Nokia Lumia 1020 vs Sony Xperia Z1: Oversampling Fight!

| October 1, 2013 | 37 Replies


Dear MNB Readers!

Our good friend Steve Litchfield has continued his tradition of great camera comparisons, this time, the two contenders are the Nokia Lumia 1020 with its 41 Megapixel camera and the Sony Xperia Z1 with its 20 Megapixel camera. A wise man once said, “It is not about the megapixels, it is how you use them.”

Both devices, the 1020 and Z1, use their own form of oversampling. Steve quickly details the idea behind oversampling in his article:

The core idea behind Nokia’s use of a crazily high-resolution sensor (41 megapixels) in the 808 and, more relevantly here, the Lumia 1020, was to allow for ‘computational photography’. Firstly, this involves taking large amounts of raw data and using it intelligently to produce higher quality data in smaller quantities, e.g. 5MP images with relatively low amounts of noise. Secondly, using the high native resolution to allow for zooming and re-framing without having to ‘interpolate’ (i.e. making up detail that’s not really there). And now the same idea has been copied by Sony for the Xperia Z1. So how does the Z1 fare in a ten-scene camera shootout against Nokia’s second generation PureView tech in the 1020?



Steve has years of experience doing camera comparisons and here are his test notes:

On with the tests, though. Some notes:

  • The output resolutions of the two phone cameras are different (5MP versus 8MP), plus they have different fields of view, so it’s not possible to match the shots/crops exactly (or do one of our famous interactive comparators).
  • All settings were on auto, except where noted below.
  • The Z1 was on the August 8th OS kernel, with firmware build – my initial tests with it showed a marked difference between ‘auto’ mode results and ‘manual’, but after a round of app updates and a reboot the phone settled down and there were marginal differences between the two modes. Sony is expected to tweak ‘auto’ mode in an upcoming firmware update, but the modes can be discounted for these tests. In the one or two cases where the ‘auto’ photo looked worse, I switched in the ‘manual’ one instead. I initially planned to show both here, but they were in most cases so similar that casual readers wouldn’t be able to spot differences and would have got confused.
  • On the Lumia 1020, I used Nokia Pro Camera to take the shots, for maximum oversampling benefit. Note that, as per my recent exclusive editorial, I only used the initial 5MP photos, so that quality wasn’t lost, i.e. there was no ‘reframing’ at any stage.
  • In each case, I’ve included the original JPG files, in case you want to take the time to download them and examine them for yourself.
  • Just for fun, I’ve scored the results as I’ve gone along. Ten test scenes, ten points available for each. See the verdict at the end for a final summation.

I have always been one to want to see technology improve for all, regardless of the manufacturer or any biases. It is great to see other companies put more effort into their cameras because at the end of the day, it is a win for consumers as we have more choices and less sacrifices in the quality and features that we need and want. I look forward to the next few years in the mobile industry as OEMs are going to have to work harder for our money, the 3 main OSes are becoming similar from an app perspective, not number of apps but app A, app B, app C may be on all 3 OSes, and this will lead to innovations in other areas.


Without further delay, please head on over to AllAboutWindowsPhone for the full article and comparison photos and to see the results of another great camera shootout. If you’d like, come back and leave us a comment or two about the results, your thoughts on oversampling, sharpness, camera humps, crop zoom, saturation or anything else that comes to mind concerning this topic. What camera phone are you using currently and what do you think about the competition such as the iPhone 5S, the Moto X with the latest camera software update and what about a HTC One refresh with a higher MP camera? The things that make you go hmmmmmmmm…..
As always, thank you for choosing MyNokiaBlog and have a wonderful day!


Source: AAWP

All images and AAWP content is Copyright (©) All About Windows Phone 2011-2012


Category: Nokia

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