The Nokia 808 was the last and the best of the Symbian powered Nokia smartphones, and featured the pinnacle of camera in a phone. The Lumia 1020 is said to be the next upgrade of the 808, and if so it has to be the new benchmark for camera in a phone. The question to this date remains a hard fought one, as both these phones are very special, as they target the professional and enthusiast photographer, and also the users who want photos with on compromises (meaning oh what to do, that’s all a phone can do to be not an excuse).
I have been using the 1020 for a while, and decided against all common sense knowing that the Symbian platform is dead, to buy a Nokia 808 to see how does it fare against the newer Lumia 1020 featuring what Nokia markets as the phone to replace the 808. The review focus foremost is as the camera in the phone, and secondly on the basic smartphone capabilities.
I am going to start this unique review more on photographic terms (no I am not a professional photographer, but a person who appreciates high quality photos and control when taking photos) since these two smartphones are more about the camera than anything else.
Part 1: Photography control
The two phones are actually very very powerful photographic equipment when it features a sensor that is larger than sensor feature in professional smart cams such as the Canon G15, Canon S120, Lumix LX7, Nikon P7100, etc and hence the ability to use this in full manual mode is important.
Here is a quick comparison of the Nokia Pro Camera (Lumia 1020) app and the Nokia camera (Nokia 808). I have not considered any third party camera apps, or Lenses that may give additional controls in this.
|Nokia 1020||Nokia 808|
|Focus Light on/off||Yes||Yes|
5MP + 34MP
5MP + DNG 34MP
|Aspect Ratio||4:3 and 16:9||4:3 and 16:9|
Lumia trump cards
The Lumia 1020 has the advantage in that it offers shutter control, which is a very powerful feature. The Nokia 808 sadly was due to get this before they pulled the plug on the Symbian platform, and while you can’t set it manually you can achieve a bit of shutter control by using the ND filter and exposure control, but still this critical element goes to the Lumia 1020.
The Lumia 1020 brings another massive ace that it can save both a 5MP shot and the 34MP shot, a feature the 808 lacks, and the latest ability to save in DNG format means photographers can get into Photoshop or similar tools to enhance their photos.
Nokia 808 trump cards
However the Nokia 808 comes out fighting by having the ND filter which is useful when shooting in bright light, to get better exposure on your photos, and also is able to apply custom saturation/contrast settings when shooting. Another powerful feature is the ability define the sharpness you want applied to the photos, and the quality of the compression. So several powerful capability that the Lumia 1020 Pro camera is not able to match.
The 808 also wins in that it has a 2MP mode, which is ideal for uploads to your social sites, and also has an added advantage that it has a higher zoom level compared to the Lumia 1020.
Round 1: Conclusion
So from photography control view and app point of view the Nokia Pro camera of the Lumia 1020 has the edge over the camera app, and when you couple the Windows phones ability to load Lenses (custom camera plug-ins) this definitely goes the Lumia 1020 way, but the 808 is not easily beaten!
The Windows 8 platform is fast developing, and there are talks that the aperture control may also come into this app, and further changes are due to the Nokia Pro Camera.