Fantastic shots from China, with the Nokia 808

This morning, I was surprised by an e-mail (marc at from photographer Sven Körber, who brought his Nokia 808 PureView to China - as his only camera. Since he shares many interesting details about how he made these shots, I'd like to quote his e-mail in full:

 I just came back from a business trip to Foshan/China, and the 808 Pureview was the only camera I took with me. I often used the camera at night, setting it to creative mode / 5MP / ISO 800 / -0,7EV / HF focus mode / tungsten white balance.

The pictures linked above were edited in Adobe Lightroom 4.2, with light noise reduction & sharpening, exposure, clarity & saturation enhancements and manual lens corrections. I also cloned out distracting high-frequency detail.

Most of the files hold up quite well in A4 prints at normal viewing distances. In extreme cases (i.e. underexposed areas in ISO 800 files, I encountered a bit of banding that would be visible in larger prints.

Two tricks I used to work with high ISO files: 1) convert to high-contrast B/W, which makes noisy files much more usable. 2) smooth out the luminance noise first in LR, then add back just a bit of noise in LR's effects panel. This gives the impression of higher acutance than there actually is. It also masks the "plastic look" of high NR settings.

You will find his Chinese shots here. I think his shots are inspiring enough to have a look at his other work as well, which you will find here - I promiss you will see some amazing shots there as well!

I'd like to thank Sven Körber for sharing these shots and I hope he doesn't mind I used two of his shots to illustrate this post with.

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