Dinning on choosing between the 808 and 1020

Damian Dinning, featured here many times on the All About sites, was the guy helping drive Nokia's imaging over the last decade. He no longer works for Nokia, meaning that he's now free to talk about the Symbian-running 808 PureView and the Windows Phone-running Lumia 1020 in particular. How did the transition between the two 41MP camera phones turn out and which would he choose for his own use?

A brief warning over length - this is a long piece to read, so when you click through to the original article, you might like to grab yourself a drink and settle back(!)

From the conclusion:

On this basis it may make sense for Nokia to provide some form of option for sharpness handling. For arguments sake let’s call it sharpness with at least two options, one being high or enhanced (the current) with another being low, minimal or natural. This setting would provide roughly the net level of sharpening applied to the full resolution images but for 5mp oversampled images.

The goal I would recommend being skies with little/zero noise and no obvious sharpening artefacts when viewed at 100-200% when using 1x zoom. Based on my limited and restricted Photoshop trials, this should provide ‘808 like’ image quality, possibly even slightly more detail than the 808 in some situations. What’s your view?

In low light, I think Nokia already has the balance about right for sharpening, detail and noise handling where it seems a significantly lighter touch has been applied to sharpening. My above recommendations are therefore for good ambient lighting levels and enjoy the benefits OIS provides in low light.

You may be wondering, of the outlined recommendations, which would I use myself? For colour handling, in most situations I probably would use the default (although ideally as said with a little less saturation/colour vibrancy) but at times change across to a more natural setting.

With regard to sharpening, I would use the setting which provides the lowest sharpening, for me, I like the low/zero noise and smooth clean details the 808 produced, even if the images ‘look’ less sharp at lower viewing magnifications. However, I can also see for ‘snapshots’ myself using the super sharp setting. Viewed on our projection screen at home, they do look rather awesome!

Which would I use, 808 or 1020? Definitely the 1020, even as it is today.
I love it (especially in yellow! :-)

In summary, although the default characteristics and settings in the Lumia 1020 camera don't appeal to Damian in all circumstances, it does seem as though he's coming round to accepting the mass appeal of greater colour and edge enhancement, for on-screen viewing. He feels that with a little software enhancement to add saturation and sharpness controls, plus the fixing of the 'yellow cast' issue, the Lumia 1020 could well be the perfect camera phone. He factors in the excellent video capture too, something which I highlighted here in text and here in video form.

He emphasises the relatively early state of the Lumia 1020's Nokia Pro Camera software - and in fairness, the Nokia 808's camera application took a couple of updates to be really reliable/consistent.

Thanks to Damian for writing the editorial and to Marc for hosting it!

Published by Steve Litchfield at 10:12 UTC, September 17th

Section: Flow
Categories: Link of Interest
Platforms: General, Symbian^3, General, Windows Phone 8