Press invitations to a New York product launch seem to confirm ongoing rumors that the Finnish phone maker is about to reveal a handset with a professional 41-megapixel image sensor, giving it the same capabilities as a standalone compact digital camera.
The invitation to the July 11 event simply states "Zoom. Reinvented," but, following a number of information and image leaks over recent months, the product in question looks set to be the eagerly awaited ‘EOS' smartphone. A handset that runs the Windows Phone 8 operating system and fits into Nokia's existing Lumia range yet boasts a huge, professional standard 41-megapixel image sensor, the EOS (its internal codename, its final name is yet to be confirmed) will come, it is believed, with a piece of photo imaging kit more at home on a digital SLR camera used by pro photographers rather than by the typical smartphone owner whose published works don't extend beyond Instagram.
Nokia's chief executive Stephen Elop has continually stated in recent months that Nokia's future lies in focusing on and exploiting its technical expertise in terms of imaging to attract new customers and keep existing users happy. Indeed its latest European and US flagship devices, the Lumia 925 and 928 respectively, both push the boundaries in terms of what is possible in terms of smartphone photography with a selection of filters, anti-motion blur features and enhanced settings for boosting image quality in low-light situations.
When it comes to capturing digital images, the number of megapixels the camera can capture is secondary to the number of megapixels of information its sensors can process. The better the sensor, the better the device is at discarding ‘noise' -- the corrupted, overexposed and underexposed pixels of a photo -- and producing a crisp, clear, color-balanced whole. One of the reasons why most modern smartphones have relatively poor image sensors is because they take up too much space. A serious problem when designing a piece of consumer electronics that is meant to be slim and light enough to slip into a pocket.
However, smartphones that put the final nail in the compact digital camera's coffin appear to be a notable tech trend in 2013. HTC's UltraPixel technology also raises the bar in terms of the quality of pictures captured by what is still primarily a voice calling, text messaging and web surfing device, while Samsung will next week officially launch its Galaxy SIV Zoom, the first phone with a 10x optical zoom lens camera integrated into its rear casing.