Saturday, November 12, 2011

[MEGA Head to Head] N9 vs N8 camera test !

Posted on 11:06 by SlipKoRnSaad

Hello folks,

Now that i have a little free time, i give you a more extended head to head between the N9 and the N8 in camera department !

As Damian Dinning alraedy pointed out in his post at Nokia Conversations, the Nokia N8 is still the camera king. But the N9 is a great performing camera considering the 70% reduction in size, you surely did see my brief head to head which gave you an idea how the N9 performs in front of the N8, but we'll go a little bit further to see how it does in general situations (to be completed when i'll have some more free time) :

As usual, all pictures were shooten in automatic mode, with no extra settings, grab the phone, open camera application, shoot !

The N8 followed by the N9 :

--> Sunny day

Results : The N8 is a little more saturated, the N9 capture more (even my left foot), thanks to its wide angle !

Another try :

Results : The same as above, plus the sky color rendering is more natural on the N8, the N9 give you two more palm tree in both sides, and we can see the whole right palm tree from the bottom to the top and even the shadow of the extreme right palm ! ah the magic of the wide angle !

Results : i have to admit that the N9 sometimes has some serious troubles to focus on a distant object, even if we set it up to landscape mode like this picture !

In a more complex situation :

Results : More light are gathered on the left side by the N9 but the color of the sky isn't that natural.

Results : The N9 does a nice job by gathering more light on the left and bottom side, really nice, and the picture is clearer than on the N8, but the sky color rendering and the "white" left wall is more natural on the N8 !

Lets go a little bit further with this complex situation :

Results : a huge blue hue on N9 results and fired (overexposed) results of the white wall, the N8 royally stay calm and give an outstanding natural performance !

Lets move to a cloudy context :

Results : N9 results are sharp and "processed" but color are more natural ! Yes you read that right ! the N8 is more saturated but doesn't reflect the situation as it was (more yellowish balance, like it was set up to cloud balance)

The same as above !

And again !

And again, N9 wins here in color rendering for the mid and bottom part of the picture, and the N8 the top part of the picture, yes i know a very confusing situation !

In an cloudy afternoon :

Results : The sky color rendering is greatly managed by the N8, not really the case with the N9 and on this later,

And now for close up scenes :

Results : The N9 does a better job both in limit distance and color rendering.

But, with the smart zoom, the N8 can do better (we're talking about distance here) :

Another try :

Results : The N8 is more natural and gather more light to the scene ! But the N9 can be even close to the subject!

But, again, the smart zoom on the N8 give an outstanding results :

How about the Low light conditions?

Without flash :

Results : Very complicated situation, the N8 grabs more light (look at the background behind the door on the right corner) without much noisy results (top right green area on the corner), but the N9 gives a clearer, saturated and a little bit noisy result, but all in all very good indeed !

A more complex situation :

Results : N9 overexposed a little bit the luster on the top but it grabs more light overall while the N8 focused royally on the center of the luster and did give more natural results but darker coins...

Look what happened when i did the focus on the luster :

Results : There's no need to say that the N8 screwed up this shot !

In more dark situation (only light coming is from the bathroom)

Another try :

Results : look on how the N8 blows the N9 out of the water grabbing more light with relatively acceptable level of noise indeed, you should not also that the N9 did a very good job for maintaining a very acceptable level of noise, not bad at all.

The same can be seen with this situation :

Results : It's true that the N8 did gather more light but it overexposed the background a little bit when we see how the N9 did ;)

Results : N9 is more noisy, colors are cold, the N8 on the other has a great noise management and outstanding natural color rendering !

And if i fire the flash?

Results : On the N9, the result is noisy, but for a dual LED camera, it does a great job !

Results : No comments !

Based on room light and if i fire the flash, i get the following :

Results : Still the N9 reminds me of N86 !

Almost complete dark situation (very little light coming from the left window)

With flash :

 Results : the N9 does a great job, it reminds me of the N86, very good noise management with a strong enough dual flash led, but the picture will be always yellowish, the xenon one remains untouchable !

Look at that :

You see that the rendering is more yellowish, the internal powerful photo editor is here to address this, well, somehow !

With auto-correction feature we can get something like this (more greenish but somehow more natural Flore) :

In video department : 

I wanted meanly to test low light conditions, and the N9 did a outstanding job grabbing more light than the N8, but rendering was a bit noisy, the N8 was almost free of noise !

A 44sec sequence costs the N8 55MB of the space and N9 34MB because the N9 compressed more the video :

N8 video file details

N9 video file details

N8 sample :

And here's the N9 sample :

Bottom line :

The N9 has proved that is has a great camera which can capture more details with the help to the f/2.2 aperture (largest ever in a mobile device) and Super wide-angle optics (the widest in the industry. Up to as much as 60% more viewing area than other broadly comparable devices), all in all with sharp results !

What drives me crazy with the N9 is its extremely responsive UI, especially switching from stills to video and vice-versa and shot to shot !

I like the Touch AF and Full time continuous AF in BOTH video and stills plus face detection.

But a little tweak on the color management field mainly in low light situation (with and without flash) could make of the N9 the best camera phone behind the N8, it has a lot of potential, and Nokia promise nice tweaks in the PR 1.2 update :)

What you should know :

- There's no flash assisted video for now !
- Zooming on video isn't supported as well
- Stereo capture is good, but not excellent as on the N8 (but great when compared to other devices from other brands)
- Video is more processed and compressed than on the N8 but quality remains fine
- Flash is so strong that it can burn your close up've to play with iso and exposure settings here...

What do you think guys, which one do you prefer?

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