Nokia 808 Pureview

Could my – or your – next camera be a phone? Certainly the Nokia 808 Pureview looks a fairly amazing piece of kit and the sample photos are impressive, certainly for a cameraphone. Of course we don’t need 41Mp, but by combining pixels to give 8Mp or 5Mp image output the Pureview is able to get better quality, as well of course giving it the ability to digitally zoom at decent quality. The zoom stops when the area of the sensor it covers has the number of pixels for the output.

So starting from 41Mp and reducing to 8Mp means going down to 8/41 of the sensor area, which I think gives a linear zoom of 2.26 (the square root of 41/8) while with a 5Mp image the corresponding zoom is 2.86, neither huge. The roughly 28mm equivalent f2.4 Carl Zeiss lens becomes a 28-63mm orĀ  28-80mm respectively, which isn’t too bad, but the system really comes into its own with smaller image sizes. It will also have the slightly odd effect of quality being significantly better at the wider end of the range, and I imagine this will become pretty noticeable at higher ISO.

Of course 28mm for the 4:3 format (26mm for 16×9) isn’t particularly wide, and this is one reason why this won’t be my next camera. But it does seem to represent a real breakthrough in camera-phones, although it won’t be my next phone either, as I think it’s Symbian operating system is one to avoid, but perhaps with their next model it could really become the camera I’d take with me when I can’t be bothered to carry the real thing.

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