Nokia's been the center of a little bit of a press storm after it was shown to have faked their PureView HD video advertisement. The video implied it was filmed on the device, but a reflection in a window during the advertisement clearly shows a camera crew, not a Nokia Lumia.
Now, Youssef Sarhan, a designer over on Svbtle has pointed out that the photos that were shown as an example in same video appear to be fake as well. Youssef points out that the telltale sign is the light diffractions in the photos that were taken in Helsinki, Finland.
He points out that the first problem with the images is that these sorts of direct lights don't actually exist in Helsinki like the images suggest, and that it's actually 'ambiently diffused' in the area rather than being direct, shining lights.
Wikipedia says that "diffraction occurs when light hits an opaque edge in the light path, such as the aperture blades in the lens. Diffraction causes the light to be spread out in a plane that is perpendicular to the edge from where the diffraction occurs. So you get two points of sparkle from one edge."
If you look at the photo above, you can clearly see what we're talking about here. The streams of light reaching out from the light sources are the giveaway. To take it further, if you look at another still shot published separately by Nokia, pictured below, the same effect isn't occurring in the photo, confusingly meaning that the company is mixing actual PureView photos with fake ones.
Youssef points out that a camera with with an fixed aperture of f/2 could not possibly generate so many light diffractions, and he also goes on to say that only a camera with f/22 -- like a DSLR -- could generate these kinds of images.
It's not clear why Nokia would go out of their way to deceive their users like this, since they seem pretty confident that the PureView technology is up to the challenge, but these images are looking almost certainly to be not from a PureView device at all.
It's disappointing for a company that seems so confident that this technology is groundbreaking, doing something like this that seems to imply they aren't so sure their technology is enough. We've reached out to Nokia for comment, we'll let you know when we hear back.
Update: We promised we'd reach out to Nokia, and we just got a response back. We directly asked Nokia if the above images were taken on a Lumia 920, and if they were modified at all, and the first time we got a response from Nokia was an email essentially pointing us to the apology post. We pushed them again on this more specific thing, and Nokia's press team responded saying:
Contrary to information posted on some blogger and technology websites, all still images found on the PureView page on Nokia.com were taken using a Nokia Lumia 920 prototype phone. They were not faked.
Regarding the video we released, as we said in our apology we should have posted a disclaimer stating the entire video – including all three sequences – was a representation of optical image stabilization (OIS) only. A disclaimer stating that the video was not shot using a Nokia Lumia 920 is now clearly shown under the video. The images shown at the top of Youssef Sarhan’s blog seem to be screen grabs from the same video – something he says himself: This is a still from Nokia’s new product promo video.
From what Nokia's seemingly saying -- and it takes some reading between the lines here -- it seems these stills are indeed fake, since they were part of the OIS advertisement video and were only intended as a "representation" of the product. Just to be clear, this is because these stills do not show up on the PureView page, and were the only ones that appeared in the video.
We're a little surprised Nokia had to go this far, and can't figure out why they would need to fake the stills too, even in the video, when the stills on the actual PureView website are good enough in themselves.
Update 2: Does it get any worse? The below image has emerged of the photo shoot, which pretty much confirms any doubts.