Nokia 7 Plus together with Nokia 8 Sirocco were the turning point in the camera development of Nokia branded phones made by HMD Global. It is funny how you cant say development without mentioning Elop. Finnish startup even made bigger progress by updating the Camera software and its processing algorithms. Those improvements came with Nokia X6 and are now a base for all the Nokia phones with ZEISS lenses. With Nokia 7.1, HMD further improved the low light shooting capabilities, but also all the rest. Nokia 7 Plus has rather impressive camera setup for the price. It’s main 12 MP camera has 1.4µm pixels, large f/1.75 aperture and ZEISS optics. On the other side, Nokia 7.1 has also pretty good camera. The main camera, which interests us the most here, also has 12 MP sensor with a bit smaller 1.28um pixels and slightly lower aperture of f1.8. To make the shots of Nokia 7.1 better, HMD invested a lot into the post-processing algorithms and the result can be seen in photos it produces. Actually, I’m impressed by the sharpness of its photos and low light capabilities. I got to say that Nokia 7 Plus does give more realistic photos. The colors are close to the real conditions and sometimes can make better low light shots in the closed rooms or areas. But, Nokia 7.1 can deliver in low light thanks to some powerful processing being done in the back. Those shots are indeed grainy, and you need to focus carefully to make them look sharp, but if you further play with settings, and use holder, results can be better. When shooting for this short test I didn’t want to use stabilizers or holders, just took the phones out of my pocket, made sure that lenses were clean and made the shots you can see below. I didn’t use flash for night shots to better test the capabilities of the sensors and different apertures.
Photos here are resized to save the server space, but you can check them in full resolution on our Flickr page and do the better comparison.
Nokia 7.1 can create wonderful and sharp photos, but post processing can be noticed here, especially in the colors. Photos taken by Nokia 7 Plus are more natural.
Both devices create good photos in the artificial light, and sometimes Nokia 7 Plus can give better result (butterfly) and sometimes Nokia 7.1 (Candy). I relied here on the automatic focus, but I would suggest you focus manually what can affect white balance and sharpness of the photo.
In really bad light conditions, algorithms present in the software running the camera of Nokia 7.1 can do wonders. Nokia 7 Plus does make sharper images probably because slightly larger pixels and aperture.
I would say that Nokia 7 Plus delivers better shots overall. The really strong post-processing used with Nokia 7.1 camera can impress you at first, especially if you are checking photos on its HDR10 capable screen which makes everything sharp and vivid. Story changes when you are checking them on your computer monitor. Then you can see that Nokia 7 Plus photos look sharper, more natural, with better color representation. Well, a bit larger aperture and pixels do make a difference. Further tweaking with Photoshop or some other program can make 7 Plus photos look even better, but that is something that won’t be concerning the everyday phonographer. Nokia 7.1 is able to create great photos, especially during the day, and low light shots can look good, especially if you have steady hands (something I don’t have). But, if you are searching for a phone you will be using to make all your photos, I would go for Nokia 7 Plus.
Please do check the photos on Flicker (click on them for full resolution). After you do that, come back and tell us what do you guys think?