Nokia 8.1 may arguably be the best camera smartphone launched so far by the HMD. In our camera comparison it beats Nokia 7 Plus/8 Sirocco camera comfortably. But, how good it actually is?? While smartphone cameras have largely replaced dedicated cameras can a good smartphone camera like Nokia 8.1 beat a DSLR camera?

This is the question that we explore in this comparison. We have pitted Nokia 8.1 against Canon EOS 1300D to evaluate the imaging quality of Nokia 8.1. EOS 1300D packs a much bigger sensor as compared to the tiny one on Nokia 8.1 and that may actually make a lot of difference. But Nokia 8.1 with its Zeiss optics and AI-enabled auto-scene detection may still be able to get some good shots.

Daylight imaging comparison:

In this 200% crop comparison, EOS 1300D crop is on the top followed by Nokia 8.1 crop. Full-size images follow the crop set.

EOS Full size sample:

Nokia 8.1 Full Size sample:

More Daylight comparison sets:

EOS Full-size Bokeh sample:

Nokia 8.1 full-size Bokeh sample:

EOS Full-size Landscape sample:

Nokia 8.1 full-size landscape sample:

EOS Full-size colors sample:

Nokia 8.1 Full-size colors sample:

Low-light imaging comparison:

Outdoors set without flash:

EOS 1300D image is on the left in the below set.

Indoor set without flash:

EOS 1300D image is on the left in the below set.

You can check more full-size samples from both EOS 1300D and Nokia 8.1 by clicking here.

Final words:

If one goes to the crop level, one can see clearly that the bigger sensor on EOS 1300D captures more details as compared to Nokia 8.1 camera sensor. There is also difference between image processing and Nokia 8.1 images are more processed losing some details in the process. Even color saturation is more in Nokia 8.1 images, though in most of the cases it is not over the top.

But, unless we go to the crop comparison level, in daylight conditions Nokia 8.1 images come out pretty good as compared to EOS 1300D images. Even in low-light without flash captures, Nokia 8.1 images also capture good amount of light though EOS 1300D images look slightly better for sure.

This comparison tells us how much progress smartphone imaging in general and Nokia smartphone imaging in particular has done. With Nokia 8.1 HMD has delivered a solid camera smartphone that captures good-quality images in all lighting conditions. Though, HMD needs to tweak processing algorithms to preserve more details and keep images as natural as possible.

Perhaps with a bigger sensor and improved imaging algorithms one of the upcoming Nokia smartphones will be in the league of old Nokia imaging flagships and Nokia 9, we are looking at you with hope.