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Nokia 8 Camera review. Nokia 8 vs Lumia 1020 camera comparison

In this article, we will review Nokia 8 cameras (both rear and front) and will also compare the rear camera against the Lumia 1020 camera, which is still the gold standard of smartphone imaging. Nokia 8 is the affordable flagship from HMD and is the first phone ever to pack both rear and front camera with Zeiss optics. It comes with a Dual-lens camera on the back and a 13MP shooter at the front. If you want to check, here are the quick camera specs/features for both Nokia 8 Cameras.

Camera with ZEISS optics:

  • Primary camera: 13MP (Colour + OIS) + 13MP (Mono), 1.12um, f/2.0, 76.9˚, PDAF, IR range finder, dual tone flash
  • Front facing camera: 13MP PDAF, 1.12um, f/2.0, 78.4˚, display flash

Both cameras come with autofocus and have a F/2 aperture. The F/2 aperture should be able to provide good low-light performance theoretically. Nokia 8 also has a Dual-Tone flash that should provide adequate illumination and keep low-light captures natural.

Nokia 8 vs Lumia 1020 Imaging comparison:

Lumia 1020 daylight samples:

Nokia 8 samples

Lumia 1020 vs Nokia 8 Daylight (100% crop):

Lumia 1020 vs Nokia 8 Daylight (200% crop):

Lumia 1020 Low-light samples:

Nokia 8 Low-light samples:

Lumia 1020 vs Nokia 8 low-light (100% crop):

Lumia 1020 vs Nokia 8 low-light (100% crop):

Nokia 8 vs Lumia 1020 video comparison:

Video quality comparison side by side: Lumia 1020 (left)

OIS comparison side by side: Lumia 1020 (Right)

Nokia 8 low-light video sample

Lumia 1020 low-light video sample:

Nokia 8 vs Lumia 1020 comparison conclusion:

Nokia 8 rear camera captures lots of resolved details in both low-light and daylight conditions. In fact, we have not seen any smartphone camera coming so close to Lumia 1020 in terms of resolved details. Check both 100% and 200% crop comparisons. It is a great feat on the part of HMD team as it was largely unexpected because of the huge difference between sensors and imaging algorithms (no oversampling on Nokia 8).

One more thing that you may have already noticed is that Nokia 8 keeps color and white balance more accurate than Lumia 1020 that always provides more vibrant yet accurate colors with an enormous amount of details. In low-light Lumia 1020 uses its old trick now copied by all smartphone flagships around and keeps the shutter open for longer to get more light in. This helps in getting more illuminated images even sacrificing some details in the process. Nokia 8 doesn’t use this trick and captures more details but darker images. HMD should provide an option to use this OIS trick in future for those who want it.

Video capture again highlights the similar difference between Nokia 8 and Lumia 1020 camera approaches. Lumia 1020 provides more vibrant capture yet with the huge amount of details. OIS wise, however, Nokia 8 seems to have the edge here.

Nokia 8 camera review:

Nokia 8 Rear camera captures lots of resolved details, keeps colors natural without any additional saturation, this you may have noticed in the above comparison. It is easily one of the best smartphone cameras out there when it comes to details and color accuracy. In fact, we will recommend HMD to at least provide an option for those who love to get more vibrant images from their smartphone cameras.

Now coming to what else Nokia 8 camera can do impressively, the Live Bokeh feature is a dream feature coming true. You can capture great Bokeh images and also can control the level of background blur. Below we provide two samples of the same object with blur level changed. We also provide you with a Bokeh image of the same object captured with Lumia 1020.

Nokia 8 Bokeh:

Lumia 1020 Bokeh:


Nokia 8 rear camera also captures some great-looking Panorama images. Check one sample below.


HDR works fine when you need to capture a scene that requires good dynamic range.

Nokia 8 dual-Tone Flash does make a difference as these two samples show.

Without flash:

With Flash:

The Dual-tone flash keeps low-light capture natural without making it extra bright.

Live streaming on YouTube/Facebook:

This is yet another neat feature of Nokia 8 camera that you would love to use if you are in covering events or want to share a nice looking scene with your friends and family quickly back home. The live streaming happens in 1080p resolution and OZO Audio capture just sounds awesome. We have few samples of our Nokia 2 event coverage on our YouTube channel, where we used Nokia 8 to live-stream on YouTube. Check one of the live-streamed videos below.

Coming to video capture, you can capture up to 4K video with Nokia 8 rear camera. OIS works impressively smoothening out jerks and motion. Color accuracy and captured details remain top-notch. The Nokia 8 rear camera also comes with OZO Audio surround sound capture and an impressive digital Zoom feature.

As you could have already noticed in our comparison with Lumia 1020 above, Nokia 8 OZO Audio capture is even richer and louder than Lumia 1020, which was itself known for rich sound capture. Even in low-light video capture, Nokia 8 camera shines. But as we mentioned in case of images here also it captures as per the available lighting condition and doesn’t try to add extra lighting. So, the video comes with good details and less noise.

You can check 4K video samples captured with Nokia 8 rear camera below.

Nokia 8 & Lumia 1020 Full-size image samples:

Nokia 8 Rear camera samples

Lumia 1020 Rear camera samples

Nokia 8 Front camera review & samples:

Nokia 8 front camera is the dream selfie camera that you will ever use. It packs Zeiss optics and is the only Nokia Phone ever to do so. Not only it captures super sharp selfies that are the best of the lot but can also record videos in 4K. Bothie feature is another highlight feature of Nokia 8 that uses both front and rear cameras at the same time.

You can check some imaging samples captured with Nokia 8 front camera. We have also posted a 4K video captured with Nokia 8 front camera.

You can see full-size Nokia 8 front camera samples by clicking here.

Final Words:

Smartphone cameras nowadays are the go-to cameras. Not only for the owner but if your smartphone camera is capable enough it will become the main camera for the entire family. That has precisely happened with our Nokia 8 camera. It has become the new favorite camera for everyone in my family at least. The earlier favorite was none other than the “Lumia 1020” itself.

What works in Nokia 8’s favor is that it is really fast in capturing and is very consistent in quality of capture. Images and videos come detailed and accurate in colors keeping the white balance appropriate most of the times. The selfies are just awesome simply the best that one can get. You won’t get red eye while using the flash too, which is a big plus for low-light capture.

But there are places where HMD can certainly improve the camera.

  • Provide an option for capturing more vibrant images. This pleases many who won’t be really happy with just getting accurate colors and want some vibrancy.
  • In low-light capture without flash, it misses the trick of using OIS to keep the shutter open for longer to get more light in. While this approach sacrifices some details, Nokia of the old made this popular only to be copied by everyone else. So, it is bit awkward to miss it on Nokia 8. Nokia 8 has a capable camera so adding a software trick will only help its popularity.
  • Video capture while very impressive can be improved. Compared to the imaging video capture still lags behind Lumia 1020 in terms of details and color contrast.
Nayan has more than 10 years of experience of covering Technology and innovations. He is a big Nokia fan and Tech disruptions aficionado. He loves to review new cool gadgets and writing about Android, iOS, Gadgets and general Technology stuff. He has been associated with other well-known Tech sites WinCentral and GadgetOx since long. He currently sports a Lumia 950 XL and Nexus 5X. Other interests include listening to Nu-Metal Hits and Kick-Boxing. Write to him at Email: [email protected]
  • Anonymousl

    Dxo said there are a lot of noise to be found in Nokia 8 I tried to search around here and at end I only found nothing. I even tried to zoom in to the image with the blue sky. I have been scammed! Dxo, you are done!

  • jackson k. wong

    Hope they add pause option on video shooting.

    • Kamal

      They should. It is not that a big feature. If you can, provide feedback directly to them.

  • Dodge

    Still love my 1020 4 years old and still rocking with Windows 10 Mobile.

  • sks

    Comparison is good, but it is not very clear as to which is 1020 and Nokia 8 in the side by side comparison videos,

    • Kamal

      Just updated. Check again.

  • 777sasha3331

    Good job!

    • Kamal

      Thanks 🙂

  • Rob Beijendorf


    All the other reviews have shown the Nokia 8 being incredibly noisy and with poor low-light performance, but that’s not really apparent here. Did Nokia 8 get an update that sorted out some of the flaws?
    Also, did you use the full 41 MP images for the Lumia 1020? If we’re talking about resolved detail, it’d seem unfair not to do so.

    This comparison does bring some hope for the performance of the upcoming Nokia 9. The early Nokia 8 camera reviews were disappointing to say the least, as it didn’t live up to the old Nokia camera capabilities.

    • Kamal

      We really don’t refer to other reviews but we do our work in a transparent and honest manner. That’s why we always post full-size unprocessed images. In our opinion, Nokia 8 has one of the best smartphone cameras out there and still can do better with some software tricks.

      • 777sasha3331

        But Nokia 8 loses much camera the Lumia 950! I was taking photos at both Nokia and 8 loses much…

    • cim113

      Agree, Nokia 8 use the low-end CMOS IMX258, all picture looks noisy and blur.
      lumia 1020 is another level actually.
      keep waiting for Nokia 9.

  • Sankar Pillay Hovelly

    Brilliant comparison. This is what many has been waiting for. Thank you.

    • Kamal

      Thanks for those words of encouragement 🙂

      • Sankar Pillay Hovelly

        Thank you Kamal. I agree Nokia 8 has very good resolved details and increasing the shutter length will help to improve the low light photo quality. But as u mention,it’s from facing camera is really really good. Better than the Lumia 950 XL. I’m still not sure how OZO audio differs from HAAC mic in the previous Nokias. Both capture multi directional sound. But the end results are different.

  • 777sasha3331

    I wait Nokia 9 with Nokia Pro Cam

  • Gerrard Jr

    i want nokia 9/10/11 whatever the name is with lumia 1020 camera. it could well be nokia 7 for all i care about other specs

    • Gerard Sanderse

      Me too 🙂

      • Gerrard Jr

        still miss my lumia 1020…it just died while i charge the phone never to come back to life again 😓

        • Gerard Sanderse

          I still use my 1020 in vacations for pictures as backup, now 950 XL as main phone.

          • Gerrard Jr

            i never get myself around to buy 950
            little things here and there put me off from buying it
            now nokia 9 seem to be interesting so far in the leak…i will look out for that

            • Gerard Sanderse

              Got the 950XL new for 309 euro’s, not a bad deal. Waiting for that new Nokia 9 😉