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TEST: Is the Nokia 808 PureView’s digicam any good in 2021?

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Introduction

We just lately took a brief nostalgia journey with the Nokia 808 PureView after we stumbled upon a nonetheless totally purposeful unit nearly accidentally (not likely, we particularly went out on the lookout for one). We lined it in a video, going over a few of the firsts and bests it did in 2012 – right here it’s, should you missed it.

Having the telephone in our palms, and effectively conscious of the status it has within the feedback part of most photography-centric smartphone opinions right here, we figured a quick shootout was so as – consider it as ‘The 808 PureView versus The 12 months 2021 Cameraphones’.

Since we will not do a comparability between the Nokia and each smartphone that is come out up to now 6 months (for comprehensible causes), we have picked a mannequin to signify the state-of-the-art and it is solely pure for that to be our present Editors’ alternative for greatest cameraphone, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely.

Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

The Xiaomi is very appropriate for this head-to-head as a result of it is the mannequin that dethrones the 808 Pureview because the smartphone with the biggest digicam sensor (we might somewhat not rely the Panasonic Lumix CM1 with its 1.0″ sensor, as a result of we see it as extra of a digicam with some telephone performance than the opposite means round).

For a fast reminder, the Nokia has a 41MP 1/1.2-inch sensor with 1.4µm pixels and a traditional Bayer shade filter array (versus the reigning Quad Bayer designs). It was a multi-aspect sensor – that means that it makes use of completely different parts of the imager for the completely different facet ratios with absolutely the corners remaining exterior of the picture circle projected by the lens and unused. The lens has an f/2.4 aperture and a area of view that matches that of a Galaxy S21, so a focal size equal round 26mm. It lacks OIS, although.

The 808 PureView makes use of pixel binning to output 8MP or 5MP ensuing photos, and it did that lengthy earlier than it grew to become the default means of capturing images on smartphones some 7 or 8 years later. Naturally, a full-resolution choice can also be supplied, even when it’s a must to work your means by the menus to get there. Zooming in can also be a part of the package deal, although technically it is simply cropping the middle portion of the sensor.

Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

The Mi 11 Extremely, alternatively, is supplied with a 50MP 1/1.12-inch sensor on its major digicam, once more with 1.4µm photosites. The lens in entrance if it has a 24mm focal size equal and an aperture of f/1.95.

This sensor does use a Quad Bayer filter array and outputs 4-to-1 binned photos at round 12.5MP. But it surely additionally does a exceptional job of short-range zooming in by cropping the middle portion and demosaicking it in another way for the duty. The once more, the Mi does even have a spectacular 5x telephoto. And a equally spectacular ultrawide digicam. The Nokia has neither. However that is not what we’re right here for.

Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

We’re right here to check the big-sensor digicam of the 2012 Nokia 808 PureView towards the even-bigger-sensor primary digicam of 2021 Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely. We shot the Nokia in Inventive mode to have the ability to entry the 8MP 4:3 decision and facet, in addition to the full-res 38MP setting. The Xiaomi we saved in Picture mode for the 12.5MP photos (at each 1x and 2x zoom), switching to 50MP for full decision samples.

Daylight picture high quality

In broad daylight, the Nokia 808 PureView captures okay 8MP photos, even 8+ years later. They do have good stage of element and it is rendered in a really natural means that almost all present-day telephones cannot handle. Even binned, these do have a high-quality grain to them – not disturbing noise, however a texture of grit the place there is no.

We’re discovering the PureView default publicity just a little too darkish with shadows and decrease midtones needing a lift. Dynamic vary is mostly good, although in significantly tough high-contrast scenes just like the iPhone mural, the 808 cannot fairly cope. Colour replica is correct, however restrained by way of saturation (that is within the default ‘Regular’ mode, ‘Vivid’ provides a bit extra life, but it surely’s not a dramatic distinction).


Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/250s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2567s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/207s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 49, 1/2384s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/242s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 49, 1/2805s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 80, 1/100s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/202s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

The Xiaomi counters with superior tonal growth at each extremes and extra enthusiastic shade rendition with out essentially poking your eyes out. And about that natural rendition of high-quality element, the Mi 11 Extremely is definitely a high-quality instance of issues accomplished proper, providing a measured method to sharpening that brings natural-looking twigs and grass shoots. Oh, and noise just isn’t a factor on the Mi.


Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/168s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2932s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/219s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2456s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/146s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 49, 1/1827s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/160s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/4705s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Daylight samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

The Xiaomi maintains some benefits within the high-resolution mode. For instance, the 808’s photos get noisier right here, whereas the Extremely’s actually do not. That mentioned, the 2 telephones are about on par relating to pixel-level element.

That could possibly be defined by the Nokia sensor’s common Bayer shade filter array which permits it to seize finer data than the Quad Bayer design of the Xiaomi, to which it replies with a handful extra pixels and a decade of R&D finally night issues out. We’re nonetheless in favor of the Mi’s publicity and tonal curve practices.


Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/247s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2419s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/209s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2026s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/242s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2456s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/223s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2182s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/145s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/1464s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.4, ISO 80, 1/100s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/1263s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Daylight samples, full decision (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

The Nokia maxes out at round 2.5x zoom (60-ish mm equal) when in 8MP mode and we figured we might examine that towards the 2x mode on the Xiaomi although it is shorter at just below 50mm equal, just because it is easy to entry from the viewfinder. Plus, because of the distinction in decision, the themes have about the identical dimension within the body at these zoom ranges.


Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/294s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2764s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/297s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/2847s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/167s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/1967s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/165s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/1722s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Daylight samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

The Xiaomi barely has an edge right here intimately, although at first look it does seem like notably sharper – whereas the Nokia’s photos are hazier, we will not level to a element that the Mi resolves and the 808 does not. The Mi’s pictures do have higher definition and micro-contrast. General, the Nokia does a great job of zooming in, and so does the Mi 11 Extremely with its primary digicam, even with out resorting to its precise telephoto.

Low-light picture high quality

In low mild, the Nokia can barely put up a struggle. It struggles to show anyplace close to brightly sufficient in darkish scenes, whereas better-lit facades can have giant areas of blown out highlights round mild sources. Desaturation can also be prevalent.


Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 688, 1/13s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 802, 1/6s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 801, 1/4s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 804, 1/6s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Low-light samples, binned (8MP/12.5MP): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

The Xiaomi, alternatively, delivers wonderful dynamic vary even in tough scenes and manages to show for a lot darker scenes too, extracting element the place the Nokia captures simply pure black. Colour replica can also be higher, with no lack of saturation to talk of.

As a sidenote unrelated to the comparability right here, however very a lot associated to the Mi’s shade science, we’re seeing a notable enchancment in the way in which the Mi 11 Extremely treats heat mild sources and there is no signal of the robust orange solid that we noticed at evaluation time.

Thoughts you, on the Nokia we skilled vital flare from level mild sources which could possibly be because of our unit’s age and the situation of its lenses, although we could not spot scratches on the instantly seen lens parts or cowl glass.

Not that we might usually shoot in full-res mode at night time, however we took a few samples at 38MP/50MP for the sake of this comparability. Whereas the Xiaomi’s processing cannot fairly do its factor at this decision by way of dynamic vary, it is nonetheless means forward of the Nokia. The Extremely’s images are additionally sharper, higher detailed, and lots cleaner.


Low-light samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 640, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 244, 1/13s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 500, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, full resolution (38MP/50MP): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 264, 1/7s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Low-light samples, full decision (38MP/50MP): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

Zooming in, issues are lots like in full-resolution mode – the Xiaomi leads in just about all areas together with dynamic vary, element and noise efficiency.


Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 500, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 1673, 1/50s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 3190, 1/17s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra


Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/8s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 1579, 1/25s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView - f/2.4, ISO 400, 1/12s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - f/2.0, ISO 940, 1/50s - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Low-light samples, zoom (2.5x-ish/2x): Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

Video high quality

With regards to video recording, the Nokia is underequipped to correctly compete with the Mi 11 Extremely. The PureView tops out at 1080p/30fps seize, whereas the Xiaomi can go all the way in which to 8K/24fps, although 4K at 30fps is a way more life like taking pictures mode and that is what we used for this head-to-head. We in contrast the 2 telephones each in daylight and at night time.

There’s solely a lot element that the Nokia can seize in its 1080p decision and it is nowhere close to the extent of high-quality textures that the Xiaomi information. That mentioned, as 1080p clips go, the Nokia’s are moderately effectively detailed, even by immediately’s requirements.

The Nokia’s dynamic vary is equally not a match for what the Xiaomi can extract out of the scene leaving highlights on the brightly lit facades clipped to white, whereas the Mi 11 extremely has managed to retain element there. The Nokia’s shade rendition is considerably lifeless subsequent to the punchier and extra likeable Xiaomi footage.


Daylight video sample frame grabs: Nokia 808 PureView - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Daylight video sample frame grabs: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Daylight video pattern body grabs: Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

In low mild, the Nokia cannot expose anyplace close to brightly sufficient and captures primarily a black body with the occasional automotive headlights exhibiting up. Thoughts you, it wasn’t but fully darkish on the time of taking pictures these samples, because the navy skies within the Xiaomi clip present.

Right here a few body grabs from the above movies for faster comparability, adopted by the 1:1 crops for an much more fast illustration of the variations.


Low-light video sample frame grabs: Nokia 808 PureView - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Low-light video sample frame grabs: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra - Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Low-light video pattern body grabs: Nokia 808 PureView • Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely

Closing phrases

We nearly thought we might simply dump the photographs and movies and go away them with none commentary, but it surely’s most likely price saying a number of phrases about how issues have progressed over time. Whereas we do assume it is apparent, we might nonetheless prefer to have in writing that the Xiaomi takes palms down the superior images and movies.

Nokia 808 PureView vs. Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

That is true in our minds for the daylight nonetheless pictures, although we are able to think about there’d be those who insist that the 808 takes photographically pure-er photos, whereas the trendy methods of the Xiaomi could also be too… expressive by way of shade, publicity, distinction, or whatnot. As for daylight video, the Nokia’s 1080p seize is okay, it is simply that 1080p is not sufficient.

Transferring into the night time, it is past a shadow of a doubt that the 8+ years that cut up the 2 telephones have introduced huge enhancements in low-light pictures and video recording – each on a {hardware} stage and by way of software program and processing. In the end, we might desire a modern-day cameraphone over a decade-old one. Although we have now acquired to provide to the outdated canine for maintaining with the teenager so effectively. Nokia was actually forward of its time with the 808 PureView digicam.

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