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 …
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'.
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...
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.
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.
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)?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Re: The usual loudmouths?
The whole point of the article is the camera, surely?
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.
BBC Article was scathing
Having a go at Nokia for using Symbian rather than Windows - rubbish article actually
Re: BBC Article was scathing
So a BBC Article was rubbish... and your are surprised by this why? :-)
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.
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.
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.
Re: No WP7 for a reason
Wrong, HTC Titan II has a 12MP camera. Just sayin'
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 ;)
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.
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...
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.
Imagine what Nokia might have achieved with Android, if it wasn't being run by a sockpuppet.
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.
Celebrating 1000 thumbs up!
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.
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...
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.
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.
Why Google Maps
Why not use Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive?
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)
· 5 elements, 1 group. All lens surfaces are aspherical
· One high-index, low-dispersion glass mould lens
· Mechanical shutter with neutral density filter"
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.
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.
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.
Re: A 41MP sensor...
Yes you are.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Nokia could get into digital cameras. Kodak has left one space.
There's a vacancy for a soon-to-be-bankrupt former big-name that reacted too late to market-shifts
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.
Re: "Get into?"
Inquiring minds need to know - who is the manufacturer of the world's largest camera by volume?
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