A bird's eye view on Amsterdam

In this post you will get a bird's eye view on the West part of Amsterdam - captured with the Nokia 808 PureView, the Lumia 1020, Lumia 1520 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - on a very clear day from the top of the Kalvertoren, a place you'll simply have to visit when you are in town and want a fantastic panoramic view - I posted about this place much earlier.

No, I'm not getting paid to write this (I'm not getting paid to write anything for that matter), I just go there when I'm in the neighbourhood, especially when I have visitors from abroad. The "skyline" was just screaming to be captured and so I did, in the best possible way - with the sun in my back and the camera sensors pushed to the window to avoid any reflection. What you will see is the Krijtberg Church you might have seen in earlier posts. This is how the Nokia 808 PureView captured the scene from above (resized from 8MP):

I'l be sharing most of the original shots as we go along - they are quite similar in fact (you'll see them on Flickr anyway). Let's move on to the crops from the Nokia 808 Pureview, Lumia 1020, Lumia 1520 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - you'll notice I'm using the last one a lot in my comparisons lately: that's because I only have a short time left before I need to send it back. I focused the cameras on the church, so it's only fair to crop there. As you are probably used to by now, I'll go from 5MP up to 34MP, so it's the Lumia 1020 vs the Lumia 1520 first. All settings are on auto by the way.
Nokia Lumia 1020 (5MP)

Nokia Lumia 1520 (5MP)

No big difference so far, the second shot is just a bit brighter it seems. Next:
Nokia 808 PureView (8MP)

Again a bit brighter and again a very clean shot - differences are negligible I'd say. Let's move on the double the resolution: 16MP, coming from the
Nokia Lumia 1520

And pracitcally the same crop coming from the
Samsung Galaxy Note 4:

This is where you start noticing many differences. Three things are obvious from the Galaxy Note 4. First: a somewhat brighter result. Second: a longer focal point (the crop appears to be a bit more "zoomed in"). Third: more over sharpening, leading to a lot more details - again. See:
- the red rooftop in the left corner
- the structure of the black roof left of the church (almost a grey mass in the shot coming from the Lumia 1520)
- the large church window
- the blueish air conditioner (I think it is) in front of that remarkable concrete edifice.
- the little white dots on the black church roof : practically absent in the shot coming from Lumia 1520, almost too present in the one from the Galaxy Note 4?

I love these PureView devices, but this simply is the way it is: in good light conditions like these, the Galaxy Note 4 will give you more detail that the Lumia 1520. Lots more even. Again: I'm not getting paid to write anything, I'm just noticing what I see. What does it mean for the complete scene - is it less pleasing to the eye?

Let's have a look - Nokia Lumia 1520 first, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 second. In the shot coming from my yellow Lumia 1520, you might notice a yellow heu in the darker areas. That's a recflection which is unavoidable with double glazed windows - I removed its black protective cover to get as close to the window as possible, which proved to be a bad idea. Nevertheless it didn't effect the center part of the shot, so I kept it in anyway.


The only big difference (apart from the yellowish heu I mentioned) is you get less in your shot with the Note 4, due to different focal length (by the way, compare both these shots with the wide angle ot the Nokia 808 PureView, above, or coming from the Lumia 1020, at the end of this post). Oh and the Note 4 happened to catch a bird as well :you can even see it's a magpie :-)

Let´s move on to the largest resolutions like we´re used to - comparing the Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020 at 34MP. Both "non PureView" results since they are not using any oversampling, but still interesting to see what these huge sensors capture.
Nokia Lumia 1020 (34MP)

Nokia 808 PureView (34MP)

All the details I mentioned before are visible here as well, and once again, the Nokia 808 PureView gives a bit brighter but espcially an amazingly clean result. How do both shots compare in general? Focal length is the same (you'll notice I didn't get the exact same angle, but it's just about as wide in both cases). These are the resized versions of the 34MP results by the way! You'll see the Nokia Lumia 1020 first, Nokia 808 PureView second 


And there it is again: the Nokia Lumia 1020 gives a "warmer" image, the Nokia 808 PureView more "realistic" proabably. I'm quite sure many viewers would instantly prefer the first where the purists would no doubt choose the second. I could add more sharpness and saturation in the settings of the 808 PureView by the way, but I see no reason to myself.

That's all folks. All the originals are in a dedicated album on Flickr. You might dislike Samsung for whatever reason, the amount of detail the Galaxy Note 4 captures simply is amazing to me. There will be more comparisons soon I hope, including the Galaxy Note 4 now that I can still use it - and I'll be writing about its UI and post-processing possibilities.

Moreover, I´ll be working with the Sony Xperia Z2 and Z3, now both on Android 4.4.4. I still have review samples of the Honor 6 (by Huawei) and Moto X, so that might be worth a another comparison as well. If there's anything you'd like to see, don't hesitate to let me know below. Looking forward to what you think of all above as well of course. Join the club on Twitter and  Facebook. Happy shooting! :-)