Low light shots from the Nokia 808 PureView, Lumia 1020 and Samsung Galaxy S5

You asked for it - and I'm always glad to serve you here at the PureViewClub: low light shots captured with the Samsung Galaxy S5, compared with the Nokia Lumia 1020 and - by popular demand - the Nokia 808 PureView.

In previous posts - in much better light conditions - we've seen the Galaxy S5 performing very well. Most remarkable was the Galaxy S5 shots turned out a bit brighter, losing some contrast along the way.

One of the interesting "discoveries" was that when you use the "selective focus" option the Galaxy S5 will give you a >20MB file (read about it in this earlier post). Also, I've been impressed with the way it shows you what HDR does to your shot before capturing it.

I think on almost every occasion readers have been asking for a low light comparison - including the Nokia 808 PureView if possible. During a family visit this weekend I managed to capture this simple, but effective scene outside. I hope it will offer what you were looking for.

As usual I'll share these shots with a few disclaimers: these were captured in between "family affairs", so I guess that's why I wasn't concentrated enough to put the Lumia 1020 in 16:9 aspect ratio. It's not something you notice fast when you're shooting very dark scenes either, so I discovered I didn't only a day later.

There is one advantage though: in 4:3 you'll get most of the Lumia sensor, whereas the Galaxy S5 gives you the full 16MP in 16:9. One more thing: I only used the Nokia 808 PureView in 8MP PureView mode. I will bring the Nokia 808 PureView on a next short holiday soon, I promise you I'll make some low light shots in full resolution with it as well.

Let me start with the Nokia 808 PureView since you appear to have missed it so much (I must admit it was fun to work with it again :-) You'll see two results (both resized from the 8MP originals) - first in ISO 400 (1/2 econd)

2 Nokia 808 PureView - Balcony ISO 400Next: Nokia 808 PureView - ISO 800 (1/8 second) 140320_Nokia_BT_728x90_MB

2 Nokia 808 PureView - Balcony ISO 800

The atmosphere is very accurate, as expected from the (former) King of Camphones. The light in the corridor is white, the one next to the balcony yellowish, and you can even see the last light of the day leaving.

Next the Nokia Lumia 1020 - as I've written before, I'm sorry to say in the dark I didn't actually notice it was on 4:3 - but it will give you the best of the sensor anyway.

Here we go - again with two different ISO settings: ISO 400 first (1/2 second), next ISO 800 (1/5 second).

2 Nokia Lumia 1020 - Balcony ISO 400 2 Nokia Lumia 1020 - Balcony ISO 800

As with the Nokia 808 PureView, I like both results. How does the Galaxy S5 capture the same scene?

I'll show you two shots once more - first manually put to ISO 400, next the one in which the S5 chose ISO 2000 by itself. Both shots are captured in 1/17 second, so no wonder the ISO 400 shot gives the darkest result:

2 Samsung Galaxy S5 - Balcony ISO 400

And this is what the Samsung Galaxy S5 captures with ISO 2000.

2 Samsung Galaxy S5 - Balcony ISO 2000

To compare just a few crops, I chose the shots with the highest ISO of all three cameras. Please keep in mind the Nokia 808 PureView is on 8MP PureView, the Lumia 1020 on 5MP PureView and the Samsug Galaxy S5 on 16MP. It's all very different but it will give you an impression.

2 Nokia 808 PureView - Balcony ISO 800 2 Nokia Lumia 1020 - Balcony ISO 800 2 Samsung Galaxy S5 - Balcony ISO 2000

Although you can still make out enough of the details, I think it's pretty obvious the Samsung loses in this case.

Now of course you're wondering if the high-res (38MP) result of the Lumia 1020 is any better than what the Galaxy S5 captures in 16MP. Well, here is another crop - without any oversampling, the result actually appears to be quite a bit better indeed.

2 Nokia Lumia 1020 - Balcony ISO 800 Pro__highres (2)

I must admit I like the results coming from the Nokia Lumia 1020 most. OIS probably helped me out here once again. I will share these shots on Flickr as you are used to. In a next comparsion, to satisfy both your and my own curiosity, I'll make some full resolution shots with the Nokia 808 PureView as well.

It will take some more time, since I'll be without my laptop for a while, traveling with my family on a short trip this Easter holiday. Hope to update you from there not just here at the Club, but also, and even more so, on  TwitterFacebook and  Instagram: please do follow me there as well!

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