James Burland: Nokia 808 PureView proto vs iPhone 4S (vs Nokia N8)

| March 4, 2012 | 24 Replies

James Burland left a comment at the previous thread on the Nokia 808 about a recent blog post of his. I can’t get the full URL to appear but you can check it out here:

Again, we are talking about purely imaging here. James Burland, whilst a fan of Nokia imaging for so many years now is also an expert of iThings. His opinion, praises and critiques on Apple and Nokia devices can be trusted, so there is no immediate bias one way or another. He just calls things as he sees them.

In his post, comparing the Nokia 808 Proto against the iPhone 4S he goes through various mode comparisons.

Nokia 808 at 38MP

“The extra detail that the 808 resolves is very real, it’s not soft or poorly defined, it’s genuine and meaningful. ”

In terms of colour, dynamic range, colour reproduction, “808 moves it all up into a higher orbit” than the N8. We know how Nokia wanted to make N8 as natural as possible, none of this funky psychadelic colours, “Well the 808 steps that up another gear, they make N8 shots look quite heavily processed, to my eye at least. ”

What about PureView mode?

“you get astonishing clarity! It’s actually quite breathtaking… Noise is almost completely eliminated. PureView is the perfect way to describe the end result. It’s certainly true that it has a DLSR quality about it…”

Now against the iPhone 4S? James commends iPhone on having made a great job with iPhone’s camera. Colour accuracy, dynamic range is far higher though on the 808, with literally 4 times the amount of detail at 38mp.

“but it’s still no match for the 808.”


Vs iPhone, sound and video? Remember Nokia Rich recording? James says it’s simply exquisite. I’m surprised to hear iPhone 4S reduces frame rate in low light – the 808 apparently maintaints 30FPS.

The sound capture on the 808 is simply exquisite! It’s puts the N8 and iPhone 4S to shame. Video Quality: When shooting video without any zoom (or just some zoom) there is almost no noise and yet everything is sharp and clear, far more so than the N8.  When at full zoom, there is some noise as you would expect, but video is a tad sharper. Lowlight and night capture is particularly impressive as the 808 maintains 30fps, unlike the iPhone 4S which steps down to about 25fps.

Stabilisation is apparently an issue but this is something that Nokia is aware of and is fixing (and I think we have heard about this before from other posts)


 I’m expecting images taken using the 808 to be used in glossy magazines and billboards, and people will be truly amazed.

For me, the 808 marks the beginning of the end of dedicated pocket cameras and camcorders.

If you’re a long time reader at Nokia Creative, you’ll mark that a lot of James Burland’s feelings on the future of the market have an uncanny way of coming true.

Now, relating to the previous engadget post where they dared compare ImageSense with PureView – looking at the pictures themselves, you don’t even need to compare it against 808 as the N8 already does better. :S Seriously folks, when is spilling a bucket of paint and reproducing acid trippy colours now a good thing? Perhaps we have instagram to thank for this (thank you for flooding my facebook feed with Sepia cats. I just can’t get enough of sepia cats and HDR lamp posts).

Can Apple or the likes of HTC catch up? James thinks not in the near term, perhaps Apple might surprise with something clever he says, but not for a couple of iterations.

Again, we don’t need to point that massive Nokia 808 white paper to educate those trying to disrespect what Nokia achieved with PureView. Just look at the results. Face it, in the camera department, Nokia still rules.

Once it gets into people’s hands, it won’t need professional photographers to show off how good the 808 is (see various galleries online, especially James’ Nokia Creative photo awards).




Category: Nokia, Symbian

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]