back to article Nokia Camera guru: I'm finished being Finnish, and off to 'the company you're thinking of'

Microsoft's Stephen Elop is no doubt busy digesting the mobile remains of Nokia, but he has lost a key engineer – Lumia photography lead Ari Partinen – to the clutches of Cupertino – Apple, in other words. Today will be my last day working for the amazing #Lumia family. In June I will start a new chapter in Cupertino, …


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  1. Tim J

    iPad and tablet photography... for the home, and possibly the workplace. It's not for the big wide world out there.

    Except for those who wish to brand themselves as utter tools in public.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: iPad and tablet photography...

      The first time I noticed people taking photos with iPads was when they were doing the funeral flyovers in DC of the Space Shuttle. I was on the roof of a building and watching the crowds when a huge percentage of them raised their tablets skyward and took pictures.

      At first I thought we were going to get to watch a new dictator take over DC and signaling his arrival with those placard mosaics the Chinese and North Koreans like. Alas, it was nothing so exciting. Just a shitload of people looking extremely silly and watching the flyover 'on a screen'. They could have stayed home and out of traffic for that...

      At any rate, since that time I have been plotting how I can engineer a situation with a huge crowd of people taking pictures with tablets and create hurricane force winds to see how far the people will fly. Like kite surfing, but more fun to watch!

      1. ThomH

        Re: iPad and tablet photography... (@Don Jefe)

        I guess if you have a tablet to hand then with the disparity between the screen and camera resolutions it makes a reasonable substitute for binoculars. If you don't mind VGA-style resolutions that is, since those things have huge fields of view — for the standard indoor shots of people in a row from the other side of a table, I assume.

      2. SpiderPig

        Re: iPad and tablet photography...

        I would have to say the most ridiculous place I have seen people using an iPad for photography was at a charity surf carnival here in Sydney. The idiots were up to their waists in water trying to get a decent shot of Kelly Slater.

        I was on the beach with my Canon and 600mm lens and I bet I got a lot better images.

    2. mIRCat

      Re: iPad and tablet photography...

      "Except for those who wish to brand themselves as utter tools in public."

      More colloquially referred to as "A bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."

      On the upside, now thanks to Partinen, we'll have some lovely footage of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: iPad and tablet photography...

        More colloquially referred to as "A bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."

        It appears there is some limited sense to their deficient gun legislation after all :p

    3. Bob Vistakin

      They didn't "poach" him

      He just jumped off the burning platform.

    4. qwarty

      Re: iPad and tablet photography...

      Although I've not yet used a tablet for public photography in a lot of cases it seems to make sense if the camera is good enough. You get to preview what you are shooting far better than peering though some pokey viewfinder or tiny back screen, useful for some shots. Add in software for light metering and other aspects of image analysis and it gets more interesting than the fixed software provided by Canon, Nikon and others.

      Looking stupid? We are used to SLR cameras and the huge lenses popular with pro cameras. But if we weren't used to them surely seeing people waving about these ridiculously large objects to take photos would make us laugh. Utter tools would spring to mind far more readily than anything the tablet wielders do.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: iPad and tablet photography...

        A 10x8 inch tablet as a camera could make sense.

        You simply need to add a tripod to hold it still and a black cloth to cover your head so that you can see the screen in bright sunlight.

        I think I will patent the arrangment

  2. JassMan

    Time to look forward to a whole new swathe of patents

    How long before Apple patent taking photos on a mobile device in a higher resolution than the final image and interpolating that higher resolution in order to improve sig/noise, sharpness, ISO value etc.

    Not as if there is any prior art on that one - oh wait...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time to look forward to a whole new swathe of patents

      That was my thought. Hire someone who has been involved in innovative work to find out what features were thought of as too obvious to patent by responsible and knowledgeable developers then patent them yourself. Apple have an appalling record for abuse of the patent system.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Time to look forward to a whole new swathe of patents

        Don't get me wrong, I very much dislike the way Apple uses the patent system, but you can't pin that on Apple. The USPTO has sat to one side since the early days of dotcom v1 and did fuck all but watch as the rules governing a pretty good system designed to encourage the creation of tangible new 'stuff' were reinterpreted to discourage the creation of anything, tangible or otherwise.

        They did shit as lawyers and and other assorted moosedicks redefined invention to mean 'first to label something', not the first to see a need and fill it in a novel way. Hell, they even got away from creating a novel thing then creating a situation that required the thing.

        Go give a young kid a Dymo label maker and that's exactly what tech Recreation & Distraction has become, except less original.

        Perhaps even more apt, take the first 300 years or so after the (re)discovery of the New World. Everybody except those who were already there were claiming various parts of it to be their own, by right of discovery. They were refusing to acknowledge the claims of others, on the basis of semantics, not common sense. All the while, drawing lines in the sand, and maps on the wall, of their own fucked up perception of the world.

        We all know how that finally got sorted. While I'm not entirely opposed to armed conflict to resolve intellectual property disputes, I'm pretty sure all the weeping pantywaists that think they're clever by claiming to own rounded corners wouldn't be any fun to fight. It would be more of a mass execution of helplessly underpowered opponents, and that's just wrong.

        In all seriousness, the problem in all this lies with the USPTO. They let software, bioscience and other people corrupt the system. Patents are still viable, and important, for many industries but the system was never designed for the bullshit people throw at it today. They need to move the incompatible bits over to their own system. Separate them and let them fight amongst themselves with rules designed to address their needs.

        To the original point, yes, Apple are acting like a bunch of unwashed cocks, but they're playing by the rules (the actual rules behind patents are rarely studied by the masses, they've generally got no idea what they're talking about). They certainly aren't the only ones in tech, or even the worst, just very visible. In that sense Apple is doing what they're supposed to be doing, using any legal maneuver they can to control their target markets.

        The answer to all this isn't the companies screwing with the system, or the companies who use the system as designed, the answer is for the USPTO to get off their ass and update a system that was last comprehensively revised when England had a King and landscape scale semaphore linked nations and would do away with war...

  3. gregthecanuck

    Of course...

    The cynic would think the hire could simply be part of a strategy to slow down Nokia's development as much as boosting anything at Apple.

    1. jason 7

      Re: Of course...

      Yeah he turns up and is given an empty office with not a lot to do.

      Or a door that only opens from the outside.

    2. foo_bar_baz

      Re: Of course...

      Nokia no longer make phones. It's Microsoft.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Of course...

      Or look at what Nokia had to do to get the PureView system in a WP handset. I highly doubt under Microsoft that would even be possible.

      The first rule of Microsoft of an acquisition, take all that is good and make it bad. Take all that is bad and make them the high points.

  4. James 51

    The 1020 is the only windows phone I had considered getting with my contract expired due solely to the camera. The lumia line has just taken a big hit.

    1. John P

      I just got one a few weeks ago and it is excellent, best phone I have ever had, with or without the camera.

      "developed by Partinen and others" - there's still hope...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Although the 1020 is Nokia (and Qualcomm), the 808, its PV predecessor, was mostly developed in the UK by the GPU/ISP supplier, Broadcom (same ISP as the Raspberry Pi in fact). Worthwhile remembering how much work suppliers do, rather than the company that actually sells the phone. So the departure of someone like Partinen doesn't mean a lot of knowledge, just like it doesn't necessarily mean a transfer of knowledge. The knowledge on PV is spread around a number of companies.

  5. Big Van Vader

    Just Wait.........

    For the headline.........."Apple patents Cameras on Smartphones"...after all they have invented *everything* ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just Wait.........

      The Register ought to modify their forum software to automatically submit a comment like this as the first post to any article about Apple, to save idiot fanboys from having to post this tired line on every Apple article.

  6. Big Van Vader

    @Doug.......They could also make your post the 2nd one to save idiot fanboys complaining about an awkard truth. You wouldn't happen to hold APPL shares by any chance ? You must be concerned by Apples steady decline, it's just history repeating itself, but instead of Windows destroying Apple it is Android. Im pretty open minded tech wise, having owned everything from Atari & Commodore onwards and use both Linux and Windows, Symbian & Maemo etc, but's just so meh. (BTW I owned all iPhones until the 3 and then I woke up)

    1. Don Jefe

      This is just fucking great! We've now categorized the first three types of comment for any Apple related article!

      1 - The gormless troll comment

      2 - The exasperated observer comment

      3 - The armchair analyst comment

      Personally, I like the armchair analyst comments the best. As opposed to sharing an opinion as the others do, the armchair analyst likes to express his poor understanding of finances and parrot comments he has heard elsewhere. The fact that both Microsoft and Apple have been in some state of 'falling apart, dying, bleeding out, failing, over, etc...' for more than three decades doesn't matter one bit. Nor does the fact that people make millions of dollars a year, every single year with shares of both companies doesn't matter either.

      Of the three comment types, keeping the armchair analyst alive is crucial. Otherwise people will have to walk their own dogs and even drive their own cars. That just won't do.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Don Jefe and Big Dan Vader

        Don, I don't always agree with everything you post, but if I could transfer 1000 of my previous upvotes to you I would. That and five bucks would buy you one of those weird ass Starbucks iced coffees my girlfriend likes.

        To Big Dan Vader, the troll you were responding to, the average cost for the Apple shares I hold is $273, so I'm pretty happy with where I sit now and while in hindsight I would have loved to sell out at $700 and buy back in at $400, I invest for the long term, not trends, so I'm fine with how it has performed as that investment has more than doubled. If all my investments did that I would be retired by now.

        The "steady decline" you are no doubt referring to is in Apple's smartphone market share. Only a fool thinks that smartphone market share matters, because only a fool doesn't realize that in a couple years all phones will be smartphones. Where do you think the vast majority of Android smartphone market share growth is occurring? It sure isn't in high end phones like the GS5 and One M8, it is in cheap POS phones costing <$100.

        Educate yourself and find market share for the overall mobile market and you'll find that the iPhone still (very slowly) growing despite being just under 10% of the overall market. That's because Apple made a choice to only compete in the high end (i.e. high profit) segment of the market, and ignore the low end zero/negative profit segment of the market. Judging by Apple's profits measured against the rest of the industry, from Samsung down to no-name Chinese companies, as a stockholder I think Apple made 100% the right choice. Market share is irrelevant when the bulk of it is in no-profit phones sold to customers who don't spend money.

        Go ahead and keep believing Apple is in "steady decline", and I'll sit by amused while you keep wondering how Apple manages to sell more iPhones than they did the previous year despite this supposed decline....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Don Jefe and Big Dan Vader

          @DougS but you're holding it wrong, you rounded rectangle loving, iSheep, Fanboi, acolyte with more money than sense and in inability to make decisions for yourself when confronted with Apple marketing mind control, oh and did I say your devices are unoriginal and Apple are a pure marketing company and have never invented anyt.>%,~, assertion: cannot print null object in trope processing loop at line 550





    2. ThomH

      If this is history repeating itself then things are looking pretty good for Apple; the gap between the original Mac and the iMac is pretty much the same as the gap between the original iPod and now — both 13 years.

      The gap between the iPod and iPhone is also pretty much the same as the gap between the original iPhone and now — six years and seven years.

      The gap between the iPhone and the iPad? Pretty much the same as the gap between the original iPad and now — three years and four.

      Assuming history is a pattern and not, as people like me think, just a set of events that happened, we're overdue for Apple to find a major new revenue source and I'd advise buying stock right now.

  7. Eric Hood

    Nokia 1020

    I have a 1020 and it is an excellent phone. First and foremost it has excellent call quality and signal reception. The excellent camera is the icing on the cake.

    I like the win phone OS, will I buy another? Hmmm, it will all depend on the quality of the MS Lumias after the takeover is complete. I have long been a Nokia fan and this is Microsofts' chance to make me a Microsoft fan.

    Nokia still hold a lot of patents for the cameras so there will not be exact copying. Not that the Apple

    design aesthetic would let them have a large lump on the back of a phone.

  8. JLV


    I'd almost thought of getting a Lumia for that high MP sensor wizardry.

    Nice to see they might be available elsewhere. And of course, if they do make it on iPhones, that means that Androids will have to copy* them asap to stay competitive. So they'll be available everywhere.

    * copying technological advances is a good thing, unless it is infringing on that rare beast, a justified patent. That's the way things progress. So I do NOT mean that in any derogatory manner towards Samsung & all, just happy that this tech may not be confined to Lumias much longer.

  9. john devoy

    I find it quite sad how many people will spend all their time at an event trying to film it on a shitty phone/tablet camera instead of actually enjoying themselves. "yay im just back from the U2 concert".."was it any good?"..."no idea, i was too busy filming it"

    1. Don Jefe

      Kind of makes you wonder why they really went to the event doesn't it? It seems rather like they are more interested in people knowing they were there.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now that Jobs' cartel about not hiring competitors' employees has to be binned...

    ... Apple starts to bring talents away from competitors?

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Now that Jobs' cartel about not hiring competitors' employees has to be binned...

      We don't really know if the guy was targeted for recruitment, or if he went to Apple looking for a job.

      It's pretty normal for unvested employee stock awards to automatically vest in full if the company is purchased or merged with another. Term vestments are a preferred way of incentivizing key staff as well as keeping them from roving. But when the company is sold your contributions are recognized with fully vested stock.

      Lots of people stay with a company solely for their stock to vest and when it does they'll often be the first out the door.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bye bye MSFT Tampere

    Elop is leading the pact in Microsoft command and his main message for Tampere team was, that they have excellent RND team developing cameras there and that is main reason to keep Tampere over Oulu for example. Ari Partinen left for Apple and others lured to Espoo. Business reasons for keeping Tampere team might just have gone under par. Clock is ticking.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Bye bye MSFT Tampere

      What clock? The return to employment at Microsoft clock? Microsoft has the highest number of return staff of any of the giant tech companies.

  12. jimbo60

    Nokia cams rock

    I've got the 1520 (the 'phablet'...sorry) and it has the same camera tech as the 1020 but at 21 megapixels instead of 41. Even so, it take spectacular pictures. And for a while it had better software than the 1020, though now those updates are available across the whole line. I just recently enabled raw mode and caught some good rainbows with that turned on...still need to load those into Photoshop to see what it can really do.

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