Samsung Galaxy Camera & Nokia 808 PureView – Both are the first of their kind – Which is better?


There has been a lot of talk after Nokia’s pioneer imaging technology came to life in Nokia 808 PureView. Most of them really praised the technology and the imaging quality of Nokia 808 PureView standing it on a top place of all camera phones and even comparable to most of the best point & shoot digital cameras. While it’s been quite a few months and now Android on the other hand took a different route towards the digital photography by completely replacing the software in dedicated/digital/compact point & shoot cameras. First Nikon introduced the very first Android powered 16MP camera S800c and a few weeks later Samsung came up with also a 16MP Galaxy Camera powered up with Android.

It was really good to know that Android now was doing things like Java in the sense that a platform is doing its job everywhere. At the same time I had my reservations about the fact thinking that Java was mature enough to do a lot of things in various kind products for years. And Symbian on the other hand (also in my opinion) was optimized enough to work with an affordable hardware for image processing that let the possibility came into real life of Nokia 808 PureView. But Android, sorry to say that, has spent only a couple of years with operating mobile phones in a smart way. Most of the time an upgraded version of the platform came and the hardware for it required to be of higher performance but the platform itself is not as optimized according to its processor (also a mostly discussed topic).

Now coming back to point. When Nokia 808 PureView was launched, there was a big talk about “megapixels war is over” most specifically amongst the haters but Nokia actually did its best to make this concept false as more megapixels could be used in a far better way.

Today, UnleashThePhones(UTP), published the photos taken with Nokia 808 PureView and Samsung Galaxy Camera. But they have just been taken and published. Digging into the details of each photo, delivers the truth of Nokia 808 PureView’s superior imaging quality. I have reviewed the photos on flickr and chose a few (originals) to provide below – You can find all of them on the source link after the post.

Update: If you have an argument like why should the both be compared when one is a dedicated compact camera and the other one is a smartphone camera. Of course that is a valid question. But there are two reasons for the answer. 1st, Nokia 808 PureView has already been compared with digital cameras for what it delivers hence is fine to compare with Samsung Galaxy Camera. 2nd, Samsung itself has said (don’t know why should it has) that Its “Galaxy Camera easily outperforms any smartphone camera.” in their Press Release. So we really need to find out how does it practically.

Following are the 100% crops of samples from both devices. The Galaxy Camera’s samples were downscaled to match the resolution of samples from Nokia 808 PureView. However the originals from Galaxy Camera are not of full 16MP but of 12MP (default resolution, may be?). You are advised to click the image to view the correct 100% crop sizes. Following are downsized previews.

Test – 1

I can see the difference clearly. Can you? Let me explain. UTP has mentioned that the cameras were set at the Automatic mode so also take in mind that which device worked well when in auto mode.

Nokia 808 PureView (Left) – Samsung Galaxy Camera (Right)

In first two tests (Test 1 above and Test 2 below), the digital noise in the Galaxy Camera’s sample is obvious as well as other JPEG artifacts like the jagged edges due to over sharpening. Also note that downscaling the Galaxy Camera’s samples has even made them better than at its full resolution. Android again has shown its over sharpening behaviour in this camera as expected.

Second! When photographs talk, they talk with the depth of field. And there is almost no depth of field noticeable in any of the photos taken with Samsung Galaxy Camera making the images flat with full focus everywhere. (Test 1 above and Test 2 below)

Test – 2

In Test 1 above, Nokia 808 PureView did quite well focusing the face of lady while blurring the nearer objects and it also did the same (oppositely) in Test 2 below focusing the object on front and blurring the background. But it looks like the Nokia 808 PureView didn’t focus the letters well on the front making them a little bit soft on the edges. But they still look cleaner than the ones from Galaxy Camera.

Nokia 808 PureView (Left) – Samsung Galaxy Camera (Right)

Test – 3

Following are the good examples to see the dynamic range which is a bit poor in Test 3 below and a lot poor in Test 4 afterwards in Samsung’s Galaxy Camera samples on the right. The digital noise is also present in Galaxy Camera’s samples.

Nokia 808 PureView (Left) – Samsung Galaxy Camera (Right)

Test – 4

On the left side, Nokia 808 PureView again produced appealing photograph while the image at right from Samsung Galaxy Camera is just not worth commenting. Possibly and unfortunately the hand-shake is visible in the sample from Galaxy Camera but leaving that apart the colours are just not natural as well as the dynamic range is not appreciable.

Nokia 808 PureView (Left) – Samsung Galaxy Camera (Right)

It should be noted that Samsung Galaxy Camera has the optical zoom of up to 21x (that is 480mm equivalent, super zoom) and Nokia 808 PureView doesn’t have optical zoom. Instead it used the larger sensor for better digital zooming. But I don’t believe Samsung Galaxy Camera with its pre-production stage could have used 21x zoom with better closer images if sensor is not producing a quality image at all.

I always preferred my own camera test content but this is my first blog post where I took the content from another website to comment on, as Samsung has not published the sample shots taken by Galaxy Camera as it’s still under pre-production. I believe, at whatever stage the camera is, Samsung should have brought the sample images on the launch. I must say here that I am very much eager to try the both devices my self with all the stuff they could do with their respective capabilities.

Leaving the camera part aside, what we have else is of course superior on the Android side. From taking the picture to sharing it must be lot better and even the social networks availability is more on Android e.g. the popular Instagram. You don’t have an option for Instagram on Symbian. I should not speak about the User Interface on Samsung Galaxy Camera as I haven’t used it what I can tell is that the software on the Galaxy Camera is said to be not finished yet for production and may have a lot of improvements in the final product. A final product must be better than the above, otherwise it could struggle to see a welcoming note from photography enthusiasts if they are not Android fans.

Before leaving, have some more sugar with another set of Galaxy Camera’s photo samples from GottaBeMobile. And they look pretty much bad. See yourself and also read the article.

With all those phone capabilities and the stuff it does along with the sample pictures above, Nokia 808 PureView is taking the green chit according to our opinion. What do you think? do tell us below.

[source and photographs credits UnleashThePhones]

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Khurram Ali
Load More In Android