The Nokia 808 PureView
How many megapixels will you ever actually need? Well, Nokia seems to have figured out the answer and its 41 megapixels. They’re launching a new cameraphone product in the vein of their popular N-series systems (N82, N8, etc.) now named the Nokia 808 PureView. As mentioned, it does pack a massive amount of photosensitive sensors which equate to 41 megapixels in its fullest form. Now, this is actually more of a marketing number as the 41,000,000 (est) pixels are actually the largest square on the sensor. What it boils down to is about 38MP in 4:3 orientation – admittedly still a ridiculous amount for any kind of image capture. But Nokia would also like to point out that getting 38MP images is completely optional. What they would recommend though is using its advanced pixel oversampling system to create great images in more modest image sizes. With this system, the camera performs much more admirably and control noise better than by just using each pixel for one actual dot in the image, using up to 8 times the amount of dots to create the best 5MP images you can get off comparable sensors.
The Nokia 808 PureView is the Finish company’s newest flagship imaging phone that takes the reigns over the previous Nokia N8. In keeping with the pedigree, it will be running on a Symbian Belle OS, and you’ll notice the protruding bump for the large camera module on the back. This time around, it’ll be packing a 1/1.2” 41MP sensor (with Carl Zeiss 28mm f2.4 lens) – the largest sensor we’ve seen in a smartphone or even point & shoot camera. (Larger than typical point & shoot or enthusiast compacts.) Effectively, the sensor can give up to 38MP stills in 4:3 orientation, its maximum image size. However, Nokia developed an aggressive pixel oversampling system to reduce noise and improve imaging performance. This feature is best used when opting for less pixel resolution in images – going for about 5 or 8MP, depending on your preference. At 5MP, you can get up to 7-8 pixels oversampled, creating a much clearer single pixel to include in the image. This guarantees the best possible, clear image contained in easily digestible 5MP formats.
Aside from the pixel oversampling system, it also adapts and has a lossless zoom function in the form of using a smaller part of the sensor – giving you full resolution images without creating artificial pixels or blowing up the image. This would effectively give about 3-4x zoom for images and video (depending on resolution) without losing any detail. You do, however, lose more oversampled pixels when zooming – and at full zoom the sensor will be 1:1 with no oversampling. This may result in a little more noise and less color detail fully zoomed in, but we’ll need to test how much of this occurs when we can give the product a try.
Specswise, you get a single core 1.3Ghz processor, 4” 640×360 AMOLED ClearBlack display, 1080 x 30fps video recording (with lossless zoom), VGA front facing camera, and running the newest Symbian Belle update. Nokia is also bringing back the Xenon flash, which is twice as powerful as the N8’s this time – which should give you much better images after the sun has set. What all this means is that Nokia has quite a doozy of a product with the Nokia 808 PureView – though we’d also would like to have seen their imaging prowess show up in their new Windows Phone handsets. They did promise that this tech will trickle down to their other devices but for now, it’ll be on this unit exclusively.
The Nokia 808 PureView hasn’t been announced for any date in the Philippines just yet, so don’t rush out of your house and annoy your local Nokia salesperson just yet. Its expected to be out in some parts of the world in May at about the price of 450 Euros (PHP 25,000++), which should leave another few months before it might reach our shores eventually. We look forward to checking one out if we can have the chance, and so should you. Just don’t get hung up on the Megapixel count, seriously.
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