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back to article Nokia apologizes for faking Lumia 920 ad

Nokia has issued an apology over charges that it sexed up the qualities of its new Lumia 920 handsets in an ad intended to show off its new image stabilization system, dubbed "PureView". The advert shows a typecast tall, thin Nordic woman riding a bicycle and funfair ride before dancing in the street, all the while being …

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So...

An entire teaser to show off the camera... Nothing interesting to say about the OS then?

BTW, my inner photographer is looking at the still night shows and suspecting a fowl in the shape of some extra lighting on the girl in the "good" pictures.

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Anonymous Coward

some extra lighting...

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/578446_10151087026494473_802634455_n.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

Re: some extra lighting...

That's from the same video, and they never claimed that those pics were from the 920.

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Re: So...

They are going to sell a lot of these phones now!

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Trollface

Re: some extra lighting...

Quote from video: "This is Lumia"

Oh right, those videos are from the 820 then.

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Happy

@A/C 18:04 - was Re: some extra lighting...

Nice one, everyone loves to be right :-D

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Re: So...

Surely it's normal for adverts to only focus on some aspects - if they focused on the OS, you'd complain they had nothing to say about the camera. Other Nokia Lumia ads most certainly have prominently shown WP, so it's false to suggest they're hiding it.

The Samsung Galaxy phone ads don't seem to say anything about the OS. Those Apple laptop ads just go on about "Retina" without saying anything about the OS (or telling you what "Retina" is, come to that). Plenty of phone ads actually don't say much about features at all, instead just showing other marketing fluff.

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Re: So...

Problem is Nokia is always about camera's, can't remember anything ever in a nokia and about other features, always the camera. At least Samsung mentions different things and Apple used to go on about all the different things you could do then it was retina display. Nokia is cameras... they should just make cameras, it would be far better for them.

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@Avatar - Re: So...

I hadn't thought of it like that, but they certainly do have a track record of some great camera phones (and the first IIRC).

The old N95 with 5mp camera I still have as a risky activity backup camera still takes superb pictures, easily surpassing a lot of modern 5mp camera phones.

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FAIL

So...the fancy new image processing is likely to be bollox as well then, is that right?

Looks like we'll just have to wait for the real world reviews and ignore the sewage coming out of yet another marketing department. As per normal.

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I doubt it is bollocks since they would have a class action suit on their hands when it was released. It's probably that they need to get on with advertising it now and the product isn't ready yet. Image stabilisation uses gyros and making them so small to work well in a phone is a huge challenge.

There's always been such cock ups in marketing.

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autocrop?

Given the 48M pixel res of the camera, you could make a passable stabilised video simply by cropping to the centre 5th by 5th of the first frame, and then use image processing / the accelerometers to keep track of where that is in each subsequent frame.

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Re: Small gyros

Not a challenge at all. Go look up the Blade mCX and mCX2 micro helicopters. Gyros aren't just spinning metal things, and solid state gyros can be incredibly tiny.

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Anonymous Coward

apologist

why do you make excuses for those that consider you too dumb to deserve better? you have stockholm sysndrome. i guess you do the same thing for your government and the TV news even while they laugh and scheme against your family's future generations. maybe they're right. maybe you do deserve it!

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The real challenge is not the gyros

It is the video processing.

The gyros you need for this don't need to be terribly high quality and some tiny parts (a few mm square) will do the job. However, processing the video stream is a lot more effort.

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Anonymous Coward

The stabilisation is sensor shift, which tends to move in an x/y plane, as a feedback system from either solid state gyros or other very small sensors. It's fairly common technology which turns up in some very cheap and small consumer digital cameras, and has for years.

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Flame

Re: autocrop?

The S60 808 "PureView" had a 48M pixel sensor and so extreme cropping could have been done. However the Lumia 920 "PureView" has 8.7M pixels so extreme cropping would be more apparent. But you're hardly to blame for this confusion - sadly it's the direct consequence of the marketing dept muddying the waters with the "PureView" description.

Of course that sets aside all the proper questions of whether all pixels are equally worth keeping (overall quality of camera optics and sensor and so on), let alone whether a swerve into Newspeak is the best way Nokia can burnish its image. Too harsh a charge? Well like shabby marketing Newspeak also had the core goal of eliminating unpleasant truths by making it impossible to meaningfully discuss or even think about them. But unlike the all-powerful party of "1984" it's more likely just to induce a lot of cognitive dissonance followed by even more general cynicism about Nokia devices.

And that will be a real shame since Nokia had and even still has real pockets of excellence. But those flowers need careful fertilising not a ton of bullshit dumped on them...

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Re: autocrop?

Umm..that would be a mighty fine idea...except thats not this phone, or this camera....the 41 megapixel pureview camera is the Nokia 808 which is a Symbian phone.

The Lumia 920 has a thoroughly standard 8.9 megapixel camera, and can you imagine the hash that Win Pho 8 would make of that.

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Anonymous Coward

Unfortunately for some the reviews will make no difference. This advert has already convinced my workmate who is going out of his way to defend the advert by stating all advertising does this. I do agree but I still think it is severely fraudulent.

With regards to Windows phones it looks like our company will be buying a load of them. My boss has a hard on for Microsoft and he is desperate to get some to trial. Because his wife has got a Windows Phone he keeps going on about how easy it is to use and he will eventually sign the order to purchase them as company phones. He has tried Apple and doesn't like it but Android isn't even on the horizon. It is truly pathetic!

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Anonymous Coward

The product isn't even released. Why not wait for real world reviews?

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Indeed this is normal for marketing - sad, yes, but it's yet another case of it's only bad publicity when Nokia do it (whilst the media are happy to ignore Nokia and focus on Apple Apple Apple, in all the years until 2011 when Symbian was outselling everything else massively).

Or possibly our expectations where just raised because the 808 videos *were* shot just on an 808 (leading some people to claim they were fake, but they were wrong).

I agree, wait for the reviews. Whilst this may not be 808-amazing-quality (which did have a bump on the phone to incorporate the camera, and is reportedly light years ahead of anything else), given Nokia's general quality with cameras (e.g., the N8), there's no reason to think this won't be a good quality camera too, whatever happened with the ads.

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Re: autocrop?

There's explanation of this on All About Symbian / All About Windows Phone. Pureview is marketing speak for all their new camera technologies.

This kind of thing is standard when it comes to marketing/trademarks - otherwise you couldn't really market a phone with a long list of names after it, because it had more than one of those technologies... Calling it newspeak is unfair, unless you consider all marketing terms and trademarks to be newspeak. It's like pointing out that "Macs" aren't Macs at all, but are now a completely different platform, i.e., x86 PCs running OS X. Or consider the way Intel used to market CPUs by their model names, but now use umbrella marketing terms for low-end/high-end (i3/i5/i7) across multiple generations of CPU technology, and you have to look at the spec sheets to see which generation it is, or the CPU model.

Even when a WP does have the 808-style sensor, most expect they'll use a lower MP camera (say, 20MP) on a mainstream flagship device, to avoid the "bulge" it causes - would that be misleading too, because it's not as good as 41MP?

The problem would be if they'd used "Pureview" on a crap camera. Yes that would be misleading, and ultimately harm the value of that trademark. But there's no evidence on that yet. And surely it's good to see that they have more than one trick up their sleeve when it comes to interesting new camera tech, and not just that which was shown in the 808 - better that than them relying on only one single selling point (*cough*Retina*cough*). Hopefully we'll see one that has all of these (the reasons why we haven't seen a WP version of the 808 are apparently due to them still porting the driver code that did all the image processing of the 41MP image - seriously, I doubt Nokia are sitting around going "Ha, let's shaft our users by not including this technology", they're probably trying to get it working with WP ASAP).

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Re: autocrop?

Well that's the problem with a retrofitted strategy, you are relying upon the audience to be reading along the same script. Just look at the titles of Nokia's product pages:

http://www.nokia.com/global/products/phone/808pureview/ ==> "Nokia 808 PureView - The game changer"

http://www.nokia.com/us-en/products/phone/lumia920/ ==> "Our flagship Lumia with PureView camera technology"

The obvious interpretation is that the huge image sensor is the "PureView" bit, after all it's THE game changer. And now it's on a WP device too. Having a portfolio trademark is a fine idea, but having already committed to using that one differently it was time to break out the joss sticks and concoct another (of course Nokia has long been shite at both devising a stable naming scheme and especially at actually applying it, eg the new era of family names brought in the X2 and then shortly afterwards the utterly different X2-01)

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Windows

Kotipizza's "Berlusconi" pizza looked fazzidubby on the advert..

Till we got it home and it looked like 'mushroom roadkill'. Fitting, I suppose...

(Note to El Reg. - when can we put our snaps of deep joy, or deep disaster in the comments? Or do I have to upload to my website, and post a link?)

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Looking forward to when people manage to properly dissect how the new 'it's nothing to do with what we used to call' Pureview works. My guess is, with no supersampling available and nowhere to put the optics for a supersize sensor it really is that optical stabilisation *and nothing more*.

I say that partly because my beloved Konica Minolta Z6 features the same optical stabilisation and claims an effective 3 stop exposure advantage by allowing longer shake free exposures. It does indeed improve low light performance but not without cost, long exposure bring motion blur to the party.

With 7 years advances since the Z6 they should do better but this tech seems much less revolutionary than Nokia would like us to believe and with caveats they want us not to notice.

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I tell you what I want

I want a camera that blurs Steve Ballmer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I tell you what I want

Either you're repeating yourself in an unseemly manner, or this joke has been made by a lot of people around here today.

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Childcatcher

Re: I tell you what I want

"I want a camera that blurs Steve Ballmer."

"Crop" would be better. We could call it "Ballmer removal", along the lines of "Red-eye removal".

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Trollface

Next: Simulation of a punter buying a Lumia

But keep the good-looking females coming!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Next: Simulation of a punter buying a Lumia

Oh, no! Not those "Windows 7 - my idea" style commercials ! Noooo!....(running desperately for the hills)

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Headmaster

Would it be churlish and overly pedantic of me...

... to point out that Nokia is "PAINTING the lily" and not gilding it?

"To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,

To throw a perfume on the violet,

To smooth the ice, or add another hue

Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light

To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,

Is wasteful and ridiculous excess "

King John. Act IV. Sc. 2.; Wm. Shakespeare

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Re: Would it be churlish and overly pedantic of me...

Yes. Yes, it would. It would also be awesome.

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Re: Would it be churlish and overly pedantic of me...

The lad doth protest too much, methinks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Would it be churlish and overly pedantic of me...

You're right, but enough other people have been wrong to change the meaning for all of us.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/gild-the-lily.html

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Headmaster

Re: Would it be churlish and overly pedantic of me...

Is this a pedantic Shakespeare Nazi alert which I see before me?

(Note to El Reg: need "Macbeth with dagger" icon)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Would it be churlish and overly pedantic of me...

Yes, it would be extremely pedantic. Good work, sir :)

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Anonymous Coward

Wow! I'm so stoked about this camera

I think it's pretty amazing technology that they've managed to cram in there. Did anyone else notice how OIS even managed to remove the black guy from the original picture?

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Anonymous Coward

Does this bit make......

..... PHONECALLS?

OR is it an advert for a camera?

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your phone will never be able to produce those images because

1. They used a camera crew that includes a big sweaty guy with big manly hands full of big camera. the laws of physics generally considers this the correct way to make films, so it came out better than if they had used any kind of phone camera.

2. I've never seen a woman that happy an carefree before, so I call foul on that one too.

3. Captain Lumia is a fictional character, so when the 3D version of the advert comes out I've instructed the animators to model his head on a tennis ball, make the fibers longer, and brown, not green. add eyes and a nose, we can rebuild him. make sure the fluff on that tennis ball is scaled up 10x. and we want it brown like original ubuntu. Then we can load him and Miss Lumia make into the Matrix and see what what happens when he tries to eat her out.

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your phone will never be able to produce those images because...

it's in your very own useless hand? I call viral bullshit on this guff with the convenient window reflection frame added - is that what it is?

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Re: your phone will never be able to produce those images because

You also need million $ "Steadicam" (steadycam) equipment with a very experienced team to be that steady without giving up quality.

http://www.answers.com/topic/steadicam

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Re: your phone will never be able to produce those images because

Meanwhile, have a look at the real pictures:

http://www.nokia.com/global/products/pureview/

These are explicitly marked as being shot with the 920, and you can see they are shot at completely open aperture (no blade-diffraction). They don't look like SLR pics in any case (there are some things about the image quality that point to a physically small lens and sensor). The huge improvement in optical stability performance is just basic physics - Nokia's system can move the whole assembly (lens + sensor) because it only weighs a few grammes: DSLR or pocket systems must compromise because the mass of the lenses/sensor is too great to allow this.

The guy who's in charge of camera development at Nokia (Damien Dinning - https://twitter.com/phonedaz ) has stated that the sample shots are real, and the only reason they haven't been released full-scale is because they're not using final firmware. Having seen how photo websites tear apart pre-production DSLR pics, I can understand this attitude. The pictures were also shot handheld, not on tripod.

No doubt about it, it looks like their marketing people have overstepped the line, and given everyone with a vested interest a good excuse to deflect attention away from the real quality of the product. Whoever made that decision should be fired. But there's nothing fake about the camera - all the attention about the faked video seems to be ignoring the fact that there are enough real samples out there to show just how good this system is, including footage from journalists and bloggers at the launch event.

Also, I think people are underestimating (or trying to minimise) how big a deal good low-light photogtaphy really will be for customers. Not for pros (who always light portraiture), but for the casual snapper.

A guy I knew used to run a 1hour photo back in the days of chemical phototgraphy, and he said he could categorise 80% of his lab's throughput as being pictures of people sitting around a table at night. Look at what's put up on Facebook - indoors pictures, groups standing up, at night, at a club... low light. Currently, no mobile camera can take these pictures well, with the exception of Nokia's or Samsung's (older non-Android) cameras which both had Xenon flashbulbs - but flashes cause red-eye, and using a flash is pretty anti-social in some situations (like a dark restauraunt).

So, kudos to Nokia for sidestepping the specs race and actually providing customers with something they will use -- something Apple also do very well, it must be noted. The other "sleeper" killer feature on these phones is the capactive screen tech that works with gloves on, or for that matter, with long fingernails -- this isn't new tech, but Nokia are the first to think it's worth implementing on a phone. Finnish winters, I guess (although Seoul is fucking freezing in the wintertime too)...

In another universe, I'd have loved to see this phone running with Maemo, but WindowsPhone 8 has moved on a lot, and is starting to provide unique ideas of its own: the "Lens" plug-in system that lets app-writers embed their feature into the built-in camera app are a great idea, for instance. And now that they're allowing native, unmanaged code, I could consider writing for it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: your phone will never be able to produce those images because

No, you really don't. You can make a simple balance-based handheld steadi for about fifty quid, a colleague has one. She can get amazing faux-dolly shots handheld with her GH2, it's really lovely.

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FAIL

Obviously not THAT sorry

as they faked the pictures too....

http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_lumia_920_sample_images_found_to_be_fake_as_well-news-4769.php

Basically, the only redeeming features for the new Lumias are not all they are cracked up to be, and needed to be faked.

The reality of course, is that a 8MP backlit sensor for low-light shooting is nothing new at all, the Xperia Arc had this spec in early 2011. The Xperia S has an even further enhanced 12MP version of it.

So basically Nokia are still 18months to 2 years behind the curve.

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Re: Obviously not THAT sorry

It's more likely that it's Qualcomm that's behind the curve seeing as how Nokia have little say in the hardware stakes. It also seems to be apparent that ST-Ericsson aren't able to do much hardware-wise either, as they dumped Symbian dev in March to concentrate on WP.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obviously not THAT sorry

ST-Ericsson are 100% Android. They have serious ambitions in that arena, and looking at their recent handsets, easily outclass similar Samsung offerings.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obviously not THAT sorry

When have marketing departments ever been that honest?

A marketing department doesn't usually work directly with the product development teams. So while Nokia engineers are trying to finish the product the marketing people have just gone off on one producing this to show what stabilisation means and can do.

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FAIL

Will they apologise to shareholders for faking hope of success with microsoft?

Thought not.

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Re: Will they apologise to shareholders for faking hope of success with microsoft?

Pwease won't somebody think of the poor shareholders!

Seriously, if you buy shares, you're in it to make money, and you do so taking a risk. Given how much doom and gloom there has been about Nokia in the press for years, despite their immense successes over that time, I hardly think shareholders have been misled in a positive direction. But if they don't like it, they're free to invest elsewhere, or maybe just open up a safe bank account like most people do.

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