Nokia 808 PureView: How does a 5 megapixel camera become a 41 megapixel camera?

Nokia just announced a new Symbian device called the 808 PureView. The specification that immediately stands out is the camera, which comes in at 41 megapixels. How exactly is that possible and is that number real or the result of a marketing department gone batshit insane? Luckily for us Nokia has a dedicated website for the 808 PureView, and they even have a 10 page white paper [PDF document] explaining the technology. Basically the PureView 808 is a 5 megapixel camera that uses insanely complicated algorithms to churn out we assume are going to be some ridiculously amazing photos. Forgetting about the maths for a second, the sensor in the 808 PureView is absolutely massive. Nokia says it’s 2.5x larger than the sensor in the Nokia N8, which has held the title of “best camera phone on the market” since it started shipping back in October 2010. In order to fit that sensor inside the PureView, the device obviously has to be a bit beefier. We’re talking 13.9 mm at the thinnest point and a whopping 17.95 mm at the thickest point. It’s a small price to pay for all you camera snobs. Oh and of course there’s a real Xenon flash in this thing. Better yet, there’s also an LED light for use while recording video!

Other specs are typical of Nokia’s previous smartphones: 4 inch 640 x 360 AMOLED screen, 1400 mAh battery, quadband GSM, pentaband 3G, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, FM transmitter, you get the deal. The only real new thing is the ability to capture 1080p video, a first for Symbian devices.

The big question isn’t whether or not the PureView will be able to deliver. Nokia has a stunning track record in the imagine department. The question is will people want to blow 450 Euros this coming May on a smartphone that’s running Symbian?

We’re going to say no and recommend you wait for a Nokia Lumia with this camera.

[Image Credit: The Verge]

  • Anonymous

    But from what I have concluded, the sensor has 7728 x 5368 of active pixels, so it’s a 41 MP camera, not a 5MP camera….

  • San

    Stefan Constantinescu you are always against Nokia

  • I guess Stefan didn’t bother to read the white papers again…

  • You dumb or what?
    The sensor is a 41MP one, and it uses a complex algorithm to turn those 41MP pics into 5MP pics so that the file size becomes smaller. Who has so much storage to carry 41MP camera?

    “Total number of pixels: 7728 x 5368”

    “in a nutshell it means the combination of many pixels into
    one perfect pixel.”

  • Hey

    How dumb is this guy? The article is full of misinformation stupidity and WP7 shilling.

    • Wait, did you just call me a Windows Phone 7 fanboi? Oh man, you must be new here.

      • Mohammed.M

        pure 41mp sensor. ladyboy.

      • Valentin

        – First of all you should type fanboy not fanboi !
        – Second . This smartphone is 41 megapixels (is not 5 Mpixels smartphone) .
        But i understand, you are not good with math.
        Let me explain to you 41 megapixels is not tha same with 4+1(=5) megapixels.
        If you would watched one of videos from MWCyou would have seen that it have also the 8 Megapixels …

        And yes you are WP(7.X OR 8) fanbo(i)y or you are paid to be one (so you are money fanboy )

        PS 1 Letter Y on your keyboard is before letter U (not after)
        PS 2 Why do you hate symbian OS so much ? (De ce ur??ti sistemul de operare symbian a?a de mult ?) 

        • Valentin

          – First of all you should type fanboy not fanboi !- Second . This smartphone is 41 megapixels (is not 5 Mpixels smartphone) .
          But i understand, you are not good with math.
          Let me explain to you 41 megapixels is not the same with 4+1(=5) megapixels.
          If you would watched one of videos from MWCyou would have seen that it have also the 8 Megapixels …

          And yes you are WP(7.X OR 8) fanbo(i)y or you are paid to be one (so you are money fanboy )

          PS 1 Letter Y on your keyboard is before letter U (not after)
          PS 2 Why do you hate symbian OS so much ? (De ce ur??ti sistemul de operare symbian a?a de mult ?) 

    • Discreetenquiries

      Correct. This is a very negative review. This Camera is the best camera on any smartphone and will be amazing. Symbian Belle the latest version of Symbian is a vast improvement on Symbian 3. This is just a Haters review. He cant to give credit where credit is due. This camera was years in the making and he dismisses it in a few sentences.

  • Dave

    Stefan, your anti-Nokia bias is as strong as ever. You actually read and mention the PDF so it can’t be ignorance. Why even bother writing about Nokia? It was old 2 years ago, get a life man.

  • Madone_de_mia

    wow – that background music is about as dorky as “stefan” looks…LOL

  • O’Rourke

    yeah – that look on his face when he’s trying to speak English…

  • Steele

    stefan, you should always wash your face before making a video! that nasty dirt around your lips looks like you ate out someones behind before the video…

  • Suggestion: Improve standard, not just the Megapixels, Nokia!

  • Anonymous

    “Basically the PureView 808 is a 5 megapixel camera”
    No, no, no. 

    It really has a *real 41 megapixel sensor*, and you can get nearly 41 megapixel photos out of the thing (due to aspect ratio you cannot get exactly 41 megapixels), if you want. 

    However, by default it generates five megapixel images from you, using the huge raw image as the source. Nokia claims that they are able to reduce noise etc. by doing this. Let’s see. 

    The few unprocessed images released by Nokia do look damn good though, especially when resized to something more manageable e.g. 3k x 2k.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, the sensor is 41MP, but effective area is reduced to 38MP for 4:3 and 34MP for 16:9 shots.  The 5MP is only a default setting whereby 8 pixels are oversampled to algorithmically yield 1 “perfect” pixel, effectively devoid of noise.  One can still choose higher (or lower) megapixels shots, but for most prints the 5MP default is deemed highly optimized…given the sampling processes developed at Nokia. The default 5MP yields file sizes of ~1MB; quite manageable with 16GB onboard, expandeable to 48GB with MicroSD.  As for zooming capability, Nokia’s huge proprietary sensor allows 4x loss-less zoom at 1080p.  In other words, a 4 x times zoom draws down on a smaller area while maintaining 1080p HD resolution.  No other compact device comes close on the raw resolution front.

      As for low light, this tech really shines.  Not only does the user benefit from a huge Xenon flash (for mobile devices), but also a latest gen LED for video/torch. In addition, the oversampling capabilities eliminate noise, making low light shots (indoor, night time, etc.) of excellent quality. Even low light action shots prove crystal clear.

      This is game changing tech…and not just for smartphones…but for photography in general.  You can leave your compact digital/compact zoom in the drawer with this Nokia device by your side.

  • Zeeshan siddiqui

    king of all mobiles.
     

  • Roggero2svx

    I have to say the pictures don’t look that impressive in this video. But I downloaded them yesterday to see the actual pictures (35 mb for 3 pictures) and they are absolutely stunning! amazing quality, would love to have this phone just as a camera

  • amazing . . . . . . . 

  • XOXO

    Funny the author did not mentioned in his bio that he was FIRED by Nokia…..

  • flavius

    being a nokia fan…whether symbian or windows it’s a catch….i say ouf thanks for nokia back to the leaders level…

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