A Dutch windmill, by three Nokia PureView devices, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Oppo Find 7a

Yesterday was one of those typical sunny / cloudy days in The Netherlands. And I happened to be close to another typical Dutch scene: a windmill. But before showing you the shots and crops I got from the Nokia 808 PureView, Lumia 1020 and Lumia 930, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Oppo Find 7A, I'd like to touch on another theme.

On other sites I often read people reacting "mobile cameras are only good for snapshots". Others wonder what all these MegaPixels are worth - "you're not ever going to decorate your living room wall with one of your shots, are you?"

Well, no-one is I guess. But remember the VGA (640 x 480 pixels ) shot printed on A4 paper? You could recognize what it was, but that's it. Since the 5MP mobile camera, like on the Nokia N95, printing on A4 became a serious possibility. I have some great family shots in my home captured with the N95.

The higher the resolution, the more details you'll see or get to work with. It will enable you to make sharper printed results, or bigger prints with great quality. And it will provide you with the possibility to zoom in (and crop) your shots before sharing or printing.

So that's why I keep zooming in at 100% and keep making crops - just to compare which mobile will give you the best detailed result. It's not just about sharing your shots on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or wherever - it's a search for the very best imaging quality you can get out of your smartphone.

Most visitors here know all this of course, I just felt I needed to explain it once more, since I'll be sharing a lot of shots and crops in this post (and the future :-)

Back to the Dutch windmill. I grew up next to this mill, saw it working countless times. But you know what it's like when you're young: you get used to anything and think it's normal. Only later you'll realize it's pretty special, especially to others.

I captured it with five smartphones: three Nokia PureView devices (808, 1020, 930), the new Samsung Galaxy S5 and even newer Oppo Find 7A (the Find 7 isn't even on the market yet and like I wrote before, the camera is the same on both).

Let's start with one of the 5MP results, from the Lumia 1020. Just to make sure: this is just an order I chose to present these shots, I'm not suggesting they will get better the more MP you'll see. The first presentation of these shots is not about MP, but about coloring. Windmill - Nokia Lumia 1020 5MP

In the shot coming from the Lumia 930, you'll see the light is quite different, thanks to the sun peeping through the clouds. In fact - just my luck - it was only with the Lumia 1020 that I captured the windmill in the shade (the inevitable odd one out).

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

Scenes from Crete (final) – Nokia 808 PureView, Lumia 1020 and Samsung Galaxy S5

This weekend appeared to be a great time to share the shots I captured during my stay in Crete - this is the last part of what has become a much longer series than I planned to post, also inspired by your enthusiasm - thanks for that! :-)

I'll start this last post with a few close-ups at the coast. First a detailed shot from a shipwreck that's been lying around at the Malia coast for years now - I know that since this is my fourth visit to the region. If you like this shot...

WP_20140426_17_08_28_Pro'll probably like the result I shared on Nokia Refocus even more... :-)

While I'm at it, let me ask a question to my readers at the Refocus Team. I'd love to have my own corner over at Nokia Refocus or whatever name you will give it soon - Microsoft Refocus? Just like I have on Flickr and Instagram for instance. So it would have to be something like

Can we have that please? The only way I can find my earlier Refocus results is checking my own posts about it (not often enough), look for them in my Twitter timeline (cumbersome) or see them on my Lumia device (and those will be gone as soon as I start using another Lumia). So please: make that possible - thank you very much :-)

Let's have a look at a few from the close-ups I got from the Nokia 808 PureView at the same beach. What you see below are close-ups taken a full resolution. First, a typical stone formation of lava that ended in sea thousands of years ago...

Scenes from Crete (3) – captured with the Nokia 808 PureView, Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520

So here it is, my third post with shots from Crete - mostly captured with the Nokia 808 PureView and the Lumia 1020. I did make quite a few shots with the Samsung Galaxy S5 too, for panoramas (which I will share on Flickr later), to test its HDR results, and to capture the family (pics I don't share here at the club).

In this post you'll see a few shots I took with the Nokia Lumia 1520 as well. Did I bring four phones to Crete? Yes, afraid I did - but I didn't bring them all four on my daily trips of course. Nevertheless there are two shots I'd like to share from the 1520. The first one was taken at the pool...


Also, do you remember the first shot I shared in these series? Well, I found it on the Lumia 1520 as well:


In fact it's more realistic than the full res result I shared from the 808 PureView (which not only had ND filter on but also its flash for some reason - so basically that was my doing).

Here's another scene from that same beach, captured with the Nokia 808 PureView.


Scenes from Crete (2) - captured with the Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020 (Elounda)

I already explained in my previous post I didn't just want to go through the process of pixel peeping which has become quite normal here at the Club. I feel it doesn't do justice to the great fun I had making these shots during my week in Crete. So I'll just share the shots like others do on Facebook, although I do add a few crops and comparisons where I think they're interesting.

In this second post you'll see some more from the Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 1020 - in the next post I hope to add some results from the Samsung Galaxy S5 as well.

All the shots are captured in  Elounda, the charming place at the East side of Crete. It looks like it's "well to do", a place florishing from the tourist industry without sacrificing itself to it (like Hernossisos).

Elounda has a typical Greek, charming harbour from which I could share shots like forever - I killed quite a few darlings to come to the collection you'll see in this post - the first one is from the Nokia Lumia 1020.


I have some more shots of course, but let's go in town first. There a beautiful and actually pretty big church a few steps from the harbour. I have know idea what the flowers are called surrounding it - maybe you do. It's the Nokia Lumia 1020 once more.


And of course, there were bees there, too.


I'm pretty sure you want to see the crop from the 34MP original, too :-) - also in 640 x 480 pixels.