Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

You know what, forget the iPhone. Lets put the N8 up against some serious firepower, a DSLR which in this case is a 18 Megapixel Canon 550D, fitted with the 18-55mm kit lens. You’ve seen unedited pictures and video that Iain and I took with the N8 around Edinburgh. However I was also carrying my Canon 550D along and we decided to put the N8 to test and see how it fares against a full blown DSLR, nevermind those pocket point and shoot cameras. The results may surprise.

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

But before we proceed to the 20 different sets of images, lets clear a few things first. The N8 is not intended to replace a DSLR and as a blanket rule it will not. The N8 has the largest sensor on a mobile phone but even that is nothing compared to a DSLR’s sensor. This means that when it comes to low light photos, it will not even be a competition. Then what is the point of doing this shootout you ask?

I am doing this to see if there is a possibility of leaving a bulky DSLR home when you know you will be taking shots mainly during the day and do not intend to shoot landscapes at night. Lets face it, no matter how much you love taking images with your DSLR, carrying it around is a pain. There were a lot of times when despite having my trusty Canon 550D slung on my back I was happy using the N8 to take photos. Its too much of a pain to take it out of the bag every 5 minutes when you want to take a snap and lugging almost a kilo (800 gms.) around my neck also isn’t something I particularly look forward to.

Right then, the images. To fit this webpage I have resized the images, if you want a look at the larger version, just click on each image. But if you are still not satisfied and want the absolute unedited shots, I’ve uploaded all of them here, the ones with ‘DSLR’ in the name are from the Canon 550D and are numbered in co-relation to their N8 equivalents.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • Once resized, there isn’t much to choose between the shots. The Canon has better lighting, but that could also be because the shot was composed a little differently.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • With the sun playing hide and seek from the opposite direction, photography is always tough. It slid out a little to make the N8’s task even more hard.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • This is where the Canon takes the clear lead with much better exposure, a lot more of the picture is visible.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • If I didn’t label these images, you would be stressed to tell which was which.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • The sun again playing spoil sport with the N8, but I’m glad to see that it has still been able to get a pretty decent shot in despite it blaring into the sensor.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • At this point I was pretty happy with how the N8 was coping with virtually shooting into the sun, in the above shot its been blocked by the building.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • The Canon may have gotten much more natural colours, but I like how the N8’s version pops up.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • This time the Canon wins for me with better exposure.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • Again a slight victory for the Canon because of the fact the greater detail visible in the houses.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • Personally speaking, I’d like to give this round to the N8. The Canon has over-exposed it for my taste.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • Both great looking pictures, but I love the deeper blues on the N8.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • On this one, I prefer the N8’s version. Better colours and exposure.

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

  • Not natural, but I prefer the deeper blues that the N8’s post processing algorithm creates.

I personally don’t put too much value in actual size crops that are done to show how much detail could a camera capture as there would hardly be an occasion when I would need a 12 Megapixel image at its 100%. However, for those of you who care, here are ‘actual size’ crops from the Canon 550D (18 Megapixel) and the Nokia N8 (12 Megapixel).

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Nokia N8

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

Canon 550D

Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR

As you can see for yourself, the detail on the N8’s shots is very impressive indeed.

Who would have thought that the N8 could even give a DSLR a run for its money. There will be things the N8 will not be able to match such as depth of field, low light performance, speed and sometimes even detail but for something that stays in your pocket 24/7 and weighs nothing compared to a DSLR, I’d say the N8 has come out with flying colours. The results have shocked me as well, even while I was taking the pictures I could not imagine that the results the N8 produces can look good to an untrained eye, even when put up against a DSLR. Remember, all the untouched, full resolution images from both devices are here.

After all the images I have taken with the N8, after the tons of video that I have seen it produce; I can only come to one conclusion, the N8 is the best camera phone on the market today, don’t let anyone tell you different.

Looking for more N8 coverage?

187 thoughts on “Shootout: Nokia N8 v Canon 550D DSLR”

  1. DSLR is superior in image quality. I downloaded the full size images and took a closer look at 100 percent zoom. In the first N8 image people’s faces were distorted and there was a lot of noise in the sky and darker areas of the image. Im not a pro.

  2. Keep in mind that DSLR’s can shoot images in RAW format. RAW images will have more detail and quality than these processed JPEGS. If you compare these images at 100% zoom you will see a lot of difference. By resizing them you are TRYING TO HIDE THE FLAWS OF N8’s SENSOR..

  3. One more thing.. I think you have not turned on Image Stablization on your canon.. Thats the reason the photos are not looking sharp..

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