Previous news story    Next news story

41MP Nokia 808 smartphone hints at pixel-combining future for small sensor cameras

By dpreview staff on Feb 27, 2012 at 20:56 GMT

Nokia has made the startling announcement that it has created a 41MP smartphone, the Nokia 808 PureView. Interestingly, in most shooting modes the camera will output 3, 5MP or 8MP stills, rather than offering its full resolution - promising greater quality and offering some clever features. And this isn't a trade-show concept model, this is a product that will be offered to the public, though details of when and in which countries haven't been announced. What's interesting isn't so much the pixel count as how it's used, so we took a closer look.

The first thing to realize is that this isn't a standard 1/3.2" mobile phone sensor, it's an unusual and remarkably large 1/1.2" type (five times larger). In fact, it's almost three times the size of the sensors in most compact cameras. As a result, its photosites are the same size as those in most 8.2MP cameraphone but the 808 doesn't try to create an image of the same quality, 5 times bigger. Instead it oversamples the image and then combines pixels (using proprietary algorithms Nokia says optimize detail retention) down to a smaller size (though there is a special 'creative' shooting mode if you want the full resolution - 38MP at 4:3 aspect ratio, 36MP at 16:9).

Diagram showing the size of the Nokia 808 PureView's 1/1.2" sensor in comparison to those used in various compact cameras and mobile phones. A Four Thirds sensor is included for scale.

This pixel-combination means that noise (which occurs randomly) is averaged-out across multiple pixels (around 7-to-1 in the 5MP mode). The high native pixel count also means that it's possible to effectively 'zoom' by cropping into the center of the image and reducing the number of pixels you average together. Consequently the 808 can offer a roughly 2.8x 'zoom,' while maintaining 5MP output, despite having a fixed lens. The image quality will drop (since the noise is no longer being averaged out), but it does mean you get a roughly 28-78mm equivalent zoom, without the need to have moving lens elements, making the process fast and silent. It also means the lens' 15cm minimum focusing distance is maintained.

And, although the benefits of pixel-binning are lost as you magnify-in, because its photosites are the same size as contemporary 8MP phones, the resulting 5MP should offer the same pixel-level quality even at full magnification.

The same process allows 1080p video to be shot with a 4x cropping zoom.

Much like the Panasonic LX and GH cameras, the Nokia 808 uses an over-sized sensor to maximize the area used to offer different aspect-ratio images.

Despite the large sensor and comparatively large f/2.4 aperture, you won't get much control over depth of field (it'll be equivalent to setting an APS-C DSLR's kit lens to 18mm f/5.6). The depth-of-field control is reduced still further when magnified-in, because it doesn't gain the shallower depth of field that longer physical focal lengths usually bring. So, while it's an improvement over most phones, we wouldn't put much faith in the Nokia white paper's talk of bokeh.

The interesting thing for us, though, is not the Panasonic-esque multi-aspect-ratio use of the sensor, nor the astonishing pixel count, it's the idea of using that high pixel count to offer lower noise or non-interpolated digital zooming, while maintaining a constant image size. As Nokia's blog points out:

'5Mpix-6Mpix is more than enough for viewing images on PC, TV, online or smartphones. After all, how often do we print images bigger than even A4? [It] isn’t about shooting pictures the size of billboards! Instead, it’s about creating amazing pictures at normal, manageable sizes.'

And that's something that might be interesting to see in future compact cameras - models that will concentrate on output of a sensible size so that the user can easily get the benefit of them oversampling the scene.

Click here to read Nokia's blog post about the 808 PureView, which includes more detail about the phone's other features.

And click here to read the company's white-paper on the technology underpinning it.

Nokia 808 PureView lens and sensor specifications

  • Carl Zeiss Optics
  • Focal length: 8.02mm
  • 35mm equivalent focal length: 26mm, 16:9 | 28mm, 4:3
  • F-number: f/2.4
  • Focus range: 15cm – Infinity (throughout the zoom range)
  • Construction:
    • 5 elements, 1 group. All lens surfaces are aspherical
    • One high-index, low-dispersion glass mould lens
    • Mechanical shutter with neutral density filter
  • Optical format: 1/1.2”
  • Total number of pixels: 7728 x 5368
  • Pixel Size: 1.4um

Nokia's sample images:

ISO 800 - 5.0MP, 4:3
ISO 114 - 5.3MP, 16:9
ISO 58 - 38.4MP, 4:3 note the extremely close focus distance required to offer such shallow depth-of-field
18
I own it
4
I want it
1
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 667
12345
Michael Ma
By Michael Ma (Jul 15, 2012)

These images are much noisier than most smart phones you'll find today...but the dynamic range is quite impressive. I'd say moderate step up in stills at best.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
phunguyen
By phunguyen (May 23, 2012)

iPhony really psedd off Nokia ! This is how Nokia show them what are real innovations !

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Sep 4, 2012)

If Nokia had "real innovations" since 2007, when the iPhone came out, it wouldn't be in the near bankrupt position that it is in now.

0 upvotes
Anirban Banerjee
By Anirban Banerjee (May 2, 2012)

Nokia seem to go out of their way to create a photographer's phone, but I see no mention of shutter lag, the single biggest reason why most point and shoots don't work as street cameras, which is where this phone would mostly be used as a camera.

0 upvotes
da5nsy
By da5nsy (Apr 30, 2012)

Help me out guys:

So pixel pitch is 1.4um right? 1.4um * 7728 = 10.8192mm
1/1.2 = 0.83
0.83'' = 21.1667mm
10.8192mm≠21.1667mm

What are we thinking? It would seem rather odd to have so much dead space on the sensor unless there was something else going on in there right? Have I done my maths right?

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
kapanak
By kapanak (May 27, 2012)

I believe there is also digital stabilization akin to video camcorders.

0 upvotes
lightsculpture
By lightsculpture (Jun 18, 2012)

There is a common misunderstanding on the sensor size when this old convention is used. 1" or 1/1.2" does not actually refer to the sensor size. It is referring to outside diameter of the glass envelope of the video camera tube.

A 1/1.2" sensor measures 10.67mm x 8.0mm.

1.4um * 7728 = 10.8mm
1.4um * 5368 = 7.5mm

The pixels may not be gapless or perfectly circular or 1.4um could be an estimate.

0 upvotes
martin0reg
By martin0reg (Mar 12, 2012)

The nókia seems to have many settings for the camera.
I would like to have one setting in particular - which I am missing at most compacts:

- to costumize the step of the zoom at turning on the camera!

Most if not all compacts start at full wide angle, but that is often too wide for "norma"l photography or for your personal preferency. So you always have to zoom in a little bit for a less wide angle.
And if you don't think about it, you are shooting 95% in a full wide angle where a less wide angle would be better.

The canon s90/95/100 has a control ring on front which I like for one reason: it holds the last setting, e.g. the step zoom.

0 upvotes
Kametori
By Kametori (Mar 6, 2012)

I like that camera a lot.
I think I will wait anyway that it comes to WP os. I already have E7 and belle is fine and works smooth. I just want something new.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 6, 2012)

A user has applied shadow pull at http://mynokiablog.com/2012/03/06/nokia-808-pureview-more-official-samples-and-skateboarder-in-the-air (see the last picture) from Nokia's own demo shot. Given that it's at least a seven-stop pull, the results, noise-wise, are pretty good, particularly at this pixel size.

0 upvotes
Lilianna
By Lilianna (Mar 4, 2012)

I, for one, wondered what if anything Nokia could do to top my beloved N8.
They did and in a very big way.
The ability to have a decent camera with one all the time is unbelievably freeing.
Cannot wait to get my 808!!!

5 upvotes
luap999
By luap999 (Mar 4, 2012)

Who created/produces the 41MP sensor - Nokia?

1 upvote
Jay Kim
By Jay Kim (Mar 4, 2012)

Yes, apparently they made it themselves.

0 upvotes
vlad0
By vlad0 (Mar 5, 2012)

Damian mentioned "collaboration" several times, in several different intreviews, so.. someone helped for sure.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
1 upvote
chilko
By chilko (Mar 6, 2012)

they mentioned toshiba.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Sep 4, 2012)

Certainly not Nokia. They are not a sensor manufacturer.

Interesting camera but I would think most people want a thin and light phone. If you are concerned with getting top quality photos there are compact alternatives that will do a much better job.

0 upvotes
Saleen1999
By Saleen1999 (Mar 4, 2012)

The problem with a 41mp camera is there is no cell phone company that is capable of allowing anyone to send such a high mp picture through picture mail. The phone would crash or it would take all night for it to go through. I have a huge problem trying to send an 8mp picture with my phone. If they keep this up, our cell phone bills will go up so high we won't be able to afford them because it takes a lot of bandwidth to send picture mail and the cell companies just don't have enough air space to accomplish this and if they buy more then guess who pays for it in the end? We the consumers do and I don't want to pay a penny more.

Aside from this, what are cell phone companies trying to accomplish in the long run by creating better camera phones??? Do they hope to accomplish beating out the compact cameras someday? I can't see that happening.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 4, 2012)

"We the consumers do and I don't want to pay a penny more. "

The positive effects of the 41 Mpixels are visible in the binned images as well - the 3 Mpixel image equals a 10 Mpixel non-binned Bayer image taken with decent cameras etc. (See my resolution tests, where all these are clearly visible). That is, if you use this phone, you end up having to transfer a lot less data if you use the binned (and default) mode.

"Aside from this, what are cell phone companies trying to accomplish in the long run by creating better camera phones??? Do they hope to accomplish beating out the compact cameras someday? I can't see that happening."

The 808's camera, at least resolution-wise (given that I was not allowed to transfer shots via BT at MWC, I can't speak of other stuff like DR, lens vignetting or even noise), beats everything else out of water. Even in the corners.

0 upvotes
Lilianna
By Lilianna (Mar 4, 2012)

the output under normal use is down sampled to 5mp, not 41mp
as to what they are are doing, smart phone already are convergence devices, you can shoot, post process, and despite your objections, upload straight from the field.
Phone camera already are far out selling P&S camera by a wide margin.
The single most popular camera on flickr now is the iPhone.

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
martin0reg
By martin0reg (Mar 4, 2012)

With the 808 you have a smartphone with a stable OS, with few but very useful apps - and you have a built-in camera which can replace a serious compact, which alone would cost you minimum 300 usd.
Handling also seems to be smooth and fast:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWXyIw2HT8w

1 upvote
vlad0
By vlad0 (Mar 5, 2012)

Symbian is much better, than most people make it out to be.

5 upvotes
mojo34
By mojo34 (Mar 5, 2012)

Symbian is a phone operating system that makes for very effective use in phones. It does everything I need a phone to do (including tethering, Office apps, e-mail, browsing, music, recording, note-taking, long battery life and occasional calls). This new camera feature is very compelling, and Nokia Belle is clearly sweet.
As so many people have said: the best camera is the one you have with you. With this 808 PureView, that's likely to now be *all the time*.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
joen1810
By joen1810 (Mar 4, 2012)

But where are the 41 Mp picture, on detail you talk about max 38.4Mp, do not lie.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 4, 2012)

Nokia are lying as much as do Panasonic, who also have a multi-aspect sensor in some of their cameras (GH1/GH2/ZS3/ZS7). E.g., the sensor in the GH1 is 16 Mpixels but only 14 Mpixels are used at most (in 4:3; in 16:9, way less vertically, but more horizontally, thanks to the sensor being wider than the area used in 4:3). The rest is for supporting truly multi-aspect modes - that is, ones without just cropping an area out of the 4:3 sensor in 16:9 / 3:2 modes.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Jay Kim
By Jay Kim (Mar 4, 2012)

Same for GH2 has 18MP sensor but outputs 16MP. If you think that's lying, then Foveon sensor is even worse don't you think? They say it's a 46MP sensor. But it outputs 1/3 of that at 15MP. But really, none of them are lying as it's technically true when they claim what MP sensor it really is.

2 upvotes
phunguyen
By phunguyen (May 23, 2012)

Come on, you accusing the whole Finland company as a liar ! Whos the idiot here ?

0 upvotes
MuzX
By MuzX (Mar 3, 2012)

Kudos to Nokia for the interesting technology and I welcome the future usage in more serious cameras (after solving the many initial issues with it) however, I'm afraid to build such camera in a phone is rather a marketing trick to get attention than a successful and useful development of a smartphone.
People will not buy a smartphone just because it has a better camera. They don't care too much. Large percentage of those phone camera images are shot on-the-fly, blurry, strongly under-over exposed, improperly focused, useless images from photographic point of view. Those pictures are barely seen on any better media than a computer screen. Most of them will be seen only on the small phone screen or small galleries on Facebook. So, what's the point of getting better details for those images that people will forget soon?
Nokia should do more focusing on another territories of smartphone development.
Or try to build a better camera, that has some phone features in it. :)

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 3, 2012)

"People will not buy a smartphone just because it has a better camera."

Are you sure? There is a bunch of people than want quality converged devices with as good IQ as possible and aren't afraid of Nokia / Symbian. An example is me, who have always been using Nokia high-end phones because of their quality, durability, stability, battery life, support for seamless call recording etc. These are very important features when it comes to using a smartphone as a phone.

"Large percentage of those phone camera images are shot on-the-fly, blurry, strongly under-over exposed, improperly focused, useless images from photographic point of view."

Not everyone using a phone camera doesn't know anything about taking photos. I'd also prefer shooting with a phone camera instead of my self-standing ones because of the size and convergedness (and, with the 808, the quality and speed) - no need to carry a separate camera. Sure there is a market for quality phone cameras.

5 upvotes
MuzX
By MuzX (Mar 3, 2012)

Well, then you should be the part on the photo-conscious phone camera user minority. :)
I have doubts that it would be enough market for such an expensive development to worths produce these smartphones.

I don't have problems with Nokia, beside my HTC Inspire I also use a 5 years old Nokia E51 and it works fine but it's better to say othing about its camera. I don't think that a smartphone could ever substitute my DSLR.
If I have no other option, I use the phone camera, but I can rate those pictures crappy as hell, even I try to shoot considering composition, proper exposure, etc.
They not even close in noise reduction, DOF, dynamic range to my Pentax K-x.
Also, the composition and settings are much more awkward on a smartphone using the touchscreen without dedicated control buttons. And yet didn't talk about what you can see in bright sunlight on the phone screen...

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 3, 2012)

"I have doubts that it would be enough market for such an expensive development to worths produce these smartphones."

Well, Nokia have had several cameraphones in the past: the N93(i), the different N95 models, the N82, the N8. These, in addition to being excellent phones themselves (Symbian works great as a "simple" phone, particularly if you want to auto-record your calls - which is, BTW, impossible on the iPhone and WP7 and needs some serious hacking - if your model can be call recording-hacked at all - on Android and Bada), contained great cameras.

I don't think fewer 808's will be sold than those past devices. After all, the 808 has by far the best camera out there, which itself is the only reason many people will purchase it (including myself). At MWC, I've tested (shooting resolution charts in both video and stills mode; speed testing) the cameras of all just-announced high-end Android ICS models of Sony, LG, Fujitsu and HTC: they were all much worse than the 808.

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
MuzX
By MuzX (Mar 3, 2012)

Smartphone market is in change.
I don't think that a good camera is enough to sell a phone today.
Otherwise the 808 is not so special.
Of course, there are always nuts out there to buy some special gears.
I have never took care about resolution charts or such hunting of particular technical details. The important is, how easy and creative is to use it and what image I can consistently get out from the camera.

0 upvotes
joen1810
By joen1810 (Mar 4, 2012)

I agree with you Menneisyys..100%,

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
joen1810
By joen1810 (Mar 4, 2012)

You're right MusX....

0 upvotes
Dan
By Dan (Mar 4, 2012)

I agree with Menneisyys.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 4, 2012)

"Otherwise the 808 is not so special."

Well, it's Nokia and Symbian, which, in my book, equals reliability, durability, great battery life and, which is VERY important, seamless call recording capabilities. The latter is REALLY missing from both iPhones, BB's and WP7 devices, and the other two smartphone OS's (Android, Bada) also need some hacking and hacked firmware flashing to enable it.

"I have never took care about resolution charts or such hunting of particular technical details."

Well, the res charts do show what a particular camera is technically capable of and whether there was indeed any point in putting a 41 Mp sensor in this phone. (There was - the center sharpness is phenomenal and the corner sharpness is fair.) Otherwise, I found the camera pretty responsive, quick-to-focus and quick-to-save, the later particularly in binned mode.

1 upvote
Lilianna
By Lilianna (Mar 4, 2012)

as one of those 'nuts' I have to disagree with musx.
I use my Nokia N8, that I paid an unsubsidized price for BTW, a great deal. It beats any of my compacts in IQ and can even give my m4/3 gear a close run or IQ in good light.
Using the CameraPro app I take images at full 12mp resolution and upload them directly to flickr using the filckr app.
One need not use picture mail.
Finally, some of the big selling features of phones like the new HTC One's are their cameras, so other OEM's see value in marketing phone cams.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 4, 2012)

"Finally, some of the big selling features of phones like the new HTC One's are their cameras, so other OEM's see value in marketing phone cams."

Too bad it's just "marketing" and not actually producing some really quality on HTC's part. At MWC, I've tested (see http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/87/mwc-report-part-iii-camera-video-tests-four-just-announced-high-end-smartphones ) the camera quality of the HTC One, resolution and FoV-wise. It's a far cry away from the 808. (Unfortunately, HTC has never been very strong at cameras.)

0 upvotes
Lilianna
By Lilianna (Mar 4, 2012)

sadly HTC cameras have had too strong noise reduction
had hopes the new ones were better
my point was that mfg other than Nokia at least recognize the camera's importance :)

0 upvotes
Jehnavi
By Jehnavi (Mar 3, 2012)

As pointless as a 41MP smartphone camera may be, from a publicity standpoint this is an excellent move by Nokia. Think about it – during MWC smartphone vendors will have a hard time staying in the headlines as tech sites become flooded with new several new handsets being announced each day over the course of the event.
http://www.techiecop.com/technologynews/nokia-808-pureview-sporting-41-mp-camera.html

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 3, 2012)

"As pointless as a 41MP smartphone camera may be"

Maybe in typical low-quality cameras, but not in the 808. You REALLY want to check out my resolution tests and comparisons: yes, almost (there is some resolution degradation in the corners) all of those pixels are used. This thing is REALLY sharp and produces REALLY detailed images, much-much more detailed (assuming good lighting; that is, low ISO) than most cameras out there, even DSLR ones (including mirrorless ones like the 24 Mpixel NEX-7).

1 upvote
Lilianna
By Lilianna (Mar 4, 2012)

Jehnavi, pointless to you maybe.
But there are those that use their phone cams
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/finding-the-right-tool-to-tell-a-war-story/?ref=asia
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/10/23/magazine/mag-23Look.html?ref=magazine
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15519194
images talk and these were done with an iphone and done well when no other type of camera would work

3 upvotes
Konfustikator
By Konfustikator (Mar 2, 2012)

I wonder if its possible to get larger dynamic range by having a different ISO for each pixel and then combining. Some other manufacturer (Fuji?) does it. I guess it depends how the A/Ds etc are set up.

0 upvotes
Jay Kim
By Jay Kim (Mar 3, 2012)

Fuji does it by having physically different sized pixels on the one sensor afaik.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 5, 2012)

Pixels don't work that way..as you've heard sometime before, pixel are buckets which gather light. Higher ISOs only boosts what the pixel has captured for a given amount of time. For better DR, better light gathering pixels is needed like a larger bucket.

0 upvotes
OXwing
By OXwing (Mar 2, 2012)

It should feature Manual mode(P/S/A/M) , programmatic mode, Digital Filters, Converter Lenses, Carl Zeiss Optics With F1.4 aperture; Should record 4K resolution HD Video. Oh ya~ Windows System please~ Android is even better~

0 upvotes
Damian D
By Damian D (Mar 2, 2012)

Thanks everyone for some excellent comments and feedback.

I just wanted to clarify that the images we [Nokia] have captured thus far and any that you find on the net, were taken using prototype hardware with software which is not yet finalised. This is especially relevant with regards to low light which has not been optimised at all...yet. We are working actively on that area right now. It's extremely interesting to read the opinions relating to noise filtering and detail retention. Thank you.

best regards

Damian Dinning - Lead Program Manager, Imaging Experience - Nokia

6 upvotes
mvmv
By mvmv (Mar 2, 2012)

Best New Mobile Handset, Device or Tablet at Mobile World Congress 2012:

Nokia - Nokia 808 Pure View

Well done Nokia.

1 upvote
vlad0
By vlad0 (Mar 2, 2012)

Amazing job by the team Damian! Congrats on the recent award :) Its good to know, that the final product will have more improvements, the quality is already amazing coming from such a compact design.

0 upvotes
chrisr91092
By chrisr91092 (Mar 2, 2012)

Mr D, when you think the firmware is ready would you be able to ensure DPReview is sent a review handset?

I'm sure we'd all love to see proper resolution charts and performance measurements - phone sites generally haven't a clue how to test cameras.

1 upvote
vlad0
By vlad0 (Mar 2, 2012)

I agree. DPreview does a very good job on their reviews, and the 808 deserves that.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 2, 2012)

"I'm sure we'd all love to see proper resolution charts and performance measurements - phone sites generally haven't a clue how to test cameras."

BTW, resolution-wise, I've already made some reliable measurements, which have shown the lens sharpness is excellent and the result of the binning is Foveon-level sharpness in the downsampled image. Check out my articles.

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 2, 2012)

"This is especially relevant with regards to low light which has not been optimised at all...yet. We are working actively on that area right now. It's extremely interesting to read the opinions relating to noise filtering and detail retention. "

As I've recommended in several of my comments here, you may want to add a NR menu with an option to retent the current state; that is, completely NR-less operation. Having been thoroughly tested the noise performance of the sensor at MWC, I prefer it to most in-camera NR.

And, while we're at it, please also add an "Advanced" menu option to enable RAW recording so that desktop-based noise rduction, PP, WB setting etc. is much easier.

Also, as I've mentioned to Mr. Alakarhu, you'll REALLY want to add file spanning to allow for recording video past the 4 GB FAT32 file system limit.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Mateusz Szczurek
By Mateusz Szczurek (Mar 2, 2012)

Some video settings requests:
1. FPS selection not limited to 25.00 24.00, 30.00 - the latter two have no use at all (23.976, 29.98 please)
2. Exposure lock for video,
3. Manual white balance,
4. Some control over contrast and colour saturation.
N8 video application is unnecessarily crippled by these seemingly minor (I think?) omissions, making it really hard to use the mobile for real filmmaking.

3 upvotes
martin0reg
By martin0reg (Mar 2, 2012)

For me the most important thing in video is:
STABILISATION!
Most clips from the average user are very jittery.
Dear Damien Dinning, you should use some of this awsome amount of pixels to create the first (or at least the best) built-in steadycam, if this is possible.

1 upvote
Dan
By Dan (Mar 4, 2012)

I agree with stabilization. Are there any phones with optical image stabilization? I would LOVE to have a phone with a 3X optical zoom with optical image stabilization! You could even put 2 cameras on it. One with a 28mm lens and one with an 85mm lens and market the 85mm as the perfect portrait focal length =)

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 6, 2012)

Damian, please add shutter speed priority (or manual shutter speed setting) mode.

0 upvotes
Barretlight
By Barretlight (Jun 17, 2012)

Its also really interesting to see that those responsible for the best cameraphones out there are actually reading into photography forums for feedback and actually listening to what people say!
808 is a photographers dream!!!

Happy to see that you got rid of the white spots problem (probably due to sensor overloading) that was so annoying in the N8.

I hope MS grants you complete freedom this time with the camera software because current lumias like the 800 have terrible results in the postprocessing (too muck NR and sharpening going on) compared to the N9.
...really looking forward to see this technology together with a large sensor in the upcoming Lumia phones.

0 upvotes
Raizen J
By Raizen J (Mar 2, 2012)

if it offers a manual shooting mode, it would be awesome :)

0 upvotes
Triggerhappy2
By Triggerhappy2 (Mar 1, 2012)

Nokia 808 looks very promising. It cannot be compared to SLRs, but I guess it would be a fantastic camera(phone) that I could always carry with me. Dpreview please review the 808 asap! :)

9 upvotes
vlad0
By vlad0 (Mar 2, 2012)

Agreed, dpreview should get their hands on one and do a proper review, see what it can really do. Just call up Nokia, they will send you a test unit for sure

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 2, 2012)

"It cannot be compared to SLRs"

Resolution-wise, it can be, even in the corners, which are better than I've expected (at most 50% resolution loss in the worst case - pretty good for a 41 Mpixlel camera...). Noise is another question - you'll want to keep the ISO down, at least based on the results I've got from my tests. I couldn't reliably test DR at MWC so it's another open question. I haven't noticed much purple fringing. However, under the right circumstances (plenty of light without much DR), the camera will catch great images easily rivalling DSLR's. (Again, in my opinion and strictly based on my OWN systematic tests of the cameras I've tested at MWC.)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
fberns
By fberns (Mar 1, 2012)

1) When pixel-binning, I would wish (besides jpeg) for enhanced dynamic range in the output file, a "pseudo-raw file"!
So you could benefit from that when working on the files later. This will maybe not be essential on a phone, but if the pixel-binning-technique would make it into more serious cameras.

2) The noise at ISO800 seems not better but worse than on my (smaller) 1/1.7" compact sensor camera at the same ISO.
Did they not scoop out the potential of the pixel binning here or after all, will the smaller and averaged pixels just result in the same noise and only offer an increase in flexibility of how to use the pixels?

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 1, 2012)

The preferred having more noise in exchange for more detail or which they said, more natural looking pictures.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 1, 2012)

"The preferred having more noise in exchange for more detail or which they said, more natural looking pictures."

Maybe this is why there isn't a signe sign of any kind of noise reduction (read: detail smearing) in my ISO 1600 test shots. This is indeed much better an approach than just erasing all details.

0 upvotes
chrisr91092
By chrisr91092 (Mar 2, 2012)

The preference to keep noise started with the N8, according to Damian at the time. Personally I think the noise looks rather grain-like rather than the usual chroma noise that you see on phone cams.

I quite like the appearance of it!

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 2, 2012)

"The preference to keep noise started with the N8, according to Damian at the time. Personally I think the noise looks rather grain-like rather than the usual chroma noise that you see on phone cams."

It's the right approach. After all, you can later apply noise reduction in PS, Noise Ninja and all to even JPEGs that otherwise haven't been smeared in-camera. The other way wouldn't be possible - you can't just recover detail that have already been smeared by the camera's NR...

0 upvotes
limeng
By limeng (Mar 1, 2012)

i think i discovered a problem...

its about the white balance. in one photo, it turns to magenta on the left side, and turns to green on the right side.

you can see that with the "building" photo, and some other photos.

and see this(its so obvious!):
http://forum.xitek.com/pics/201203/1515/151565/151565_1330578011.jpeg
bigger version for this photo on this site:
http://www.mobile01.com/newsdetail.php?id=11632

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 1, 2012)

On many images, WB differs on various parts of a scene.
The camera corrected WB on the foreground being lit by a lamp.
We're even not sure if its taken with the 808 since it is forbidden to transfer images.

0 upvotes
limeng
By limeng (Mar 1, 2012)

see those 2 photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinut/6936880659/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nokiaofficial/6790012262/

and then you can tell.

0 upvotes
Scottie Wang
By Scottie Wang (Mar 1, 2012)

After downsizing to 8MP, resolusion of 808 pureview is quite good in base ISO.Check this set~

http://www.flickr.com/photos/46671617@N02/sets/72157629123723320/

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 1, 2012)

You're right. This is similar to red and green casts found in Sigma DP cameras which we haven't determined exactly why. We thought this is an IR filter problem and made obvious by underexposure. IMHO, i think this occurs when a relatively large sensor is using a small lens such as this Nokia. Light fall off and chromatic aberration is corrected in software. I guess, Nokia will live with this and try to correct it when many notices.

0 upvotes
Infms
By Infms (Mar 1, 2012)

I'd be very surprised if something as big and noticeable as this slipped through the gaps during R&D, PureView technology has been in development for five years. Let's see what the final product is like. The 808 is still considered a working prototype.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 1, 2012)

"After downsizing to 8MP, resolusion of 808 pureview is quite good in base ISO.Check this set"

Not even at base ISO as there's practically no NR (=detail smearing). Check out my test shots - there, I've directly compared the 5 Mpixel binned mode to 10 Mpixel high-IQ Bayer cameras. The Nokia was the clear winner, detail-wise...

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 1, 2012)

Since we know what we're looking for, I find the first image above to be exhibiting the same anomaly. Yes, Nokia could easily work this out using software/firmware, compensating the loss of light and correct colors at the corners and edges.

0 upvotes
epdm2be
By epdm2be (Mar 1, 2012)

Spotquite a few white (dead) pixels. Even after downscaling twice 50% they remain visible. I really hope Nokia up the QC on this device!

0 upvotes
Muhammad bilal
By Muhammad bilal (Mar 1, 2012)

I want to ask question , i am confused because i want to buy a compact camea about the result of camera ,that nokia 808 produce better result than compact cameas like sony hx9v or other models?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Kuturgan
By Kuturgan (Mar 1, 2012)

Yest, because it has bigger sensor and excellent optics signed by Carl Zeiss.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 2, 2012)

"I want to ask question , i am confused because i want to buy a compact camea about the result of camera ,that nokia 808 produce better result than compact cameas like sony hx9v or other models?"

Resolution-wise definitely - it's actually better than anything else out there, and the binned mode is just phantastic: far less file sizes / image dimensions and still much more true detail than non-downsampled Bayer sensor shots...

DR- and noise-wise, it's still not known whether it'll be better.

0 upvotes
alexandru
By alexandru (Mar 1, 2012)

Wow, another "great interview" that tries to justify this non-sense sensor. Let's encourage all manufacturers to bring these billion pixels camera-phones. It's not a camera, it's not a phone, it just is...for a little while.

0 upvotes
Jay Kim
By Jay Kim (Mar 1, 2012)

Can you elaborate why you think it's non-sense when it actually does take photos with more resolvable detail than most DSLRs when shot in good lighting conditions? It also allows cropping far beyond what most digital compact cameras allow. This also allowed them to create loss-less zooming which is very effective considering optical zoom is more bulky on a mobile phone. Marketing matters also and a 41MP sensor camera will sell far more than a 5MP 1/1.2" sensor camera wouldn't you agree? =)

4 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Mar 1, 2012)

Dumbfounded is the word.

Jay, I think that this camera "phone" really irritates many photographers good, makes them seriously dumbfounded, just because it makes their current equipment look a bit silly in the resolution department, me too :(

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 1, 2012)

"Wow, another "great interview" that tries to justify this non-sense
sensor. Let's encourage all manufacturers to bring these billion
pixels camera-phones. It's not a camera, it's not a phone, it just
is...for a little while."

*yawn*

You certinly havent done your homework before posting such nonsense. For example, you haven't checked out my resolution (and noise) tests.

2 upvotes
alexandru
By alexandru (Mar 1, 2012)

In good lighting conditions you can take good photos with a pinhole camera. Maybe not Rage Joe but in general. That's not the point. At the end of the day, the camera is just a tool, but you guys are missing the point. This is a PHONE and the only good thing about this is PHONE is the camera. Nokia is in the phone business, or used to be, what a shame.

I'm upset at Nokia for choosing this poor excuse to promote a mediocre phone. It may be a good sensor or maybe not, lets wait and see, I have my doubts. It's definitely used in a wrong product for the wrong reasons.

Yeah, of course they will sell more because of this stupid reason and, if they do, all the other manufacturers will try to follow them.

A bigger sensor, I like that, just make it with less pixels, a higher light sensitivity and a better dynamic range or just design a very good smartphone. Nobody in the right mind needs a 400Mpixel in a phone. Try to mail a big file from you phone or even from your computer and see.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
alexandru
By alexandru (Mar 1, 2012)

@Jay Kim, one more thing, this "cool feature" reminds me of a Ford commercial I heard the other day, for Ford Edge I think, where a young guy impersonating a Ford owner is very very happy that he can do more cool stuff with and on his stereo than his friend who happens to have an Audi. It's pathetic. Actually, I don't know what's more pathetic: the Ford engineers, the "genius" behind this commercial, the board of freaks who approved it or the demographics.

0 upvotes
Just Hobbyist
By Just Hobbyist (Mar 1, 2012)

@alexandru. There has never been anything wrong with the PHONE part of Nkia cell phones. And Nokia has proved time and again that they have the top notch camera parts too. What the smartphones had wrong , pre Belle and Anna, was the UI. These days that too is OK.

To me, making calls and taking good pictures are the things I look for in a phone. Anything else is just cherry on top.

1 upvote
Jay Kim
By Jay Kim (Mar 2, 2012)

@alexandru So it seems you don't like innovation or improvement in technology? Also, you said "Nobody in the right mind needs a 400Mpixel in a phone.". Last time I checked, this phone had 10 times less pixel than what you stated. Also, nobody in their right mind needs a quad core CPU and a GPU nearly as fast as a PS3 console in a phone either don't you think?

Nokia makes a better "phone" than nearly all. iPhone is the worst "phone" that I've used as a "phone" in recent years. (In terms of reception and convenience) Heck, I can redial someone, call someone, pick up / answer phone calls much faster and more efficiently with a 10 year old Nokia phone. So what's up with that?

This 808 is the nearly the same as the 10 year old phone. Actually, it's even quicker due to a dedicated side unlock slider while retaining the physical green/red front buttons, smart dial, contact shortcuts on home screen etc. Not many "phones" can beat this 808. Or were you talking about something else?

1 upvote
Lilianna
By Lilianna (Mar 6, 2012)

alexandru have you ever tried a Symbian Belle device?
I have and can speak from direct experience, not hearsay
They are fast, battery-efficient, excellent smartphones. This is NOT S40,60 or even S^3.

0 upvotes
Extraneus
By Extraneus (May 31, 2012)

alexandru, what other phone on the market do you believe is a better PHONE? Are you talking android, Iphones or W7 devices? What exactly makes them better PHONES? Hopefully, you're not referring to the multitude of apps and fancy features? These are hardly PHONE relevant...
Android devices have denied me access to incoming calls countless times. Iphones have been notorious for their awful sound and reception.
These are PHONE related issues, and the mentioned devices have underperformed seriously. I have no experience with W7, but lack of tethering and no micro sd are certainly serious drawbacks, albeit not in the PHONE department.
Nokia, on the other hand, have a history of PHONE speed, efficiency and quality. Before we have the 808 in our hands, we won't be able to make a judgment, but experience tells us Nokia will deliver...
You might not like symbian, but that's no reason to mix apples and oranges!

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
vlad0
By vlad0 (Mar 1, 2012)

The interested it generated alsmost took GSMarena's server down ..

"The sheer hype it generated yesterday almost took our site down for a moment."

and another great interview with the man behind the project:

http://www.gsmarena.com/d_dinning_interview_nokia_808-review-728p2.php

2 upvotes
alexandru
By alexandru (Mar 1, 2012)

This is why: "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 2, 2012)

alexandru, stop this bullsh*t.

0 upvotes
Lilianna
By Lilianna (Mar 6, 2012)

alexandru, you have nothing positive to say, and so are not worth spending time dealing with or even reading.
Please go back under your bridge...

0 upvotes
alexandru
By alexandru (Feb 29, 2012)

Nokia, what about you start making a decent smartphone, one that works and doesn't need any marketing gimmicks to attract attention...like this ridiculous sensor.

It's embarrassing. Seriously. Stop it, fire everybody.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Kuturgan
By Kuturgan (Mar 1, 2012)

And you just stop whining.

6 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 2, 2012)

"Thanks for your input. I suggest you study this material until your next comment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfE_98yy2iw"

After this comment of yours, everybody can be assured you're just a troll.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Feb 29, 2012)

I thoroughly tested the resolution hit and the noise suppression introduced by binning. See http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/87/mwc-report-iv-exclusive-nokia-pureview-808-high-iso-images-binned-resolution-tests-vs-panaso

In a word, the new phone's camera absolutely rocks in the resolution department, particularly in binned mode. Noise is a mixed bag; however, the camera isn't that bad, noise-wise, either.

10 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 1, 2012)

Thanks, that's a good one. I just discovered that the pixel size of the Panasonic camera in your test is similar to the Nokia. Yet,the Nokia has a larger sensor so it truly beats that P&S easily. I wonder how this fares versus more serious compacts, such as the LX5 or S100.

0 upvotes
kleinhe
By kleinhe (Mar 1, 2012)

Very nice article! It's a pity that Nokia didn't let you download the images you had taken (and you had to take pictures of the 808's AMOLED display) even though some blogger colleagues of you were even given an 808 for some hours to play with - and of course could download everything they shot.

0 upvotes
cesaregal
By cesaregal (Mar 1, 2012)

LX5 or S100 are more complete cameras.
Cameras like LX5 or S100 with a 1" sensor will arrive soon, I hope.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 1, 2012)

"leinhe (9 hours ago) Very nice article! It's a pity that Nokia didn't let you
download the images you had taken (and you had to
take pictures of the 808's AMOLED display) even though
some blogger colleagues of you were even given an 808
for some hours to play with - and of course could
download everything they shot."

Quite annoying, indeed. Imagine what test I could have done under proper circumstances... not only resolution and noise ones, which are just doable with taking shots of the phone's screen - but no DR, no video dropped frame testing with my standard 60 fps test suite etc...

0 upvotes
Ivan Azzopardi
By Ivan Azzopardi (Feb 29, 2012)

There is no comparision between the Nikon D800 and the nokia 808. There are some issues concerning a full frame with 36mp regarding image quality . Immagine a 1/2" sensor with 41mp . Maybe it is good but i dought it. If it is good i will buy one. to have a 41mp with you all the time is good as you'll never miss a shot.

0 upvotes
Michal59
By Michal59 (Feb 29, 2012)

IMO there is no real sense in comparing these devices (I would say 'cameras' but you'd proably grin). Just try to put D800 to your pocket... or try to shoot 808 at the races... that's all. Everyone gets what he needs actually

5 upvotes
vlad0
By vlad0 (Feb 29, 2012)

Another video explaining how/why they went down this road

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3rIu7ug59Q

3 upvotes
stylinred
By stylinred (Feb 29, 2012)

ah you beat me to it haha :D

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 1, 2012)

thanks. the Nokia guy has been to numerous interviews just for this phone.

0 upvotes
vlad0
By vlad0 (Mar 1, 2012)

I respect his vision very much.. make photography accessible, and part of our daily lives. He is a huge asset for Nokia..

0 upvotes
vlad0
By vlad0 (Feb 29, 2012)

I've been shooting with a smartphone for the past 15 months. I got rid of my p&s and my DSLR saw a decrease in usage and increase in dust collecting. What I realized was that my DSLR exceeds my ability/talant as a photographer, so there is no need for me to spent more money on extra gear. My Nokia N8.. well that seems to cover that aspect of me very well.. its always with me, and.. for the occasional macro/flower shot, sunset/sunrise, random night out shot, its perfectly fine. All the images in my gallery here are from the N8.. no post processing, just raw jpegs from the phone, and they don't look that bad.

Its no big deal, more and more people will catch up to that.. the 808 is just another leap towards better mobile phone photography.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
Xpress_Shutter
By Xpress_Shutter (Feb 29, 2012)

Man, could not agree with you more. I´ve bought a Sigma 17-50 f2.8 OS for my Nikon D5000 and I have barely used it...

0 upvotes
achilles1974
By achilles1974 (Mar 1, 2012)

Have to agree. Great shots from a phone camera. Hope you enjoy the 808.

2 upvotes
kleinhe
By kleinhe (Mar 1, 2012)

I fully agree. Same here: I have hardly used my P+S since I own an N8 in the last 14 months. The only thing I was sometimes missing was the zoom. And that's where the 808 will close the gap. Having a good camera with you all the time is so useful. I will never forget when I walked through the royal palace garden in Tokyo without a decent camera (I left it in my hotel room 100 km away) and had to use the really crappy rental phone camera.

2 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Mar 1, 2012)

That was the best comment I've read here for awhile. This thing isn't a DSLR. This doesn't make it wrong or bad. It's probably going to be a great camera phone. That has its own value. The problem isn't whatever limitations this little Nokia may have, the problem is that photographers generally take themselves far too seriously.

0 upvotes
zerotator
By zerotator (Mar 2, 2012)

Thanks describes very well my own experience with the Nokia N8. I only use my Nokia N8 and forget about using my other camera's. The quality is amazing. But it needs to be judged as a camera phone. This phone camera has its very own style, expression, atmosphere, what no other camera can do. Maybe there are not that many edit apps. available as with iphone, BUT that in a way is an advantage.....shoot it right first time and spend your time on....Yes I will buy this new phone for sure!

0 upvotes
inorogNL
By inorogNL (Feb 29, 2012)

can someone explain - how is it posible to put this much pixels in a (phone) sensor this of size? and why are digital camera makers not doing it also ?

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Feb 29, 2012)

As I wrote back there:

"A little hint to Nikon: I want and I need a 300-500 megapixel full frame or DX sized camera, and the optics to deliver that. Now who says this is too much to ask when Nokia was able to do this."

0 upvotes
Stephen123
By Stephen123 (Feb 29, 2012)

The computer chip manufacturing industry has been advancing faster than the camera industry (and faster than almost everything else as well). There are going to be a lot of possibilities opening up with new sensor chips; better light sensitivity, smaller sensor sites, more randomized sub-sensors for R, G and B, and probably more companies embedding phase detection into CMOS chips.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Mar 1, 2012)

it's because they don't want to try making larger sensors which might have quality that is closer to higher end cameras such as their dslrs or 4/3s. i don't think this is going to be the death of P&S cameras, but, the death of very small sensors. so now, we have Nokia 808 and the Canon G1 X with larger sensors, awesome.

0 upvotes
Jay Kim
By Jay Kim (Mar 1, 2012)

They can make a 300MP full frame sensor with a similar pixel size as this Nokia phone. BUT, I'm not sure if there is a processor and memory bus architecture fast enough that can handle this much data this quickly that fits into a DSLR body. I think that's where the problem lies.

1 upvote
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Mar 1, 2012)

@Jay Kim. Me too, I think the problem is lacking processing power. But what do you think, when the day comes, are the lens manufacturers able to produce quality optics that can resolve all that, and do that at a price people can afford?

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (Mar 1, 2012)

In a Word: DIFFRACTION. There is a physical limit how much a perfect lens can resolve at certain aperture. With this Nokia you can not close the aperture at all to resolve 41MPix. With Nikon 800 you can not use f-stops smaller than f:8 to resolve 36 MPix. Chip makers can and do make better sensors than what the optics are capable of resolving. There are more important things than raw resolution, namely sensitivity, color rendition, dynamic range etc.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 1, 2012)

"In a Word: DIFFRACTION. There is a physical limit how
much a perfect lens can resolve at certain aperture. With
this Nokia you can not close the aperture at all to
resolve 41MPix"

Prolly this was one of the main reasons they have left out variable aperture (but they do have a strong, optional ND filter.)

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Mar 2, 2012)

@Petka. So you mean that D800 has kind of reached the limit for practical snapshots, and only taking "Bokeh pictures" :)) is possible with higher pixelcount than that 36 meg on FX? I don't know but that's kind of hard to believe, even though I know that that nasty diffraction is allways lurking up the everywhere.

So to summarise our findings: after 36 megapixels you either take those nasty Bokeh-pictures or use wide angles on full frame.

0 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (Feb 29, 2012)

It looks promising but I think I'll wait for the 100MP version next year. ;)

3 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Feb 29, 2012)

LOL. Me too! ;)

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Feb 29, 2012)

I love how people are saying this phone is not as good as a FF pro camera. It will be interesting if Apple who has $100 billion in cash burning a hole in it's pocket decides to purchase Nokia just to get this technology for it's next iPhone. BTW Nokia's market cap is $20 billion vs Apple who has a market cap of $500 billion.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Feb 29, 2012)

Pixel binning doesn't work as good as real Big Pixels. Nokia decided to compromise the quality of a true 5MP camera with this for the lack of an optical zoom. I disagree with their decision. Most people use these cameras impromptu without tripod support so low light performance, dynamic range and color accuracy are more important.
Hell, even 5MP is overkill for Mobile applications and still gives room for Digital Zoom. The Iphone Retina Display is only about 0.6mp.
I like though, their use of a relative big sensor.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Feb 29, 2012)

There are people also on this forum who think pixel count is everything, while pros think that first you have to get the picture in the first place (speed, focus, ergonomics, toughness etc etc), then you look at the quality.

0 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Feb 29, 2012)

@ Petka. Yes that is true, there are many other factors to Photography. But the highlight about this product is its extremely high density sensor. If this approach to image capture (binning from super high density) was superior you could bet the top of the line professional cameras were using that instead.
I won't be surprised if this PHONE-camera doesn't even has White Balance control, which in my opinion have a bigger impact in IQ.

0 upvotes
Xpress_Shutter
By Xpress_Shutter (Feb 29, 2012)

@ Photato:

What would be a big pixel for you? 2.8 micron? The 808 has a pixel size of 1.4. To double that, one would need 4 original pixels of 1.4 micron. In the 808 case, the resolution would drop from 41 to around 10 MP. Who can tell that the PureView processing cannot achieve a same level of quality of a similiarly sized sensor with 1/4 of the MP count? I guess no one can tell that by now.

Besides, if you face it against the Nikon D3S, a comparable MP count for the 808 sensor would be less than 1 MP (in order to achieve a comparable pixel size). For a Nikon D300, it would be more or less 2 MP.

That way we could never expect DSLR levels of performance from the 808 anyway, but from what I see it can perfectly compete with the best P&S on the market.

P.S.: Take a closer look at the 808 camera UI and you will see it has not only WB controls, but also bracketing, ISO (from 50 to 1600) and a (auto or manually activated) built-in ND filter at your disposal... Read before posting...

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Feb 29, 2012)

@ Xpress_Shutter Every micron counts. There is a sweet spot of pixel size vs Resolution. Personally I'd be satisfied with 3MP and this sensor size.
Fujifilm, a pioneer in Pixel Binning Technologies has never used the binning approach in their top of the line cameras, they are just using good old big pixels. "Only" 16MP in their latest X1-Pro.
These Phone-Cameras aim at a less sophisticated market in photographic quality. This sensor might be a response to market demand, not photographic performance.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Xpress_Shutter
By Xpress_Shutter (Feb 29, 2012)

I agree that there is an optimal pixel size and the required MP count and sensor size for practical results, but we all know that no manufacturer really aim at that target...

So I guess that blaming only Nokia is a bit harsh, don't you think? No other P&S has a sensor of that size with a pixel count of less than 10 MP.

Take a time to do a little research about the camera features and you see that there's lots of great things about this camera. Video recording also seems to be well sorted, even with hi-fi stereo recording (up to 140 dB) and the option to select its fps rate (15, 24, 25 and 30 fps).

2 upvotes
Xpress_Shutter
By Xpress_Shutter (Feb 29, 2012)

Here's an interview with Damian Dinning, Head of Imaging Experience from Nokia, about the 808:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZheH4PjEows&feature=player_embedded

There you can see details about the camera UI.

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Feb 29, 2012)

"It will be interesting if Apple who has $100 billion in cash burning a hole in it's pocket decides to purchase Nokia just to get this technology for it's next iPhone."

It's not that easy. That kind of merger hardly would be allowed by the authorities, and shouln't be.

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Feb 29, 2012)

@Photato. I'll have to disagree with you, at least in theory ( true, this might be just theory in this day and age), it should be easier to count out noise with several small pixels compared to only one bigger.
This is the same thing as with surveys, you get the more realible outcome the more people you interview. Pixels are like people in this case ;))
But of course you need more computing power with several pixels compared to just one pixel with the same amount of light gathering power to get the wanted results.
That's the reason Nokia couldn't put this marvell out earlier, and that might also be the reason it wouldn't work on iOS, since iOS might not be desingned to allow this kind of camera, at least in this stage, the same thing applies to WP7, that's why it's a Nokia Belle OS operated device.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
kadarpik
By kadarpik (Feb 29, 2012)

It does have white balance control, even ND filter built in. Creative mode allows full res images to capture. Best phone to support visual professional, like marketing, artists, photographers .. And exposure bracketing is there, Nikon V1 lacks that. Unfortunately no ext mic input but you do not carry your your radio mic or zoom in pocket anyway.

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Feb 29, 2012)

Those sample photos are good for a compact camera, but not as good a true FF pro cameras, 41 MPix or not.

41 MPix at f:2.4 is just about the diffraction limit with a 8x11mm sensor size, as extrapolated form the table at the end of this article. And that requires a "perfect" lens.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/resolution.shtml

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Feb 29, 2012)

True. I have a "hunch" that the whole system could only resolve to around 5MP which could explain why it is the default resolution.

0 upvotes
Caleido
By Caleido (Feb 29, 2012)

@Zodiacfml
Have you even looked at full res samples at 41 MP? Even at 41MP, they are a lot better and sharper than most smartphones or cheap compacts.

3 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Feb 29, 2012)

Full rez samples are good for a compact camera. Very good. Naturally the best of any "phone" yet. Big, sharp sensor, excellent PRIME lens (no zoom). Still there are reasons why I am getting an EOS-1DX. Many professionals are ready to pay more for a handgrip than what this camera-phone costs, so the image quality is only a small part of the picture. I have no doubt it is a good camera, I wold maybe consider getting one, without all the (for me useless) smartphone stuff...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Feb 29, 2012)

@Caleido
I did and actually spending too much time on this. It is slightly better than the cheapest compacts which is good. I'm just saying that what if Nokia did the other way,make the huge sensor 5MP instead and interpolate it for zooming. I feel the quality would still be the same.

0 upvotes
DanCee
By DanCee (Feb 29, 2012)

nice output

0 upvotes
Boomz
By Boomz (Feb 29, 2012)

Okay so everyone is looking at its camera feature, but it is primarily a phone, and unfortunately, Nokia's dying Symbian Belle OS will be blamed. You really won't want a Symbian OS phone once you've gone iOS or Android.

Last year, Nokia even announced that they were slowly killing the Symbian OS in favor for Windows 7's replacement.

"The price and features of the new phones combined with Symbian Belle will not turn things around for the platform, but will help slow down the loss of market share. Symbian's market share was 22.1 percent during the second quarter, compared to 40.9 percent during the same three months last year." - according to Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

But I guess some people do buy a car because it has a great home entertainment system in the back seat, hehe!

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
eyefuse
By eyefuse (Feb 29, 2012)

Nokia only ditched the Symbian from it's high end smart phones, replacing it with WP. Unfortunately WP7 doesn't support the DSP for such camera technology, so Nokia brought back symbian for a last run in the almost smart phone segment. Technically I believe the PW808 is more like a super camera-phone, not a competitor to the dominating iPhone or the dull and faceless androids. Symbian will still remain, develop and power the normal mobilephones for years to come, while WP8 will finally let Nokia upgrade it's LUMIA line with new and better hardware. Then there's their linux based Meltemi OS, a little brother to the MeeGo, that might stir up lower end smartphone markets in the near future.

Long post short. Nokia has great hardware, but still have multpile OS platforms to sort out. Symbian is just one angle.

Comment edited 58 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Thorbard
By Thorbard (Feb 29, 2012)

I actually like Symbian. I've had two Symbian smartphones in a row and was really disappointed at the decision to go to WinMo.

Its nice to see it live on, I want a phone that makes calls and sends SMS and lets me get online ocassionally.

7 upvotes
Infms
By Infms (Feb 29, 2012)

Have you used the Nokia (Symbian) Belle OS? Compare to my brother's HTC Desire (Gingerbread) and iPhone 4 (iOS5), my Nokia N8 running Belle is rock solid. And offers all the features found in competing OSes - along with some which aren't. Try it before you knock it :)

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (Feb 29, 2012)

@eyefuse
LoL, "dull and faceless Android"... it's the only mobile OS out there that allows full control and complete personalisation of your phone... there even are custom user builds available!
I can't fathom that my phone now is the same phone as when I bought it, and now it's all but "faceless"...
You'd better criticize the hardware on which it runs, which is often quite lacking in more than one department (camera, gps chips, audio quality maybe)

0 upvotes
vlad0
By vlad0 (Feb 29, 2012)

Symbian is a good OS.. it just need some work on the UI/UX side, and a lot of that was done with Belle

4 upvotes
stylinred
By stylinred (Feb 29, 2012)

@Boomz certainly Symbian is shrinking, especially in 2011 when Elop came over with WinPhone7 & there wasn't any high end devices released for the OS the last being back in 2010 with the N8/E7 but Symbian still maintained dominance in most of Asia and Europe as the #1 OS (look at the latest ComScore report)

What really brought its percentages down is the surge in smartphone sales in North America where Symbian has always been remiss.

The OS is solid and has more features that were available a decade ago that are only being introduced recently to iOS and Android and some features that are still unavailable on these latter OS' are enjoyed by Symbian fans

@Lensbeginner again you're showing your lack of knowledge.... Symbian was the only OS that allowed full control and even now in Symbian Belle there are Custom Firmwares and customizability

Not to mention Nokias Maemo OS which Android copied quite a bit from (they're both linux although Maemo is truer to the linux kernel)

0 upvotes
LensBeginner
By LensBeginner (Feb 29, 2012)

@stylinred
I could find not much of that control in 9.2 or 9.4, and they were hard as hell to root (not anymore, btw, but years have passed... I'm sure I don't need to refresh on the history of root hacks from CapsOn/Off up to the latest A/V hacks, you seem to be informed).
I never used Belle, nor Maemo (which btw is not completely open source, but these are details): the lack of available software kept me from doing that, and the fact that Nokia was frantically jumping from an OS to another, leaving a huge user base behind (you go to the betalabs page on Nokia Maps... or was it Ovi maps? or Nokia Maps again? and have a good laugh reading the complaints from users who find their 1-year-old phone unsupported). So, maybe it's more customizable, but in the end is harder to customize:eg, there are endless launchers for the Android platform, I couldn't find many for an N97... and if your answer is "buy a newer phone", which btw is also Nokia's, then you know what my reply is.
Best regards.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Extraneus
By Extraneus (May 31, 2012)

@ Boomz

But that last comparrison makes no sense...!

Android, W7 and IOS are all about the bling and not about the phone... Nokia, on the other hand, has a history of making great phones. Your analogy should actually be reversed!

Fair enough that you value the massive amount of apps and fancy features of the mentioned systems - to each his own. Me, I'll probably be happy with the relatively limited Symbian, seeing as I've got an android tablet for my app-needs, but need a phone that's easy to text on, fits in my front jeans pocket, has room for my entire music collection and takes great pictures.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Kuturgan
By Kuturgan (Feb 29, 2012)

Nokia 808 will be an excellent replacement to my P&S Sony TX9 and Galaxy S2 for a low price.

4 upvotes
vlad0
By vlad0 (Feb 29, 2012)

Indeed :)

0 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Feb 29, 2012)

Why they don't just cut to the chase and build a CAMERA with a Phone, rather than a PHONE with a Camera?!.
There is nothing in the market for people that are more into Photography than yapping on the phone.

Maybe Canon should team up with Apple or other and do it!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Feb 29, 2012)

Though I would like that as a photo enthusiast, I think, it's the other way. Many people are contented with the image quality of their phones and some even degrade it by using Instagram kind of apps.
Yet, I would take your idea in terms of feature set like an Android powered camera.

0 upvotes
asw66
By asw66 (Feb 29, 2012)

I've had similar thoughts myself. An iPhone type device is one way to combine a small camera with a phone, but there are surely plenty of other possibilities in this space. Nokia has great industrial designers, so I think that they could do a great job along these lines.

It's a shame though that Symbian is so awful....

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (Feb 29, 2012)

What a shame that Nokia Belle OS came so late that some people still have antique opinions on the operating system Nokias new devices are running on.

1 upvote
vlad0
By vlad0 (Feb 29, 2012)

The 808 is a proper smartphone, not just a phone. Their OS allows them to do that, so in a sense, its a 50% smartphone @ 100% capability, and 50% camera @ 70% capability

2 upvotes
danroso
By danroso (Feb 29, 2012)

There seems to be no moire or aliasing in videos.
High resolution downsampling really helps here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol__GosImB0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4vQkTzIcz4

4 upvotes
carlos roncatti
By carlos roncatti (Feb 29, 2012)

Question..can i use full resolution and a little zoom (to get 35mm EQ)?i mean loosing a little resolution but not having 8mp only... thanks

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jay Kim
By Jay Kim (Feb 29, 2012)

Yes. You can take photos at full 38.4MP resolution at 4:3 ratio 28mm equiv fov or 34MP at 16:9 ratio with 26mm equiv fov. Of course, there will be no zoom capability in this mode.

0 upvotes
carlos roncatti
By carlos roncatti (Feb 29, 2012)

Thanks

0 upvotes
mbpm
By mbpm (Feb 29, 2012)

I wonder whether it's a CMOS or CCD sensor. I have heard that pixel-binning is only possible with CCD sensors. Pictures look great, even at 800 ISO. I wish camera manufactures make 4/3rds sensor using this same technology. I guess, it'll be too expensive though :(

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Feb 29, 2012)

It's CMOS - at least according to the Nokia rep I've spoken to.

BTW, pixel binning can be done in software, by simply downsizing the entire image in runtime. Assuming you have a VERY strong hardware, of course - for example, the iPhone 4 is incapable of doing this in runtime (with my well-known wide-angle video hack) without the FPS dropping from 30 to around 15.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
mbpm
By mbpm (Feb 29, 2012)

Thank you Menneisyys. That clears things out. It was wrong of me to think such a punny sensor could match the capabilities of Electron Multiplying Charge-Coupled Devices (astrology sensors such as the Kodak KAF-0400). But, whenever I hear of pixelbinning I always think of high end CCD sensors, the Phase One P65+ comes into mind as well. It had a Sensor+ mode that was pretty much pixelbinning. Again, thank you for taking time to reply.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 50 seconds after posting
1 upvote
gr59
By gr59 (Feb 28, 2012)

As others already mentioned, Nokia is not the first to use pixel-binning to realize a digital zoom. The recently announced Panasonic HX-WA cameras use that feature, too - in combination with an additional optical zoom.

But yes, the pixel count is certainly impressive, and I wonder what a great compact camera could be build around it in combination with some decent 3x or alike zoom lens.

And the Nokia phone once more proves how cheap pixel binning can be done today, which makes it even more incomprehensible why expensive new cameras like the Canon G1X only realize an embarrasing partial reading of their sensor lines (resulting in horrible aliasing) when doing video.

0 upvotes
Kametori
By Kametori (Feb 28, 2012)

Even if real photos are half as good as promopictures thsi will be the best cameraphone and faraway from competitors. I think it's somehow sad that Nokia put this with poor display and (not so poor anymore) belle symbian. But the camera is something that is amazing. Hope microsoft understand that they have to loose some HW requirement limitations asap to get this in windows phone.
When Nokia gets this to better body with 4.6/7" amoled in Lumia 800 design there will be real killer products for other MS phones, androids and even iPhones. Nokia still knows how to make phones. Kudos

2 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Feb 28, 2012)

It has very good resolution - see my comparison shots. Completely blows away everything under, say, 24-30 Mpixel - at least in resolution.

0 upvotes
stylinred
By stylinred (Feb 29, 2012)

he's speaking about the screens resolution

the screen looks great though people dont seem to get its not about numbers entirely its about screen technology too

0 upvotes
chrisr91092
By chrisr91092 (Mar 2, 2012)

I don't think screen resolution ought to impact much on the camera performance - most compact cameras have low resolution screens as well.

Apart from web browsing I must say I personally don't see much benefit in high res screens on phones. Yes they look nicer, but realistically you have to push all those pixels around with consequent processing and power impacts.

1 upvote
Extraneus
By Extraneus (May 31, 2012)

He's talking about screen resolution, and doesn't mean it's impact on the camera performance, but on the general look...

I'm not certain the resolution will actually matter all that much - I've seen high resolution screens that still look a bit bland, and mid-range resolution screens that jump in your face. From the video reviews so far, the 808 screen (mid-range) looks stunning.

0 upvotes
KuroKam
By KuroKam (Feb 28, 2012)

By the way is there a comparison of high MP & binning vs. low MP with larger photosites leading to same final MP image anywhere? What produces better results? My guess the binning is favourable at the cost of additional processing.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Feb 28, 2012)

Depends on the shooting conditions. If you check out my direct comparison to the P300, you'll see the lens + sensor + JPEG engine combo indeed delivers. That is, for landscape shooting in good light, you may want to prefer high-Mpixel shooting.

Here're my test results: http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/87/mwc-report-part-ii-exclusive-nokia-pureview-808-resolution-tests

0 upvotes
Jimbob65
By Jimbob65 (Feb 29, 2012)

Note that the device on show at MWC is a prototype - the camera tuning is not yet complete. Noise reduction hasn't been finished and there are also issue with vignetting. Three weeks more work has since been done and the images are even better.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Mar 2, 2012)

"Noise reduction hasn't been finished and there are also issue with vignetting."

Yup, there is absolutely no noise reduction applied. Not that I need it - on the contrary. Software-based, simple noise reduction (=detail smearing) is just a gimmick. Noise Ninja and the like isn't it - but few (if any) cameras can do the same themselves. That is, its the best not to have any NR in-camera an just post-process if you really need to clean up the image.

0 upvotes
KuroKam
By KuroKam (Feb 28, 2012)

I'm concerned that the average consumer is going to equate the higher IQ with the "41MP" text slapped on the back rather than the larger sensor/pixel binning. I guess putting in large letters "1/1.2" sensor!" just doesn't have the same effect.

1 upvote
Jay Kim
By Jay Kim (Feb 29, 2012)

Yeah. If you were Nokia, which would you have decided on? 1/1.2" sensor with 8MP and clean ISO 12800 support or this 41MP sensor with PureView technology stamped on it. =P Marketing plays a big part and it's quite clear than 41MP is playing a big part in such media buzz and interest. It would have got far less interest if it was the former. (It would have been awesome though...)

0 upvotes
Thoughts
By Thoughts (Feb 28, 2012)

Nokia seems to understand digital photography very well. Very well done!

4 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Feb 28, 2012)

I've just returned from the MWC, having done MANY resolution comparison shots. Will publish my article in about half an hour - stay tuned!

In a word: the camera rocks and the lens + sensor combo is indeed able to make use of the 36/38/41 Mpixel resolution.

7 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Feb 28, 2012)

Ready! http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/87/mwc-report-part-ii-exclusive-nokia-pureview-808-resolution-tests

Feel free to comment on it!

5 upvotes
stylinred
By stylinred (Feb 29, 2012)

thanks for the review Menneisyys

0 upvotes
Jimbob65
By Jimbob65 (Feb 29, 2012)

And that is with a unfinished camera tuning. The images are better now as three weeks more work has been done.

0 upvotes
notareal
By notareal (Feb 28, 2012)

For me Nokia Belle feature pack 1 (Nokia 808's Belle) looks pretty smooth. Love the camera UI. Use of Qt Quick Components is quite a change in user interface... people may be a bit blind for the change.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gXKEcRiR90

3 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Feb 28, 2012)

Thanks DPR for the first intelligent write-up of this phone's camera. I've read so much drivel elsewhere about how noisy it will be (heedless of the fact that the pixel density is equivalent to a regular phone's 8Mpix sensor), or general buffoonery regarding 41Mpix, etc.
But I might take issue with your comment that the digital zoom will not yield the shallower DOF advantages of an optical zoom. Whereas the optical zoom changes focal length to yield shallower DOF surely this will phone yield a similar reduction in DOF since the physical image magnification increases as the effective sensor area reduces with the digital zoom?

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Jonne Ollakka
By Jonne Ollakka (Feb 28, 2012)

If you crop a photo you've taken, any photo, will it reduce the DOF? Same with the 808. It just crops and with the added pixels you maintain final image size.

0 upvotes
JacquesBalthazar
By JacquesBalthazar (Feb 29, 2012)

Edited out

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
AmaturFotografer
By AmaturFotografer (Feb 29, 2012)

It actually does both - binning for a normal shot and crop(maybe some binning) for zoom shot.

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Feb 29, 2012)

@ Joanne...
"If you crop a photo...will it reduce DOF?" No. But I did not suggest you are not just cropping it. Assuming that you will print out at the same size regardless of the zoom/crop, then for a digital zoom you will be enlarging the image by a progressively greater amount, and that will reduce DOF.

0 upvotes
charles1976
By charles1976 (Feb 28, 2012)

I loved most (if not all) of the nokia phones that ive had over the past 10 years.
They've helped me keep in touch with friends and loved ones.

However, Nokia is going the way of Kodak by refusing to change.

The OS was OK for making calls and texting. T9 text input ruled! But beyond that, navigating through the phone's OS is a pain. We have also reached a time where making calls and texting just doesnt cut it anymore.

The camera on this phone is "interesting" at most to me. But lets not forget that this is still a phone at the end of the day.
I doubt that i would be willing to sacrifice an iphone or a droid for it. (let alone give up all the aps that i have purchased) I would even rather choose a Windows Phone OS over Symbian.

Nokia needs a new CEO. Let go of some departments and adopt Android.
They definately have the resources to come up with their custom version of killer Droid OS.

Oh well. This is just my opinion.

Cheers

1 upvote
stylinred
By stylinred (Feb 29, 2012)

sounds like you havent tried symbian in a long time... especially with the talk of t9 texting

im guessing the last time you used one was in the days of the N95? ;) symbian is a completely different machine in this day and age especially with Belle and moreso with the 808s Belle Feature Pack1 (provides a new browser etc)+hardware upgrades

GSMArena calls Belle "almost revolutionary"

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
epdm2be
By epdm2be (Mar 1, 2012)

I take it you never used a Nokia C7/N8 nor 701. I mean as a smartphone not a camera.

0 upvotes
ross7
By ross7 (Mar 8, 2012)

'Nokia needs a new CEO. Let go of some departments and adopt Android. '

Lol. Android. Untested and buggy OS. No wonder there are hundreds of Apps just to save battery, and task managers.

0 upvotes
openskyline
By openskyline (Feb 28, 2012)

This is just a start guy, don't worry, they will put it on all the high end Lumia phones from now on. Think about it :), why wouldn't they.

In addition, may be other phone company will follow Nokia and start putting R&D effort in their cameras !

Nokia FTW!

0 upvotes
epdm2be
By epdm2be (Mar 1, 2012)

Because Microsoft wouldn't allow them!

0 upvotes
chrisr91092
By chrisr91092 (Mar 2, 2012)

The thing I worry about for WP is that Microsoft very strictly controls the supported hardware. If Nokia is lucky, they will be able to negotiate an exception to integrate their sensor processing HW with the Qualcomm chips mandated from MS. If not, then there will be no PureView until Nokia licenses it to Qualcomm.

0 upvotes
Fearless_Photog
By Fearless_Photog (Feb 28, 2012)

This same pixel binning was used on the Nikon D1H, it was a 10 megapixel sensor, but with 2.7 megapixel output, because they didn't feel like the quality of single pixels was high enough at the time.

0 upvotes
GuptaD42
By GuptaD42 (Feb 28, 2012)

The D1H was $4,500 body only. And 1.1 kg before you put a battery in and a lens on it. Amazing how far tech has come in these 10 years. Nokia 808 = 41Mpix binned into 5Mpix output, plus lens plus battery all inclusive for $450.

And of course, it has a music player and a phone and a GPS navigator thrown in for free :)

The 4:1 binning on Sony's 10Mpix sensor in the D1 had another purpose in addition to reducing noise. The pixel density was state-of-the-art at that time and sensor yields were low. Binning 4 pixels into one output pixel helped increased yields enough to make the sensor/camera feasible at $4,500!

3 upvotes
Total comments: 667
12345