Nokia 808 Pureview announced with 41MP(!!) camera

Nokia’s press conference at Mobile World Congress may have been a bit short on surprises – thanks in no small part to the many, many leaks that we’ve seen recently – but it did still manage to raise a few eyebrows when it announced the new handset powered by its Belle operating system (formerly known as Symbian).

There have been numerous rumours of a successor to Nokia’s N8, which wowed the world and won huge praise for its excellent camera. Nokia didn’t disappoint today, when it announced its new 808 PureView handset, with a 41MP camera. Yes, that’s right: a forty-one megapixel camera.

This is the first device featuring what Nokia calls its ‘PureView imaging technologies’, which are essentially a combination of the high-quality Carl Zeiss optics that we all know and love, high-resolution sensors and sophisticated software. Capable of taking pics of up to 38MP resolution, the camera will “capture seven pixels of information, condensing into one pixel for the sharpest images imaginable”. 

The 41MP sensor captures the image, and packs it down into smaller ultra-detailed images, that can be zoomed and cropped with minimal loss of definition. Nokia also claims that the 808 offers superior low-light performance (although there’s a xenon flash when needed), while the camera can handle 1080p Full HD video recording and playback. Video can be played back on a larger display via the handset’s HDMI port, while the 808 also features Dolby Digital Plus support.

Available in three colours (red, black and white), the 808 PureView has a 4” ClearBlack AMOLED screen, protected with Gorilla Glass, although its resolution is fairly feeble (nHD, or 360x640px). There’s 16GB of storage on board too, which can be expanded up to 48GB with microSD cards.

But the big question is that of why this technology isn’t been rolled out on Nokia’s new Windows Phones. During a short Q&A after the announcement, a Nokia manager stated that the Pureview imaging technology has been in development “for some time”, before confirming that the company is “planning to bring this technology to other devices in our future portfolio”.

No 41MP cameras on Nokia Windows Phones anytime soon then, but they’ll hopefully arrive soon enough. The 808 PureView is expected in May, and Nokia says it will cost around €450 EUR ($605 USD / £381 GBP) in Europe without a contract when it arrives.

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Must admit the images posted are pretty impressive. Keep it at a lower resolution setting and the photos still come out great.

I am usually in the MOAR Megapixels group, but I will say that the sample pictures linked above look pretty good. In the first picture, you can almost make out the name on a strap at the ropes that the guy is carrying. In the second picture we find out that the guys name is Jimbo. How? It is written on his shoes. Also, I think I saw Bigfoot in the background, but, as usual, he is really blurry...

If you look on the PureView page, there are three or four photos taken with the phone. They're certainly nothing to write home about. To me, they still look like camera phone shots. Big shock.

Skwerl said,
If you look on the PureView page, there are three or four photos taken with the phone. They're certainly nothing to write home about. To me, they still look like camera phone shots. Big shock.

Really now? There's a camera phone out there that can produce this image? http://i.imgur.com/9UhN9.jpg . With no noise, no colour fringing, highly detailed, proper colour and white balance...?

WTF, Seriously?? Have such an amazing camera on the phone and then give the phone 360x640 resolution???? come on now. devices with such quality camera need to have proper HD screens with high PPI count, so properly enjoy the photos you took on you phone, not only downloaded to a computer.


also, the thing is a bit bulky, wonder that is the Weight?

panacea said,
WTF, Seriously?? Have such an amazing camera on the phone and then give the phone 360x640 resolution???? come on now. devices with such quality camera need to have proper HD screens with high PPI count, so properly enjoy the photos you took on you phone, not only downloaded to a computer.

There may be many reasons. One is that increased resolution will break compatibility with existing apps. E6 suffers with this problem. They could've solved this by going 1280x720 if they wanted. Most likely it was a political decision not to make this device all around awesome which could threaten their existing portfolio on their principal smartphone platform. So we'll most likely see higher resolution screens on Symbian when Donna ships because by that time their WP devices will be much more competitive by addition of Nokia technologies which are currenty unavailable on the platform.

Plus, the nHD CBD isn't all that shabby. Yes it has lower resolution compared with screens on competing platforms even Nokia's own Harmattan but the nHD CBD is still a nice display. This is even newer than that display.

liju said,

Yes it has lower resolution compared with screens on competing platforms even Nokia's own Harmattan but the nHD CBD is still a nice display. This is even newer than that display.

Meant to say,
...but the nHD CBD on E7 is still a nice display.

Gaara sama said,
i will say 8,10 or even 12 is lot , there is no need for more.

You didn't get it. Please read the article or the Nokia whitepaper to find why they are using such a high mp sensor. These sensors enables losless zoom in pictures and video. In video you get to 'zoom' upto 4x in 1080p @ 30fps and much higher at low resolutions. This is also one of the reasons why N8 launched without 1080p recording. It's 12mp sensor only allowed them to do this with 720p. Nokia cares about the quality of pictures, video and sound (which most other manufacturers care about the least) it captures.

with so many people happily using IOS and Android - how on earth can Nokia expect this device to be competetive???
No amount of lovely pictures are going to compensate the user on the fact their OS is a dying breed and conquer the jelousy they have of all their friends who re-downloaded all their paid apps going from one iPhone/Android device to the next....

FAIL.

Dave_ek said,
with so many people happily using IOS and Android - how on earth can Nokia expect this device to be competetive???
No amount of lovely pictures are going to compensate the user on the fact their OS is a dying breed and conquer the jelousy they have of all their friends who re-downloaded all their paid apps going from one iPhone/Android device to the next....

FAIL.

Its a Niche market they are aiming. Camera Centric guys, just like me.

booboo said,
I wanna see pics of what this camera can do before I believe it!

Curtorsy of Nokia, some untouched photos direct from the device at 41MP (31.8MB ZIP file) - http://cdn.conversations.nokia...ploads/2012/02/Archive2.zip

They pretty much seem to blow any other phone atleast.

EDIT: And downsized to 5MP by me, if you don't want to download the file. And yes, it is quite simply the best phone camera ever:
http://i.imgur.com/9UhN9.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/8I296.jpg

(JPEG compression artefacts at my fault too, I put the compression up to make the files a lil smaller )

Edited by ~Johnny, Feb 27 2012, 1:05pm :

yowanvista said,
They should have used WP instead of that dreaded Symbian/Nokia OS.

WP doesn't support camera UI optimizations yet.

John. said,
Why put such a lovely camera on a Belle device? Ruined.

It sounds like it was in development before Nokia had deals with WP

John. said,
Why put such a lovely camera on a Belle device? Ruined.

Only symbian can support this type of customizations to the camera UI.

Shame about the OS - I will never be convinced to go back to Symbian. But 41mp? WTF?

I have to ask - why? If you need to capture at such a resolution, you PROBABLY shouldn't be using a phone. But at least they back it up with good sensor and lens.

nik louch said,
Shame about the OS - I will never be convinced to go back to Symbian. But 41mp? WTF?

I have to ask - why? If you need to capture at such a resolution, you PROBABLY shouldn't be using a phone. But at least they back it up with good sensor and lens.


I don't yet have the money for an incredible camera, and I don't like the idea of having to carry a massive camera around with me wherever I go (just in case I happen to spot something I'd like a photo of). Not only that, but I can't take a massive camera on nights out with me, even though I'd like great-quality photos of me and my friends. This idea suits people who feel the same way as me, and I imagine there are a lot of us.

Callum said,

I don't yet have the money for an incredible camera, and I don't like the idea of having to carry a massive camera around with me wherever I go (just in case I happen to spot something I'd like a photo of). Not only that, but I can't take a massive camera on nights out with me, even though I'd like great-quality photos of me and my friends. This idea suits people who feel the same way as me, and I imagine there are a lot of us.

without good lens even 100 mp would be useless. not talking about sensitivity that is not being measured in pixels.

coth said,

without good lens even 100 mp would be useless. not talking about sensitivity that is not being measured in pixels.


I realise that, but this camera has a pretty good lens, for a phone camera, doesn't it?

[Correction] Belle operating system (formerly known as Symbian) [/Correction]

[Should be] Nokia Belle operating system (formerly known as Symbian Belle) [/Should be]

Mohitster said,
[Correction] Belle operating system (formerly known as Symbian) [/Correction]

[Should be] Nokia Belle operating system (formerly known as Symbian Belle) [/Should be]

Type it out correctly instead of using nonsense tags.

41MP camera. Yes, that's right: a forty-one megapixel camera.

At first I thought that was a typo.

Nikon D800! Beat that.

[spoiler]I know Nikon has better quality of course, but in the numbers, Nokia wins [/spoiler]

Don't forget: it's not about raw pixel count. Images are normally downsized. It's about cool algorithms enabled by this pixel count. It basically allows smooth images with less noise and aliasing. It allows good-looking semi-digital zoom.

People will inevitably home in on the number of pixels the Nokia 808 PureView packs, but they're
missing the point. The ‘big deal' is how they're used. At Nokia, our focus has always been capability
and performance.
The main way to build smaller cameras over the years has been to reduce the pixel size. These have
shrunk just over the past 6 years from 2.2 microns, to 1.75 microns, to 1.4 microns (which is where
most compact digital cameras and smartphones are today). Some new products are on the way with
1.1 micron pixels. But here's the problem. The smaller the pixel, the less photons each pixel is able to
collect. Less photons, less image quality. There's also more visual noise in images/videos, and various
other knock on effects. In our experience, when new, smaller pixel size sensors are first released, they
tend to be worse than the previous generation. While others jump in, banking on pixel numbers instead
of performance, we prefer to skip early iterations.

RealFduch said,
It allows good-looking semi-digital zoom.

There's no digital zoom at all in the Pureview, it just doesn't downsample when you want a "zoomed in" shot

Muhammad Farrukh said,

At first I thought that was a typo.

Nikon D800! Beat that.

[spoiler]I know Nikon has better quality of course, but in the numbers, Nokia wins [/spoiler]

The problem is that Nokia went and spent a ******** on a high mpx sensor, which has its uses and it's not bad in the "you don't need that many megapixels way" since that not how it works.

But it's ridiculous because for the money they used to put this sensor in. They could have used a native 8 or 12 mpx sensor with the same optics. And they would have gotten better pictures. And every example image also shows the to show mine on this ridiculous sensor, they with with a cheap sensor with low dynamic range. So all the shadows in their daylight images are nearl completely black with no details. Had they gone with a plain 12mpx sensor instead they could have used ahi quality sensor able to get detail in both light, dark and in between.

~Johnny said,
And before anyone starts harping on about "it's not the MP count that matters" ....

Ok, lets break the white paper down.

"The starting point is a super-high-resolution sensor" - Ok, we're still talking about "moar megapixels". but I'll humor you and continue reading.

"The Nokia PureView Pro comes is equipped with an even larger sensor, 1/1.2"" Ok, first of all there is a typo in their white paper (comes is), second, 1/1.2" is still really small.

"We went with a large sensor and 1.75 micron pixels" Ok 1.75microns is not large, especially since they were using 1.4 before? For reference, DSLR's, Nikon D300-d4, are 5.5-8 microns.

"In fact 5Mpx-6Mpx is more than enough for viewing images on PC, TV, online or smartphones" Then why are you making a camera with 41MP? Answer: Moar Megapixels.

"But let's consider why you might need more than 5Mpix. The most popular argument we hear is the
versatility the extra pixels provide. Specifically the ability to crop images or create large prints." With the optics and other factors, I would NEVER print an image taken from a cell phone...EVER. Crappy optics/light path in a cell phone will ALWAYS be inferior to a regular camera

I could keep going, but all that white paper does is try to lie about the real reason they did it, marketing #'s "MOAR MEGAPIXALS!!!!1111"

Also, there is no mention of dynamic range, iso sensitivity, etc. I guarentee it's crap, so not mentioned.

SirEvan said,
[ snip - hate ]

So I take it you just want to ignore everything and never consider the fact that technology does evolve, and would also like to ignore the fact that the sample images they have shown are actually great? If you'd properly read the white paper you'd see why the 41 MP is helpful- namely oversampling. (and it is true that nearly all forms of professional recording also use oversampling for best results).

Now lets keep in mind that the "micropixels" are larger than the N8's, and the surface area of the sensor is 2.5 times larger than the N8's, a nearly two year old phone that is still to this day considered the best camera phone on the market, and one that put everything else, and some cheaper point & shoots to shame. This is a sensor that's larger, better quality, boasts a better lens, and additional years of innovation and technical research over the N8 sensor. This isn't designed to compete with DSLR's, and it's not just for "more megapixels". It's for the best image quality - there is a reason why by default it doesn't save images at 41MP and saves them at 5MP instead.

I don't know if English is your native language or not, but you kept saying "moar megapixels". I think you mean to say "more".

SirEvan said,

...

Did you just compare a smartphone camera to a $3000 DSLR?

While the size of the sensor may be small compared to DSLRs, in a phone its massive. And if you looked at the sample pictures this phone takes, pretty sure you wouldn't be able to tell they came from a phone camera.

JayZJay said,
I don't know if English is your native language or not, but you kept saying "moar megapixels". I think you mean to say "more".

someone hasn't been on the net long? hehe... they always write moar its a purpousful slur of speech on the net.....

SirEvan said,

Ok, lets break the white paper down.

"The starting point is a super-high-resolution sensor" - Ok, we're still talking about "moar megapixels". but I'll humor you and continue reading.

"The Nokia PureView Pro comes is equipped with an even larger sensor, 1/1.2"" Ok, first of all there is a typo in their white paper (comes is), second, 1/1.2" is still really small.

"We went with a large sensor and 1.75 micron pixels" Ok 1.75microns is not large, especially since they were using 1.4 before? For reference, DSLR's, Nikon D300-d4, are 5.5-8 microns.

"In fact 5Mpx-6Mpx is more than enough for viewing images on PC, TV, online or smartphones" Then why are you making a camera with 41MP? Answer: Moar Megapixels.

"But let's consider why you might need more than 5Mpix. The most popular argument we hear is the
versatility the extra pixels provide. Specifically the ability to crop images or create large prints." With the optics and other factors, I would NEVER print an image taken from a cell phone...EVER. Crappy optics/light path in a cell phone will ALWAYS be inferior to a regular camera

I could keep going, but all that white paper does is try to lie about the real reason they did it, marketing #'s "MOAR MEGAPIXALS!!!!1111"

Also, there is no mention of dynamic range, iso sensitivity, etc. I guarentee it's crap, so not mentioned.

All that typing just to demonstrate you are intentionally ignorant... Why?

The heck? I mean, the idea is probably nice and "moar megapixals" turns crowds, but that camera "tumor" is unwieldy at best.

cralias said,
The heck? I mean, the idea is probably nice and "moar megapixals" turns crowds, but that camera "tumor" is unwieldy at best.

I have to agree. This is very cool and all, but I've never liked phones with huge bumps sticking out the back like that. I realize otherwise this wouldn't be possible, but I'd sooner have a lower speced camera...