In the morning sun - comparing five (!) smartphone cameras (part 4)

In my previous three posts I've been comparing the Nokia 808 PureView, Lumia 1020, LG G2, Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and Sony Xperia Z1 in detailed nearby shots and close-ups of flowers and some other small objects.

On my way to work this morning I took some time to make a lot of much wider shots outside at the old Hilversum City Hall, now a  small Museum. It was in the bright morning sunlight (no clouds to be seen even) so I could be sure the light conditions would be absolutely the same. Interesting is the contrast in all shots, provided by the shade of the trees.

You'll find all the resized original shots below, I'll share all of the crops I made and also some interesting screenshots. And of course, I'll let you look into detail at all shots in a dedicated set on Flickr.

All shots were made in 4:3 format. I put the Nokia 808 PureView on 5MP, 8MP and 38MP. The LG G2 uses 13MP, the Galaxy S4 Zoom 16MP and the Xperia Z1 its full 20MP. All settings are on automatic - I had no reason to adjust the exposure value for instance, I checked.

All 24 originals shots and crops are on Flickr. Hover your mouse over the shot, you'll see from which camera it came. When you click on a shot, it will take you to the original as well. Here we go, I hope you will enjoy the ride.

First, you´ll see the two 5MP results (from the 808 and 1020).

1 Hilversum Nokia 808 PureView 5MP

2 Hilversum Lumia 1020 5MP

After the break, you'll see all the other shots: LG G2 (13MP), Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom (16MP), Sony Xperia Z1 (20MP) and both 38MP shots from the Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020.

3 Hilversum Nokia 808 PureView 8MP

4 Hilversum LG G2

5 Hilversum Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom 16MP

6 Hilversum Sony Xperia Z1 20MP

7 Hilversum Nokia 808 PureView 38MP

8 Hilversum Nokia Lumia 1020 38MP

Now, you'll see all the (resized) crops in the exact same order: first the 5MP result from the Nokia 808 PureView followed by that from the Lumia 1020, then the crop from the 8MP shot from the 808 PureView, next the 13MP shot from the LG G2, the 20MP shot from the Xperia Z1 and both 38MP shots from the Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020.

Remember the crops differ substantially in size though - you will really need to check the original crops on Flickr before you can really judge them. Click on the shot to go to Flickr, choose which size you want to see from there.

1 Hilversum Nokia 808 PureView 5MP CROP 1

2 Hilversum Lumia 1020 5MP CROP 1

3 Hilversum Nokia 808 PureView 8MP CROP 1

4 Hilversum LG G2 CROP 1

5 Hilversum Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom 16MP CROP 1

6 Hilversum Sony Xperia Z1 20MP CROP 1

7 Hilversum Nokia 808 PureView 38MP CROP 1

8 Hilversum Nokia Lumia 1020 38MP CROP 1

As a last "analyses" of the detail of all these shots, below you will find 8 screenshots. Using Picasa,  I blew up each shot so that I would get the text on the white billboard more or less fullscreen. From that blow-up, I made a screenshot. You'll see the resized screenshots below, in the title you'll see the percentage with which I had to enlarge them. You'll find the originals on Flickr as well.

1 Nokia 808 PureView 5MP at 488%

2 Nokia Lumia 1020 5MP at 465%

3 Nokia 808 PureView 8MP at 352%

5 LG G2 at 266%

4 Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom at 306%

6 Sony Xperia Z1 at 231%

7 Nokia 808 PureView 38MP at 174%

8 Nokia Lumia 1020 38MP at 175%

 Of course, there are much more crops I could make - I'll leave it up to you now which details you'd like to see. Again, all the originals shots and crops are on Flickr.

I'd like share my conclusions based on the last, most detailed crops.

First, you'll see how effective the oversampling is on the Nokia Lumia 1020. With the Nokia 808 PureView on 5MP, the text is a bit "vague",  the letters in the result from the Lumia 1020 seem much sharper, more easily readable. On the other hand, you can see they are "over sharpened", like if someone drew an extra line to accentuate them. The 808 PureView gives a much more natural result, with less noise.

When you compare the original crops from the 808  PureView in 8MP with the LG G2 - looking at those at 100% -  it's really remarkable how much better Nokia performs. Less noise, you can even almost make out the text. Mind you the Lg G2 has 13MP to work with here. With the Galaxy S4 Zoom, much to my surprise the outcome is much worse (even on 16MP!).

It looks like the Sony Xperia Z1 uses a similar kind of oversampling as the Lumia 1020 - the larger letters on the left appear to be sharper, but an impressive amount of noise ruin the rest of the detail. Even with the full 20MP the text on the right it's completely unreadable.

The details of both 38MP shots are simply the best, as you can tell from the text on the billboard. And I'm not saying it's easy to read the Dutch text in the 38MP results from both Nokia's, but you can read most of the words.

Finally, it's remarkable that even on the 38MP result from the Lumia 1020, there appears to be some oversampling, judging from the sharper way the text is presented.

That´s enough from me I guess - you're free to agree of disagree, and you're free to add your own comments as well, as always.

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