2 camera shots comparison – Nokia N9 vs Nokia N8

Here’s something many were quite interested in. How does the N9 camera shots compare in a fairly dark environment to the almighty N8.

EDIT: Please note that N9 is not bad at all. In fact, it’s one of the best 8MP camera you can get right now on a mobile phone and it should be about the same as the newly announced iPhone4s. It’s just that Nokia N8 is TOO good of a camera phone that’s all. Just making this clear as this article seems to make people think N9 is cr@p when it definitely isn’t. =P

Nothing fancy here. Just 2 shots each from same place, same lighting and same conditions. 1 shot with flash. 1 shot without. All the settings have been left at its default settings. (such as exposure, white balance etc) The photo was taken in a room which has one 60W light bulb lighting up the room. So it wasn’t very brightly lit up.

Nokia N8
– 9MP Large 16:9 setting
– Auto ISO

Nokia N9
–  7MP High 16:9 setting
– Auto ISO

I have resized these photos to 1000 pixels long. Yes, it’s not 100% crops but for all intends and purposes, this is enough for you to see the difference as you’ll find out below.

Now let’s start with Nokia N8 first.


1/35 sec , f2.8 , ISO 224


1/30 sec , f2.2 , ISO 606 , Flash fired


Now we’ll compare the photos when flash is turned off. This will really show which camera has a better sensor and/or image processing.

NOKIA N8 (Flash OFF)

1/8 sec , f2.8 , ISO 638

NOKIA N9 (Flash OFF)

1/15 sec , f2.2 , ISO 800


EDIT: Do note the exposure information. N9 was using ISO 800 for this last shot while N8 used a bit lower ISO 638 while using a much slower shutter speed. Basically, N8 sacrificed the shutter speed for better image quality while the N9 kept the shutter speed high to ensure the shot doesn’t end up blurry due to hand shake etc. Well, N8 would have still easily beaten the N9 even if it did use the same ISO 800. But just wanted to make people aware of these small details….

Now. I don’t expect the new iPhone4s camera to be much different to the N9 as it should have a very similar sensor size, image processing and even their lense aperture is very similar.

As you can clearly see, Nokia N9 just doesn’t even come close to the Nokia N8 in both situations. Flash on or off in a fairly dim lit room. It’s like night and day. There really isn’t a single mobile phone out there right now that can beat the N8’s camera image quality. This is because N8 uses a MUCH larger sensor (more than double) and a MUCH brighter xenon flash than pretty much all mobile phones. (that includes the N9/iPhone4S/SGS2 etc) It’s really unfair to compare them to the N8 really. N9 isn’t bad at all and its performance should put it at the top end of the current crop of mobile phones. It’s just that N8 is on a league of its own.

EDIT2: Umm. I might take back what I said about the N9 being similar to the iPhone4s. Either my N9 sample is bad or N9 just isn’t all that crash hot. See my new article comparing the N9 against the SGS2 camera HERE.

Please feel free to comment.



11 thoughts on “2 camera shots comparison – Nokia N9 vs Nokia N8”

  1. N8 is still winner in photography. As we can see that N8 has 12 MP AF with Xenon Flash and N9 has 8 MP AF/TF with Dual LED Flash. N9 is better when it comes to smoothness and multitasking. :-p

    Thanks! Thumb up 2

    1. They are both good. Just different. Depends on what you need from a smartphone. N8 has far better camera, HDMI out, USB OTG, expandable Micro SD etc. N9 has faster CPU, bigger and higher resolution display, a unique OS etc. If you prefer Symbian and its range of apps as well as prefer N8’s camera etc, just wait for Nokia 808 PureView as that has everything better than what N8 has and more. (see my article on 808 PureView) or if you prefer the idea of a linux OS and true multitasking, get the sexy N9. or if you want a more mature and supported smartphone OS with pretty much same camera as N9 and its looks, get the Lumia 800.

      Thanks! Thumb up 1

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