At the marina (part 5). Ten smartphones compared. Android vs Nokia PureView devices
Part five of my selection of 15 shots from the marina, still looking at the winter storage. In the previous post you've seen crops from 10 different smartphones with which I tried to make the exact same shot, in different resolutions if possible.
From the last scene, I'll just share one more crop - for some reason it's just too tempting not to. This crop comes from one of the darkest parts of the shot: the boat in the storage named Aquamarin. Let me refresh your memory once more - here's the scene as captured with the Nokia Lumia 830 (8MP)
As we've seen in the previous comparison, I focused on one of the sunlit, bright yellow life vests - making the scene darker, but also showing there are actually bricks in the wall on the right side.
A bit more about the bricks later, let's have a look at the name of the boat in the next crops. You know the drill by now: "lowest" resolutions first, in "chronological" order if necessary (oldest device first that is)
Nokia Lumia 1020 (5MP)
Nokia Lumia 1520 (5MP)
Nokia Lumia 930 (5MP)
I don't think I should be describing differences in light in this case - in the previous comparison, we've seen the amount of light strongly depends on where I actually put my fingertip to focus the shot - due to that, you will see the result coming from the Lumia 1520 is darker than what I got from the Lumia 930.
Nokia Lumia 1520
Nokia Lumia 930
Consequently, the detail coming from the boat is a bit brighter on the Lumia 930 - guess it shows how hard it is (or better: guess it shows I didn't succeed in) getting the exact same shot. So in this crop, let's try to focus on stuff like detail and noise. Let's go on with what I got in 8MP.
Nokia 808 PureView
Nokia Lumia 830
Sony Xperia Z3
I guess you can make up your own mind about these shots, right? Let move on to the "almost 10MP" shots.
Motorola Moto X 2nd Gen.
Again, it seems the "oldest" devices perform best. What to the "around 16MP" results look like?
Sony Xperia Z3 (15.5MP)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (15.9MP)
Nokia Lumia 1520 (16MP)
Nokia Lumia 930 (16MP)
Differences are marginal I think. Pixel peeping though, I think we can conclude the Xperia Z3 is doing better in manual mode and the Galaxy Note 4 does suffer a bit from over sharpning sometimes. Both Lumia's seem just about the exact same result in 16MP. Be that as it may, the amount of detail coming from all these devices is quite fantastic, isn't it?
Of course, I still owe you the crops from the masters of mobile imaging...
Nokia 808 PureView (34MP)
Nokia Lumia 1020 (34MP)
Wow. Just wow. You just got to love the Nokia 808 PureView for what it's capable of.. Such an amazing quality for such a tiny detail of this shot! Yes, I know, I'm splitting hairs here. I'm pixel peeping. But not just the devil - divinity appears to be in the detail as well sometimes. I'm simply blown away once more by the device that actually made me start this club in the first place, years ago. Mindblowing since 2012...
I can't wait to see if the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 is able to rival this kind of quality. I seriously am dying to test it. Will a 1 inch 20MP sensor be good enough to beat the 1/1.2 inch 41.3MP sensor, in detailed comparisons like these? I wonder, and I can only hope Panasonic is reading my posts here as well...
One more thing though: the bricks on the right side of the wall. This has got less to do with the sensor size and far more with where I focused. I will just give you a few examples. Most of the shots - in fact all the shots from Android phones - showed the wall like this (turned to make it easier to compare). These are two of the worst examples, coming from the Honor 6 and LG G3
And this is about the best I got from the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Lumia 830 - much more detail, but a lot more "blue" as well
But before we all start booing Android, keep in mind this has to do with where you focus, the way you are working with your device. So it's only fair when I don't forget to add the same crop of the fantastic shot I got from the Nokia 808 PureView (34MP)
There you go: it's not easy to make the exact same shot with 10 dfferent smartcams, and there's a lot to pay attention to. I've analyzed the last shot to pieces by now I think, if you still feel like checking more details in the originals, they are all in the dedicated album on Flickr.
To add some kind of summary after 5 posts... The "cheaper" devices (Honor 6 and Lumia 830) offer a surprising imaging quality, but the Lumia 830 appears to be better in different conditions. Options of the Lumia 830 are much better with the Nokia Camera app (like up to 4 seconds of shutter time) of course.
Regarding the more expensive Androids, I think the LG G3 produces the best results in general, but the new Moto X has some advantages too (being able to focus on the bright areas for instance). As for the high-end Android devices, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is obviously better than Sony's Xperia Z3.
From Nokia Lumia, the 920 and 1520 appear to be similar - can't wait to see what they'll be able to do with the Denim update. And as far as the best PureView devices are concerned: no doubt the Lumia 1020 and 808 Pureview are still King: it just depends on circumstances - and the photographer - which will give you the best results.
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