Nokia 808 PureView: the Champagne caves of George Cartier - full resolution, no flash!

I spent the Pentecostal weekend with friends in the French city Epernay, a relatively small, but busy town where you will find all the great Champagne houses. A great opportunity to visit some of the famous caves, like the incredibly large caves of Mercier. Millions of champagne bottles are awaiting their perfection in an undergrond area so big you'll have to visit it on a little train.

But you can also visit the caves of George Cartier - maybe even a bit more interesting (for photographers at least) since you can actually walk around and take a bit more time to get the best shots. Moreover in 1994, students painted part of the walls in this cave (in the tradition of modern artists like Picasso).

Now since I was in a group, I didn't have time to test several smartphones 30 meters below, so I decided to do an experiment. I set the Nokia 808 PureView on Creative in Full Resolution, mostly in 4:3 (so 38MP) and I chose NO other settings (higher ISO for instance). I just left everything to the Nokia 808 PureView (no tripod) - and I didn't even use the flash!

I think the results are absolutely stunning. I'm happy to share them with you here and on Flickr (original sizes!). Just to show the difference, I made one shot using the Nokia Lumia 920, you'll find that in this post as well. First, a sculpture of Dom Pérignon, the monk who discovered how to produce champagne in the 17th (!) century...

Champagne Cave - Full res No Flash - 1 L

Just like in the caves of Mercier, George Cartier has a lot of bottles waiting... When this part of the cave is full, it stores up to about 3 million (!) bottles of champagne.

Champagne Cave - Full res No Flash - 2 L

Champagne Cave - Full res No Flash - 3 L

Below, some engravings made during the Second World War, when this cave was densely populated. Notice the swastika and the pig...

Champagne Cave - Full res No Flash - 5 L

Champagne Cave - Full res No Flash - 4 L

And here is the section of the cave that was painted by French art students in 1994: giving me the opportunity to realize some amazing shots I think...

Champagne Cave - Full res No Flash - 6 L

Champagne Cave - Full res No Flash - 7 L

Champagne Cave - Full res No Flash - 8 L

Here are (just) two shots to compare the Nokia 808 PureView and the Lumia 920.

Champagne Cave - Full res No Flash - 10 L

Almost the same spot, now with the Nokia Lumia 920...

Champagne Cave - Lumia 920 - 10a L

You see you can get way more light in the picture using the Nokia Lumia 920, and although  it doesn't look as realistic, it may come in extremely handy at times (and you could of course get a similar effect changing the settings of the Nokia 808, using a tripod).

To conclude, two more shots from the Nokia 808 PureView.

Champagne Cave - Full res No Flash - 11 L

Champagne Cave - Full res No Flash - 12 L

That's the end of this tour. All shots (except for one of course) were made with the Nokia 808 PureView. And you'll find all (and even some more) of the  original (38MP) shots of this cave on Flickr.

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