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Taking the Nokia 8's dual camera for a test drive

The dual camera shoots in colour or black and white and you can take a split screen shot with the front and back cameras too.

Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Andrew Lanxon
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1 of 20 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The flagship Nokia 8 has not one but two cameras on the back. One shoots in colour, the other only in black and white. 

There are a whole host of camera tricks you can perform with the Nokia 8's camera, so I took it for a spin around London to see what it can do.

Both rear cameras have 13-megapixels -- a resolution I used for all the test photos, as well as shooting in automatic mode, unless otherwise stated.

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We start our journey on the CNET roof. The Nokia 8 has done a great job of balancing the exposure between the bright sky and shadowy buildings. 

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There's a ton of detail on this round flower, with the tiny stamen in the middle appearing in sharp focus.

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Switching to black and white mode, the detail remains and there's a satisfyingly deep blackness to the surroundings.

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It's easy to switch between black-and-white mode and colour. There's a little toggle off to the side of the screen.

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Colours are accurate in this shot of some bikes.

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I'd like to see a bit more contrast in the black and white version to make it a bit more dramatic and deep but that may just be down to the bright shooting conditions I was in.

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The HDR mode has kicked in on this shot of a flower, resulting in gorgeously exposed blue skies and great colours on the flower itself. It's a really nice shot.

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The dual lens also allows the Nokia 8 to create a "bokeh" effect, which artificially blurs the background around a subject. It's designed to simulate the look you'd get with a DSLR and it's a feature we've previously seen on the iPhone 7 Plus and the Google Pixel.

The blurring effect has worked well here, with none of the petals being affected by the processing. How it stacks up against the iPhone and other rivals remains to be seen. 

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A neat feature of the Nokia 8 is its ability to take split-screen shots on the front and back cameras at the same time. 

It's a great way to show off the lovely scene you're looking at alongside your smiling face. 

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It's not just for still photos. You can livestream this split-screen view directly to YouTube or Facebook. 

I can see YouTube fanatics loving this feature.

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It's not easy to take a photo of it happening!

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The front-facing camera has a 13-megapixel resolution and takes well-exposed selfies with accurate colours. 

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In lower indoor light, the Nokia 8 is still able to capture a sharp image. There's a bit of image noise, but it's not a bad effort at all. 

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A manual mode allows you to take control of white balance and other settings yourself. Sadly, there's no way to shoot photos in raw format.

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Take quick panoramas by sweeping the phone around a scene. The Nokia 8 processes these wide photos without much delay so you can get back to shooting straight away.

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Another outdoor shot with a good exposure balance between the sky and ground.

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Lots of details on this shot of leaves.

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The lettering is crisp on this road sign.

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The brightest parts of these petals have overexposed slightly, creating "patches" of colour. Turning on HDR mode may have helped here.

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