41-megapixel MONSTER mobe shutters Nokia knockers
Hands on with improbable Symbian heavyweight
MWC 2012 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 very impressive. This is a project Nokia has been working on for over five years with a lot of boffinry behind the compression. We’re promised "new high-end imaging experiences for future Nokia products" - from which we can read "Windows Mobile". For now the kit runs Symbian Belle.
Nokia's 808 PureView - with 41MP camera
The 808 has a single-core 1.3GHz processor. With a 10MB file size you are unlikely to send an image over the air: the expectation is that you’ll crop to use the part of the picture you want. The user interface for this is quite neat: you zoom, move the picture and crop it using the screen's boundary. This is much easier than trying to drag a marquee.
With all those pixels to play with, there is no need for an optical zoom. You can capture an image, then zoom, reframe, crop and resize afterwards to expose previously unseen levels of detail.
The product manager on the Nokia stand was particularly fond of a picture that one of her colleagues had taken of a head-and-shoulders view of a girl and then zoomed in to show detail of a snowflake on her hat.
The 808 in action. Pic by Simon Rockman
The phone will also do full HD 1080p video recording and playback with 4X lossless zoom and record audio at CD-grade levels of quality, which was previously only possible with external microphones. Audio playback is provided in Dolby 5.1 surround sound over headphones, TVs and home cinema systems.
Nokia wouldn't confirm pricing for us, but some sources suggest €450; expect it to hit the shops in Q2. ®
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.
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?
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.
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)?
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