Nokia 808 PureView: A 41MP camera — in a phone!


By Andrew Hudson Published: February 27, 2012 Updated: January 19, 2017

Nokia has demonstrated a 41-megapixel camera for their upcoming Nokia 808 PureView phone. The amazing number of pixels is actually used to create a better 5MP picture, and a lossless “zoom” by using cropping.

“This is our first smartphone to feature our exclusive new PureView technology, which completely blows away any prior expectations about the quality of camera phone photography.”
Ian Delaney, Nokia Blog, February 27, 2012.

The camera produces images measuring 7152×5368, in a 16:9 aspect ratio. On the front is a Carl Zeiss f/2.4 lens.

“In the case of the Nokia 808, the point of the massive pixelage isn’t to create a ginormous image, but rather downsize a 41-megapixel pic into a super-accurate 5-megapixel shot.”
Sam Biddle at Gizmodo, February 27, 2012.

Although the handset won’t be available in the U.S. as it uses the discontinued Symbian operating system (handsets in the U.S., such as the Nokia Windows phone, uses the Windows OS), the “PureView” technology will likely appear on other Nokia handsets.

“One of the areas where Nokia is bound to be criticized — especially in North America — is the fact that it is bringing the camera technology first to its bound-for-extinction Symbian platform rather than to Windows Phone, which is its future. Nokia doesn’t even sell Symbian phones in the United States any more.”
— Ina Fried, AllThingsD, February 27, 2012.

Here are two interesting articles:

  • The Inside Story of Nokia’s 41-Megapixel Camera Phone: Five Years in the Making from AllThingsD
  • Megapixels Don’t Matter from Gizmodo

Here’s how Nokia justifies the high number of pixels:

Sorry, did you just say 41-megapixels?

Yes, that’s right. But this combination isn’t about shooting pictures the size of billboards! Instead, it’s about creating amazing pictures at normal, manageable sizes. There’s a combination of benefits.

The technology means that taking typically sized shots (say, 5 megapixels) the camera can use oversampling to combine up to seven pixels into one “pure” pixel, eliminating the visual noise found on other mobile phone cameras. On top of that, you can zoom in up to 3X without losing any of the details in your shot — and there’s no artificially created pixels in your picture, either.

Otherwise, you can use ‘Creative Shooting Mode’ to capture images at high resolution — 38 megapixels; then reframe, crop and zoom to find the best “picture within the picture” after the image has been shot and before saving it at convenient sizes for sharing and storage.

Source: Nokia via Ian Delaney, Nokia Blog via Michael Zhang at PetaPixel.

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