Three PureView Nokia’s versus the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Sony Xperia Z1 Compact (2)

As you all know, the Dutch excel in speed skating. in fact, we all could have made it to the Olympics, it's not something we need to qualify for - all Dutch people go this fast: we have a lottery decide who will beat the rest of the world (except Norway). And when we stop skating we all wear wooden shoes. Simple as that :-)

In this second post comparing the Nokia PureView flagships with the new Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, I'll focus on new wooden shoes I noticed in the large store I wrote about yesterday. You really should read my first post for all background information about this small series, otherwise I will keep repeating myself.

Wooden shoes are not a myth, like the American (!) story of Hans Brinker is. Wooden shoes are actually for sale like in these kind of inside and outside decoration stores, since there's at lot of gardening involved. This shot from the Lumia 1020 shows what this short post is all about.

2 Nokia Lumia 1020 - Wooden shoes - 5MP

Farmers wear wooden shoes. People who work in their garden often do. I never had any pair of wooden shoes on my feet as far as I can remember. But it makes for a very Dutch subject, so why not capture them to compare?

The shots used in this post are (mostly) the compressed versions - from the Nokia Lumia 808 PureView, both the Lumia 1020 and 1520, and the Xperia Z1 Compact. I'll add the result from Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as well, but mind you it doesn't use any PureView-like compression.

It's more or less the same drill as in part one: I'm sharing the ca. 640 x 360 cropped images for you to compare. And you'll find all original shots on OneDrive again. This is the resized version of the 8MP shot I got from the Xperia Z1 Compact:

2 Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - Wooden shoes - 8MP

Next: the crops. As you know, the larger the original file, the more you will "zoom in" on your shot when cropping. Here are three 5MP results, coming rom the Nokia 808 PureView, Nokia Lumia 1020 and Nokia Lumia 1520.

2 Nokia 808 PureView - Wooden shoes - 5MP 642 x 361

As you can see, it looks like I moved a bit making the shot with the Nokia 808 PureView... Normally I wouldn't share a shot like this, but for now  I'll just leave it  here since I think it's interesting to see what OIS does for you.

2 Nokia Lumia 1020 - Wooden shoes - 5MP 642 x 361

2 Nokia Lumia 1520 - Wooden shoes - 5MP 642 x 361

I wasn't aware of any movement using the 808 in fact. To compare, I'll show you a 100% screenshot of the same detail, coming from the 38MP result from the same scene. Uncompressed that is, but a lot sharper, proving I did move making the 5MP shot...

Screenshot Nokia 808 PureView 34MP 100%

That's one of the few advantages of having to make seperate shots for different resolutions. I adore the "double resolution" on the Lumia 1020 and 1520 however. But if you move too much, both your results will be unsharp.

Next, a 640 x 360 crop from the 8MP (compressed) resolution coming from the Nokia 808 PureView, compared to that from the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact.

2 Nokia 808 PureView - Wooden shoes - 8MP 641 x 363

2 Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - Wooden shoes - 8MP 642 x 363

I write this post like you read it - I just go along adding the crops, I don't compare them before I add them.

So first I was surprised by the fact that compression on the Nokia 808 PureView appears to be quite a bit better than from the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. But then I realized the Nokia 808 has the 41MP sensor to work with, whereas Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact "only" has 20MP. That's a big difference and it shows - much more noise.

Or do you think I moved a bit making the shot with the Xperia as well? I'm really not sure.

Let me try to compare it with the compressed results coming from the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520 next. The 1020 has the advantage of a bigger sensor, the Lumia 1520 has a 20MP sensor, but only uses 16MP in 16:9 shots.

I'm not sure what the Xperia uses, guess it must be similar. Like I wrote earlier, you can't choose another format but 16:9 when using the Auto Superior setting.

Screenshots from both Lumia's are made at 132% to compare more or less the same selection from the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact on 100%. You'll see the results coming from the Lumia 1020, 1520 and Xperia.

Screenshot Nokia Lumia 1020 at 132%

Screenshot Nokia Lumia 1520 at 132%

Screenshot Sony Xperia Z1 100%

Looking at it this way, you'll see the actual difference in sharpness isn't that big, but the Xperia would be my third choice still.

The biggest difference is in the colouring in fact, where I feel the Nokia Lumia 1020 shows them most real, closely followed by the Xperia Z1 Compact in this case. But the memory can be deceiving, and so can the display you're looking at - it's all a bit relative when you compare it in this way in fact. Guess I should have bought a pair to compare these shots to the real colours :-)

To make this comparison more or less complete I would have liked to add crops coming from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, but first its camera software doesn't use any compression  - at least not as far as I know. Second, the "smart stabilisation" software appeared to be off when making these shots (I just checked). And yes, in the crop I made it looks like I moved a bit, again.

So if would simply be unfair to compare its crops in this comparison as well. Instead, to give you a general impression, I'll only share the resized shot I got from the same wooden shoes. You'll find the original on OneDrive as well, just keep in mind there's no compression and stabilization was off (there's so much to think of when using so many different devices...)

2 Samsung Note 3 - Wooden shoes - 9.6MP

Coming from the Galaxy Note 3, these wooden shoes do look a bit too orange, don't they?

Let me conclude this post with Sony claiming the Xperia Compact Z1  has image stabilization. I can't turn it "off" or "on" somewhere, but Sony says it's on there so I guess it is "always on".

And that would be a good thing, since there's another important difference between the Lumia's and the Xperia Z1 Compact - the shutter button is a lot smaller and a bit harder to handle. Simply put, the shutter button on the Lumia 1020 is just perfect (like on the 808 PureView for that matter). It's easy to find and control with your finger, and it's light to press.

The shutter button on the Lumia 1520 is even bigger but thinner - it's not as easy to control I noticed, you'll have to "look for" the part to press. The one on the Xperia Z1 Compact is a lot smaller, and you need to press it noticebly harder. I'll add a close up of all three shutter buttons, captured with the (no surprise there) Nokia 808 PureView.

Camera button Xperia Z1 Luma 1020 and 1520

Now you'll get used to just about anything - also to a smaller shutter button on your smartphone camera. It's a good thing it's there at least: there is no shutter button on the Galaxy Note 3. But I do think the one on the Xperia Z1 Compact needs a bit too much force.

There's more coming up from the shots I made already. And no doubt, I'll be making more shots with the Xperia as well. It's a nice compact Android smartphone indeed - in fact it's the first "small" version (of the original Z1 that is), that really has all the specs of its predecessor.

But the limitations of the camera settings puzzle me a bit, like the quality of the shots aren't quite convincing me yet. So: to be continued. And if you didn't notice - I was just kidding about speed skating (I don't really care much about sports anyway :-).

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