Three scenes from Amsterdam - comparing the 808 PureView, Lumia 920, Galaxy S4 and One
The recent leaks about the Nokia EOS took a lot of my attention and time, but I still had some comparisons for you in store. And I'm sharing them as promised: shots made with the Nokia 808 PureView, Lumia 920, HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.
I was on a short trip in Amsterdam and brought all four smartphone cameras. Unfortunately, not all results were good enough to share. One of the results with the HTC One was so bad I'm sure it was my own fault, not the camera's (I must have moved a bit). In another shot (directly through a window, pushing the lens on the glass) I saw the yellow of my Lumia 920 reflected in the shot. Stuff like that happens, and I'm not going to share shots I don't trust.
I didn't make a video this time - not because I'm too lazy, but because I think you don't really mind scrolling through the results. You'll see the resized originals first and next two crops that were resized to (about) 640 pixels width. I've put all originals on Flickr though, so you can crop whatever you like.
I have to add that I had the Nokia 808 PureView on full resolution in 4:3, hence on its highest 38MP resolution. Other than that all settings are on "auto" on all devices.
I know you are perfectly capable to come to your own conclusions, but after everything HTC has boasted about its "UltraPixel" technology, I only want to to add it's quite disappointing. It's not even close to what it should have been, really: the crops will show you what I mean.
First: A canal in Amsterdam (the scene where I probably ruined HTC's shot)
Next, the garden of one of the University buildings in Amsterdam, with all four smartphone cameras:
Third: a bird's eye view from a tower on Amsterdam - through a glass window (that reflected the yellow of my Lumia 920, so you won't see that result here, I'm sorry)
Now the first crops, from all the same shots, resized to around 640 width. Again, you'll see which camera you're looking at in the right corner.
And now some even more revealing crops, taken from the same originals (and resized to 640 width)
So by now you'll have RSI from scrolling through all these results, but I hope it was worth it.
Now I've understood some people have a hard time accepting the fact that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is performing in an impressive way - that doesn't make me a "fanboy": I'm just stating the obvious (see above). Sure, these are all daylight shots, in darker circumstances the outcome will be different, no doubt.
As far as the details are concerned, there is no better camera than the Nokia 808 PureView. The Lumia 920 is a bit too rich in its colors as we are familiar with by now, but it gives reasonable detail. I think the S4 is the biggest surprise in this test and HTC's One the biggest disappointment. I understand the HTC One will perform much better in darker circumstances, so that's for another test I'm looking forward to.
As always, I'm looking forward to your opinion as well. You can check all originals on Flickr.