In another fun experiment to see how far we have come, this time I decided to take the Nokia 808 PureView with me alongside my trusty Nokia 8.3 on a road trip to Fossil Rock Sharjah, in order to find out if the Nokia 808, which was released almost a decade ago, can hold up against the newly released Nokia 8.3 5G.
To quickly recap the specs, the Nokia 808 PureView was the first PureView branded smartphone from Nokia mobile, released back in 2012. It had a spectacular party trick on its back, a massive 41 Megapixel 1/1.2″ sensor with oversampling technology, xenon flash, ND filter, and an aperture of f/2.4. The icing on the cake were the Carl Zeiss optics, and the 808 was also equipped with 3 microphones for “rich audio recording”. Spectacular stuff for its time, and despite what Samsung might try and sell you, still considered the largest camera sensor to be ever put on a smartphone.
What I also loved about the 808 personally is that it offered a lot of granular control over the tone, sharpness, and color of the image thanks to its clever creative mode built into the camera, which could also be customized to save presets that you would want to use. The output of the camera was either 3mp, 5mp, or 8-megapixel images, with me choosing the latter for this comparison since the 8.3’s images are 16-megapixel images in resolution. The images of the Nokia 8.3 are captured with its 64-megapixel main sensor. So let’s see how they compare:
My first impression when I was out there taking pictures is that the 8.3’s images looked so much better. I was really struggling with the 808 thanks to its outdated autofocus system, lack of HDR, and finicky white balance.
The 8.3 did exactly what I expected it to do with such ease, producing good looking images with excellent dynamic range and good color reproduction.
After transferring the files to my large PC monitor, my opinion almost completely changed regarding the 808’s images. The levels of detail captured in the images when all the stars aligned was simply mind-blowing.
The 808’s images not only capture insane levels of details, but the processing is so natural and easy on the eyes as well, I doubt there is a phone out there right now capable of beating it when it comes to processing and details.
The convenience though of using the Nokia 8.3 to capture great images on the go means that it won’t be replaced by the 808 for most situations, but it really makes me wonder what could be achieved by shoving a similar 41-megapixel sensor with modern HDR, modern processing power, and modern image processing.
There you have it, folks. We might have come a long way when it comes to trying to get excellent images out of small camera sensors in order to get thinner smartphones thanks to very intelligent processing, but there is still absolutely no replacement for displacement… I mean camera sensor size. I would die for a modern interpretation of the 808. Much more interesting to me than a modern take on the N95 in case someone is listening 😉
p.s if you decide to go hiking like me, make sure you’re at the right spot. After climbing what seemed to be death mountain to get to the perfect spot to capture fossil rock, it turns out we were climbing the wrong mountain. Had to drive as close as possible to the rock to take the final images!