back to article 41-megapixel MONSTER mobe shutters Nokia knockers

Nokia's PureView 808, unveiled today in Barcelona, boasts a 41-megapixel camera - a spec that trumps rivals' 8- and 12-MP sensors spectacularly. Naturally your humble hack had a play with one on the Nokia stand. The hefty handset features an f2.4 Carl Zeiss lens and new pixel oversampling technology. Zooming in on an image is …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    I really hope the CZ lens is better than some of the shite they've been putting on Sony cameras lately.

    With all this oversampling and interopliation I also hope that the software is up to the mark.

    Given that the Nikon D800 (36Mp) is expected to show up lots of flaws in lenses, good luck with this one.

    1. Ian McNee
      Headmaster

      Re: Oh dear

      I think you'll find that "interopliation" is considered a clear sign of a debauched soul in many parts of the world and is even a crime between consenting adults in several less open-minded societies.

      Interpolation however is usually just a marketing gimmick and therefore simply a crime against the Nathan Barleys of this world, i.e. barely a misdemeanour. Caveat emptor.

    2. DF118

      Re: Oh dear

      Care to elaborate re the Zeiss/Sony lenses?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmmm

      Except its not 41MP is it? its actually 5, and they admit that the pics are worse than that of a decent 5MP camera with good lens.

      Just because something can do something doesnt mean it should do something.

    4. Mr Wilks

      Re: Oh dear

      I agree. The CZ must be better than the Exmor R in the Sony which is just pretty lame on my Neo as it is compressed way too much. The threads over on the Sony Mobile forums are awash with people condemming the decision to limit the file sizes. I was pretty excited about it landing, and got one as soon as the hit the UK but i was soon disappointed with the output.

      I just hope the learn.

      1. DF118

        Re: Re: Oh dear

        @Mr. Wilks - think you're talking at cross-purposes with the person you're replying to. Exmor R is sensor tech, Zeiss is lens tech (I'm assuming you already know this) but - unless I'm very much mistaken - the original AC was being disparaging about the Zeiss branded lenses being sold for the Sony (formerly Minolta) Alpha-mount camera system.

        Zeiss, like many other successful premium brands, monetises their name carefully but as extensively as possible. Hence "Zeiss" lenses on mobile phones. Whatever that lens is made of and wherever it's made, it is of course a world apart from the Alpha mount Zeiss lenses which probably have a hell of a lot more to do with Zeiss than the one on this (or any other) mobile phone/compact camera.

        I'm not sure why the original AC was so down on the Alpha-mount Zeiss lenses. I'm guessing it's because he is a teenage Nikon fanboi who thinks the equipment you use to take a photo is more important than the photo itself.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seriously?

    Who calls the shots at Nokia?

    They release something like this, then stuff on the same OS they so effectively torched last year.

    Who is going to pay that much money, or take it on a 2 year contract knowing the likelihood of getting updates, fixes or new interesting apps is slim to none.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Seriously?

      Being an optimist, perhaps they wake up eventually, then again, perhaps, I am not that optimistic.

    2. sabba
      Gimp

      Re: Seriously?

      Are you serious? Of course some muppet will pay over the odds for it - although they need to do is price it high enough.

      Being the first to do this will alo not hurt 'em regardless of how daft it appears now. Remember when people thought having a camera on your phone was a daft idea?

    3. Mikel
      Flame

      Re: Seriously?

      The 'softies can't bang out a driver for a new device like this as fast as the last few symbian geeks Nokia still has, obviously.

      1. Dave Bell

        Re: Re: Seriously?

        It makes me think that there is some pretty serious image processing software going on, and 41MP is a very virtual number. And they cannot quickly port it to the new-to-them OS.

    4. DF118

      Re: Seriously?

      Sorry I seem to have missed the bit in the story where it said this phone has been released.

    5. Ian Michael Gumby
      WTF?

      Re: Seriously?

      Ok...

      So I have to ask... what phone do you own? What apps do you actually have on the phone?

      That's a serious question.

      I have a friend who has an iPhone and has a ton of apps that are more game than functional.

      On the other hand, I have an iPhone because I had to replace my old phone that was dying. I decided on the iPhone because my new company is Mac oriented and I wanted something that integrated nicely. His phone is a phone and a toy. Mine is a tool.

      I don't care that much about the OS of the phone as long as it 1) doesn't suck my battery dry. 2) Works as a phone and offers some of the apps that I use on a regular basis.

      Nokia owns Navteq so they do offer Maps and turn by turn directions. And their maps don't drive you in to the bog or off a cliff. ;-)

      So yeah, I might consider this phone or another Nokia phone if the price is right, and it meets my needs. Unfortunately though, Nokia needs to fix some of this apps like Mail and contacts... but thats a different issue.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aren't we past this?

    How much light can possibly be getting to pixels that small? Maybe the pictures will be nice outside on a sunny day but I can't imagine low-light performance will be any better than any other smartphone and probably somewhat worse.

    1. Steve Evans

      Re: Aren't we past this?

      I imagine low light performance will be dire, then again, have you seen some of the posts your friends put up on facebook from a night out clubbing? Blurred and shaky appear to be this season's black.

      Anyway, back to the subject... The clever solution when you're playing about with low light and photosites a fraction of the size of a human hair is to combine them, effectively dropping the resolution and then measuring the captured photons across a 3x3 block. Sure, your 41 megapixel silly camera resolution suddenly drops to 4.5mp, but you will at least have a hope of actually seeing something before you have to crank up the amplification so hard that you detect radio Luxembourg.

      Although given the use of the horribly sales-pitch phrase "pixel over-sampling technology" I wouldn't be shocked to find out that the sensor doesn't have anything like 41 megapixels and is purely a clever image processor hooked onto the back of a far more humble resolution sensor.

      More interestingly (and completely unmentioned in the article) is the flash, it's hard to tell from the picture, and I could be getting my hopes up here, but is that a *real* xenon flash tube there?

      1. Jason Hindle

        Re: Re: Aren't we past this?

        Not really. There are a couple of things to consider here:

        1. I understand the sensor is the size of that in a Nikon 1 (i.e. half the size of a Four Thirds sensor)!

        2. There is increasing evidence on the engineering size that pumping the pixels can be a benefit. If you know what you're doing with them.

        A typical image from this 41MP sensor will probably be just five megapixels in size but with the pixel binning techniques they're using (not to mention the possibility of exposing half the pixels differently, if they're using an electronic shutter) should provide clean images with a wide dynamic range.

        This is Nokia the heavyweight R&D giant at its best IMHO.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Yes, that is a real xenon flash tube

        Also seen on the N8.

        1. archengel46
          Thumb Up

          Re: Yes, that is a real xenon flash tube

          And an LED one too!!!

    2. Kristian Walsh

      Re: Aren't we past this?

      At 1.4 microns, the photosites of the 808 Pureview are pretty much the same size as those on the iPhone 4S or Nokia N9. The sensor is enormous (1/1.2" - twice the area of the N8's, 5 times the area of the iPhone 4S's), and it's sensor size (with optical quality) that ultimately governs image quality.

      The samples at http://press.nokia.com/media/554/photo/list/886/nokia-808-pureview/ are exceptionally good. They remind me of scanned transparencies, rather than the output of a high-end DSLR, and the low-light sample is superb.

      1. Giles Jones Gold badge

        Re: Re: Aren't we past this?

        Samples are always going to be good. You're not going to under-sell your device.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: Aren't we past this?

        I just went and had a look at those pictures.

        Yes they are excellent for a phone, and better than any other I've seen.

        But look closely and you see that everything has about 4 to 6 pixels of blur, so the actual image details would be no different from an up scaled image from a 10MP device.

        Plus there is a lot of noise on thise shots, it may not be the sparkly crap you get from most phones, but the artifacts from the jpeg compression and other image fudging.

        In the real world having a 10MP device which only compresses images down to about 4-5 MB will provide far better results than a 41MP device compressing down to 9MB.

    3. Steve Litchfield

      Re: Aren't we past this?

      Eh? The pixels are normal sized. It's the sensor that's huge: 1/1.2" Just sayin'. And sample photos are unbelievable.

    4. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Aren't we past this?

      All other things being equal it's the size of the sensor that matters, not the pixels.

      And the use of many small pixels allows you to perform smarter noise reduction than the simple averaging that larger pixels effectively perform in comparison. It does require substantial processing power though.

    5. Tom Kelsall

      Re: Aren't we past this?

      Not only that, but an F2.4 lens?! Low light performance is going to be DIRE, and the lens is small enough that even the tiniest abberation on the glass is going to be a huge percentage of the lens size. Great on megapixels (and therefore detail), short on QUALITY OF IMAGE.

      And a 1.3GHz single core will only just be able to turn this beast of a camera on inside ten minutes...

      1. It wasnt me
        WTF?

        Re: Re: Aren't we past this?

        "And a 1.3GHz single core will only just be able to turn this beast of a camera on inside ten minutes..."

        WTF are you talking about ? Do you have any data on how processor speed correlates to boot time on a camera?

        Oh, and what aperture lens would you put on for really good low light performance? Hint: smaller nubmers are better, but more expensive generally. F2.4 is pretty impressive for a mobile phone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Answers!

          Low light performance is really quite good, and getting better.

          Camera startup time is less than 1s. And no, its is not related to processor speed, it's mostly related to how fast the camera system (which is dedicated HW on the GPU) can start up.

          38MP images are captured and stored in about 1s also. Lower res (5 or 8MP) is about 3fps

          1. Jah

            Re: Answers!

            I'll be buying one. Belle is much better than Anna and Symbian ^3.

          2. Tom Kelsall
            Thumb Up

            Re: Answers!

            Then I stand corrected on startup speed... but that save rate is dire (I can understand why mind, I'm just saying). Does it have buffering so that you can quickly take multiple exposures and store them after the fact?

        2. Tom Kelsall
          Thumb Down

          Re: Re: Re: Aren't we past this?

          The HTC One series has F2.0 - I know what F-stop numbers are. It also only has 8Mpixels but takes unbelievable, outstanding, fantastic photographs (for a mobile phone).

          The lens manufacture process means that the smallest possible abberation in lens curve is a fixed size - and therefore the smaller the lens, the larger the percentage of lens size those abberations are... which means the larger their effect on image quality. An f2.0 lens is 30% bigger than an f2.4 - with all the attendant benefits. In a 41Mpixel camera, for credibility alone, I would have chosen AT WORST an f2.0.

  4. Bob Vistakin
    FAIL

    Next up, the Nokia Android everyone really wants

    WP7, like socialism, was an interesting experiment whilst it lasted.

  5. Phoenix50
    Trollface

    Pay attention "Bub".

    WP7 is no experiment, it's here, so deal with it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Easily done

      Just bought myself a Not-Nokia, not-Windows phone. Motorola. Android.

      Dealt with :)

    2. PJI
      Unhappy

      Sadly, you're right

      It is here. Thankfully, you are wrong: why should one "get over it"? How defeatist. The customer is king, remember? If the customer does not like it, it has failed, e.g. Vista. Never, ever "get over it" if you are paying for "it".

      Just suffered my first few days of W7 at work (after XP). Horrible is too kind a word. Those fussy, bulky, almost old fashioned-style window borders and scores of options in a ribbon competing for attention and space. So you can 'disable' them, except they reappear as soon as you choose anything. And slow! Aaaaargh!

      Thank Heavens OS X is getting leaner and cleaner if anything, for the most part. MS needs some good designers trained in Europe.

      Still, W8 should make it even worse, so W7 will be just a short footnote (except for those of us in large firms that have just jumped to w7).

      Symbian is excellent at what it does. I heard good things about the (not-Android) Nokia Linux implementation.

      1. scarshapedstar
        WTF?

        Re: Sadly, you're right

        Lolwut? W7 is a dream.

        I mean maybe if your hardware sucks balls, W7 might also suck, but I've been running W7 for two years and have not had a single hard crash. Not one BSOD. Ever.

        It's their first decent OS.

        1. It wasnt me
          Unhappy

          Re: Re: Sadly, you're right

          A thoroughly interesting point, and succinctly made. But you do seem to have missed the subtle difference between W7 and WP7, and thus possibly misdirected your anger.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            /You/ May be right!

            The fact is that some of us have got so fed up with Windows, over the years, that /whichever/ version happened to do it for us, we are not going to put it in out pockets.

    3. Bob Vistakin
      Devil

      That's what every socialist said, from the commies to "new" labour.

      1. cocknee

        socialist?

        New Labour? I think not, Edward Heath claimed Bliar was more right wing than him and as for the Prince of Darkness.

        Dennis Skinner yes but he never claimed to be New Labour

        It's good that Capitalism is doing so well........

    4. Lance 3

      "WP7 is no experiment, it's here, so deal with it."

      WP7 is here, but the sales are not. Even the N9 has outsold WP7 in Q4 from ALL manufacturers.

      1) How long before Nokia is the only WP7 manufacturer?

      2) How long after that will there be no Nokia?

      Then WP7 doesn't exist anymore. Do you really think the other manufacturers will be fooled again by Microsoft? Microsoft will have to pay the manufacturers to sell WP7 handsets. Now that will be a burning platform.

      1. scarshapedstar
        Trollface

        Re: "WP7 is no experiment, it's here, so deal with it."

        If MS gives up on WP7, all they have left in mobile is patent-trolling Android handset manufacturers, and that's kinda ignominious. So they have their Potemkin mobile OS that nobody would be caught dead using, and then Android brings in the Real Money. For now, anyway.

  6. Mondo the Magnificent
    Devil

    Line up, line up for Nokia's new 41MP camera..

    .. that also serves as a mediocre mobile phone.. but then again, most won't give a shit about that.. because they have a 41MP camera!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Line up, line up for Nokia's new 41MP camera..

      Er, I think Nokia's got the boring mobile phone bit sorted out. We're still waiting for some other unnamed manufacturers to iron out the gremlins in their models if you hold it wrong or if you use it for more than half a day.

      1. blondie101
        Happy

        Re: Line up, line up for Nokia's new 41MP camera..

        Maybe that manufacturer can license the Nokia technology en get it to the market quick and with a real Phone OS.

  7. Antony Smith
    Meh

    Can that lens..

    ...of that size resolve 41 megapixels? 18 at best I'd say, so rather pointless.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. The First Dave
      Boffin

      Re: Can that lens..

      "there is no need for an optical zoom" - you heard it here first, wonder why SLR manufacturers never figured that one out either? Could it be because it is complete bollox, or could it be possible that the laws of physics (with regard to optics) actually haven't changed, and you actually do still need a fairly decent bit of glass to get a top-quality photo?

  8. mark l 2 Silver badge

    When are people going to learn that a large megapixel count does not mean great photos unless the optics are on pare.

    my ancient 2 megapixel SLR camera with excellent lenses produces much better photos than most peoples compact 10 megapixel cameras.

    its like the who megahertz wars of the 90s and 2000s again

    1. Annihilator Silver badge

      While in principle I agree with you, at least they've seen a bit of sense and stuck a Carl Zeiss on it - they score more hits than misses in my experience. Although 41Mpx is overkill, 2 is considerably underkill. You'll get nice shots on account of the optics, for sure, but won't be able to print them very successfully at anything more than 4x5, tops. It would be enough for me to upgrade the body certainly, though at the moment I'm stuck on 6Mpx and not tempted to upgrade any time soon.

    2. James Hughes 1

      When are you going to learn

      That megapixels ARE important. They mean you can do more and better image processing. The optics are also important of course, but more MP DOES mean better quality.

      Check out some of the sample images taken with this camera. Then learn something about digital image processing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When are you going to learn

        Yes James Hughes, when will you learn?

        Those image look very good when viewed at about a quater resolution. But look closly and they are just recording the blur from those tiny lenses and sensors (physics is the problem not the maker), and then they then compress the image so much that it's full of jpeg artifacts (ie: down to ~9MB from the raw ~120MB).

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. abubasim
    Meh

    Camera App Improved?

    I have the N8. It shoots excellent photos, in fact slightly better than my Canon PowerShot S90 in full auto mode. But the camera app is a pain so it could not replace the S90. It doesn't remember previously saved settings, so if I close the app and open later again, 10-20 seconds just to get ISO, sharpening, white balance, etc in place and what I wanted to shoot may already be gone. Four screen taps just to set sharpening. Nokia's developers have never heard of 'easy of use'.

    1. jodyfanning
      Thumb Up

      Re: Camera App Improved?

      Just watched a video showing the new camera UI. You can create sets of totally custom settings now. Looks like a full camera now, not a toy phone version.

      Would almost tempt me to upgrade from an N8. It is also more tempting to wait for the WP8 version later this year...

  10. Serpendipity
    Alien

    from the genius barn...

    Dear me, perhaps Nokia should try making a phone again?

    Could it be Symbian is dated, or is it that hardware is far cheaper than software?

    Brought to you by another genius CEOs requiring top pay to make yet another tough decision.

    Feels like pre-digested marketing 101 - let's snow then with specs.

    blah.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: from the genius barn...

      Purely and simply, the thing obviously wouldn't work on WP7.

      Unfortunately Elop seems to be too stupid to understand his own marketing strategy; it'd have been better for him to not release the thing at all than to release it on Symbian - instead he's given the world an example of what Nokia can't do, rather than what it can.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Technology leader

    The "never seen before" innovation revolution that Apple trumpeted in 2007 was adding a capacity touchscreen to a flattened Nokia N95 and opening an app store to make money on and after the purchase of the hardware.

    Since then there was not much "never seen before" innovation from Apple. Sure enough, a oversized iPod/iPhone was rebadged as the iPad, but this was evolutionary, not revolutionary.

    The 4 core processor in a mobile phone now comes from Samsung, the docking station approach is from Asus, dual boot comes from Ubuntu. The best camera in a mobile came from Sony Ericsson and from Nokia with the 12mp N8 - until the PureView 808 today.

    What is Apple doing now? Apart from adding Nokia technology in one of their future phones (NFC)?

    1. Bob Vistakin
      FAIL

      Re: Technology leader

      What's Apple doing now? Getting ready to sue anyone who brings out NFC, a full year after they "innovate" it for the first time on their next iPhone. Until then, its the usual line - "Our users don't need that".

      Its so funny that this newbie (even today, they've only been in the phone business 5 years) got all big and tough getting Android banned because they had round corners and shit, all the while the inventor of the mobile phone (first call 1973), like a sleeping giant has been sitting back letting them strut their stuff with their (quite literal) toys. But woken up the giant they have, along with - what a surprise! - its new owners. Now, they have in turn fought back with a ban which relates to genuine technical innovation (wireless push) and not just some mere carbon copy of a device with this vague look and feel crap as ripped directly off kit seen in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Motorola bitch slap kind of puts things into perspective - Apple values prettiness above all, functionality comes second. Yet its a fucking *phone*. You play nice with the real pioneers who nailed all this years before you jumped on their bandwaggon or it doesn't connect. End of. And Apple are certainly never going to get away with trying to treat the established players the way their treat their gullible users.

      So clearly you're right to ask what Apple is doing now: probably preparing more frivolous lawsuits- they are plumb out if any more tech ideas.

    2. Lance 3

      Re: Technology leader

      1) Handango was around way before the iPhoney was.

      2) The P8xx from SE was around before the iPhoney as well.

      Apple did nothing innovative but used a capacitive screen. The fact is, others would have moved to it as well.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Re: Technology leader

        It was a Samsung ARM CPU too.

        Also capacitive screens ignored for 20 years because the "holy grail" was believed to be handwritiing recognition (you need resistive for that). Having both would be good.

  12. Adam T

    Technophobes

    Is everyone afraid of interesting new tech today? I know it's Nokia and I know it's a shitty Symbian phone, but it still sounds pretty cool. I've been taking pics on my iPhone4S today, I wish I could get more resolution out of the crops - I don't give two hoots about the quality, they'll always be camera phone pics.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        The usual loudmouths?

        You mean the ones who've actually read the article? (Particularly the bit about which OS the phone is running, which is the whole point of the article at all)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The usual loudmouths?

          The whole point of the article is the camera, surely?

  13. Dan 55 Silver badge
    FAIL

    WP7 is offically mundane

    Last year we had the N9 and the first WP7 mobile unveiled and the WP7 phone looked mundane alongside the N9.

    This year we've got the 808 and the Lumia range unveiled and the WP7 phones look mundane alongside the 808. Hell, you'd be hard pressed to tell what's advanced in the WP7 range from a year ago.

    Nokia's board must have been possessed by the body snatchers, otherwise they'd have fired Elop by now. Even HP is managing to turn itself around.

  14. MJI Silver badge

    BBC Article was scathing

    Having a go at Nokia for using Symbian rather than Windows - rubbish article actually

    1. Thing

      Re: BBC Article was scathing

      So a BBC Article was rubbish... and your are surprised by this why? :-)

      1. Darren B 1
        FAIL

        Re: Re: BBC Article was scathing

        In over 10 years I could count all positive article on the BBC about Symbian on one hand. Even when it was a British company they never supported them.

        IMO Rory Wotsit Jones is an awful technology reporter.

  15. Lance 3

    No WP7 for a reason

    The hardware that WP7 is so limited that there was no way they could use WP7. WP7 dictates one of three or four Qualcomm processors that must be used, screen resolution, amount of RAM, etc. It is limited as can be, there was no way a 12MP camera could be used let alone a 41MP.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No WP7 for a reason

      Correct. The qualcomm processor cannot handle a sensor this big, and are unlikely to do so for quite some time (if at all). The processor used in the 808 doesn't have a win7 port. Hence Symbian. And a long wait for anything like this on Win7.

    2. B4PJS
      FAIL

      Re: No WP7 for a reason

      Wrong, HTC Titan II has a 12MP camera. Just sayin'

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yeah but can this so called 41-megapixel camera get to the ionosphere on-board the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator and actually take a few good 10megabyte pictures worth seeing, if they dont donate a device we shall never know ;)

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/19/lohan_openpilot/

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/23/lohan_truss_update/

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I suppose that this might be the real McCoy, but whenever I hear the word 'sampling' associated with cameras, my bullshit-o-meter pegs on the bad end of the scale.

    1. Tim Bates

      Yeah - sampling and processing combined with an unbelievably big number of pixels makes me highly suspicious. It's almost like some of the Chinglish camera ads on eBay...

      1. James Hughes 1

        It's all correct

        The sensor is 41MP, and you can take pictures at 34MP or 38MP, as well as DOWNSAMPLED images at 5 and 8MP, and HD recording at 1080p30. Interpolation is being bandied about by some people who don't understand. It does NO interpolation.

  18. Mikel
    FAIL

    Imagine what Nokia might have achieved with Android, if it wasn't being run by a sockpuppet.

    1. Dinky Carter

      Nokia and Android?

      I prefer to imagine what it would've been like if Nokia hadn't suffocated the excellent Symbian OS with their awful S60 UI, especially when perfectly capable alternative Symbian UIs (such as Hildon) were available. Don't forget that "Symbian" Anna and "Symbian" Belle are new versions of S60, not Symbian.

      Nokia had no idea what Symbian was capable of. Even in their post iPhone panic, they were asking "how can we graft touch capabilities onto Symbian" without noticing that support for touch had been in the core since 1998 (and used on real products.)

      The Symbian core is still a hugely capable, efficient and adaptable OS, as demonstrated by the ease with which Nokia can bang out phones such as this.

    2. Mikel
      Thumb Up

      Yay!

      Celebrating 1000 thumbs up!

  19. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Marketing in charge

    According to Nokia's whitepaper on the technology, there are 41M low quality pixels that are normally downsampled to produce about 5M high quality pixels. It says that the downsampling is reduced to perform digital zoom with fewer losses than you'd get with upsampling.

    The camera used for Nokia's 41 Mpix sample pictures has hot pixels and other pre-prouduction defects that show up as 3x3 pixels. I can also find no high frequency details that wouldn't be created by an upsampling algorithm. Something's not right. I suspect that Nokia's Marketing department demanded that the 5 Mpix images be upsampled back to 41 Mpix images.

    Overall the images are nothing special for a modern cellphone. They suffer from the usual defects caused by a tiny lens, a tiny sensor, and a body with little angular momentum.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Marketing in charge

      Not an engineer, but wouldn't you want a body with exactly zero angular momentum, when taking a picture? Else it's going to be all motion blurred...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Marketing in charge

      Kevin, you are talking from a position of not enough knowledge. ie. You haven't seen enough images. I have. They are better than the N8, which is regarded as the best camera phone around. I suggest you stop talking now before you sound silly.

      Note to all. Don't believe everything in the Nokia white paper, it does have too much marketing bollocks.

  20. Chris Ashworth

    Now cram this into a Lumia (I can deal with a lump for a camera of this quality).....and I will be a happy man. Love my Lumia 800 but stick this sensor and a xenon flash in it and it'd be perfect.

    Actually, it would need an official Google Maps client to be perfect....but I can live with 3rd party ones for now.

    1. Milkfloat

      Why Google Maps

      Why not use Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive?

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: Whats the Point ?

      The tech paper on this gives a lot more information. This isn't a measurebation exercise - there are good image-quality reasons for going with such a large sensor. In summary: optical zoom assemblies, at this size, are too fragile and difficult to calibrate to achieve acceptable quality, so instead, Nokia used a large-resolution sensor and achieve lossless zoom by cropping.

      Here's the tech document: http://press.nokia.com/wp-content/uploads/mediaplugin/doc/nokia-808-pureview-whitepaper.pdf

      "Carl Zeiss Optics

      • Focal length: 8.02mm (35mm equivalent focal length: 26mm in 16:9 or 28mm in 4:3)

      • F-number: f/2.4

      • Focus range: 15cm–Infinity (throughout the zoom range)

      • Construction:

      · 5 elements, 1 group. All lens surfaces are aspherical

      · One high-index, low-dispersion glass mould lens

      · Mechanical shutter with neutral density filter"

  22. Kevin7
    FAIL

    As a former owner of a Nokia N8 I really do despair at Nokia. They put all this effort on a OS Nokia has said is being retired. The N8 was a horror of a thing to use, nice camera but everything else was terrible, and that was with Symbian Anna. It really does give the appearance of a company that doesn't know what its doing. My phone contract is almost up for renewal and there's no way I'd choose this regardless of how good the camera is as I'd probably be stuck with a dead-end OS for two years. The N8 was bad enough - not going down that road again.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Should have stuck with it

      As in the Nokia style some good features in Belle that were in Anna have been retired for no apparent reason and they'll probably make a comeback later for no apparent reason. Also in the Nokia style other new features need working on (ginormous widgets). But it's a shame as actually sorted it out, more-or-less, but 2-3 years too late as usual. This is why they lose customers.

  23. Matthew 17

    A 41MP sensor...

    behind a little tiny crappy cameraphone lens

    Well other than creating HUGE files that your average spod will try to upload to Facebook I don't see much point, you're certainly not going to get a better photo.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A 41MP sensor...

      Yes you are.

  24. Dick Pountain

    It's all going a bit nuts isn't it. Camera makers are all churning out overpriced, barely-usable retro Leica lookalikes, while this genuine innovation comes from a phone maker. All the kids use phones instead of cameras. I want to see this zoom-to-crop technology in a compact camera with a decent lens on it.

    1. Dave Bell

      Leica did get some things right...

      And some other companies quickly got some things better.

      First, the way these sensors work, each pixel only records one of red, blue, and green. So, much like analog TV they end up with a high-res brightness signal overload with lower-res colour data. If the 41MP is genuine, you're going to get the colour detail at 10MP.

      Second, anyone remember Fractal Image Format. It they're doing something like that with the lower-res colour data, it could be interesting, technically.

      Third, I'm not sure that any of the well-known lens manufacturers are significantly different in their ability to make a lens, but they may well choose different compromises in the design. If the lens design is matched to the sensor and the processing, it gets more points than if it's just another Zeiss Tessar.

      I shall wait for reviews based on some testing, rather than press releases.

      But it looks like way too much camera to be a phone. Let's see who ends up licensing the tech.

  25. Grubby

    Who's it targeted at?

    If you just want to take snaps and upload them to Facebook etc then do you really want amazing pictures that are likely to be pretty large files, so will use up all your 'data allowance'. Or target keen photographers who require a really good camera, so who would probably buy a camera...

    It's a bit like coming up with an amazing microwave that cooks food realllllllly fast. But it's still microwave food... so your student will buy the cheap thing on sale in tesco that cooks his grub in 90 seconds, and the chef will buy a cooker and set of pans...

    i admire the innovation and technical know-how that has clearly gone into the device, but they should have let their market research guys do their stuff before coming up with something that fits perfectly in that gap between what people need and what people want.

  26. Max Sang
    Meh

    The pictures look OK

    The only thing that matters (unless you're in marketing) is what the pictures actually look like. And they look like roughly 5MP images taken on a decent modern compact with an adequate wide angle lens. The dynamic range is just about acceptable, though they have deliberately chosen photos taken in the golden hour to avoid any pesky highlights showing up any deficiencies. Lovely to have a passable camera in your phone but not exactly earth-shattering.

    1. Hayden Clark
      Happy

      Re: The pictures look OK

      They actually look pretty good to me. They do have a somewhat filmic quality - skin blemishes hinted at rather than noise-reduced-away, and blurred regions revealing a grainy texture, instead of colour errors and blotches.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: The pictures look OK

        Remember, this is a preproduction phone - the camera is still being tweaked. The image are a lot better than the published ones already.

  27. Bad Beaver
    Go

    Well hello there…

    While I could do without all the confusing messages the company is sending out in terms of longtime OS strategy, products like the 808 are exactly the kind of stuff I expect to see from Nokia, and they truly keep dishing out with the big spoon lately. Each and every product comes with a very clear positioning, even every accessory is well thought out and innovative in a relevant way. It all has much more "boom" than whatever the "boom" folks came up with in years.

    The remaining issue is that WP7 is just not very … Nokia. It is packed with slick features, very smooth and stable – but if you're coming from Anna or Belle (which is a considerable upgrade and really grows on you in mere days) you just miss the flexibility: WP7 is clearly not designed with the Symbian poweruser in mind.

  28. Chris Evans
    Thumb Up

    Same GPU as used in the Raspberry Pi!

    Apparently the GPU is a Broadcom VideoCore IV as used in the Raspberry Pi!

    Sample pics at: http://yfrog.com/es530nsnj & http://yfrog.com/odz76tgj

  29. oswdt

    Nokia could get into digital cameras. Kodak has left one space.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      True

      There's a vacancy for a soon-to-be-bankrupt former big-name that reacted too late to market-shifts

      1. Kristian Walsh

        "Get into?"

        I believe Nokia are already the world's largest manufacturer of cameras by volume. It's just that every one of those cameras also has a mobile phone attached to the other side of it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Get into?"

          Inquiring minds need to know - who is the manufacturer of the world's largest camera by volume?

  30. Simon B
    Thumb Up

    proper flash is a bigger plus

    I'm happy to see it has a proper flash, unlike every other manufacturers obsession with crap LED lights!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Re: proper flash is a bigger plus

      The penalty for the use of on-camera flash should be immediate execution.

      I swear to God, If I see one more picture with everyone lit fullbright, foreheads shining, and outlined in jet black, or one more person taking a picture of a city skyline through a window, with the ducking on-camera-flash (yeah, your flash is going to light up -Manhattan-), I'm going to scream. Having 29 photos of their own reflections around a spray of light coming from their faces is not enough punishment for heir crimes against photography.

      Unless you're Annie Fucking Leibowitz, I don't want to see that little LED used for anything but lighting up he underside of the driver's seat to find out where your gum went. Capice?

      DO IT RIGHT! SHOOT NATURAL LIGHT!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        Re: Re: proper flash is a bigger plus

        The on-camera flash, by the way, is not ducking. It is fucking. EFF YOO CEE KAY fucking.

        Fucking Playbook autocorrect - they introduced it in their v2 OS, and I spend more time correcting its mistakes than it does correcting mine. It took me about two minutes to type 'jet black' without it capitalizing 'black'. Christ knows why. And it retroactively....

        ARgh... anyway...

  31. Joe K
    Mushroom

    Dear me

    The phone-fanboy wars on here make the console warriors on NeoGAF look like seasoned debaters.

  32. nordwars
    Go

    Real information

    If you'd like to read an explanation about how this will actually work, rather than making bogus comments about huge file sizes (which will not be the case) etc. read this: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/02/27/Nokia-808-PureView-with-41MP-sensor

    The sample images are way better than standard compact camera shots, in detail, colour reproduction and noise, because the sensor is 5x bigger. It really looks amazing for a phone camera. Now we just need to see how it performs when the photos come from someone other than the Nokia marketing department. I hope it performs well.

    I can't imagine going for Symbian, being end-of-life... but how bad can it be when I just want an awesome compact camera that can take phone calls, send text messages and browse the internet?

  33. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Absolutely pointless. Quality will be poor, the compression will need to be high to get more than a few shots in the memory and unless you regularly print posters of your photos then you don't need the resolution.

    I can see that it will allow you to crop a photo and still get a good picture, but if your crops look all grainy, distorted and uneven in luminance (vignetting) then really what is the use?

    A good camera won't make up for a diabolical phone. Just buy a camera.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Giles. Sorry, you don't know enough about modern camera sensors and processing

      Even these preproduction shots are better than any other camera phone, and better than most P&S cameras. Try actually looking at some of the (not yet final version) samples, and tell me your standard P&S camera is as good.

      This isn't pointless at all if it has produced the best camera phone to date. Which it has. One unlikely to be surpassed for at least a year,.

    2. Kristian Walsh

      @Giles

      If this camera vignettes, then so does the iPhone 4S's. The sensor pixel size is identical at 1.4 microns. The 808's sensor has five times the area, five times the pixels, and five times the amount of light at maximum aperture (both lenses are f/2.4, the 808 has a longer focal length).

      The raw samples are very good, the 5 Mp reductions are superb. They remind me of scanned slide film - grain at high resolution, but a beautiful smooth tone at lower magnification.

      A 6Mp DSLR wipes the floor with them, of course, but a large sensor and large lenses always will.

      For a phone, this is far beyond the competition, and it really is a fine example of innovation and lateral thinking applied to a problem. The goal wasn't to get X-bazillion MP, it was to provide the benefit of optical zoom without having to put a delicate, easily damaged mechanical assembly into a phone. Job done.

  34. SpaMster
    Facepalm

    Nice camera, if your a tripod....

    Like it how they fail to mention that if you dont hold the camera perfectly still when taking pictures, the image becomes a blurry mess. This was nicely demonstrated on the bbc news web site yesterday

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: Nice camera, if your a tripod....

      If they've got some kind of image stabilization in there, it could be fine. My Canon 550d SLR has it; I assumed it would be a gimmick, but damned if you can't get away with murder with that thing. It makes 1/8th second year exposures look like 1/50th, or I'll eat my hat. 'course, i assume it'd have to be different tech, but it's a solvable problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: Nice camera, if your a tripod....

        "My Canon 550d SLR has it" (Image stabilization)

        I think you'll find that the very fine 550d doesn't - image stabilization is a function of the lens with Canon. If you have an IS lens then you have it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Re: Nice camera, if your a tripod....

          "I think you'll find that the very fine 550d doesn't - image stabilization is a function of the lens with Canon"

          I just *knew* someone would bring that up. I spoke of the camera as a body/lens unit as is the norm outside of heathe--- uh, people who care about photos *cough, ahem*. It's an IS lens. The pictures are awesome on green/no flash, but when the situation calls for manual shooting, I go back to the Nikon. The Canon has great autofocus/metering/etc, but the user interface is so bad that you'll lose not only the light but the entire season before you've figured out how to exit the unknown mode you accidentally entered, where autofocus is in continuous mode no matter what the @#$@#$ you do and the @#$@ thing keeps refocusing on the @#$@# trees when you want to get a picture of the @#$%^ car that's two thir... anyway, you get the point.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Nice camera, if your a tripod....

            "you'll lose not only the light but the entire season before you've figured out"

            I'd have had that problem but I read the manual and practiced a bit

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice camera, if your a tripod....

      What, you mean just like a, er, camera?

      It doesn't need to be perfectly still, it has a shutter and works just like any other camera.

  35. nigel 15
    Boffin

    Sample Images and Nokia White Paper

    Images here:

    http://press.nokia.com/products/media/7405/photo/close-up-captured-with-nokia-808-pureview/

    and white paper here:

    http://europe.nokia.com/PRODUCT_METADATA_0/Products/Phones/8000-series/808/Nokia808PureView_Whitepaper.pdf

    they make it very clear it's not about producing 41MP images. but what that sensor will allow you to do.

    1. Tom 35

      Re: Sample Images and Nokia White Paper

      And having a big number to print on the box.

  36. mangobrain
    Thumb Up

    ENHANCE!

    n/t

  37. xeroks

    other advantages

    If you're using this to record video, that big sensor might help with anti-shake, as well as post-production cropping.

    It does do video, doesn't it?

    That 3fps for low res doesn't bode well, i suppose...

  38. Fab
    WTF?

    My god there is a lot of crap written in these posts

    From the muppet that said that it would be difficult to port the software to a new OS?.... its an algorithm, ports really easy.

    To the guy that questioned how much light they can get through a F2.4 lense? the answer is a LOT. F2.8 is considered a big apperture and F2.4 is even bigger.

    Anyone that questions the use of more pixels is generally talking out of their ass. Appart from the fact you can digitally process the picture to get a better quality lower res picture, it also allows for cropping.

    Now as for the claim of 41 megapixels, how good the sensor, lenses etc. Heck I dont know and but it appears a bunch of posters have ... somehow.....??

    1. Tom Kelsall
      Thumb Down

      Re: My god there is a lot of crap written in these posts

      The HTC One range has an F2.0 lens (The biggest in use in mobile phones) and the IMAGE QUALITY coming out of its 8Mpixels is better than anything this 41Mp will manage, simply for that reason.

  39. chse
    Coat

    Nokias many diseases

    OK, I'm compelled now.

    So firstly, Nokia as an organization doesn't know anything about software.

    They do not know what "Moore's Law" does for them, they don't know what is important and they do not know to do the important things 100% right the first time in software.

    Apple beat them 2/3 on Nokias own turf - a desirable phone has a great screen and great usability. The missing 1/3 was Apple to define what makes a phone smart - this is what we call App these days. There Nokia failed.

    They failed in getting a partnership with Intel.

    They failed in making Linux viable for developing Apps.

    That took some time.

    And finally the money people topped that by a triple fail within half a year.

    Keep backporting Symbian/S60 built in software to S40 and S30 and whatnot, for it is still the money spinner.

    Killing Linux platform before checking with Moore's law.

    Jumping to a platform that was known to be unfit for prime time.

    And these days we find:

    Blaming sales staff for not selling Nokia Smartphones.

    Users have given up on Symbian - good simply is no more good enough since iphone.

    Actually this 808 is an indication that WP7 is still unfit for a least a year.

    And this 808 still sports a sub-par screen resolution.

    Users do not pick up WP7, but rather track down an N9.

    Now, grab for the coat with the grain of salt.

  40. scarshapedstar
    Pint

    Sounds like Blade Runner, innit?

  41. An(other) Droid

    New business model?

    At serious risk of becoming extinct in the mobile market, is this a new path that Nokia is trying to chart? Coming up next: A Nokia SLR (with an optional attachment to make phone calls)!

  42. Andy Hards
    Happy

    Lots of comments

    From people who haven't used one. I have an N8. I got it for the camera. Yeah I've heard all the stuff about sensors and processors etc etc etc but this takes the best photos I have ever seen on a phone or any camera I have owned. I take loads of photos of my kids and sometimes other things but I'm no pro and I don't use it professionally. For a camera on a half decent (more than that in my opinion but the haters will shout me down) phone it is pretty damn good and everyone I show is really impressed with the shots I take. I cannot believe that this new 41MP one that they have been working on for 5 years will be worse as many on here have claimed. All this talk from people who know better. Wait until you see it fools. Will it be the best camera on the market ever made? I doubt it, but will it be better than any other mobile phone camera currently on the market? Probably, if the shots friends have shown me on theirs are anything to go by.

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