We kicked off a Flashback collection on our YouTube channel simply final week, with the first video starring the Nokia 808 PureView. It is a smartphone with a cult following due to what was a groundbreaking digicam at the time. That video prompted a closer look at the PureView camera, which we did in a head-to-head with the present picture high quality benchmark, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.
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 religious 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 digicam bulge of the Lumia 1020, so similar nominal decision as on the 808 PureView. Once once more, it is a type of multi-aspect sensors the place you may’t really get all the 41 million pixels as a result of the excessive corners fall exterior of the picture circle projected by the lens. However, it could actually seize 38MP 4:3 photos or 34MP 16:9 ones, very similar to the 808.
But similar this sensor is not. It’s a smaller unit at 1/1.5″ vs. the old model’s 1/1.2″ sort and pixel dimension has shrunk accordingly – from the 1.4µm of the authentic PureView to 1.12µm on the 1020. On a optimistic 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 Ultra, in case you have forgotten, is provided with a 50MP 1/1.12-inch sensor on its major digicam, the largest on a smartphone. It does have 1.4µm pixels – similar dimension 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 underneath the similar Red, Green, 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 information (38MP adjustments to 34MP if you happen to choose the 16:9 facet). Basically, if you’d like 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 information, in each instances saving 12.5MP photos to match the Xiaomi decision. We additionally processed RAW information out of the Xiaomi, as a result of why not.
One factor that you may’t inform from taking a look at the images is simply how excruciatingly sluggish the Lumia 1020 digicam is to launch. When beginning it with the devoted shutter launch button with the cellphone in standby, it takes a superb 4-5 seconds for the viewfinder to seem after the cellphone vibrates that it is registered your lengthy press on the button (which itself takes a couple of second). The 808 is markedly quicker in terms of launch time.
Another difficulty we skilled on the 1020 is the prevailing incapacity to lock focus when zoomed in. Dedicated 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 similar scene. It is an eight-year-old unit, nonetheless, so we are able to attribute that to an extended and storied life.
These are principally curious observations that aren’t essentially vital in terms of the process at hand, which is evaluating the picture high quality out of the two telephones. That is, so long as we handle to get in-focus photographs 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 basically the default output of each telephones. Unlike our expertise with the Nokia 808, the Lumia 1020 exposes appropriately – there was no underexposure to talk of. Dynamic vary is superb – not Xiaomi-level good, with a bit extra clipped highlights right here or there, however definitely higher than on the 808.
Another change we’re seeing coming from older Nokia to the newer one is a rise in colour saturation – the Lumia 1020 approaches the stage of pop of the Mi 11 Ultra. The Xiaomi has a manner of of warming up greenery that the Nokia would not exhibit, and we might probably concede that the Lumia’s rendition is extra true-to-life on this respect.
When it involves element, the hole between 5MP and 12.5MP is a major one and the Nokia cannot match the Mi’s resolving energy. Still, the distinction is not big on a per-pixel stage, thanks in no small half to the longer focal size of the Nokia. As 5MP photos go, these are fairly stellar.
We explored the nominal resolutions as effectively. The Nokia has an edge each by way of amount and high quality of element. The common Bayer colour filter implies that the Lumia can report extra intricate colour information, whereas the Quad Bayer Xiaomi must compensate for its coarser colour filter grid with heavier sharpening. Having stated that, the Nokia photos have a prevailing throughout softness and may benefit from some sharpening in put up processing themselves to disclose the greatest the cellphone is able to.
We then proceeded to resize these 38MP JPEG photos of the Lumia to match the default 12.5MP decision of the Xiaomi. Since sharpening is in our fingers now, we utilized a liberal quantity. Under these situations, the Nokia data extra element in the remaining picture than the 5MP mode, and we might say it is also a step forward of the Xiaomi.
Next up, some RAW photos out of the two telephones, processed to style and exported in 12.5MP once more. There’s little to set the two telephones aside by way of colour (seeing how they’re processed to the similar particular person’s style). Dynamic vary is a bit wider on the Xiaomi, however you do not wish to be taking pictures RAW on a contemporary smartphone if dynamic vary is the most vital factor – the picture stacking in the default Photo mode will get higher outcomes anyway.
On a pixel stage, with the proper perspective and sufficient time and deliberation to bump sliders left or proper, you may get very comparable outcomes. The Nokia will do higher with preventing off moire due to the finer colour information it is captured in the first place. The Xiaomi, on the different hand, has barely cleaner outcomes in terms of noise, although if we had the persistence to additionally fiddle with these sliders on the Nokia, we might have most likely achieved comparable outcomes.
It wasn’t a straightforward resolution what precisely zoom stage we ought to be evaluating these at, however we in the end settled on zooming in all the manner on the Nokia and matching it on the Xiaomi. That could be a 3.1-3.3x zoom stage for the Mi, hardly favorable because it falls proper in between its 1x and 5x cameras. But then once more, it could be 5MP vs 12.5MP photographs, and the Xiaomi may do composites from the essential and tele cameras, supplying you with tremendous sharp facilities in most scenes.
We’d name this a straightforward win for the Xiaomi, significantly for middle of the body topics at distances far sufficient in order that the telephoto digicam focus and take part for some composite motion.
Low-light picture high quality
In low mild, the Lumia 1020 is a notable step up from the 808 and really manages to show in comparatively darkish scenes. Dynamic vary stays restricted, with mild sources and their fast neighborhood getting blown out. Detail is pretty good in areas of balanced lighting although shadows stay murky.
The Xiaomi, in distinction, delivers wonderful publicity and huge dynamic vary in all kinds of demanding scenes and can squeeze out mild in darkish settings in addition to protect highlights from clipping to white.
Photos processed from RAW information make for a considerably extra stage enjoying subject. Exported at 12.5MP, the Nokia’s JPEGs have comparable element ranges in comparison with the ones out of the Mi. The Lumia photos aren’t fairly as sharp and are noticeably noisier, although. On a optimistic be aware they do cope with moire higher (the blinds in the window in the middle of the first pattern).
The Xiaomi wins in dynamic vary, although it is not the similar big lead right here as in full Auto – you must let the auto picture stacking do its factor for the greatest outcomes.
Zooming in to 3x, the Xiaomi would not fairly have the huge dynamic vary we have come to count on nevertheless it nonetheless manages to retain a bonus in tonal improvement at the extremes. It additionally achieves superior sharpness and resolves extra element. The Nokia does do an admirable job for its age, nonetheless.
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 trendy 4K seize will look higher than the greatest 1080p by way of element, and the Xiaomi 4K is something however awful.
Indeed, we are able to learn automobile license plates in the Xiaomi 4K clips and might basically rely leaves in timber, whereas the Lumia renders these extra as common shapes. In truth, 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 colour copy on the 808, the 1020’s oversaturated output with a powerful heat forged would not look any higher.
Dynamic vary on the Lumia 1020 is about on par with the older Nokia, presumably even barely narrower, that means nowhere pretty much as good as on the trendy cellphone.
In low mild, we’re seeing a considerably sudden improvement, in that the Lumia 1020 with its smaller sensor captures movies which might be a tiny step forward of the 808 PureView. The new cellphone exposes brighter, lifting some midtones that have been clipped to black on the 808. It’s 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 manner.
Naturally, the Mi 11 Ultra captures vastly superior low-light movies. Here, you may see that it is not really the center of the evening and the sky remains to be a darkish navy blue. You can see timber and the buildings in the distance and you can also make out sidewalk tiles – the increased decision at the side of trendy sensors and processing makes a world of distinction.
The one additional yr that Nokia had after the 808 PureView meant some significant upgrades in the digicam efficiency for the Lumia 1020. We’d say the discount in sensor dimension was efficiently countered by the introduction of OIS, extra highly effective chipset and optimized processing.
More surprisingly, nonetheless, the Lumia 1020 additionally prevailed over a modern-day beast of a cameraphone like the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra – admittedly, solely in some methods and in remoted cases, 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’s in broad daylight and if you happen to’re keen to place in some work in put up processing to extract that element.
When it involves low-light seize, or video recording in any mild, or simply common picturetaking the place you wish to press a button and get a great-looking picture, or pace and ease of use, the Xiaomi reigns supreme, as anticipated. That stated, the Lumia 1020 was a superb performer in 2013 and whereas undoubtedly outdated now, it could actually nonetheless present a factor or two to the present crop of cameraphones.