Comparing Nokia PureView vs. Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 and: Oppo Find 7a!

In this post you'll find only two scenes, but coming from quite an amount of smartphone cameras... You'll see one scene outside and one inside, captured with the Nokia 808 Pureview, Lumia 1020, Lumia 930, Samsung Galaxy S5, Oppo Find 7a and (just in one scene) Sony's Xperia Z2.

I've been trying to get my hands on the Oppo Find 7 for quite a while. There is no Oppo PR offiice in the Netherlands (not even sure if there is one in Europe), the online channel is out of stock, so I was very happy to find one "second hand" 7a in mint condition here in the Netherlands (in my own town even :-). The 7a is the "light" version of the Find 7 so to say, check out the comparison here. The camera module is the same though, so it fits my purposes :-)

What's so interesting about the Find 7, is that Oppo promised a 50MP (!) resolution. That's not about the sensor itself - that's 13MP - but about a technique combining four shots into one.

Using Oppo's Find 7 in 4:3 aspect ratio (which provides you with the 13MP resolution) and in "Ultra-HD" mode, you'll get a result of 8160 x 6120 pixels, adding up to 50MP indeed. But what does that offer you in the end?

As always, I made a lot of shots and selected the best from all devices. I made them in "normal" and "high" resolution and also in Raw .DNG shots if possible, but I won't take the .DNG files into account in this post - you'll find them on OneDrive.

Speaking of Raw .DNG - the Oppo Find 7 is the first smartphone (to my knowledge at least) after Nokia Camera that will allow you to make Raw .DNG shots. The feature is more or less hidden, but it's possible. When shooting in raw with the Oppo Find 7, it will give you a .JPG file as well.

You might find it interesting to know that shooting in 4:3 aspect ratio, the Oppo's raw .DNG file is 26MB, whereas the Nokia Lumia 930 gives you a 24MB file. The Lumia 1020 gives you no less than 49MB (no wonder with its much bigger sensor).

I'll leave working with the Raw .DNG to you however - I don't have enough experience with programs like Lightroom (and I lack the time to learn alas), but I'm looking forward to your results very much!

Let's Go Outside
So let's have a look at the results you'll get from the devices directly. I'm talking about 19 shots in total, so it's clear I can't share them all in this post. First, the shot taken outside, a street that's "under construction". Just a daily scene offering lots of detail and contrast.

Mind you you'll see the resized versions of the basis resolution (8MP which I always use on the 808 PureView and 5MP Nokia prefers on Lumia). All settings were on automatic on all devices.

Which one to see first? Let's start with the Nokia 808 PureView.

2 Nokia 808 PureView 8MP

Being the new kid in town, I'll share the Lumia 930 shot next

2 Nokia Lumia 930 5MP b

Next the Lumia 1020, that seems to capture a bit more light (during shooting this scene, sunlight was very constant).

2 Nokia Lumia 1020 5MP

Next, the Samsung Galaxy S5, rezised from its 12MP resolution... (the S5 gives its maximum resolution of 16MP in 16:9 aspect ratio)

2 Samsung Galaxy S5 12MP

And last, the 13MP resolution from the Oppo Find 7

2 Oppo Find 7 13MP

So far, I guess I can say differences are more or less marginal - although one could argue about the colors and see a bit "cooler" result coming from the Lumia 930. But that's all, as far as I'm concerned.

To compare, I used the "screenshot" method again: zooming in on the results in Picasa and making a screenshot from what I got at 100%. This will show much more details, if only since I'll be comparing the high-res results here.  I won't share all the screenshots, since this post simply would become too long.

I guess seeing the details from the highest resolutions will interest you most, so here we go - let's start with a 100% screenshot of the Nokia Lumia 930 (19MP)

2 nokia Lumia 930 19MP b

Next, the 808 PureView in 38MP resolution

2 Nokia 808 PureView 38MP

The Nokia Lumia 1020 in 38MP

2 Nokia Lumia 1020 38MP

And the Oppo Find 7 in 50MP

2 Oppo Find 7 50MP 8160 x 6120 b

Now the last one looks a bit "greasy" to me, but that may be since it's a bit out of focus (?) - and of course, the closer you're able to zoom in, the more you'll notice. So let's give it another try, focusing  on a closer part of the scene.

Nokia Lumia 930 first (19MP)

2 nokia Lumia 930 19MP b pipes

Nokia 808 PureView (38MP)

2 Nokia 808 PureView 38MP pipes

Nokia Lumia 1020 (38MP)

2 nokia Lumia 1020 38MP pipes

Oppo Find 7 (50MP)

2 Oppo Find 7 50MP 8160 x 6120 pipes

Now it looks like the Nokia Lumia 1020 really has focused on the back of the shot, not as well on the front (the pipes). The Oppo Find 7 appears to have focused more on the front - more than on the back, hence the "greasy" result I noticed earlier.

The Nokia 808 PureView gives the most constant result - both front and back. But I must say the Oppo Find 7 is performing quite well in its 50MP setting - I'm looking forward to what you think of it.

Keep in mind it's a "composition", but it's remarkable how Oppo manages to combine four 13MP shots this fast. I do wonder what the result will look like if any movement is involved though.

Let's go inside. I was in a bike store this afternoon and one of the employees saw no problem in me making shots there. After he learned why I brought so much devices he was happy to lend me his Sony Xperia Z2!

I've been waiting for that one for quite a while now, so this was a great chance to finally use it. The camera interface has become much more versatile (compared to the Z1 and Compact), since now you can finally choose the 4:3 aspect ratio in "Superior Auto" (and 16:9 in manual settings as well). In this case I chose for 4:3 in Superior Auto and in Manual 20MP.

I'll keep more or less the same order as in the previous comparison - Nokia 808 PureView (8MP) first, Nokia Lumia 930 second, Lumia 1020 third (both in 5MP).

3 Nokia 808 PureView 8MP 3 nokia Lumia 930 5MP 3 Nokia Lumia 1020 5MP

Next, the Sony Xperia Z2 (resized from the 8MP Superior Auto result)

3 Sony Xperia Z2 8MP

Samsung Galaxy S5 (12MP)

3 Samsung Galaxy S5 12MP

And Oppo Find 7 (13MP)

3 Oppo Find 7 13MP

I'm quite sure many people seeing these resized shots will wonder what this post (or site for that matter) is about at all - there seems to be no difference, really. So let's have a look at the crops from the bigger sizes.

I'll start with the Samsung Galaxy S5 this time (from 12MP)

3 Samsung Galaxy S5 12MP

Focal point of the S5 is longer, so the shot appears to be a bit closer than the screenshot I got from the Oppo Find 7 (13MP)

3 Oppo Find 7 13MP

Next: Lumia 930 (19MP)

3 nokia Lumia 930 19MP b

Sony Xperia Z2 (20MP manual)

3 Sony Xperia Z2 20MP

I must say I'm a bit disappointed to see the result from the Xperia Z2 is much less "smooth" than what I just saw coming from the Lumia 930, Find 7 and even the Galaxy S5 (even, while it has quite a bit lower resolution).

Guess I expected much more than I got from the Xperia Z1 Compact. On the other hand, I must say the Lumia 930 strikes me as being particularly "pure" with fantastic colors and detail.

Let's go on with the Nokia 808 PureView (38MP)

3 Nokia 808 PureView 38MP b

It seems the 808 PureView didn't really get the Gazelle brand, but that has to do with resizing this screenshot as well (check the originals on Flickr). It´s clear however, the brand has been captured sharper by the Nokia Lumia 1020 (38MP)

3 Nokia Lumia 1020 38MP

And again nothing but respect for what the Oppo Find 7 manages to capture in its 50MP composition... - you'll even see the texture of the rubber on the handgrip of the steering wheel.

3 Oppo Find 7 50MP 8160 x 6120

I'll admit I've been cynical about Oppo's 50MP shots, but in these examples the technique proves to be amazingly effective (and my guess is this will prove to be an inspiration to other companies).

As I wrote ealier in this post however, I wonder if it captures the four 13 MP shots fast enough for moving objects - but I'll be more than happy to test that soon as well.

Capturing a shot in 50MP ( "Ultra-HD") takes more time of course, but so does capturing shots in dual resolution with the Lumia 1020. When you use the Oppo Find 7 in "normal" mode it's about as fast as any other Android smartphone.

Speaking of shot-to-shot, the Lumia 930 already is noticably faster than the Lumia 1020 - no wonder, with a quadcore processor (and a smaller sensor - less data to store). Due to the  heavy competition, I didn't write much about working with the Lumia 930.

It's a joy to shoot with, really. It's great to hold and the camera button is easy to use indeed, although it's not as perfect as the camera button on the 808 PureView or Lumia 1020. Screen is great, but that can't come as a surprise.

I'm seriously impressed with its colors and detail so far. I know some of you feel I should have compared it with the Lumia 1520, but I hope you'll forgive me for not comparing seven smartphones cameras in this post.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is doing a fine job in this comparison as well. It just doesn't support a higher resolution to compare in this case, but I'm sure most of its owners don't worry about it. Please keep it mind it still offers 16MP when shooting in 16:9 aspect ratio though - something to keep in mind for a next comparison :-)

As far as the real newcomers are concerned - I'm sorry I didn't have much more time with Sony's Xperia Z2 yet, since I must say the 20MP result has been a bit underwhelming so far. It's too early for any definite conclusions though - I really need the device to compare it in different situations.

Much to my surprise, the Oppo Find 7 proved to be really impressive in its 50MP results - so far, that is. But it's already a lot more than I ever expected it could be (frankly, I thought it would be much more of a marketing gimmick).  Again, I need more time and different situations to do more testing (like in lowlight).

That's all for now I guess. The Raw .DNG files I captured are on OneDrive, you're welcome to download them. You'll find ALL 22 original shots on Flickr for you to compare. This has been quite a short but quite intensive adventure for me (even though the scenes weren't very exciting), I hope you've enjoyed it too.

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