Does 41 megapixels ring a bell? Yes, that’s the PureView 808 smartphone that Nokia announced at the Mobile World Congress in February and in a special press briefing held on Tuesday in New Delhi, the Finnish handset maker announced that the phone with an unbelieveably high-resolution camera will be launched in Q2 2012 for a suggested retail price of about 600 euros – including in India, which it sees as one of the key markets.
The Nokia Pureview 808 is the first smartphone to feature Nokia’s PureView imaging technology based on a new 41 megapixel oversampling 1/1.2” sensor and a high-resolution f/2.3 Zeiss lens for breathtaking images that come very close to those taken from a professional-grade DSLR camera. “We found that our consumers wanted better zoom. And better low-light photography. So, we looked for some solutions”, says Vesa Jutila, Nokias global head of marketing for smart devices. “The ultimate goal for Nokia is to get better image quality from smartphone cameras. It’s not simply about increasing the number of megapixels,” he adds.
Which begs the question: why do you need 41 megapixels in a smartphone camera? The fact remains that even an image captured at 5 megapixels from the PureView lens (the default resolution) far surpasses what phones with 8 or even 12 megapixel cameras today can shoot. The amount of detail, clarity, colour saturation and contrast is leaps and bounds ahead, thanks to the large size of the sensor and the increased focal length that Nokia has managed to pack in.
What really makes the PureView tick is not just cutting egde hardware but also smart software. Yes, it’s true that the PureView 808 has a significantly larger image sensor and lens module compared to other smartphones (and even some standalone point-and-shoot cameras!),but it’s the software that is equally responsible for turning out perfect pictures.
Here’s how the PureView manages to achieve the superior image quality that it does. All details are captured with the massive 41 megapixel image sensor when you snap a picture. The default image size is just 5 megapixels, however, so the PureView 808 takes all these pixels and creates what Jutila terms as ‘super pixels’ by combining details from them. The result? Sharp images and virtually noise-free pictures even in low-light conditions.