Xperia Z up against Nokia’s camera kings – the Pureview 808, N8 and Lumia 920

by XB on 06/03/2013

in Imaging, Xperia S, Xperia Z and Xperia ZL

Want to see how Sony’s new thoroughbred, the Xperia Z, fares against Nokia’s greatest camera smartphones in the imaging department? Well the guys over at Pureview Club pitted the Sony Xperia Z against the Nokia N8, Pureview 808 and Lumia 920. The also included the Xperia S too.

Most of the shots are taken during the daytime on the auto settings. We have included some of the crops from the shootout below, but head over to the source link below to see the originals too. If you’re interested in how the Xperia Z fares against the Nokia N8 in lower light conditions, then check out All About Symbian’s shootout here.

Camera shootout: Xperia Z against the Nokia 808 Pureview, Nokia N8, Nokia Lumia 920 and Xperia S

100% crops

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Xperia Z up against Nokia camera smartphones

Via Pureview Club.

  • Felix

    Sony, get your shit together and fix the horrible compression for once.

  • Keon Fraites

    That 42mp camera on the PureView does wonders undoubtably the king of the 5, Xperia S has some issue when it came too the ICS (Owns one and hopes for a fix in Jelly bean) Xperia Z is heavily processed, The 920 is ehhh iffy, And the N8 is okay I’d rate this as this

    Xperia Z
    Xperia S / 920

    I’m not sure but even with the heavy processing it feels less noisy but really soft. In some cases might be too soft.

    All great phones and nice cameras in all of them though remember these are 100% crops.

  • Keon Fraites

    Next up should be some Macro imagery that’s where I would like too see tested I love me some macro and landscapes of nature :) I still want that Xperia Z though :D

  • Tangent Lin

    Sony camera always zoom nearer than other devices.

  • Carl-Johan Nilsson

    I’ve never understood the reason to compare 100% crop pictures. Not to this extent anyway. How many out of all of the pictures you take do you ever zoom more than 4x?
    It’s the photo in it’s entirety that is important.

  • monster

    Results are same.

    i prefer nokia phones.

  • roeshak

    I’ll put it like this
    Pure view > 920 > Z > N8 > S.
    Xperia S images are very noisy. So grainy in the background. The foreground isn’t too bad. The preview camera is the run away winner.
    I also think the 920 pips the Z to second place. But to be honest auto settings are never the best way to take shots.

  • PureViewClub

    Thanx for sharing (and linking)! There are some other posts at the PureViewClub that might interest the readers of this blog. I’d like to point you to the one in which I’m testing the Sony Xperia Z under water – in more or less tropical conditions. Enjoy! :-)

  • wayne

    Nokia are rubbish, everytime I had one, the speakers are always fawlty. But I have the experia z, it’s the best guy’s believe. The photo’s on the experts are the best on the market.

  • Herman

    Come to think of it – the Lumia 920 is also marketed as a “PureView” device although the images are nothing special compared to other modern smartphones in daylight.
    PureView has lost its meaning because of the 920 in my opinion.

  • Herman

    Compare the Xperia Z to the Xperia S and conclude that they have indeed fixed a lot of this compression already.

  • Songo

    PureView>Xperia Z=Lumia920>Xperia S>N8

  • nice user

    all pictures look nice to me. sometimes the nokia wins, sometimes xperia z lol

  • afzal

    How big the megapixel to offer brcome useless if the android os become their main image processor. Just like galaxy camera with 16mp. Image quality just decent enough to put in a facebook only. But i just love doing street photo with a smartphone cause its the best to create very real life capture. But else i prefer my nikon d4 do the talking. :-)

  • Xlash Andraid

    What about Xperia T, V and GX?

  • bruno

    I can see more detaill on some of the XS shots than on the XZ.

  • AllanT

    Sony should focus on picture quality instead of marketing stuff like more megapixels
    They are the only mobile phone company that also make DSLR cameras
    It’s a shame for them – give us good cameras Sony!

  • Quark Gluon

    You have the Experia Z. OK.

  • Quark Gluon

    I think it’s better if they can match the scales of the compared pictures. Anyway, the noise suppression of the Z is too high. And how in the good 2013 could Sony fail to get rid of purple fringes? I really hope Sony can bring some camera improvement in the next update.

  • Quark Gluon

    It’s like comparing how fast cars can go, even if almost all of the audience will never get anywhere near that speed.

  • philippe

    the camera of 808 is truly amazing, I have seen some other sample shots by 808 on a high building, its lossless zoom is just incredible! I love Z, but still, I think z is the best balanced superphone, and 808 definetely rule the phone camera area. wondering once Sony is recovered from their losses, whether they should develop a camera phone as well, ie. thicker phone as a result of bigger senser

  • Ashad Mamood

    That was cool!

  • Vishal Singh

    Sony needs to develop a Bionz process for their mobile phones to help deal with noise and whatnot

  • Imran

    am a newbie so excuse my ignorance… i was wondering that is the problem with xperia s more about its faulty hardware or a software one which can be corrected if Sony wills?

  • Guarulhos

    Very Interesting… Great Comparative !

    Unquestionably The 808 PureView PRO Was The Best, But With Good Light Conditions, If All Went Well !

    In My Opinion The Top Were Respectively:

    1º Nokia 808 PureView PRO (Pure Detail, Natural Colors… Amazing Results)

    2º Nokia NSeries N8 (Great Results, Great Detail, Great Cameraphone)

    3º Lumia 920 PureView LITE (Good Results, Average Noise, But With Surreal Colors)

    4º Sony Xperia Z (Still Images Is Heavily Processed)

    5º Sony Xperia S (Images Are Very Noisy, Poor Detail And Surreal Colors) !!!

  • R

    Sony xperia z shots look beautiful for me O___O

  • APai

    you will never understand the world of pixel peepers :)

    humor aside, it’s the only way you get to judge the quality of the photos – at 100% or at full zoom. reason being you get to see the flaws up close – purple / red/ blue fringing, loss of details, smudges, noise, and all of its glory.

    but you have a point – that is , not many people really bother about pixel peeping. but conversely, not many people print images – at least the ratio of shooting images to actually printing them is abysmally low

  • Felix

    It could be the new sensor doing that though, but let’s hope they’re working on it.

  • sonny

    it’s not the zooming. it’s field of view. comparing the same crop sizes is fair enough. i think something’s really wrong with the software. sony has to fix it. it’s excessive compression and noise suppression. the results are awful compared to other cameras.

    why must they limit file sizes when the competition allows for the taking of bigger photo file sizes. sony should give the option of compression to users.

  • pixlas

    Pureviewclub. Nokia fanboys much?

  • Quark Gluon

    +1 for macro comparison.

  • erst

    purple fringing is the result of light hitting the glass. the solution is simply to use a different angle to avoid direct sunlight hitting the glass back.

    the downside of having glasses

  • Guarulhos

    Shut Up !

  • ZeroCools

    Never understood how people spell Xperia with an E even though it’s literally slapped on the back of each device saying XPERIA.

  • TrongPham

    It’s seem like PureView on 920 is just for marketing (OIS + program to make an over-lighted over-saturated image???)
    If 41mpx sensor + OIS + binding pixel, then I will call it “True PureView”.

  • AlexBurnout

    The Z and S rock

  • scarmic

    Yes, 808 has without doubt the best camera. But the phone sucks. The others are similar.

  • Waiting to buy

    This: is just a pity. It sucks so bad that Sony’s heavy noise reduction isn’t configurable. At least an on/off option would be required to get decent images at low light conditions.

    Here’s another example: (taken from ), the plant on the desk looks almost painted because noise reduction makes it look so unnatural and artificial.

    Please Sony, make noise reduction an OPTION!

  • pixlas

    So you think Nokia users would accept results from a test site called cybershotclub?

  • roeshak

    Sorry but I disagree, I absolutely hate noisy pictures so very happy with the Zs shots. Just stop using superior auto. Use your own brain to decide the settings and you’ll be pleased with the results.

  • Eldis Skenderagic

    Terribly washed out colors/details on Xperia Z photos.
    Compared to earlier flagships (S/Arc) it seems that there is less noise, and less compression, but on the other side, sharp objects and details are completely out of focus, very blurred and generally washed out like I said.
    Also, somebody said, who needs to zoom photos to native resolution.
    Any serious comparison of photos is not possible without zooming to 100%, or even more, to see all artefacts and defects. Judging (and comparing) photos at stretched size of phone panels is ridiculous.
    There are some people taking photos a bit more seriously than “wow, this will be a cool photo for my FB profile”, and therefore I’m very dissapointed with Xperia Z results. I expected much much more. I still don’t get how the company unbeatable in compact point-and-shoot cameras segment, can’t produce better results in smartphones cameras.

  • Waiting to buy

    I don’t own a Sony. I was thinking about getting an Xperia S, but after reading I was a bit disappointed. AFAIK superior auto is only available for Xperia Z, but aggressive noise reduction in general is always enabled no matter what auto/manual mode you set on any Xperia.

    Just to clarify: What’s really really annoying to me is the type of noise reduction seen in the two pictures of my previous post. Please have a close look at the plant: Instead of gradually fading between different tones of brown and green, the colours are “jumping” from large areas of one colour to large areas of another colour. The plant looks like it was painted with a few colours, or like the image has been converted to a 4 bit GIF, hope you see what I mean. :-)
    Are you saying that this (IMHO much to aggressive) noise reduction is only applied in “superior auto” mode? That would be great.

    On the other hand: noise reduction / filtering itself is not configurable, is it? So, no matter what mode you select, you will always get images that are processed (sharpened, saturated, noise reduced)?

    Would be nice to get some insight from a device owner, the Sony support was not too helpful…

  • Pingback: I migliori cameraphone Nokia sfidano Xperia Z ed S()

  • Antonio Rabuzin

    Xperia S better than Xperia Z ,more detail on Xperia S pictures….

    1. Nokia 808
    2. Xperia S
    3. Nokia N8
    4. Xperia Z
    5. Nokia Lumnia 920

  • Martin

    I don’t understand why you disagree – if Sony makes noise reduction optional, you still can use it if you want ;)

  • Pingback: read I Nokia Lumia 920, 808 PureView ed N8 sfidano il Sony Xperia Z ed S in un test sulla fotocamera postme()

  • Purusharth Dwivedi

    f@ck this shit…..just let me get my hands on xperia z and i will give real results….just wait you..

  • Guarulhos

    If This Site Had Credibility, Why Not ?

    Did You Think Possible a Digital Camera Xperia Z Be Better Than a Digital Camera 808 ?

    Please Man !

  • Richard Francisco

    i think not, because 920’s specialty is in low light, just try to compare the z and lumia 920 in the dark

  • jmcomms

    I’d have to put the Xperia Z last based on these images, and I have one. I’ve found images to be overly processed in all but excellent lighting conditions (and often with a chosen picture mode, not the intelligent auto mode).

    I am sure the problems can easily be fixed in software. Someone at Sony clearly thought that softening the image (rather like just using an over zealous noise reduction filter) would improve the low-light imaging. These photos, as well as my own, at least confirm that my original concern when I saw the phone at CES were correct – just as everyone else seemed to rave about how great the camera was.

    Viewed on screen or reduced in size, the pictures end up looking okay (hence why it’s important to do these 100% crops). Of course, it does also prove that maybe HTC is on to something with the ‘ultrapixels’ idea and if we all have to cut pictures down in size anyway, why bother with 8, 12 or 13-megapixels in the first place?

    Had there been a test in very low light, the 920 would have come into its own. It really does amaze how much light it can bring in with near darkness.

  • jmcomms

    Probably, but unless they fiddled with those photos to manipulate the results, I’d say the 808 is the clear winner – and you’d expect it to be.

    The problem is that the two PureView cameras, both good for different reasons, are in phones that few people would want. Especially a Symbian device. As a result, it’s not as if anyone would buy a PureView 808 (or an N8) over the others – but it’s always good for comparison purposes and to ensure the likes of Sony are aware of the competition they’re up against and react accordingly. Ultimately, that gets us a better product at the end of the day.

  • pixlas

    I am saying that don’t believe everything you read.

  • pixlas

    Oooh they sure do.

  • Lunkz

    yeah Hyping the Exmor RS, but have shity pictures. They should use bigger sensor instead of MOAR Pixel, the S looks sharper and way better then the Z, can’t believe that’s an high-end phone.

  • Felix

    In theorie, that should work, but the HTC One’s picture samples so far aren’t that spectacular.

  • razec

    Nah BIONZ is infamously known in the DSLR world to have the worst JPEG processing when compared to Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Fujifilm. there were only two solutions to this, either they use a 1″ sensor like the one found on RX100. or introduce RAW shooting. If Sony would be serious enough in competing in the camera phone segment, that is.

  • Maki

    I think it’s not very good. Maybe it’s advantage is in the dim light.

  • Guarulhos

    Very Interesting… Great Comparative !

    Unquestionably The 808 PureView PRO Was The Best, But With Good Light Conditions, If All Went Well !

    In My Opinion The Top Were Respectively:

    1º Nokia 808 PureView PRO (Armed With Its No Fuss, No Image Post – Processing, Large 1/1.2″ Sensor And Carl Zeiss Lens Assembly, Is Unchallenged Winner… Pure Detail, Natural Colors… Amazing Results)

    2º Nokia NSeries N8 ( Large 1/1.83″ Sensor, Carl Zeiss Lens Assembly, Great Results, Great Detail, Great Cameraphone)

    3º Lumia 920 PureView LITE (Good Results, Average Noise, But With Surreal Colors)

    4º Sony Xperia Z (Still Images Is Heavily Processed)

    5º Sony Xperia S (Images Are Very Noisy, Poor Detail And Surreal Colors) !!!

  • arena

    i’m really bothered why they’re trying to compress files excessively. their photos have smaller file sizes compared to those of other smartphones. why can’t they just allow the files to be as big as they can get to maintain quality?

  • arena

    it’s actually a hit and miss affair. in some websites, they have really neat photos. try going to the youtube video of blunty, he shows comparative stills and videos for the xz and iphone 5. the quality of the photos he shows is just magnificent.

  • turner

    and file compression. they should just allow the file to be as big as it can get if it means better photo quality. i think the blur is made worse by the file compression.

  • japs

    actually the first photo you posted uses the flash of the n8. obviously, it should be brighter and sharper with more light getting into the sensor. compare them without the flash and they’d be close.

  • Abhishek Roy

    Wanted to show you guys a comparison of Xperia Z against iphone 5

    This video out here does a good job in comparing the two and I think in most cases I loved the Zs images owing to better color reproduction. However in some cases, the images are inferior .

    Check this out.

    They also have a separate video to compare the video recording comparison of Iphone 5 vs xperia z

  • Waiting to buy

    Wrong. My post wasn’t about brightness and sharpness, it was about Sony’s ridiculous NR. The N8 without flash would not add the NR artifacts that are visible in the Sony shot.

  • ankitw

    xperia s is taking better pictures than xperia z !!

  • Ben Solomon

    I hope they can fix the over processing with a software update. I really like my Z except for this issue.

  • Gautam

    nope, thats not it
    pixel-level analysis can tell how the overall pic will be like. for the same reason, Samsung released s4 within an year from s3. As s3 has pentile matrix screen, the pixels were visible

  • 71guns

    Why do we look at these ridiculous comparisons?! The 808 is clearly the hands down winner because it has by far the best camera! As for the rest it is much or a muchness, of course you will define a ‘winner’ by cropping or taking shots in various light conditions but ultimately they all do the job required (Yes the lumia takes great night shots but the sky comes out about 10 shades lighter as well!). I had an 808 an loved it but quite quickly realised I was only using it to take pictures, so I sold it in favour of an xperia z. I was under no illusions (despite all 13mp’s) that it wouldn’t come close to the glorious pureview and it doesn’t but the pictures are good enough, they look great on the 5′ screen and besides the odd email or text they remain on the memory card and are displayed on the phone. The xperia z is an amazing smartphone with a good camera and the 808 is an amazing camera tacked onto a at best average smartphone. The 1020 will bridge the gap (though windows is still behind) but the fact that many camera magazines reviewed the 808 says it all, it’s primarily a camera! In photography circles the sensors found on samsung/sony/apple phones are laughable… Unless you only make phone calls send text messages and take pictures buy a camera.

  • Shubham Mutreja

    its shitty software as they are saving their point and shoot sales!!!
    just look at pics from C901 cybershot phoe

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