Sign in with Microsoft

9   +   8   =  

Nokia 8 Camera

I tested the Nokia 8 against the Samsung Note 8 and the LG V30 both of which have dual cameras. The Samsung was ahead in all modes followed very closely by LG and Nokia a distant but acceptable third.

Let’s reiterate the rear camera setup. Dual 13MP (one colour and one mono similar to Huawei’s LEICA setup). The colour lens has OIS (optical image stabilisation), Phase Detect Auto-focus, Auto HDR, IR range finder, and auto dual-tone flash. Both have 1.12um sensor pixels and 76.9˚ (standard angle), f/2.0 lenses. On paper, it is a credible setup, and while the sensor pixels and f-stop are not as large as some, the light from two lenses should compensate.

All test settings were on auto – idiot-proof mode – as that is what 99.9% of people use. Nokia shots are on the left and Samsung on the right. Note GadgetGuy does not usually include photos because what you see largely depends on your monitor.

Daylight. The scene below includes a 20% band of blue sky, a 15% forested mountain range, 40% waterways and boats at low tide, and a small foreground with jetties.

In all cases, Samsung had more details (look at the boathouse on the right and the timber slats in the jetty out front), more saturated colour (compare the sky and the blue boat cover to the left), better white balance and significantly less noise. Its HDR did a better job as well.

While the Nokia is quite acceptable, it is far from flagship standard.

Indoors (office level lighting)

The Nokia gathers less light – the real light level below is closer to the Samsung. The Samsung captured incredible detail of the toy dogs fur, the more saturated red on the book at the right and a more lively image all around.

Indoors low light

The Nokia was very slow to focus, and despite taking this shot several times, it was always blurry. The Samsung had better colour, better detail and was sharply in focus.

Why is this so?

Nokia has collaborated with Zeiss for camera lenses, uses the same Sony Exmor IMX258 sensor as the LG G6 and has a reputation to live up to from the Nokia PureView camera of old.

DXOMARK tested it on 11 January and the camera scored 68 (Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was 94, and the LG G6 was 84). Admittedly it was tested with Android 7.x, and my review unit has Android 8.x although the Nokia camera app has not been updated.

I will let you read the DXOMARK review, but we both have similar findings. The camera is not as good as it should be in anything other than optimal daylight conditions. I suspect this is mostly software and firmware related and I hope Nokia focuses on this and fixes it soon as the Qualcomm 835 image processors are capable of so much more.