Nokia 808 PureView vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 (1)

Many people have asked me for more comparisons between the Nokia 808 PureView and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1. Some simply don't want to leave their 808 PureView since they still consider it to be the best smartphone camera on the planet, others refuse to go to Windows Phone, no matter how well the Lumia 1020, 1520 or 930 perform. This is the first of a series in which I'll compare the results of the 808 and the new contender.

Not changing to Windows Phone no matter what is a choice I wouldn't make - like staying on Symbian for that matter. I've been using the Nokia 808 PureView since the day I could, but it has been with me without a sim card for more than a year already: it doesn't bother me at all to have it with me a all times and use it as a stand alone camera (with excellent WiFi connectivity).

On many occasions, I've shown how great Carl Zeiss technology combined with the former Nokia imaging team's magical algorithms performs - if you want a very good smartphone camera, the PureView devices definitely are among the best you can get. The iPhone however, is getting better and better (good enough for many anyway) and of course Android is coming up strong. I've shown Samsung has proved to do close to incredible things with the Galaxy Note 4. And now there is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1, raising the bar to very high standards - at a high price, but still.

Last weekend, I went for a walk in the forest with friends and made a few snapshots with both the 808 PureView and the Lumix DMC-CM1. Fast shots, since if it takes too long you'll be about a mile behind which is not very nice when you're walking with friends. But this is interesting as well: how do these high-end smartphone cameras compare when you use them as snapshooters? Let's find out in the next four scenes I captured. Nokia 808 PureView first, Panasonic DMC-CM1 second. Since it was a very bright day, I set the Nokia 808 on -0.3 exposure in all shots. 

Please keep in mind I'm comparing the 34MP .JPG results from the 808 PureView with the 17MP results coming from the Lumix DMC-CM1. That's a big difference, but I didn't want to resize the 808 shots to avoid loosing details. You'll find the original shots on Flickr (and the Panasonic's RAW files on OneDrive, links below). I'll present the snapshots as I captured them, directly followed by the crops. Remember: Nokia 808 PureView first, Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 second. 

The next scene is a bit different. Didn't change a thing on the Nokia 808 PureView and had the Lumix DMC-CM1 on Auto Intelligent. 

First result (808) was more or less okay, although the whitest part is obviously burnt. The Lumix DMC-CM1 doesn't seem to understand how to handle this strong contrast in Auto settings, the result being far too bright. I quickly changed the setting of the Lumix DMC-CM1 to manual and (only) adjusted shutter time (to 1/320, Auto chose 1/125 sec). The difference gives a much more realistic view of the scene.  

Of course, I might have changed exposure value on the 808 even further, but I didn't ( was already falling too far behind). Next time, promise. Here are the crops of the shots above: 808, CM1 on auto, CM1 on manual. You'll see the 808 is "somewhere in between", still showing great detail.

Last shot is some cage in the forest and I have no idea what it's for. Food for animals? Anyway, the CM1 was still on manual, I only changed the ISO value to 400 since it was quite dark. Nokia managed fine on auto, choosing ISO 125.

That's all as far as the few snapshots are concerned. Yes, it might be funny to compare 17MP to 34MP shots, but I think both did a pretty good job. Both the 808 PureView and the Lumix DMC-CM1 are very fast in starting up their camera application I should add - the Lumia 1020 is extremely slow compared to both, and I understood that on Denim the Lumia 930 and 1520 will be blazing fast as well.

On a sidenote: I'm really looking forward to see how fast, since I still don't have anything that looks like Lumia Camera.I already tweeted about the remarkable workaround to get Lumia Camera before Denim  WMPoweruser wrote about earlier today, but it didn't work at all on my Lumia 1520 and I understand that when it works, it's only in a limited way. Did I ever mention I'm eagerly waiting for the Denim update?

You will already find a two part review from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 here at the club ( part 1 and part 2), and it's high time I start working on part 3 since I already have some more experiences you'll probably like to read about. Meanwhile, I've been making more shots (with many more devices) than I have time to analyze and share, so I really hope to be able to write more posts here soon! The original snapshots are in a dedicated album on Flickr, the few RAW files (only from the CM1 of course) on OneDrive. As always, I'll love to read your thoughts below! :-)