Two 20MP sensors compared: the Nokia Lumia 1520 vs the Sony Xperia Z2 (1)

Still waiting for the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom - the newest smartphone camera with a 20MP sensor - I can't wait with sharing a few of the first results I got from the Nokia Lumia 1520 and Sony Xperia Z2. It's interesting to note that 20MP seems to have become the new "standard" for high-end smartphone cameras by the way.

I'll tell you a bit about my method of comparing. First I (usually accidently) find a scene I think worth looking at. I take several shots of that with the smartphones I'm testing, making sure the light is as constant as possible. Nowadays, when it's very sunny outside, I usually choose the corresponding white balance on all devices.

After that I copy all the results to my PC, I check them in detail and pick what I believe is the very best from each device. Then I resize them - usually to 640 x 360 pixels, to fit this page. Next I either make crops in the same size, or I zoom in to 100% (using Picasa) and make a screenshot (like I've been doing in this case).

Finally, I start writing the post like I'm doing now, adding the shots and details as I go along. And doing so it's in fact the first time I actually compare the results from the devices I'm testing myself. It has become a simple method I find not only easy but also fair, and it's a way of surprising myself during the whole process as well :-)

With the Lumia 1520 and Xperia Z2 I made a few shots in bright and not-so-bright light - in this post you won't find the "low light shots" a lot of you seem to appreciate so much (will work on those later). First, a scene from an antique store, captured pushing both devices directly on the window to avoid reflection.

The Nokia Lumia 1520 was set to 5MP/16MP (in 16:9 aspect ratio), I need to make two shots with the Sony Xperia Z2 - one in Superior Auto (8MP) and one in manual (15.5MP in 16:9). Where the Lumia 1520 will be more or less identical, we might see some small differences between both shots from the Xperia Z2.

In all comparisons, you'll see the Lumia 1520 first, Xperia Z2 second. First you'll see resized versions of the smaller results.

WP_20140602_09_02_49_Pro DSC_0044The second shot (Xperia Z2) is noticably brighter, but strangly enough also a bit more "yellowish".  Let's have a look at the crops. First from the 5MP (Nokia) and 8MP (Sony) results.

Comparing Nokia PureView vs. Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 and: Oppo Find 7a!

In this post you'll find only two scenes, but coming from quite an amount of smartphone cameras... You'll see one scene outside and one inside, captured with the Nokia 808 Pureview, Lumia 1020, Lumia 930, Samsung Galaxy S5, Oppo Find 7a and (just in one scene) Sony's Xperia Z2.

I've been trying to get my hands on the Oppo Find 7 for quite a while. There is no Oppo PR offiice in the Netherlands (not even sure if there is one in Europe), the online channel is out of stock, so I was very happy to find one "second hand" 7a in mint condition here in the Netherlands (in my own town even :-). The 7a is the "light" version of the Find 7 so to say, check out the comparison here. The camera module is the same though, so it fits my purposes :-)

What's so interesting about the Find 7, is that Oppo promised a 50MP (!) resolution. That's not about the sensor itself - that's 13MP - but about a technique combining four shots into one.

Using Oppo's Find 7 in 4:3 aspect ratio (which provides you with the 13MP resolution) and in "Ultra-HD" mode, you'll get a result of 8160 x 6120 pixels, adding up to 50MP indeed. But what does that offer you in the end?

As always, I made a lot of shots and selected the best from all devices. I made them in "normal" and "high" resolution and also in Raw .DNG shots if possible, but I won't take the .DNG files into account in this post - you'll find them on OneDrive.

Speaking of Raw .DNG - the Oppo Find 7 is the first smartphone (to my knowledge at least) after Nokia Camera that will allow you to make Raw .DNG shots. The feature is more or less hidden, but it's possible. When shooting in raw with the Oppo Find 7, it will give you a .JPG file as well.

You might find it interesting to know that shooting in 4:3 aspect ratio, the Oppo's raw .DNG file is 26MB, whereas the Nokia Lumia 930 gives you a 24MB file. The Lumia 1020 gives you no less than 49MB (no wonder with its much bigger sensor).

I'll leave working with the Raw .DNG to you however - I don't have enough experience with programs like Lightroom (and I lack the time to learn alas), but I'm looking forward to your results very much!

Let's Go Outside
So let's have a look at the results you'll get from the devices directly. I'm talking about 19 shots in total, so it's clear I can't share them all in this post. First, the shot taken outside, a street that's "under construction". Just a daily scene offering lots of detail and contrast.

Mind you you'll see the resized versions of the basis resolution (8MP which I always use on the 808 PureView and 5MP Nokia prefers on Lumia). All settings were on automatic on all devices.

Which one to see first? Let's start with the Nokia 808 PureView.

2 Nokia 808 PureView 8MP

Being the new kid in town, I'll share the Lumia 930 shot next

Nokia Lumia 1520 versus Nokia Lumia 930

In this post you'll find my translation of the review/comparison I just posted in The Netherlands for my Dutch site It's becoming quite impossible to maintain that site next to what I do here at the PureViewClub, but sometimes it's simply irresistable to write a review there - like when you're the first to get your hands on the Nokia Lumia 930 :-)

People have been asking me to write a Lumia 930 review here at the club as well, so I decided to share the same comparison. It's not as much about the PureView camera as you are used to read here (working on that one) - it's a general comparison of both Lumia smartphones. Here we go, I hope you'll enjoy it :-)

Ladies and gentlemen... The Nokia Lumia 930: 20MP Carl Zeiss PureView in a great design!

It is exactly two years and five days ago that I was incredibly proud to write " ladies and gentlemen... we got him". Back then, it was the first commercial sample of the Nokia 808 PureView - and I was the very first blogger on the planet (!) to get my hands on it.

This might be a bit less exclusive (lots has been written about the Lumia Icon already, which is basically the same device) and it's "just" a prototype, but still, today I was extremely happy to receive the Nokia Lumia 930.

Being a prototype however, it still ran on Windows Phone 8, so I installed the Developers' Preview to enjoy many of the benifits we may expect after Windows Phone 8.1 (Cyan) is officially released.

This post is about its design mainly. You'll see it captured in close-up with the Nokia 808 PureView, alone and with his two important predecessors: the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520.

The 1020 has a more or less similar size but completely different hardware and design. The 1520 has a completely different design but very similar hardware.

Since I'm from the Netherlands, my contact thought it would be a nice idea to send me an orange version, which makes for a nice contrast with the yellow Lumia 1520.


I'm not 100% sure about this, but you see the lens looks a lot smaller on the Lumia 930 than on the 1520. As far as I've been able to check, the specifications are exactly the same however: both have a 20 MP sensor, 4992 х 3744 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, optical image stabilization, autofocus and dual-LED flash.

Now the screen size is of course the most noticeble difference - and the difference between 5 inch and 6 inch is immense. Here's a bigger picture with both PureView devices combined to get you an idea of the exact difference in size.


See what I mean? Remember the Lumia 930 has the same full HD resolution as the Lumia 1520, so on its smaller 5 inch screen your content (shots, videos, apps) looks even sharper - in fact it's 441 PPI, where the Lumia 1520 has 367 (which is still a joy to look at!).

Now even if just for fun let's have a look at the three Lumia sensors before I start piling them up. Here's the Lumia 1020, 1520 and 930. Most striking difference of course is the sensor size and the Xenon flash on the Lumia 1020, which both the 1520 and 930 must do without.

A low light ode to Nokia (808 PureView and Lumia 1020 and 1520, compared to Galaxy S5)

To tell you the truth I'm not sure where to begin this post. I have in fact a few dozens of shots to share with you, taken in several settings with the Nokia 808 PureView, Nokia Lumia 1020, Nokia Lumia 1520 and Samsung Galaxy S5.

It's the result of a brainwave I had early this morning: I really wanted to share some more low light shots before going on a short holiday, but doing so is pretty hard during daytime.

So I thought of a weird place in my basement. Logically, it's a few meters below the ground, but there is a very small window just in case you need to get out (a "fox hole" it's called here I think).

Anyway: that would provide me with what I needed: a very dark place and just a little bit of light. And after reading that Nokia's handset division is about to become " Microsoft Mobiles" I thought of the subject to capture in that low light as well: a weird collection of old and more or less rare Nokia devices.

Here's the original scene, captured with the Nokia 808 PureView with flash - so you'll get an idea about what I've been up to before you see the low light results.

Nokia 808 PureView - original scene with flash 2

So that's quite a remarkable bunch, itsn't it? It doesn't belong to me though, I borrowed all from a friend and what you see is far from complete even, but at least it gives me a colorful collage to capture in near darkness.

All shots are handheld. I made several shots with all four devices in all different settings and the best results were selected.

Where to start? The Nokia 808 PureView on ISO 50? Why not. Here's a resized version of the 38MP result in 16:9 aspect ratio - the 808 PureView needed the full 2.7 seconds (!) to capture this result: