AAS: Camera Shootout Time!: N8 vs Xperia Z and 808 vs Xperia Z vs 920!

| March 8, 2013 | 29 Replies



Hello MNB Readers!

Our friend, Steve Litchfield, over at All About Symbian has a duo of camera shootout articles that are worthy of a read and extended look. While celebrating N8 Day, Steve pulled out the former World Champion camera title belt holder (N8) and put it in a shootout against what is considered the cream of the crop Android camera phone, the Sony Xperia Z. Steve wrote:

‘Nokia N8 day’ continues here on AAS with a camera shootout. Released in 2010, the Nokia N8 wasn’t the first 12 megapixel/Xenon-flash camera-toting smartphone (the Sony Ericsson Satio would contend that honour), but it was the best and by far the biggest selling. And the N8 is still loved and used by millions, even today, getting on for 3 years later. The competition are claiming to have caught up with Nokia though – Sony’s latest smartphone flagship is the Xperia Z, seen here, with 13 megapixel next-gen Exmor RS sensor. How does it compare to the camera in Nokia’s 2010 masterpiece?

Head over to AAS for more on this story: AAS

Also, you can’t keep a camera expert and Nokia fan idle for too long because Steve has a followup article pitting the Nokia 808 PureView against the Sony Xperia Z and the Nokia Lumia 920! From the opening of the article:


You may have seen my recent stills shootout between the elderly Nokia N8 and the new Sony Xperia Z? What I hinted at in that text was that I took the same shots with the 2012 Nokia 808 PureView and Lumia 920 as well, i.e. the best and fastest of Symbian with the generally-considered Windows Phone flagship. This being a camera result comparison, I’m expecting the Nokia 808 to win, of course, it’s far more camera-centric than the other two and has a relatively huge sensor (plus proper flash), but I’m interested in the margin of victory and also as to how the best camera phone on Windows Phone matches up to (more or less) the best on Android, given that the sensor sizes are the same. Read on!

Read on indeed: AAS

I like AAS’s camera comparison articles as they are straight to the point and honest. As a N8 user, it is great to see that the N8’s larger sensor, xenon flash and optics have kept the camera above average for going on 3 years. As a future 808 owner, I can’t wait to get my hands on one and start a new generation of quality photos for years to come.

It is also good to see that cameras on mobile phones are improving across the board and that my friends, is good news for all camera buffs, no matter the brand or OS affiliation. What say you, our dear MNB readers? Have you made any camera comparisons or noticed great leaps in quality with your own devices? Perhaps you own a non Nokia that has a great camera that beats out other  phones as a 3rd runner-up (N8 2nd, 808 1st). Sound off in the comments section below.


Thanks to Steve and the AAS Team for their continued coverage of the photography side of the smartphone spectrum.


Image credit: Steve Litchfield, Copyright (©) All About Symbian 2000-2012


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Category: Lumia, Nokia, Symbian, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Good day everyone! My name is Demitrius Harris and I am a fan of all things true. I currently hold a position in the IT Department at a college and I teach various classes when the opportunity presents itself. In the past, I was a Special Education Teacher and a Technology Education teacher at an elementary school and have held titles in the Financial industry. What does that mean for you, our dear readers? It means that I love to write and communicate as accurately as possible! It is my hope, that I will always be able to provide factual information concerning all things related to Nokia (even when the Nokia brand isn't printed) and anything else in the scope of technology that fits within the purpose of MyNokiaBlog. I humbly thank you all for reading my posts (and the MNB Team) that sometimes contain THOUSANDS of words. You all are the best and most respectful blog supporters in the world! Thank you for choosing! Sincerely, Demitrius Harris. Favorite phone of all time: Nokia N82 - Black
  • dss

    The 808 shouldn’t even be compared to other smartphones, its just not fair to them.

    This reminds of what Nokia used to do with Symbian at times..

  • Junnior_Reis

    Nokia 808 PureView PRO (__ABYSS__) All The Other Phones With Camera !!!

  • Grendell

    Im cuirious how the iphone5 would have fared in that test. Not that Im a big fan, but just to round out the pack. Anyhow, I’m hoping Steve can do an N82, HTC One and L720 comparo. There’s a big price disparity but sample images so far are not too far apart quality wise.

    • dss

      The One stands no chance against the 808.. it might get close to the N8 in certain conditions, but overall.. the cam pack on the N8 is more complete.

      It will probably be on par with the 920 ..

      As far as the iPhone 5.. it does very well when the sun is out, but as soon as the conditions are less then perfect, it goes to noise frenzy mode, just like all the other 1/3″ BSI sensor phones. The flash on in is pretty much useless.. it works okay as a torch tho, after you download the app for it.

      • Grendell

        Agreed vs. the 808. Based on the downsized photos on another site, its close with the L920 but without a link to the original images it is hard to judge.

        As for the iphone, I too agree. I just wanted it in the comparo so that their fans know why they need Instagram (haha) and why Nokia fans don’t.

      • Keith too

        I saw a HTC One/Lumia 920 camera shootout on Gizmodo and the 920 trounced it.

    • Deaconclgi

      I am considering buying a used N82 after I get my 808. The N82 can be had for as little as $120. That is a great camera for a great price. I’d load up my NGage 2.0 games that I purchased and backed up and Quake III: Arena and party like it’s 2007!!!

      Incase you missed it, here is an article about why I loved my N82 and why it is my favorite smartphone of all time.

      Those same reasons are why I will probably buy another one.

      • MOOking

        AWWWWWW YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA and i can do that on the N900 as well QUAKE 3 FTW

        • Deaconclgi

          Yes, Quake 3 FTW indeed!!!!

    • Dave

      The iPhone5 and 4S are pretty much the same camera.

      dss is right, its quite good in sunlight. But as soon as the light drops, noise is the order of the day.

      When I first got the 4S I did compare it to my 808. Since then I’ve only ever used it for taking pictures of the screen on the concept 2 after a row.

  • yemko

    Comparing One to 808 sounds Rude! well nice to see my n8 been honoured

  • Sonny

    Can someone tell me till when does Nokia have a partnership with Carl Zeiss?

    • dss

      Its a solid partnership.. I would imagine that it won’t end anytime soon. Nokia also has some kind of exclusivity.. like for example CZ can’t sell the lens from the 808 to any other OEM. I assume Nokia holds some sort of a joint patent on it, just like the Toshiba sensors in the N8 and the 808.. you will never see those in another phone but Nokia.

      • Sonny

        I’m just curious cause I saw someone comment at phonearena that Nokia has exclusivity with CZ but not for long.

        • KeiZka

          Random comment should be held at low value. Absolutely insignificant unless proven otherwise.

  • OhOhMario

    Comparing non-Carl Zeiss camera phones to THE 808 (or N8) is immoral. All hail Nokia 808 PureView! The camera alone is worth the price, and as a bonus, you also get a capable smartphone with apps to show the world your shots( Flickr, Tumblr, Gravity, Tweetian, FourSquare, except for IG)

    • dss

      Well.. the lens on the iPhone 5 is very, very sharp.. probably sharper than all but one CZ smartphone lens, and that is the one on the 808.

      It is indeed very narrow compared to the 920/n8/920/720, which helps a bunch, but still.. its a sharp lens, even towards the corners, which is kind of weak point on the 920/N8.

      What they did with the one the 808 is a real breakthrough. To as wide as it is, and to resolve that kind of detail from end to end .. its brilliant:

  • stylinred

    I was actually predicting a complete draw even a loss for the N8 I am pleasantly surprised and thrilled by the result 😀 thanks for this

    that’s the one thing i never understood about Nokia, you have a great sensor great optics why not keep ordering them as the price falls and stick them in your future models, mid-tier models etc etc; granted there may be issues of fitment but certainly that wouldn’t be an issue for all future devices

    just boggles the mind…. imagine the lumia 710 800 or 900 with the N8s camera and ASHA devices with the N95/86’s camera

    • incognito

      Prices for good optics and sensors don’t fall as much as one might think. It’s not the same as with general purpose semiconductors. Just the sensor and optics of the N8 probably cost more than the whole of Asha’s internals.

      • stylinred

        yeah thats why i chose the n95/86 for the ashas 😀

  • incognito

    Never mind the N8 vs Xperia Z comparison – while still amazing what that little wonder from 2010 does to the latest flagships, we’re used to it and the gap is not as big as it used to be – the takeaway from these articles is how mindbogglingly better is the 808PV compared to the rest. A league of its own which probably won’t be properly challenged for many years to come.

    A shame Nokia didn’t promote it better and used it only to kick-off the PureView ‘brand’ so it could serve as a crutch for the ill-conceived Lumia line. With a proper marketing they could probably sell more of those wonders than all of the Lumia flagships combined, despite the EOLed Symbian.

    • Keith too

      “ill-conceived Lumia line”

      Ha ha, good thing you’re not the CEO of Nokia.

      • incognito

        I agree, I’d make a poor CEO choice… The bad thing is that Elop is not any better.

    • dss

      The gap between the 808 and the rest of the competition is much bigger than the one the N8 had at launch. And lets not forget that the 808 has been on sale for almost 10 months now, and there is not even a indication that anything can come even close to it.

      Nokia are the only ones that can improve on it, but I don’t expect another leap of this magnitude anytime soon. I am really interested in how they will integrate the system into the Lumia line, if dss is right, the EOS device should be better than the 808.

      For me that would mean better Xenon/LED combo, improved DR, 4k video recording, pic capture during video, better optics, better jpeg processing, and ultimately better image quality. Even if there are slight improvements, I would consider it a pretty significant step.. considering how good the 808 is.

      • AreOut

        that will not happen in next 3-4 years, unless they make dedicated camera

  • DesR85

    I still cannot fathom why Sony’s camera experience yo-yos between their phones despite their extensive experience in this department. Their C905 is good, and so is the Xperia S, but their later flagship Xperia phones (and their phones in between the former two) employ a lot of noise reduction, including the Z.

    Aside from that, good to see the 808 and the 920 still going strong.

  • I would say n8 is best.

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