Video & Gallery: Nokia 808 PureView vs. Sony Nex-5N (Dedicated Camera)

| November 23, 2012 | 23 Replies

Taken with the 808 PureView

We’ve seen loads of comparisons and videos pitting the Nokia 808 against almost every device imaginable  besting almost all of them, the HTC One X, the SGS3, The Note 2, the iPhone5 none of them proved to be a match for the great 808 pureview. But what about dedicated cameras?

I recently picked up a Sony Nex-5N (Nex = Sony’s line of mirrorless cameras) so I decided to do a little testing, pitting it against the 808; the results are below:


Video-wise both the 808 and the Nex shoot at 1080p (while filming I thought that the Nex was shooting at 60fps but it turned out to be 30fps, same as the 808). You can notice that the colors look brighter on Nex, while the 808 dulls them out a bit; in reality the true colors is someone between the two (best noticeable on the orange roof tiling), it seems that the 808 couldn’t capture enough light due to the fog and clouds, while the Nex’s larger lens overcompensated for the lack of light by pumping up the color saturation. I think the Nex has the edge in overall video quality (and it comes in a much smaller file size).

Zoom wise the Nex-5N was fit with the standard 18-55 zoom lens, which provides a decent amount of zoom, but is still no match for the zooming prowess of the 808 which almost doubled the zoom without any loss in quality.

In terms of audio recording I had expected the 808 to be clear a winner, but was surprised by the quality of the NEX as well (I hadn’t known that it records in stereo as well) so I’ll call that one as a tie; but it is worth noting that both the 808 and the NEX did an amazing job cancelling out the wind interference (I was on the rooftop of a 7 floor apartment building on a very windy day, yet you can barely hear any at noise at all).

Unfortunately I still haven’t figured out how to do side by side video processing (plus Sony Vegas seems to have disappeared off my laptop after upgrading to Windows 8 so they are two separate videos)

808 Video Sample:

Nex-5N Video Sample:


For photos all the NEX’s images were taken WITHOUT flash (seeing how the flash is an external add-on that I was too lazy to go get from my room); I left the 808’s flash on auto in all shots expect the stairwell where I turned it off, as well as the “cat” as it was giving false colors and washing out some details. In general I realized that the 808 is “Flash Happy” firing the Xenon flash even when there was more than enough light to take a picture without flash.

As usual click on the image to view the full res on Flickr

Wet Flower: This was taken on Full auto on both, flash was not used for the 808; here I moved both less than 2 feet away and then zoomed in.


Wet Flower -PureView


Wet Flower -Nex5N

View From the edge of the road (note the fog, lesser cameras such as the 900 can’t even show fog, making it appear as dust or just a blurry sky)


View -PureView


View -Nex5N

Bookshelf: image take indoors in medium lighting (not actual lights, but the blinds were open, the 808 insisted on firing the flash here):


BookShelf -PureView


BookShelf -Nex5N

Stone Walkway- here the pureview had some trouble getting the right colors in, the picture looks un-appealing compared to the NEX



Stone -PureView


Stone -Nex5N

Hitch Hikers guide to the galaxy (highly recommended) both were taken about 2 feet away from the subject- here the 808 seems to have pulled off a better shot than the Nex did (pretty sure it was with flash)


Hitch-hikers -PureView


Hitch-hikers -Nex5N

Book- here the 808’s Xenon flash definitely came in handy; taken from about two feet away.


Book -PureView


Book -Nex5N

Potted Plant- for long I’ve criticized Apple’s cameras since they give unrealistic colors, unfortunately this also happens with the 808 from time to time, as seen here it gave off a very appealing deep green color, which is unfortunately un-real


Plant -PureView


Plant -Nex5N

Sleeping Cat- here surprisingly the 808 managed to gather more light than the Nex, even though the flash was not fired… impressive stuff.


Fat Cat -PureView


Fat Cat -Nex5N

Dirty Keyboard- here the 808’s flash-happiness gave me alot of trouble, where it would bounce off the keys making them look shiny and ugly, took about 4 tries to get this pic on auto


Keyboard -PureView


Keyboard -Nex5N

Dark Stairwell- this one as expected wasn’t really fair against the 808 seeing how I turned off the flash here, but this is one test I’m looking forward to retaking with the 920-


Dark Stairwell -PureView


Dark Stairwell -Nex5N

Apartment entrance- this was an interesting one seeing how the background was lit from a distance but the immediate area was significantly darker, although the Nex got much more detail of the actual interior the background is equal quality on both (look at the raindrops


Entrance -PureView


Entrance -Nex5N

Volks Wagon- here for some reason the 808 had a blue tint in it (look at the background) something we’re used to seeing on the Lumias, mostly the 800.


Jetta -PureView


Jetta -Nex5N


Category: Nokia, Symbian, Video

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.
  • Hello Ali . I have a question and because I want to buy a nokia and especially 808 I want to know if I will receive my yahoo email in real time . Same about nokia 920 if he have push email . Now I have a bold 9900 and this taks is very important for me. To change my device I want to know if email come in real time same like on my acctual BB or iphone for example . Tank you and you doing a great job .

    • swain

      You can set the sync frequency(always on or in certain interval).

      • or you can set it to retrieve as soon as arrival, which I have found is pretty accurate.

        • Maybe

          Till now we never see comparison between N9 and Lumia 800 as they have the same camera module.
          Will they be similar?
          Can we take a look?

  • twig

    Cool cat. Nice mix of both cameras. The Verizon Nokia Power Up must be here, here comes the postal truck. Ya! Thank you Ali, saved $50 there with your tip.

    • Thanks, Enjoy your power-ups totally want one, but I don’t think they come in red (I plan on getting a red 920)- be sure to share your thoughts and pics (if you want you can mail me them at

  • Mark

    Saudi number plate? I thought you were in Jordan?

  • ilya

    at first its a great comparison but as someone that have the sony nex 5n
    i think that with all respect to the nokia the sony is in a completely different lig
    yes. the nokia have more mp and the pureview worked very impressive and the sound is great and even in height iso shots its reasonable at the price of the nokia today you can get very nice optics instead that chip rubbish 18-55 with the camera – i use pentax optics and the color reproduction the contrast is perfect
    i never never never use a flash! as comparison the nokia height iso noise is compared to the sony height iso (1600 compared to 25600)and with good lens you would never use it above 6400,
    as for video you easily can boost contrast and a lot of other stuff
    remember!! the sony can shoot 28mbs 60fps videos
    the sony can shoot 10fps burst
    so if someone is very serious about photography and consider the 808 the sony is one of the best cameras for him you can get every possible lens with every magnification factor that he want for the same price

    • anon2

      The fact a cameraphone can even compete in any conditions with a dedicated SLR is a feat in itself. Of course the Nex 5 has better dynamic range, but it also has a sensor that is twice the size of the one in the 808.

      • ilya

        the sony have 150% bigger sensor then the micro-fourthirds and three times or eaven more then the 808
        whith more almost three times more mp.
        thats why the 8mp photos of the 808 is almost the same as the 16mp photos of the sony in 100% view.

      • Dave

        What SLR? The NEX range are *not* SLRs. They’re compact interchangeable lens devices …. but with APS (or larger) sensors.

        Something like the NEX would be my next camera …. if I could use my old Sony lenses without resorting to an adapter 🙁

        • anon2

          OK bad use of words: “a digital camera with an SLR sized image sensor”

  • Nice camera Ali. The Sony should produce better quality images but I am no photographer, yet lol so I would take some of the advice from the writer above as it sounds like he knows more about it than me.

  • nabkawe

    Rich Recording … a must have.

    • dss

      In stereo.

  • winson

    both have a great qulity image..808 is a cam phone…sony nex-5n is real cam,but it do only 1 job take picture and vid..but i prefer 808 because i have 808..n i really love my 808..because it can match the DSLR..

  • dss

    The can 808 easily replace any compact camera for everyday photography.

  • Henry X

    808 wins. No explanations.

  • Utkarsh

    The picture of plant taken from 808 looks much more appealing. Whether it got the true colors or not. The image quality of Nex was real shame!

  • Silthice
    something interesting here right after 14:20

  • Well… You have not done justice to NEX-5N here by not using its flash, settings, and taking macro shots with a kit lens which was not meant for macro shots.

    This proves that Nokia 808 is a good device for any condition. Just take it out and shoot… But, it is not perfect for any condition.

    In the flower shot, NEX has done a better job as the depth of field of Nex is pretty low but the flower is also not in focus.(lens not meant for macro) but 808 gave a better result.(but high DoF)

    In the keyboard shot we can see the same thing. Nex had the wrong lens.

    In some of the pictures you can see that Nex had better dynamic range than 808 and if you look carefully, 808’s pics. have more noise in them. And 808’s photos have a purple tint in them.

    Image quality wise Nex 5N wins!

    But it also proves that 808 is good for a point and shoot camera. No fuss… Just take it out, point and shoot. And you’ll get a good result.

    But for serious photographers Nex 5N is a better device. 808 is a good backup/secondary cam.

  • ayon1200

    whenever nokia produce some set ppl compare it wrongly. its a mobile phone not a camara though ppl compare it to dslr. dey dont compare it with sgs3 or ip5. when produce a n9 which pic is realy bad dis compare with sgs3. how funny is this.