AAS: In depth comparison between Nokia N8 and Nokia Lumia 1020! (+Colour Balance in Creative Studio)

| September 26, 2013 | 10 Replies

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 18.53.56

We’ve seen a quick comparison before between the Nokia N8 and Nokia Lumia 1020.

This time it’s Steve Litchfield’s turn to show us how the long running champion of camera phones (till the 808) fares against the 1020.

I have not yet taken the 1020 on a night out (cue this Friday!) for low light xenon shots but Steve’s comparisons against the N8 seems to put the 1020 ahead. I think, so far, white balance is a bit of an issue. Ali recommended using the auto-fix feature in WP which does help. I’ve found Creative Studio and whacking the colours more to the left in the colour balance option makes the colours look more towards how the N8/808 would capture it (vs the slightly yellow tint).

There are times when the colours do look better on the 1020 and Steve points this out too (e.g. leaves) and oddly the xenon picture has the 1020 being slightly more accurate apparently.

The higher resolution and bigger sensor in the 1020 means it’s getting in a lot more effective detail.

The scores are very close! 65 to the N8 and 67 to the 1020. More of a testament really to the greatness Nokia achieved in the N8 as the 1020 is so widely praised (not just in the tech blogosphere by phone/gadget fans but photo enthusiasts like DPReview!)

As usual, it’s interesting to tot up the scores: Nokia N8: 65, Nokia Lumia 1020: 67.

So a win for the much newer device, though by a comparatively small margin. Don’t take the scores too seriously though, since any result here will depend hugely on the choice of subjects and how often (or rarely) I allowed PureView zoom at capture time. I picked the subjects almost at random but tried to include as wide a variety as possible.

The takeaway here is the answer to the question that most Nokia N8 owners have been asking (at least, those who didn’t already upgrade to the 808 PureView): “My phone is getting old and battered but I want something with a camera that’s as good and yet which is much more modern in terms of OS and ecosystem. Should I be considering the Lumia 1020?”

The answer is a definite ‘yes’ from me. The narrow victory here doesn’t reflect a number of extra camera-related factors which N8 owners will want to also take into account:

  • Nokia Pro Camera has more settings to fiddle with and a far more intuitive UI.
  • Optical Image Stabilisation helps keep the phone still during capture.
  • Terrific OIS-smoothed 1080p video capture.

Provided you’re not addicted to Symbian (in which case run, don’t walk for one of the remaining 808s!), you can also then add in the ever-expanding Windows Phone ecosystem, a far faster device overall, and a feature set which includes almost everything that N8 owners will have been used to.

Asking me to pick between an 808 and a Lumia 1020 is a very tough call. However, much as I love the venerable old N8, I’d pick the Lumia 1020 in a heartbeat.

Creative Studio: Colour Balance sliding to the left.

WP_20130923_21_59_14_Pro WP_20130923_21_59_14_Pro20130923230258

The autofix version looks like this. Note, saving it overwrites the original. A little bit more range – the water fountain is more visible. You could always then change the colour balance again.


It doesn’t always cast a yellow tint when xenon is fired. E.g. if there’s some room lighting already, or a bit of cloudy light, the colours (well for skin tones/woods) with xenon fired seem to have less of that yellow tinge. I do have to test this out more though. Things that are already yellow/white/blue/red look wonderfully vibrant though and that splash of xenon makes every detail so, so sharp!

Ideally, we wouldn’t have to adjust any colour balance at all. It would be nice, if in future updates to ProCam that this colour ‘issue’ gets ‘fixed’ or we get some options to change white balance/saturation/vibrancy.

[Non flash colours so far I’ve found don’t really need fixing. But again, I need to play with the 1020 a lot more)


Category: Lumia, Nokia, Symbian

About the Author ()

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]