We kicked off a Flashback sequence on our YouTube channel simply final week, with the primary video starring the Nokia 808 PureView. It’s a smartphone with a cult following because of what was a groundbreaking digital camera on the time. That video prompted a more in-depth take a look at the PureView digital camera, which we did in a head-to-head with the present picture high quality benchmark, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely.
One factor led to a different and right here we’re with yet one more famed opponent for the Xiaomi – a Nokia Lumia 1020. A non secular successor to the 808, the 1020 builds on the PureView idea however drops it from the official mannequin title in favor of the then newly adopted Lumia branding introduced by Microsoft’s acquision of the Nokia smartphone enterprise. PureView stays etched on the again of the 1020, alongside the Zeiss emblem which marks the continued collaboration with the German optics specialists.
It says 41MP on the sizeable digital camera bulge of the Lumia 1020, so similar nominal decision as on the 808 PureView. As soon as once more, it is a kind of multi-aspect sensors the place you possibly can’t truly get all of the 41 million pixels as a result of the intense corners fall outdoors of the picture circle projected by the lens. Nonetheless, it might probably seize 38MP 4:3 photographs or 34MP 16:9 ones, very similar to the 808.
However similar this sensor is not. It is a smaller unit at 1/1.5″ vs. the outdated mannequin’s 1/1.2″ sort and pixel measurement has shrunk accordingly – from the 1.4µm of the unique PureView to 1.12µm on the 1020. On a constructive be aware although, the 26mm-equivalent lens now has a barely brighter aperture (f/2.2 vs. f/2.4) and, extra importantly, it options OIS.
The Mi 11 Extremely, in case you’ve got forgotten, is provided with a 50MP 1/1.12-inch sensor on its main digital camera, the most important on a smartphone. It does have 1.4µm pixels – similar measurement as on the 808, and notably bigger than the 1020’s. To reiterate, the Mi’s sensor has a Quad Bayer design (with 4 adjoining pixels grouped beneath the identical Purple, Inexperienced, or Blue filter) whereas the Lumia is utilizing a traditional Bayer array. The Xiaomi has a stabilized lens too, with a wider 24mm-equivalent focal size and an f/1.95 aperture.
The Nokia is a bit restricted by way of decision settings and allows you to select between three modes – 5MP JPEG solely, 5MP JPEG + 38MP JPEG, or 5MP JPEG + 38MP DNG RAW recordsdata (38MP adjustments to 34MP should you want the 16:9 facet). Mainly, in order for you fairly sized JPEGs, you have to make them your self. We did that in two other ways – one was by beginning with the out-of-camera 38MP JPEGs and different by processing the RAW recordsdata, in each circumstances saving 12.5MP photographs to match the Xiaomi decision. We additionally processed RAW recordsdata out of the Xiaomi, as a result of why not.
One factor you can’t inform from trying on the images is simply how excruciatingly gradual the Lumia 1020 digital camera is to launch. When beginning it with the devoted shutter launch button with the telephone in standby, it takes a great 4-5 seconds for the viewfinder to look after the telephone vibrates that it is registered your lengthy press on the button (which itself takes a few second). The 808 is markedly sooner on the subject of launch time.
One other situation we skilled on the 1020 is the prevailing lack of ability to lock focus when zoomed in. Devoted efforts of tapping on the display to focus labored most of the time, however not for each scene, and never for each shot of the identical scene. It’s an eight-year-old unit, nevertheless, so we will attribute that to a protracted and storied life.
These are principally curious observations that aren’t essentially vital on the subject of the duty at hand, which is evaluating the picture high quality out of the 2 telephones. That’s, so long as we handle to get in-focus pictures out of each telephones, which we did.
Daylight picture high quality
Let’s begin out with a fundamental comparability – 5MP images out of the Lumia versus 12.5MP ones from the Xiaomi, or primarily the default output of each telephones. Not like our expertise with the Nokia 808, the Lumia 1020 exposes accurately – there was no underexposure to talk of. Dynamic vary is excellent – not Xiaomi-level good, with a bit extra clipped highlights right here or there, however definitely higher than on the 808.
One other change we’re seeing coming from older Nokia to the newer one is a rise in shade saturation – the Lumia 1020 approaches the extent of pop of the Mi 11 Extremely. The Xiaomi has a method of of warming up greenery that the Nokia does not exhibit, and we might seemingly concede that the Lumia’s rendition is extra true-to-life on this respect.
In relation to element, the hole between 5MP and 12.5MP is a big one and the Nokia cannot match the Mi’s resolving energy. Nonetheless, the distinction is not large on a per-pixel stage, thanks in no small half to the longer focal size of the Nokia. As 5MP photographs go, these are fairly stellar.
We explored the nominal resolutions as nicely. The Nokia has an edge each by way of amount and high quality of element. The common Bayer shade filter signifies that the Lumia can report extra intricate shade data, whereas the Quad Bayer Xiaomi must compensate for its coarser shade filter grid with heavier sharpening. Having stated that, the Nokia photographs have a prevailing throughout softness and may gain advantage from some sharpening in publish processing themselves to disclose the very best the telephone is able to.
We then proceeded to resize these 38MP JPEG photographs of the Lumia to match the default 12.5MP decision of the Xiaomi. Since sharpening is in our arms now, we utilized a liberal quantity. Underneath these circumstances, the Nokia data extra element within the ultimate picture than the 5MP mode, and we might say it is also a step forward of the Xiaomi.
Subsequent up, some RAW photographs out of the 2 telephones, processed to style and exported in 12.5MP once more. There’s little to set the 2 telephones aside by way of shade (seeing how they’re processed to the identical particular person’s style). Dynamic vary is a bit wider on the Xiaomi, however you do not need to be capturing RAW on a contemporary smartphone if dynamic vary is crucial factor – the picture stacking within the default Photograph mode will get higher outcomes anyway.
On a pixel stage, with the precise angle and sufficient time and deliberation to bump sliders left or proper, you may get very comparable outcomes. The Nokia will do higher with combating off moire because of the finer shade information it is captured within the first place. The Xiaomi, then again, has barely cleaner outcomes on the subject of noise, although if we had the persistence to additionally fiddle with these sliders on the Nokia, we may have in all probability achieved comparable outcomes.
It wasn’t a simple choice what precisely zoom stage we must be evaluating these at, however we finally settled on zooming in all the way in which on the Nokia and matching it on the Xiaomi. That will be a 3.1-3.3x zoom stage for the Mi, hardly favorable because it falls proper in between its 1x and 5x cameras. However then once more, it could be 5MP vs 12.5MP pictures, and the Xiaomi may also do composites from the primary and tele cameras, supplying you with tremendous sharp facilities in most scenes.
We might name this a simple win for the Xiaomi, significantly for heart of the body topics at distances far sufficient in order that the telephoto digital camera focus and take part for some composite motion.
Low-light picture high quality
In low gentle, the Lumia 1020 is a notable step up from the 808 and truly manages to reveal in comparatively darkish scenes. Dynamic vary stays restricted, with gentle sources and their rapid neighborhood getting blown out. Element is pretty good in areas of balanced lighting although shadows stay murky.
The Xiaomi, in distinction, delivers glorious publicity and extensive dynamic vary in all kinds of demanding scenes and can squeeze out gentle in darkish settings in addition to protect highlights from clipping to white.
Pictures processed from RAW recordsdata make for a considerably extra stage enjoying area. Exported at 12.5MP, the Nokia’s JPEGs have comparable element ranges in comparison with those out of the Mi. The Lumia photographs aren’t fairly as sharp and are noticeably noisier, although. On a constructive be aware they do cope with moire higher (the blinds within the window within the heart of the primary pattern).
The Xiaomi wins in dynamic vary, although it is not the identical large lead right here as in full Auto – it’s a must to let the auto picture stacking do its factor for the very best outcomes.
Zooming in to 3x, the Xiaomi does not fairly have the extensive dynamic vary we have come to count on but it surely nonetheless manages to retain a bonus in tonal improvement on the extremes. It additionally achieves superior sharpness and resolves extra element. The Nokia does do an admirable job for its age, nevertheless.
As was the case with the Nokia 808, the Lumia 1020 enters the video recording comparability as a predetermined loser – it maxes out at 1080p decision and just about the lousiest fashionable 4K seize will look higher than the very best 1080p by way of element, and the Xiaomi 4K is something however awful.
Certainly, we will learn automobile license plates within the Xiaomi 4K clips and might primarily depend leaves in timber, whereas the Lumia renders these extra as basic shapes. In actual fact, the 808 PureView’s 1080p video was extra detailed than the 1020’s. And whereas we did not have a lot love for the muted shade copy on the 808, the 1020’s oversaturated output with a robust heat solid does not look any higher.
Dynamic vary on the Lumia 1020 is about on par with the older Nokia, probably even barely narrower, that means nowhere pretty much as good as on the trendy telephone.
In low gentle, we’re seeing a considerably sudden improvement, in that the Lumia 1020 with its smaller sensor captures movies which can be a tiny step forward of the 808 PureView. The brand new telephone exposes brighter, lifting some midtones that have been clipped to black on the 808. It is not fairly shiny sufficient for us to name the outcomes from our check scene ‘usable’, and the flipside to the brighter publicity is a hike in noise, one thing that the 808 did not present in such a pronounced method.
Naturally, the Mi 11 Extremely captures vastly superior low-light movies. Right here, you possibly can see that it is not truly the midnight and the sky remains to be a darkish navy blue. You may see timber and the buildings within the distance and you may make out sidewalk tiles – the upper decision together with fashionable sensors and processing makes a world of distinction.
The one additional yr that Nokia had after the 808 PureView meant some significant upgrades within the digital camera efficiency for the Lumia 1020. We might say the discount in sensor measurement was efficiently countered by the introduction of OIS, extra highly effective chipset and optimized processing.
Extra surprisingly, nevertheless, the Lumia 1020 additionally prevailed over a modern-day beast of a cameraphone just like the Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely – admittedly, solely in some methods and in remoted situations, however nonetheless. The high-resolution common Bayer sensor of the Lumia permits it to seize finer element than the nominally higher-resolution however Quad Bayer imager of the Mi. That is in broad daylight and should you’re keen to place in some work in publish processing to extract that element.
In relation to low-light seize, or video recording in any gentle, or simply basic picturetaking the place you need to press a button and get a great-looking photograph, or velocity and ease of use, the Xiaomi reigns supreme, as anticipated. That stated, the Lumia 1020 was an excellent performer in 2013 and whereas undoubtedly outdated now, it might probably nonetheless present a factor or two to the present crop of cameraphones.