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Nokia PureView 808 Review (vs iPhone 4S)


Andrew Reid
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I'm not meaning to be argumentative, however I can't believe anyone would ever consider the 4s video superior (even similar) to the 808. I have used both (I now own an 808). The only thing the 4s does is generate a "nice" oversaturated video in good light. There is far less noise on the 808 (unless you zoom). There are no dropped frames, as the graphics processor attached directly to the sensor is a beast. I really can't understand how anyone can find them even similar. In good light, the 4s takes good videos. In good light, you can zoom 4x in 1080p on the 808 with the same quality as the 4s. You have stereo rich sound recording (blows the audio of the 4s out of the water). In low light, without zoom, the pureview technology decreases noise significantly. They are chalk and cheese in low light, no competition, 808 all the way.

Hope I haven't gone on too long, but I am gobsmacked that anyone who has ever used both would ever believe that the quality is on the same page. I have, and wouln't.
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Well.....The iPhone has a video bitrate of 22.5MBits/s, and the pureview is about 25MBit/s (according to ffmpeg). This indicates that it is the iPhone which has more compression. Secondly, the whole idea of pureview is to eliminate noise, meaning there is more detail. This is the first report *ever* that tries to say the iPhone has better video. There are many "side by side" video comparisons which show this not to be the case.

At night, there is no comparison, however in good conditions, the advantage is minimised, as there is naturally less noise. Now if we add zoom into the equation, there is again no competition. Secondly, even if in good conditions the iPhone captures good video, the audio track is inferior. All in all, the best you can say is that in good conditions, the iPhone and pureview are similar. In anything but good conditions, the margin is significant.

I suppose I am making the assumption that you used 1080p on both phones? Did you use creative or auto mode on the pureview?
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[quote name='vader' timestamp='1344262130' post='15019']
Well.....The iPhone has a video bitrate of 22.5MBits/s, and the pureview is about 25MBit/s (according to ffmpeg). This indicates that it is the iPhone which has more compression. Secondly, the whole idea of pureview is to eliminate noise, meaning there is more detail. This is the first report *ever* that tries to say the iPhone has better video. There are many "side by side" video comparisons which show this not to be the case.

At night, there is no comparison, however in good conditions, the advantage is minimised, as there is naturally less noise. Now if we add zoom into the equation, there is again no competition. Secondly, even if in good conditions the iPhone captures good video, the audio track is inferior. All in all, the best you can say is that in good conditions, the iPhone and pureview are similar. In anything but good conditions, the margin is significant.

I suppose I am making the assumption that you used 1080p on both phones? Did you use creative or auto mode on the pureview?
[/quote]

They used Filmic Pro which apparently increases bitrate of the iPhone video. So theres your answer maybe? Would be nice to see a comparison of both of them stock, but the iPhone does have more detail in the Filmic pro samples I've seen.

I haven't used Camerapro in a while, last time I did it didn't do anything for video but I hear its been updated :S
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Ok, did a bit of research on filmic pro. It can use binning mode at 720p, but not at 1080p. They lower the noise by shooting at 24fps (can also do 30). Its actually not bad, but still has a few problems. One main one is frame dropping. It does indeed increase the bitrate (claimed up to 48MBits/s), but the high rate causes rolling shutter and frame dropping problems (there are several examples on youtube - most evident at lower light levels). They suggest tripod mounting. Don't get me wrong, its a great improvement on the iPhone's standard video, and yes in good conditions, it probably does give the pureview a run for its money (with the bog standard nokia camera app), however as pixel binning is only available at 720p, performance outside good conditions is worse. There is also no zoom (a big pureview plus), and they can't make up for inferior audio recording in software.

So bottom line is still, in certain circumstances, the iPhone (with Filmic pro) can indeed hold its head up high, however it still can't match the pureview in lower light, zoom, and audio. Un-jailbroken (hence no filmic pro), the iPhone is no match in any circumstances.

So I stand corrected with regards to Filmic pro, but still maintain that the pureview has better video recording, for the reasons quoted :)
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Why would anyone want to shoot with a phone over a DSLR for video in low light? They're both rubbish in that regard. It isn't much of an appeal. The stills are though.

For me even though the iPhone does really nice resolution and bitrates with Filmic Pro, it is still just a curiosity feature. Given $700 it is a bit of a no brainer what camera to use for serious video, and it isn't a 808, an iPhone, or a Galaxy S3.
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[quote name='stylinred' timestamp='1344160681' post='14981']
Not sure if its been touched on in the comments but it wasn't in the review and that's the Nokia 808s Rich Recording feature when using the Video function, its stereo sound and allows up to 140db to be captured that and the zoom function should really trump the 4S in its stock function, I don't see how an App could make it all that better either to trump those features...

Also the 808 records up to 25mbps in video bitrate; are you telling me the 4S does more than that with Filmicpro?


I also have a question about the stills tests, when shooting in Low Light did you use the 808 in full resolution or did you use the pureview mode (2/3, 5, 8mpx)?


(ive got camerapro in my 808, no issues but i dont use it fine with Nokias creative mode)
[/quote]

some of the questions have been answered but still really curious about the stills test question i had in regards to which mode/mpx were used for the low light tests
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All shot in full resolution mode. The phone can do an internal downsample to improve low light, giving 8MP, 5MP or 3MP images instead. But this is exactly the same as resizing a 38MP still to 8MP, 5MP or 3MP yourself in Photoshop. Better results to be had in post from the full files, rather than restricting it at the time of shooting to a lower res.
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[quote name='EOSHD' timestamp='1344308011' post='15032']
All shot in full resolution mode. The phone can do an internal downsample to improve low light, giving 8MP, 5MP or 3MP images instead. But this is exactly the same as resizing a 38MP still to 8MP, 5MP or 3MP yourself in Photoshop. Better results to be had in post from the full files, rather than restricting it at the time of shooting to a lower res.
[/quote]

ah i see, yeah dpreview compared the internal pureview mode with downsizing the full resolution and found the pureview mode to be better
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