DxOMark, the popular camera-review website has just published its review of Nokia 8’s camera and gave it a paltry score of 68. In a year when smartphones like Google Pixel 2 and iPhone X have received a score of 98 and 97 respectively, the measly score of Nokia 8 does raise some questions.
When we first saw the review of Nokia 8 at DxOMark, there was one of question which instantly formed at the back of our heads, here at Beebom. The question being,
Is Nokia 8’s camera really as bad as shown by its poor DxOMark Score?
Since we have had Nokia 8 for more than two months now and we have already published an extensive review of the device, we believe that we had to take on this question and try to answer it to the best of our abilities.
However, before we start, we should first try to understand how DxOMark actually reaches its score, and can a single score truly paint the whole picture?
DxOMark Scores: What It Actually Means
Did you ever ask yourself, what DxOMark’s score actually mean? Well, if you didn’t, let me try to explain this as simply as possible. DxOMark judges a camera based on various parameters. Those parameters include exposure & contrast, color, autofocus, texture, noise, artifacts, flash, zoom, and bokeh among others. It uses these parameters to judge a camera’s still and video photography. All of the above the parameters get their individual scores which are combined to give a separate score for still and video photography. Then these two scores are combined to give an overall score which in case of Nokia 8 is 68.
You can see the individual scores and the overall score as given by DxOMark in the above picture. However, if you closely notice, you will see that the overall score isn’t simply the average of individual scores. That’s because DxO mark also provides different weightage to different parameters, which in simple words means that not all parameters are equal and some parameters have far more impact on the overall score than other parameters.
Beebom’s Take On DxO Mark Score
Let me first start by saying that, there are some things in this world which cannot be justified just by a quantitative assessment, and camera quality is one of them. Although I have always kept DxOMark’s score in high regard, for me it doesn’t paint the full picture. Just like I don’t believe that a score on Geekbench can actually show how a smartphone will perform in real life. For reference, Google Pixel 2 scores half of what iPhone X scores on Geekbench, but I found that the Pixel 2 goes head to head with iPhone X and even feels snappier in day-to-day usage.
Similarly, smartphone cameras cannot be quantified. Yes, the scores are a good place to start, but they are not everything. When I used Nokia 8, the phone obviously didn’t blow me away with its cameras, but it wasn’t that bad either.
We found that the camera was good in capturing details in the normal-lighting conditions and did well even in low-light conditions. You can check the samples below to see for yourself.
You know what just for fun I included the pictures shot from OnePlus 5T in with the Nokia 8 photos. Take a moment and try to see which one is better. If you can’t see the difference just click on links to find out which photos were taken with which phone.
Now consider this, DxOMark reviewed OnePlus 5 and gave it a score of 87. We all agree that OnePlus 5T’s camera is better than OnePlus 5’s camera in every regard other than when it comes to portrait shots. So, now I want you guys to tell me if the difference is as stark as the score indicates – can you clearly identify which photos were taken with a smartphone camera that got a 68 DxOMark score, which were shot with a phone which should at least score 87 on DxOMark?
Frankly, I don’t think so.
Nokia 8 has a decent camera which goes head to head against the camera of OnePlus 5. I don’t think that a score of 68 which is 21 points lesser than the score of OnePlus 5 does justice to the Nokia 8’s camera.
But that’s my opinion, I would love to hear from you guys. Do let us know what are your thoughts on this subject by dropping them down in the comments section below.