Nokia surprised the mobile phone industry (and probably the world as well) when it announced the 808 PureView. Sporting a whopping 41-megapixel sensor, we explained in a previous article what's to be expected from a smartphone camera that has more megapixels than a digital compact camera. But theory aside, just what sort of image quality do we expect from the 808 PureView?
And since we were at it, we felt it would be interesting to see how images from the 808 PureView’s 41-megapixel sensor stack-up against the 36.3-megapixel images from the Nikon D800. We are aware it’s comparing apples to oranges; after all, we do know it's unfair to compare a top tier DSLR camera to a smartphone camera. But blame it on our curiosity. Do take note this isn't an image quality comparison between the Nokia 808 PureView and Nikon D800, but rather a look into how image sensor size is probably the biggest factor in image quality instead of raw megapixel count.
|Nokia 808 PureView||Nikon D800 with 24-120mm Lens|
|Sensor||1/1.2-inch sensor with Nokia Pureview Pro imaging technology and Carl Zeiss optics||35.9 x 24.0mm CMOS sensor (Nikon FX format)|
|Total Resolution||41 megapixels||36.8 megapixels|
|Effective Resolution||36 megapixels (4:3)||36.3 megapixels|
|Focal Length||26mm (16:9), 28mm (4:3) [36mm equivalent]||24-120mm|
|Light Sensitivity||ISO 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600||ISO 100 to 6400 (expandable to ISO 50 to ISO 25600)|
So how does the 808 PureView fare when shooting indoors? Thankfully it allows for adjustment of ISO values, and surprisingly it does a decent job of shooting in low light. In fact, if the indoor lighting is passable, you might even get away with shooting at ISO100, and thus have cleaner images. Though this means the camera will shoot at its widest aperture, so be prepared for a shallower depth-of-field.
Once we were done with the 808 PureView indoors, it was time to bring it out, especially when it was bright and sunny outside. Shooting in Auto mode, the 808 PureView will allow the camera to determine the best settings, so we opted to go with the "Creative" mode which allows for more manual controls. Unfortunately, the 808 PureView suffers from a problem common to most digital cameras offering manual controls, and that is images are underexposed under bright sunlight as it's very tricky to get metering correct. One way to work around this is to use the exposure compensation, which is also found on the 808 PureView.