was actually forward of its time with the 808 PureView digital camera.

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