Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

Started May 2, 2016 | Discussions
bigley Ling Veteran Member • Posts: 4,490
Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808
7

This is a non scientific comparison between the S7edge which is currently rated one of the top smartphone cameras to date. The S7 touts a larger 1.4µm pixel size which is decently large, but compromises on resolution which is now only 12MP. There is another phone that also sported exactly the same size pixels, the very ancient 2012 Nokia 808. It too sported 1.4µm pixels but delivers a whooping 41Mp resolution thanks to it's over sized optic and sensor design. That being said, the whole camera assembly sits relatively small compared to the camera centric Samsung K Zoom and Panasonic CM1.

To get the optimum image quality from the S7edge, DNG capture was enabled and processed using ACR. The 808 only allows for JPG capture, and the only USM was applied to full resolution JPGs.

Anyway, here are the scenes shot with both phones sequentially. Full resolution images uploaded

S7 Edge bright daylight shot medium close subject

808 full resolution bright daylight shot medium close subject

As can be seen, both phones are using their optimum low ISOs to capture maximum detail, and lowest noise. The 808 chooses ISO64 over ISO50 to get more dynamic range. Since the 808's mechanical shutter can only sync with the sensor up to 1/666, the built in ND filter is used to keep a lower shutter speed.

Both images are quite comparable with excellent detail. There is a slight difference in focal length with the 808 being able to capture more of the scene, but in reality this would be negligible.

One of the advantages of the 808 is it's ability to defocus backgrounds. This shot is an example of this, where the net and the bouys are in focus and the background slightly defocused. The S7edge's smaller sensor means everything in this scene is equally in focus

S7 edge good light architectural type scene

808 full resolution good light architectural type scene

Apart from the slight wonky 808 capture, both phones are capable of capturing similar detail, and color. CA is visible from both cameras at the top left corner. What is of interest is if we pixel peep for detail.

S7 edge upsized to match the 808 resolution

The difference becomes more apparent now with the 808's resolution advantage 41MP vs 12MP. There is clearly more detail and texture captured with the 808. Also the 808 image seems to have less noise. This is interesting since the S7(edge) does have a more sensitive BSI type sensor, whereas the 808 has the much older FSI type sensor.

s7edge indoor shot medium light

808 Pureview 8MP capture indoor shot medium light

Again both phones is able to capture the scene easily with the S7edge taking advantage with it's fast f1.7 vs f2.4 lens on the 808. In theory the S7edge capture at ISO250 should easily outclass the pureview 8MP 808 shot at ISO 400.

The s7edge has the higher resolution and lower ISO advantage but the close up crops tell of a different story. The oversampling technique Nokia employs to combine the 1.4µm pixels works effectively, and combined with the Zeiss optics allows it to resolve very fine detail.

s7edge brightly lit indoor

808 Pureview 8MP brightly lit indoor

This shot is very similar to the last where the S7edge's fast f1.7 lens take presidence allowing for approx 1 stop advantage. Once again not much difference between the shots. The difference between 8 and 12 mega pixel is not visibly apparent, although there are areas where the s7 does seem a little sharper.

Theses are just some random shots I took when I was on a journey with the 808 and S7edge. The S7edge is a very capable camera, and it's autofocus is ridiculously quick. Refocusing happens real time with no CDAF lens shimmer thanks to the dual pixel PDAF AF system. This all happens while previewing and composing which means that depressing the capture button immediately captures the moment. The 808 on the other hand requires a half press to get accurate focus lock before fully depressing the shutter for any close up type shots (total time to shot taken 2 seconds minimum). The S7edge has OIS which I really did not test but it is known to be very effective for low shutter speeds. The 808 relies solely on it's higher ISO oversampling technology to get a higher shutter speed to prevent camera shake.

From the small sample of shots captured here, it is clear the S7edge works best at it's lowest ISO setting. Thanks to OIS, and it's fast f1.7 lens, this should not be an issue for most scenes. Some user intervention (pro mode) will be required to keep the ISO low and a steady hand will almost guarantee shots equivalent to 808's pureview modes. When it comes to capturing landscapes in good light the S7 edge yearns for more resolution, and this is where the 808's 1.4µm high resolution sensor delivers exceptionally high detail, with low noise. No one is really certain to how the 808 is able to achieve such levels of quality in such a small package, but one can theorize it has something to do with its image processor or could it be some FSI type sensor magic.

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SavageZee
SavageZee New Member • Posts: 15
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

Thanks for such a detailed comparison, Bgley. Dpreview should pay you for this.

I agree with you on the slow focusing speed of 808. I also find the focusing accuracy can be a hit-and-miss between 2 and 5 metres sometimes. I might try hyperfocal in the future.

JohnFRoss New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808
2

I have carried a Nokia smartphone ever since they came out with the 5MP N82 with xenon flash and Zeiss lens.  Then I went to the 12 MP N8, then the 808 Pureview.

When my first 808 finally had the connection on the USB port break, I bought another.  Then I tried the Samsung Galaxy K zoom but sent it back because the xenon flash was woefully weak compared to the 808.  I then bought THREE spare 808s for $130 each NIB so that I could continue to have a working 808 for as long as possible.

I have printed photos taken with the 808 as large as 24" X 36" and people are blown away when they learn the shot was taken with a phone.

IMO the 808 is still the best camera in a smartphone on the planet and until I see something better I will continue to carry an 808 every minute of the day.

Samsung should hire Damian Dinning to design an optical zoom phone with powerful xenon flash and get licensed to use the PureView technology he created for Nokia.

Stevan G Contributing Member • Posts: 623
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

fantastic review, actually the only PROPER review of 808 against modern cameras

much kudos

Alupang
Alupang Senior Member • Posts: 2,889
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808
1

Thanks for sharing here. The Nokia 808 @ ISO 400 destroys the Samsung S7 @ ISO 250 in the medium light shot. Imagine the difference at equal lowest ISOs in addition to using the Samsung's regular jpeg output.

A few days ago I was in a shop in the Philippines comparing the new Huewai P9 (with duel Leica branded optics) to my trusty 808. All the sales staff where floored when we compared  portrait detail. Needless to say here, the Nokia 808 blew away the Huewai P9.

Still patiently waiting for a better cameraphone...but certainly not holding my breath.

Alupang
Alupang Senior Member • Posts: 2,889
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

Here I resized the Nokia 808 shot to match the S7's 4016 width resolution. Then I made a 1024X768 100% crop from each image.

First image is the Samsung S7 Edge followed by the Nokia 808. In my opinion, the Nokia 808 crop has far superior details, especially in shadow areas. No contest.

The Nokia 808 is a serious photographic tool. Only the CM1 can compete but its lens is smeary/soft in borders and corners in addition to being a flimsy pop-out design. The 808's 26mm effective Zeiss lens' performance is unmatched.

Samsung S7 Edge 4016x 1024x Crop

Nokia 808 4016x 1024x Crop

OP bigley Ling Veteran Member • Posts: 4,490
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

Good point Alupang. It is pretty clear the ancient FSI sensor in combination with the Zeiss designed optics can be considered an excellent match when it comes to capturing delicate landscape details.

What is surprising is while the shadow detail which is clearly better from the 808, if you look towards the top where the water is reflecting the sky, the S7 edge is clearly blowing out highlights, where the 808 has not. One can easily deduce that the dynamic range from the 1.4 micron FSI sensor in the 808 is still better than the 1.4 micron BSI sensor in the S7edge.

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Van Nostrand Regular Member • Posts: 451
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

Wondering if anyone has any input if an 808 vs  G4/G5 raw  would narrow the gap  here. 16MP (LG)   vs 12MP (samsung)      There was  a G4  SOTC jpg vs  808 comparison  that showed the G4 SOTC samples to be too heavily sharpened  especially when pixel-peeping,  but  the 808 being on the soft side,  although  still more preferred to me.

I have seen some G4 raw vs JPG samples that showed a considerable difference.......seen quite a few actually,  some were  so-so  differences.  I think proper processing  with some  good eyes is necessary to get some  positive results for comparison in how detail is perceived when pixel-peeping.

Alupang
Alupang Senior Member • Posts: 2,889
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

bigley Ling wrote:

What is surprising is while the shadow detail which is clearly better from the 808,

Also look at the sun lit rocks upper right in crops, the S7 has very serious distortion/smearing compared to the Nokia 808. What's up with that?

OP bigley Ling Veteran Member • Posts: 4,490
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

Alupang wrote:

bigley Ling wrote:

What is surprising is while the shadow detail which is clearly better from the 808,

Also look at the sun lit rocks upper right in crops, the S7 has very serious distortion/smearing compared to the Nokia 808. What's up with that?

Well, part of the "smearing" is just the lack of pixel resolution from the S7edge. Remember the 1.4 micron pixels in the S7 comes with a compromise of an overall lower resolution sensor. Also it does seem like the Zeiss lens on the 808 has the ability to still out resolve the 808's sensor resolution resulting in an extremely crisp image that responds extremely well to post processing and USM.

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Stevan G Contributing Member • Posts: 623
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

bigley Ling wrote:

Alupang wrote:

bigley Ling wrote:

What is surprising is while the shadow detail which is clearly better from the 808,

Also look at the sun lit rocks upper right in crops, the S7 has very serious distortion/smearing compared to the Nokia 808. What's up with that?

Well, part of the "smearing" is just the lack of pixel resolution from the S7edge. Remember the 1.4 micron pixels in the S7 comes with a compromise of an overall lower resolution sensor. Also it does seem like the Zeiss lens on the 808 has the ability to still out resolve the 808's sensor resolution resulting in an extremely crisp image that responds extremely well to post processing and USM.

still the biggest difference is indoors when you have to use flash, I was on a prom anniversary couple of days ago, 808 literally blew away all other phone cameras that night

Alupang
Alupang Senior Member • Posts: 2,889
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808
1

bigley Ling wrote:

Alupang wrote:

bigley Ling wrote:

What is surprising is while the shadow detail which is clearly better from the 808,

Also look at the sun lit rocks upper right in crops, the S7 has very serious distortion/smearing compared to the Nokia 808. What's up with that?

Well, part of the "smearing" is just the lack of pixel resolution from the S7edge. Remember the 1.4 micron pixels in the S7 comes with a compromise of an overall lower resolution sensor. Also it does seem like the Zeiss lens on the 808 has the ability to still out resolve the 808's sensor resolution resulting in an extremely crisp image that responds extremely well to post processing and USM.

Yes when the 808's image is downsampled to 12MP the massive difference in quality is obvious when viewed 100%. No surprise given the, what, ~4 times larger sensor and superb Zeiss optics.

Alupang
Alupang Senior Member • Posts: 2,889
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

Stevan G wrote:

bigley Ling wrote:

Alupang wrote:

bigley Ling wrote:

What is surprising is while the shadow detail which is clearly better from the 808,

Also look at the sun lit rocks upper right in crops, the S7 has very serious distortion/smearing compared to the Nokia 808. What's up with that?

Well, part of the "smearing" is just the lack of pixel resolution from the S7edge. Remember the 1.4 micron pixels in the S7 comes with a compromise of an overall lower resolution sensor. Also it does seem like the Zeiss lens on the 808 has the ability to still out resolve the 808's sensor resolution resulting in an extremely crisp image that responds extremely well to post processing and USM.

still the biggest difference is indoors when you have to use flash, I was on a prom anniversary couple of days ago, 808 literally blew away all other phone cameras that night

No doubt the 808 is miles ahead of any other camphone, with or without flash. Yet it's not ranked #1 by any popular photo site...all just shills.

martin042068 New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808
1

Any updated phones coming out my rival the Nokia 808? Still using mine!

Original

Zoomed!

Daughter "lost" her shoes.

brownie112 Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808
1

What is the benefit in carrying a phone with 512mb ram vs 4000+ mb ram? smartphones are primarily used for well smartphone use such as calling, fb, browsing, games, camera, 4k video, enough gpu to do internal 4k slo mo with stabilization  etc while being relatively compact and water resistant.

However the Nokia seems impressive keeping up with four years newer s7 edge. My last Nokia was n86? Or n95 8 gb from memory. Good times..

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martin042068 New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

brownie112 wrote:

What is the benefit in carrying a phone with 512mb ram vs 4000+ mb ram? smartphones are primarily used for well smartphone use such as calling, fb, browsing, games, camera, 4k video, enough gpu to do internal 4k slo mo with stabilization etc while being relatively compact and water resistant.

However the Nokia seems impressive keeping up with four years newer s7 edge. My last Nokia was n86? Or n95 8 gb from memory. Good times..

Think it all depends on usage to a degree.  For the things you mentioned the 808 can mostly do albeit only fundamentally or very slowly in some cases. If you're a gamer, major internet browser, or social media maven there are much better and newer choices.

Calling: Yes, fully featured with recording and conferencing.

Facebook: Yes, there are several applications still available.

Browsing: Yes (very slow compared to newer phones)

Games: Yes, just older ones, no newer ones.

Camera: Absolutely!

4k video, slow motion, and video: No

Compact: Yes

Water resistant: Yes

OP bigley Ling Veteran Member • Posts: 4,490
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

martin042068 wrote:

brownie112 wrote:

What is the benefit in carrying a phone with 512mb ram vs 4000+ mb ram? smartphones are primarily used for well smartphone use such as calling, fb, browsing, games, camera, 4k video, enough gpu to do internal 4k slo mo with stabilization etc while being relatively compact and water resistant.

However the Nokia seems impressive keeping up with four years newer s7 edge. My last Nokia was n86? Or n95 8 gb from memory. Good times..

Think it all depends on usage to a degree. For the things you mentioned the 808 can mostly do albeit only fundamentally or very slowly in some cases. If you're a gamer, major internet browser, or social media maven there are much better and newer choices.

Calling: Yes, fully featured with recording and conferencing.

Facebook: Yes, there are several applications still available.

Browsing: Yes (very slow compared to newer phones)

Games: Yes, just older ones, no newer ones.

Camera: Absolutely!

4k video, slow motion, and video: No

Compact: Yes

Water resistant: Yes

My 808 now is just used purely as a connected camera now via Bluetooth. The 808 in my opinion still resolves considerably more resolution than my now old collection of much larger mirrorless cameras like the Olympus E-M1, and the Sony Nex 5r when if comes to capturing wide angle landscapes.

I agree with most of your points above, especially with regard to call quality. I still regard it as better than my Samsung S7edge and iPhone SE.

I would have to question the 808's water resistance. From my experience dismantling the 808, there are no rubber gaskets or seals in place to stop water ingress. This basically equates to NO water resistance, but since the phone has no external moving mechanical parts and excellent built quality (minimal gaps), the 808 should be able to be used in mild rain or showers without issues.

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brownie112 Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

bigley Ling wrote:

My 808 now is just used purely as a connected camera now via Bluetooth. The 808 in my opinion still resolves considerably more resolution than my now old collection of much larger mirrorless cameras like the Olympus E-M1, and the Sony Nex 5r when if comes to capturing wide angle landscapes.

Sorry I do not know how you could compare a 1/1.2 sensor in a phone to Sony's APSC sensor IQ from a dedicated mirrorless camera..

I would have to question the 808's water resistance. From my experience dismantling the 808, there are no rubber gaskets or seals in place to stop water ingress. This basically equates to NO water resistance, but since the phone has no external moving mechanical parts and excellent built quality (minimal gaps), the 808 should be able to be used in mild rain or showers without issues.

It is either water resistant, or it is not water resistant. From specs, 808 is not. Never the less proabably the best camera in a smartphone. DPR did give it a gold award in 2012.

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supeyugin1 Contributing Member • Posts: 873
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808

brownie112 wrote:

bigley Ling wrote:

My 808 now is just used purely as a connected camera now via Bluetooth. The 808 in my opinion still resolves considerably more resolution than my now old collection of much larger mirrorless cameras like the Olympus E-M1, and the Sony Nex 5r when if comes to capturing wide angle landscapes.

Sorry I do not know how you could compare a 1/1.2 sensor in a phone to Sony's APSC sensor IQ from a dedicated mirrorless camera..

I would have to question the 808's water resistance. From my experience dismantling the 808, there are no rubber gaskets or seals in place to stop water ingress. This basically equates to NO water resistance, but since the phone has no external moving mechanical parts and excellent built quality (minimal gaps), the 808 should be able to be used in mild rain or showers without issues.

It is either water resistant, or it is not water resistant. From specs, 808 is not. Never the less proabably the best camera in a smartphone. DPR did give it a gold award in 2012.

It's not a smartphone, rather it's a dumbphone. I'd rather use Nikon Coolpix A instead. The price of CPA is around $300 these days.

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martin042068 New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Battle of the 1.4µm phones. Samsung S7 edge vs Nokia 808
1

bigley Ling wrote:

martin042068 wrote:

brownie112 wrote:

What is the benefit in carrying a phone with 512mb ram vs 4000+ mb ram? smartphones are primarily used for well smartphone use such as calling, fb, browsing, games, camera, 4k video, enough gpu to do internal 4k slo mo with stabilization etc while being relatively compact and water resistant.

However the Nokia seems impressive keeping up with four years newer s7 edge. My last Nokia was n86? Or n95 8 gb from memory. Good times..

Think it all depends on usage to a degree. For the things you mentioned the 808 can mostly do albeit only fundamentally or very slowly in some cases. If you're a gamer, major internet browser, or social media maven there are much better and newer choices.

Calling: Yes, fully featured with recording and conferencing.

Facebook: Yes, there are several applications still available.

Browsing: Yes (very slow compared to newer phones)

Games: Yes, just older ones, no newer ones.

Camera: Absolutely!

4k video, slow motion, and video: No

Compact: Yes

Water resistant: Yes

My 808 now is just used purely as a connected camera now via Bluetooth. The 808 in my opinion still resolves considerably more resolution than my now old collection of much larger mirrorless cameras like the Olympus E-M1, and the Sony Nex 5r when if comes to capturing wide angle landscapes.

I agree with most of your points above, especially with regard to call quality. I still regard it as better than my Samsung S7edge and iPhone SE.

I would have to question the 808's water resistance. From my experience dismantling the 808, there are no rubber gaskets or seals in place to stop water ingress. This basically equates to NO water resistance, but since the phone has no external moving mechanical parts and excellent built quality (minimal gaps), the 808 should be able to be used in mild rain or showers without issues.

Sorry for the typo about the water resistance: Its not water resistant.  Another point is the video, though not 4k it still provides high detail and amazing sound.

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