back to article MYSTERY Nokia image-mangling mobe spotted in public

More images of Nokia's so-called EOS Windows smartphone have popped out on the web, and this time they show what looks like a final industrial design with a PureView-like camera. Last year Nokia released a device with an unfeasibly large (for a phone) sensor that downsamples images, and is capable of knocking out outstanding …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cue postings about it being too big etc.

    If it was possible to do such things smaller it would be done. Do you think pro photographers like carrying heavy cameras with huge lenses around? of course not, but they know that you need large sensors and lenses to get good results.

    While this won't rival an SLR it will give you the best photo results on a smartphone.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Exactly, there is underlying physics involved. As sensor size changes you are trading off and balancing factors such as pixel pitch \ gain \ dof at a given ap \ fov at a given focal length \ diffraction (coc) etc. A lot also depends on where money has been put in each system. Digital large format is virtually solely scanning backs used for landscapes, cameras are huge, lenses are actually pretty light considering the image circle involved. Medium format means you have lighter cameras, moderate lenses, you start getting af and even IS now. They also tend to be ccd rather than cmos so you find yourself overshooting, dealing with 1fps max normaly but true 16bit. 35mm tends to be cmos so you get liveview, higher isos faster frame rates (although sensor size is part of that) etc. Inpart due to the physics of the medium but also because thats what manufacturers built. You could have an 8x10 digital slr with IS AF lenses but it would be huge and insanely expensive and smaller fov lenses with wide aps would be monumentally HOOOge.

      Camera sensors win on convienience, theyre starting to get IS and even optical zoom. Diffraction will play a part with clarity and forget thin dof, but I won't complain about them improving :-) Horses for courses, but don't believe the whole 'takes dslr quality shots' marketing balls. I'd happily switch away from insanely expensive and heavy gear if they did.

    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

      More than just sensor size

      I'm no pro, but I do have a D70 which I got nearly 10 years ago now which I used (alongside several books) to teach myself the skills. Without doubt, the computing power in a modern phone is substantially better than the D70. Asides from the quality of the optical zoom (which you have limits of physics and substantial costs), modern point and shoot cameras and camera phones can take excellent photos. My big personal problem with them is that it is infeasibly slow to use any manual mode due to the fact you have got to go through menus for a few minutes to setup your shots.

      If there was a way of getting a few more rocker switches so that you could quickly change the aperture (maybe limited possibility due to physics), shutter speed or dial in some EV compensation, it would definitely be an option for more than a look-at -me facebook post.

      That and a proper flash would go a lot further to creating good photos than a gaizeeelion terapixel sensors. A physically large sensor with downsampling will go a long way towards ensuring that each recorded pixel is as close as possible to what comes through the lens. The real challenge is to ensure what comes through the lens is what you want.

    3. ThomH Silver badge

      But surely that still allows it to be too big?

      You cannot fit an SLR into a smartphone. So you're going to have to accept lesser image quality. In that case why is something bulbous preferable? A lot of people would argue that it just falls between two stools — it's not compact enough to fit well with a mobile phone and it's not large enough to do all that much better than what does fit in other mobile phones. So it's too large for anything people want in a phone.

      It's the same sort of logic that allows people to conclude that e.g. a 6" screen is too large for a mobile phone.

  2. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge
    WTF?

    EOS

    The EOS name intrigues me a bit, given that Canon use that moniker for their system of SLR cameras, lenses, etc. I haven't heard anything about Canon being involved in the development of this, and even if they had using the same name would seem to conflict with their EOS camera system

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: EOS

      The image spots a Zeiss lens, thereby Canon looks not involved at all, don't think it could be the sensor maker. Maybe "EOS" is just the project internal name, I guess it would be difficult to sell a Nokia EOS without Canon approval, especially spelled full capital (Eos is a greek word meaning "dawn") and referring to photo capabilities - AFAIK Eos is used by VW also, but it's difficult to mistake a camera for a car :)

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: EOS

      Talking of Canon what's all this "multiple megapixels downsampled to smaller view for the user taking a lot of CPU junk?" Sure, if you're doing fancy image scaling but a 38Mpixel photo isn't as much data as you think. And just about every Canon EOS "D" camera has to do the job to display a thumbnail (and, incidentally, save the original CR2 which contains several RGB JPG previews of different sizes, the original CCD scan data - which isn't RGB because of the sensor layout, there's more "G", and requires a lot of processing, statistical averaging and white-balancing to get a viewable image that a user would want - and everything else it bundles into the file, and it takes nothing to write that data to the card and present it on the screen after a photo is taken.

      Quite what are you doing to the image where THROWING AWAY data and some complex transform on the data needs anything more than a tiny processor doing some parallel operations? And if it takes a second rather than half-a-second, is anyone REALLY going to notice on a phone?

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: EOS

        I mentioned the canon eos before and was told that it was only bloggers who were using the term, I guess el reg is now. I don't believe nokia have used it.

      2. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: EOS

        fwiw I think canons use ti designed arm chips running dryos. They will have a significant amount of custom functionality, but basically not a million miles away from whats in a phone. Some canons have multiple digic processors (i think my 7d has 2 and my 1dx has 3? ). One big factor that will affect the grunt required would be the bit depth, they're probably 8bit. It's also unlikely the phone will be doing much else at the time. That and the burst depth is rarely high on a phone so it is unlikely to have a queue of images to chew on like a dslr. Plus it depends exactly how they are reducing the resolution, it could be done right after the adc stage by an asic prior to the phones cpu even getting the image. Are there any specifics on how the pureview did it?

    3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: EOS

      > using the same name would seem to conflict

      I am still wondering why Panasonic have sued over LUMIA being almost identical to LUMIX. The Pansonic name is used for both cameras and phones.

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: people don't pick and choose between phones based on the camera

      Actually, old chap, that's exactly what I do do. The quality of the camera is not the ONLY factor, or I wouldn't buy a phone I'd buy a camera, but it is there as a factor in the decision-making process. I always carry my mobile, and if it has a decent camera, I can also have a camera with me. My first phone with a camera had about 1.3 mp, and I've hung on to my Nokia because the combination of pixels and lens quality gives me satisfactory results.

      Whether or not I'm typical of a proportion of Nokia's customers, I don't know, and neither do you, but I suspect Nokia know

    2. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge
      FAIL

      @ Eadon - Re: If you care about photography then use a real camera

      Actually I do care about photography (a lot) and I have a lot of real camera equipment. However, I don;t want to carry that around with me 24x7 - it's too bulky and heavy to be a constant companion.

      So, think about it...

      Having something portable with a built-in camera, like this Nokia, is better than the alternatives of either carrying a separate phone and a dedicated point-and-shoot camera, or just a phone with a poor built-in camera.

      EADON FAIL

    3. NotInventedHere

      Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

      Except that Nokia *have* managed to differentiate themselves from Android and indeed from other Windows Phone vendors too. They're doing a pretty darned good job in my opinion.

      Which specific elements of Microsoft's hardware reference design to you think are holding the platform back? I'm not aware of any.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Yet Another Commentard

          Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

          @Eadon

          "So "darned good" that Samsung ate Nokia's lunch. Nokia's value is now only 10% of what it was before choosing Win Phone as their new OS."

          Er, what? Nokia's market cap today is about USD13bn, just before the Win 8 announcement it was USD34bn. A big drop yes, but not 10%.

          If you mean "10% of its value compared to its maximum" then you'd have a point. It would be a useless point, but a point. It had been on a steady slide since mid 2008 (and then well below it's $250bn heyday) when it was about $100bn, so still not 10%

          Feel free to have a go, it's a poor performance over the last five years, and the Windows Gambit hasn't stopped it, but get the basic bits right please.

      2. Stoke the atom furnaces

        Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

        "Except that Nokia *have* managed to differentiate themselves from Android."

        Yes, but not in a way that will sell many phones.

        With Android, Samsung is capturing 43 percent of the handset industry’s profits — the other 57 percent going to Apple. Meanwhile, with Windows Phone, Nokia is capturing nothing. Given that vast disparity in performance, isn’t it about time Nokia and its leadership reassess the company’s commitment to Windows Phone and take a good hard look at Android? [1]

        [1] http://allthingsd.com/20130508/time-for-nokia-to-switch-to-android/

        1. Mark .

          Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

          Why do you care? I mean, I don't care about the company that makes the most profits - that's money taken from consumers, that isn't going into the product you've bought.

          I care about who makes the products I like. I mean, by all means say you'd prefer a Nokia phone running Android, fine. But, "I wish Nokia switched to Android, to make them more profit"? Plus it hasn't worked out so well for Motorola, HTC, etc...

      3. Jess

        differentiate themselves from ... other Windows Phone vendors

        Would that be the Nokia logo on the brightly coloured angular phones that differentiates them from the other brightly coloured angular win phones?

        (I'm guessing the idea is that you actually notice them in the wild, not that I have seen many.)

    4. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

      "As for the camera feature, people don't pick and choose between phones based on the camera"

      Wrong. I bought a Lumia 920 specifically because it has the best Smartphone camera on the market,.

      1. Matt_payne666

        Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

        one of the major deciding factors on my 920 purchase was the camera... I have an EOS with L series lenses, I also have a Bronica which is occasionally dragged out to play... then there is a fully rugged compact for the beach, cliff diving and off road bugging...

        but the convenience of an always on me camera, which spits out pretty decent photos is a huge bonus... I just guess that Eadon doesn't have young children!

      2. cambsukguy

        Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

        Me too, the Nokia 920 is noticeably superior to almost any camera, phone or compact that doesn't have OIS, which is pretty much all of them. In low light the pictures are incredible, better than with your own eyes since the exposure can easily exceed 1/4 second, for stationary objects at least. With fill-in flash, albeit LED, night shots of people with cities beyond etc. are beautiful, without needing to carry a tripod and camera. Also, the actual phone call quality is superb, better noise cancellation than the Samsung owner's phone I talk to regularly. I like the integration of WP8, I am not even a fb user per se, just handy having it all available without using apps. Then there is the question of watching android owners not having giant Note II's looking to charge their phone in the evening before they go out when mine often has 50% or more remaining and is good to go.

      3. RubberJohnny

        Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

        Nokia 808 has the best Smartphone camera.

    5. John Sanders
      Devil

      Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

      "Nokia wouldn't be able to differentiate themselves from the pack of other Android vendors."

      No Eadon, you explained it badly, it is the other way arround:

      With Windows Nokia can differentiate themselves much better than with Android, see: it is the difference between selling phones and NOT SELLING THEM.

      And Nokia so far has been one of the most successful smartphone vendors in differentiating themselves in the market.

      Nice cameras, sad choice of OS.

      Why Nokia chose Windows over Android has to do with who are the major shareholders in Nokia: Banks, and banks should lend money, not decide how to create products.

      Nokia has until the end of the year to turn the tide around. Good luck.

    6. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

      "Having a camera that isn't totally shit", is one of my criteria for phone purchases. Being able to upgrade that to "having a camera that's actually pretty good" would be more than welcome.

      MANDATORY CAPITALS

    7. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

      8 years ago you may have had a point eadon. Now camera phones, the better ones, are about on a par with p&s digital compacts barring a lack of real zoom. So I'm looking at a new phone in a few months, likely between the g pro and the note 3. Even with an office full of camera toys from 4x5 toyo's to rz67's and a nice pile of canon gear I will still be paying close attention to the camera as my phones nearly always with me. If otherwise the phones are similar I'll factor in the cameras because it saves the expense of a p&s for when I don't want to lug a dslr around, they aren't insanely heavy but they attract attention.

      The only question remaining is will taking a picture with a note 3 make you look as much of a tit as those folks who take pictures with tablets?? :-)

    8. nigel 15
      FAIL

      Re: If you care about photography then use a real camera.

      with the greatest of respect Eadon. That is a lot of hairy bollocks.

      as is often said the best camera is the one that's with you. I don't carry a DSLR in my pocket, i do a phone.

      and Nokia did not fake the photos in it's ads. there are many sample photos available for the 808 and they are pretty amazing. How you know that this one will be rubbish before it's even been made is beyond me.

      EADON FAIL

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: If you care about photography then use a real camera.

        . and Nokia did not fake the photos in it's ads

        Yes they did:

        http://www.intomobile.com/2012/09/06/did-nokia-fake-its-still-lumia-920-images-too/

        http://petapixel.com/2012/09/07/yup-nokia-faked-the-sample-photos-in-its-pureview-promo/

        1. arob

          Re: If you care about photography then use a real camera.

          The point is that as much as you lot keep pulling out those couple of marketing screwups, there's oodels off photos and videos produced my Nokia, professionals and normal users that clearly show the quality of it's imaging capabilities.

          Really, change the record!

    9. Chris_Maresca

      Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

      Real photographers don't care that much about gear, it only really matters if you are doing studio shoots where you can control absolutely everything. Also, low light situations are still difficult for phone cameras.

      There are a number of award winning photographers that have produced stunning images on very low end gear. Anything from superzooms to iphones.... And the Chicago Tribune has just laid off it's entire photo staff, saying it will train reporters to use iphones for photos & video. For a lot of professionals these days, a connected camera is much, much better than a standalone camera since immediacy is what wins eyeballs. In that context, a phone with a great camera is perfect.

      Besides, most camera phones these days are 10x better than early digital equipment. I'm currently doing a project with some 10 year old high-end digital digital cameras and it's easier to get great pictures from an iphone.... Funny thing is that it's a processing & software issue (autofocus, metering, white balance, etc), not the hardware.

      Finally, stats - http://www.flickr.com/cameras - no one uses cameras anymore (other than very high end stuff)

      As someone once said, the best camera is the one you have with you.

    10. Maharg
      FAIL

      Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

      Actually, like the other people who have said so, so do I, I have ALWAYS chosen new phones due to their camera, because I enjoy photography, (and I don’t mean using instgram pictures of food), I want my mobile to do three things, communicate with people, take decent quality pictures, and sometimes play music, so I don’t have to carry a phone, MP3 player and SLR with me at all times.

      Turns out there are quite a few people that don’t always need to be connected to the world on twater or facepalm, and we don’t need the super duper up to date online only version of temple run chewing up our data packets.

      We like to see whats going on around us, and every now and then take pictures.

      If I’m going out to take pictures, I take my camera(s), if I’m going out and I may want to take pictures, I take my phone because it has a decent camera on it.

      EADON FAIL

    11. The_Regulator

      Aww Eadon, sounds like your party is coming to an end if you are having to refer back to ads from before the 920 was even released to try to mock Nokia.

      The history of Nokia is a long one in regards to their design with cell phone camera's and the 920 is proving how well they can do it. This is going to give them a huge marketing opportunity.

      The platform is taking strides albeit perhaps a little more slowly than many would like including me but with these devices and regular updates from MS I want to believe WP will fully establish 3rd position in the smartphone market and grow their apps market to be an effective competitor which should be good for everyone.

    12. Trustme
      Stop

      Re: Windows phones built to Microsoft's hardware recipe

      To everyone replying above, hasn't anyone told you yet - Don't feed the Eadon!

  4. Big Van Vader
    FAIL

    hmmmm

    Too big and too fugly imo.

    However I do think some people really do want this sort of camera technology in their phone, problem is that they want it on an Android or Apple phone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: hmmmm

      " problem is that they want it on an Android or Apple phone."

      Uhm, well the rapid growth of WP market share (8.4% in the UK now) seems to say they want it on a Windows Phone too...

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: hmmmm

      I suspect that at least 70% of smartphone users don't care about the OS. Certainly of the handful of non-techies that I've advised on phones/tablets in the last 6 months only 1 was wedded to his iPhone, and not willing to change. The rest only cared about what it did, and would shift to whatever platform had the price or features they were after. There's still a good number of people who haven't heard of Android, even though they're using it on their phone. "Oh, I've got a Samsung Galaxy"...

      I've just pushed a friend off iPhone onto Android (which I'm nervous about given how non-technical he is). But the Galaxy Note 2 has the stylus that will be brilliant for him. He's loved his iPhones for the last 4 years, but switching doesn't worry him in the slightest.

    3. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: hmmmm

      "problem is that they want it on an Android or Apple phone."

      If I had the choice I would go for Android but I wouldn't have any real problem switching to Windows Phone for a genuinely superior camera.

  5. theOtherJT

    I've been waiting a long time for this.

    The only thing that stopped me buying an 808 was Symbian and that stupid low res screen. Don't get me wrong, I had a 5800 which served me well for a long time, but it really doesn't cut it as a modern OS. I might be the only person who likes windows phone, but after owning 2 different variants on android and a WinPho device at the same time, the windows one was the one I found myself using most. That with a good camera fits my usage requirements pretty much perfectly.

    1. Aoyagi Aichou
      Gimp

      Re: I've been waiting a long time for this.

      I'm rather curious what's your definition of "modern OS".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've been waiting a long time for this.

        "what's your definition of "modern OS"."

        A hybrid microkernel based design would be a good start...

        1. Bod

          Re: I've been waiting a long time for this.

          "A hybrid microkernel based design would be a good start..."

          Real world advantage of is?

          Modern doesn't always mean good.

          My view of the mobile space is it's got obsessed with cramming heavy layered, resorce hungry, desktop derived OS into mobile devices and relying on manufacturers to beef up component performance enough to cope.

          While Symbian had on top of it a weak UI until the latter days, it was designed entirely to provide an efficient and resource light OS for mobile devices. They were finally getting on the right track when Elop decided a bloated and inflexible OS was more suitable.

        2. John Sanders
          Holmes

          Re: I've been waiting a long time for this.

          QNX?

      2. theOtherJT

        Re: I've been waiting a long time for this.

        My biggest problem with it is the UI (which I suppose you could argue is an "App" issue rather than an OS issue as such... ) The bones of symbian, the call quality, the battery life, the memory management - those are all very good but it has always felt like the S60 UI was a bit of an afterthought. Something knocked together from leftovers of S40 rather than something properly designed for touch control. It's come a way, since then, but there's still a sense that they didn't really try as hard as they should have and it's a lot less good than the competition. I don't know if that 640x360 resolution was a technical limitation or just a way they could cut the development budget by reusing stuff from the C6 but for something at that price point it really wasn't good enough.

        Perhaps symbian could still be a serious player if it'd not been killed off the way it was - after all, the first couple of versions of android were bloody terrible, but that's gotten really nice now. What I want from a "modern" phone OS is something that handles all the "phone" stuff as quickly and easily as possible. iOS isn't bad, I think the current iterations of android are better, and as it happens I like WinPho better still... but I don't think any of the three are _bad_ as such these days.

        It's a tough question to answer outright, except by example. I'd argue that winpho is a "modern" os, that android is, that iOS is aging a bit, but is still OK. Hell, I liked WebOS, thought there was a lot of potential in that, but the poor thing never really had much of a chance.

        In an ideal world I'd take Winpho's ease of use, with Android's customizability, iOS's stability and Symbian's efficiency... doubt I'll get it tho.

        1. Mark .

          Re: I've been waiting a long time for this.

          Not sure if you were aware of this (with you saying you used the 5800), but note that the 808's OS, particularly the UI, is much improved over what the 5800 had (as you say, imagine judging Android or IOS today by their first versions).

          Although yes, I can understand not wanting to buy the last of its kind for a platform.

          I don't know the reasons for the 640x360 resolution (which was interestingly way ahead of the competition in 2008-2009, though sadly lacking now) - I can see it being a case of not worth the risk of changing it for one last device.

        2. Jess

          My biggest problem with it is the UI

          What the hell is wrong with Belle's UI? It's nicer than android (quite similar though)

          The problem with Symbian is a lack of smoothness in certain situations, The difference between S60 and Belle was at least 75% of the way to getting it right. If it hadn't been canned, it would have got there, and pretty soon, I think.

        3. CyberAngel

          Re: I've been waiting a long time for this.

          " I don't know if that 640x360 resolution was a technical limitation or just a way they could cut the development budget by reusing stuff from the C6 but for something at that price point it really wasn't good enough."

          FACTS:

          Nokia E90 Communicator (which is in front of me, operating right now with my main SIM)

          http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_e90-1857.php

          Announced 2007, February. Released 2007, June

          main screen: 800 x 352 pixels (secondary: 240 x 320 pixels)

          Symbian OS v9.2, S60 rel. 3.1

  6. Thomas Whipp

    interesting

    I use my phone for 6 things (in order or priority): music player, email (gmail), web browsing, facebook, camera and being a phone.

    All of those capabilities are cross platform - my "app" usage is largely via my tablet so I'm not that bothered about keeping them on the phone. Also, the people I know who have a WP handset (its on our work choice list) seem perfectly happy with it.

    Therefore, in terms of being a distinguishing feature between handsets, the camera performance is pretty key for me at least, about the only other feature I'd care about would be water proofing but I've gone 10+ years without dropping my phone in a pint so thats a nice to have.

    Anyway - for me this could be significant, especially if some of the minor gripes people seem to have with WP8 get fixed in 8.1 (e.g. independant volume control)

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: interesting

      The lack of options on the volume control is a bit crap. Also there doesn't seem to be a way to save a half-composed text message - which given the number of times I'm interrupted doing this is even more annoying.

      Other than that, I think the other major downside is apps related. Firstly the major lack of them, and secondly the limited way you can display them. Even iOS (which just gives you an indistinguishable grid of icons lets you organise them into different screens or into folders. Neither of which can be done with WinPho, it's the single home-screen or the alphabetical list of apps only - although at least you can change icon size. Both have the fault of forcing you to dive into the settings menu to turn on Bluetooth, change brightness etc. - where Android is brilliantly customisable.

      I can't vouch for the music player. At least you're no longer stuck with Microsoft's truly horrible Zune PC software. Which actually makes iTunes, and even Sony's efforts, look good. Email and web browsing are fine and Facebook could be superb. You can either use an app, web interface or use the built-in client that puts Facebook right into your contacts. Which kind of takes over the phone, but if you're happy with that you'll love it.

      1. Squander Two

        Re: interesting

        There are various WP apps available that allow you to stick a tile on the front screen for the Bluetooth on/off switch (as well as wifi and flight mode).

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: interesting

          Squander Two,

          Yes, I had one of those on my last WinPho handset. Which was very useful. But the one I really wanted was a brightness control. So you can crank brightness to the max when you're outside in the sun, and can't read the screen. So it can't be buried illegibly half a page down the settings menu. iOS doesn't allow this either, and the easy-access to the brightness control is only on the iPad, not the iPhone (where it's most needed).

          It was also a shame that there were only these WiFi/Bluetooth/Aeroplane Mode apps, and nothing else. I'd have liked to have shortcuts to a few options as a possibility.

  7. Chris 171
    Thumb Up

    Finally!

    I'd have an 808 now if I could have bought an offical uk one, this shall do nicely.

    Its the raw unique tech i like, the bundled OS is not really a deal breaker.

    Looks to me like proper Nokia Flagship phones are back (shortly)!

    1. Aoyagi Aichou
      Unhappy

      Re: Finally!

      Currently, these are Microsoft's flagships, I think. "Nokia had far more control over its hardware then than it does now." speaks for itself.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Finally!

        I think. "Nokia had far more control over its hardware then than it does now." speaks for itself.

        Not really. Obviously it's a Microsoft OS, instead of Symbian - although that was Nokia's choice. But what MS are specifying is the chips they certify. Because of this, Nokia can't use the OS and the CPU or GPU to process the camera images. So that presumably forces them to have a custom GPU in the camera itself, which does all the work, and then they just write a camera driver for Windows Phone as normal.

        Symbian was a separate entity to Nokia, not under its control (at least theoretically) for a while. Then it was again, then it wasn't... I lost track. It'll be interesting to see how much Nokia can influence MS in their future Windows Phone decisions. It's an interesting question as to who's management and bureaucracy has been worst in the last 5 years, out of those two companies...

        1. arob

          Re: Finally!

          Exactly! WP8 will allow for some level customization from an OEM (software/app based primarily) but MSFT will make sure there's adequate hardware guidelines to maintain device performance - so hopefully meaning it'll sidestep the Android issue of low-powered cheap devices that run abysmally.

          I think it was with the Samsung Focus lineup that Samsung decided part way through production to change the processor from what Microsoft said they should use to one of their own undeclared choosing, which led to people having bricked/broken devices when an OS update was rolled out and Samsung's underhandness caused a lot of bad feeling towards the OS because of the hardware/software incompatability. It makes sense to have preferred processors for the OS to run on rather than living in the highly fragmented Android world where you have a smorgasboard of chip architectures that ened to have support maintained to handle the Android updates - I'm guessing this has a big factor to play in people running old Androids that never have a hope in hell of having an approved update pushed out to old devices.

        2. Aoyagi Aichou

          @I ain't Spartacus

          Well, I guess "Nokia's choice" does apply here since Elope has already been nested firmly in Nokia by then. And speaking of processing images, don't get your hopes high, the overrated camera of 920 could take nice pictures, but what the software does to them should be punishable by cutting fingers off. And I seriously doubt Nokia can influence any of this as they seem to have become a pawn of Microsoft and its rat who became the leader investors are not exactly fond of. As for the custom GPU, that is no doubt result of Microsoft's partnership with some OEM.

          I'm still waiting for how Jolla turns out as they seem to do what Nokia may have intended to do until they were assimilated by Microsoft...

          1. arob

            Re: @Aoyagi Aichou

            Bit of a hater? lol

            You know that imaging on the Lumia 920 is greatly improved with the latest update that's coming (Lumia Amber)? And you do know that from it's original release it's had updates that have greatly improved it's capability? You sound like one of these bleaters who keep repeated the same tired lines that were only appropriate at the device launch, and not to images taken with the latest software/OS updates installed.

            1. Aoyagi Aichou

              Re

              @arob

              Oh yes, I've hated MS dearly since they started ruining things I liked. I know things have improved, but that doesn't change the fact, that the OS is crap. Not utter crap anymore, but still crap. I have 920, it's up to date and the images are still about the same quality as N95. It may or may not get better (among with ton of other shortcomings of the OS, my list of them is growing), but like hell I'm going to comfort myself with that thought. I'm interested in what the OS is now, not in what MS keeps promising and lying about.

              @I ain't Spartacus

              Heh, I'm not saying that the management of Nokia is without blame on this, but what an amazing coincidence would it be that they hire a recently ex-Microsofted person and suddenly change their direction towards Microsoft? We'll probably never know the truth though, I'm just saying what seems most logical to me.

              Again, I have 920, the shots could be loads better. In fact, I had two cases when it was better to take a screenshot of the camera application instead of taking the actual photo (one of the cases was 4 days ago). I admit I have no idea who makes what, but I do know that all Symbian phones take better photos than I expected them to. Everything (except the pretty shiny things) about WP8 feels so ... unfinished.

          2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: @I ain't Spartacus

            Aoyagi Aichou,

            Nokia's choice definitely does apply. Crap management leads to crap performance. I don't know if Elop has got his decision right, or whether they could have turned round Symbian, or Meego/Maemo, or would have been better with Android. What I do know is that Nokia's management culture had been in the shit for years, and that's the culture that selected Elop. And approved his decision to release the 'burning platforms' email, and to change strategy. It's no good them blaming him, they hired him, they approved his decision.

            My personal suspicion is that he didn't come in as a poison pill from MS, but was brought in to do a deal with MS, because none of the competing factions inside Nokia could agree on an internal solution. Or believed that none was available - as they never seemed to be able to finish anything. But that's only guesswork on my part.

            the overrated camera of 920 could take nice pictures, but what the software does to them should be punishable by cutting fingers off. And I seriously doubt Nokia can influence any of this as they seem to have become a pawn of Microsoft and its rat who became the leader investors are not exactly fond of. As for the custom GPU, that is no doubt result of Microsoft's partnership with some OEM.

            That's all a bit silly really. The camera on the 920 seems to have got very nice reviews and the test shots I've seen have been pretty good. That's not over-rated. If there were software problems, they've apparently been dealt with. But whatever, that's not Microsoft's fault, it's Nokia's. Nokia produce the drivers for their hardware, so any problems are down to them.

            Similarly with the GPU on the Pureview camera, that's nothing to do with Microsoft, and them having parter OEMs. Nokia bought in the camera, they'll select the internal GPU for the camera, and they'll write both the camera software, and the driver that links it up to the OS. With their Symbian version they can use the phone's GPU, and that's a downside of using Windows, because MS would have to re-write the OS to allow this. So they'll have to have an extra chip.

            1. CyberAngel

              Re: @I ain't Spartacus

              Take a good look at the very small TI Omap 2 GPU part

              I think BOTH Symbian & WP8 need the dedicated sensor GPU

              and a driver and special camera software

        3. CyberAngel

          Re: Finally!

          Take a good look at the TI Omap 2 CPU+GPU that was used in the Nokia 808

          Without the dedicated DSP in the sensor module this would have not happened

          Now that Windows is bringing support for the SnapDragon 800 (55Mpix max) in GDPR 3 beforore Xmas

          there is no need to worry wheather you need drivers or not - I'd prefer using both DSP & SD 800

          Yes!

          MS WPhone software development is way too slow and it's holding Nokia back

  8. Greg 24
    Windows

    A bit too late..

    My trusty N8 is really starting to creak, coupled with Google discontinuing support for Exchange active sync and the disappointing Lumia 925 release I've gone for a HTC one.

    I like the aluminium body, I like that they've tried something different with the ultrapixel camera and the Zoe feature looks like fun....

    Still I'll be watching what happens here and may well be selling the HTC if this new Lumia arrives with a dedicated camera button, FM Transmitter, HDMI Out, Expandable memory and USB OTG and isn't locked to EE, I won't be holding my breath.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A bit too late..

      My solution to Google pulling Active Sync support has been to migrate to Outlook.com. I expect my email/calendar/to do list/ contact list provider to simply work with any smart phone. The EOS (or whatever they're going to call it) might just be my next contract phone.

      1. Greg 24

        Re: A bit too late..

        That's fine, but if I need to share\sync a calendar with my wife who is on Android it starts to get messy. My main issue was that my current N8 is for the first time no able to do everything I need it to so can't wait another 2? 3? 4? months for a device that could end up being a huge disappointment.

        I agree, google should work with any smart phone but I've also heard that they need to pay Microsoft for an EAS licence for each account synced so can't blame them for a business decision, if MS supported the open CardDav protocol we wouldn't be in this mess right now.

        1. CyberAngel

          Re: A bit too late..

          So you both will get a WP8 device from Nokia?

  9. Matt_payne666

    as for fake video...

    Yes, it was used, but have you seen, I mean, actually witnessed with your own eyes the stabilised output from video on a Lumia 920?? try running through a childs soft play centre, chasing a 4yearold (mine!) with even a mid range real camcorder, I can pretty much guarantee the end result - whilst probably sharper, will be a lot more bouncy! and not in a good way...

    I could use a different metric... speed boat & small chop....

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Holmes

    XX Megapixel

    Is that the final result or before being downsampled?

    1. The_Regulator

      Xx is there due to being a prototype device.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        XX

        Come on people - think about it....It's Roman numerals, can't actually be 20 as that's old hat....

        Think of a big number with some relationship to XX, and assume that's the number of pixels. Then act all surprised, then dis it as stupid, then eat your words when it gets released. That's what happened with their previous proper Pureview device....

  11. jason 7

    Always wondered about the lens size on Smartphones.

    Take the lens on my Nexus 4, it's maybe 1.5mm wide and takes 'okay' shots.

    So why not install a 3mm wide lens?

    The lens on even my cheapest compact is about 12mm. So I guess I'm saying is how does lens width/size correlate to the quality of images taken?

    Would a 3mm wide lens be too big?

    1. nigel 15

      Re: Always wondered about the lens size on Smartphones.

      there is no point in the with without the length.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's what she said!!

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Always wondered about the lens size on Smartphones.

      > So why not install a 3mm wide lens?

      >

      > The lens on even my cheapest compact is about 12mm. So I guess I'm saying is how does lens width/size correlate to the quality of images taken?

      >

      >Would a 3mm wide lens be too big?

      The f stop is the ratio of focal length to aperture size. If you double the width of the lens without changing the focal length then you decrease the f stop (eg from f4 to f2). This lets in more light but decreases the DOF (depth of field). This would make the camera have such a narrow DOF that it would give most of the image a fuzzy out-of-focus look.

      Increasing the focal length to compensate would create a large bulge or require a folding lens.

      1. jason 7
        Thumb Up

        Re: Always wondered about the lens size on Smartphones.

        Ahhh so you cant have one without the other then.

        So the restriction is due to the depth/thickness of the phone.

        Thanks for that Richard.

  12. Pypes

    "Uncompromising camera bulge"

    That lens looks rather compromised in my opinion. There is really no point in putting a bells-and-whistled CCD behind a $2 piece of glass.

  13. Pete 31

    If it was an android i'd have bought one already

    more or less sums up how I feel about Nokia. The phones are nicely made, have really good cameras, but run an operating system I've no interest in.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: If it was an android i'd have bought one already

      Every device I own runs an OS I've no interest in. OS are boring.

      1. CyberAngel
        Angel

        Re: If it was an android i'd have bought one already

        actually it's not the OS - it's the egosystem !

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If it was an android i'd have bought one already

      I have a Galaxy Nexus, but after playing with a Lumia I can only say that Android needs some serious work on speed and a total facelift especially as it's pretty certain iOS is going to bring out a major facelift too, which I suspect will have quite a lot of things borrowed from Windows phone.

    3. Down not across

      Re: If it was an android i'd have bought one already

      Why should the OS matter?

      Surely it is more important if the device does what you want it to do and do it well.

      I certainly would choose the device based on the functionality rather than OS. Yes, functionality can include ability to run certain apps, so if they are not available on all platforms then that may limit your OS choices.

      1. M Gale

        Re: Why does the OS matter?

        Because that's what the apps are released for.

        If you've no interest in the OS, then by extension you've no interest in the apps.

      2. Jess

        Why should the OS matter?

        If it's a smart phone, of course it does.

        And I want one without a pedigree of dumped platforms, with no upgrade path.

  14. spaceyjase
    Thumb Up

    Pure

    Lovely, really looking forward to seeing the tech resurface; I had started to worry that Nokia had forgotten about it! Love my 808, use it up in favour of other phones if I'm out and about for impromptu photography. While the iPhone is good, the speed and control over the optics in the 808 is really noticeable.

    Good stuff!

  15. Maharg
    Go

    Hmmmmmmmm

    I hope they didn’t use the same type of camera phone to take that picture of the new camera phone, because there is quite a bit of ‘noise’ there… but if it’s as good as the N8 was back in its day then this is definitely for me, the N8 stopped me needing to carry a digital camera, because you can’t always have an SLR with you.

    1. The_Regulator

      If its anything like the 808 or better anyone with one of these unless more than a casual photographer will not need a separate digital cam at all.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What use is a camera

    That runs Windows Phone, so you are embarrassed to take it out your pocket...

    1. jaywin
      FAIL

      Re: What use is a camera

      I'm not sure they're hiding their phones from you because of embarrassment, more boredom of you ranting at them about how rubbish their phone is when you've not tried using it.

  17. skuzzzy

    Nokia's internal politics always played different teams against each other. So imagine cutting each team loose with a chunk of money (they gave nice severance packages to the ex employees by the sound of it) then Nokia aren't paying for the OS R&D, possibly hardware in places too. Give all these a single entity to hate/motivate them (Elop) then buy back what works afterwards as a 'Plan B' without the R&D overheads?

    Also, Symbian as a dead OS still getting updates makes it an almost current option? Though would need adapting to current hardware.

    Nice ideas but highly unlikely.

  18. mark l 2 Silver badge

    While i don't doubt the technical merits of the pureview camera i think its appeal is limited to those who want to take more professional type photos without having to lug around an SLR camera and average joe public would be put off by the bulk of the phone, the camera on my phone is only basic but is 'good enough' for holiday/nights out snapshots, photos for ebay items, short video clips etc so much so that it been over a year since i last used by standalone camera. but you never know the galaxy note and other phones have encouraged people to walk around with what looks like a tablet to their ear so maybe Nokia can convince people to buy it.

  19. James Hughes 1

    The 'Custom' GPU in the 808

    Is the same as the one in the Raspberry Pi. And various other Nokia phones of the 808 era, and quite a few million recent Samsung phones.

    Not quite as custom as might be implied from the article.

    1. RubberJohnny

      Re: The 'Custom' GPU in the 808

      Wrong. BCM2835 in the Raspberry Pi can't handle over 20MP.

      http://www.broadcom.com/products/BCM2835

      The chip in the 808 is one co developed by Nokia and a partner, possibly Broadcom, but not a 2835.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    capable of knocking out outstanding photos

    According to Nokia and Microsoft, who provided some faked footage to prove it.

    However in the real world, we all know this Pureview branding is totally bogus and the low light performance is no better than a Sony Xperia cameraphone from 2011 with their version of the tech (called Exmor R).

    Microsoft was usual trying to hype their their sub-par products out of a hole.

    1. M Gale

      Re: capable of knocking out outstanding photos

      Dunno about the downvotes. I have video of bats taken with this old Arc S. Not the fastest phone in the world, but that is one nice phone camera.

      Now, what time to bats like come out to play (and occasionally use you as an obstacle course)?

      Quite good low light performance, I would say.

  21. DaveBoy

    'Custom' GPU

    @James Hughs 1 - the 808 has two "GPUs". It has the standard broadcom unit, similar to what is used on the Pi, but that cannot handle the data stream from the sensor. That is where it has a second custom GPU/processor/whatever.

  22. RubberJohnny

    Come on Jolla, hurry up with Sailfish and let me get away from all thiss hit.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thankfully

    You don't have to suffer a Windows Phone... Seems like Samsung is making a proper camera/phone combo.

    http://www.sammobile.com/2013/06/07/weekend-exclusive-samsung-galaxy-s4-zoom-product-photo-showed-up/

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