News Nokia, , , , , , — February 28, 2012 17:26 — 3 Comments

Nokia’s 41-megapixel 808 PureView cameraphone: what’s the deal?

Nokia, Pureview 808, cameraphone, mobile world congress

The back of the Nokia PureView 808, which has been described as a 'imposing beast'

In an act that smacked of near desperation, Nokia launched a 41-megapixel cameraphone this week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – or did it?

The Nokia 808 PureView has been met with some scepticism as blogs including The Verge surmised: “this handset doesn’t take full 41-megapixel stills. Instead, it oversamples – taking the image data from seven neighboring pixels and consolidating it into one pixel’s worth – and generates pictures roughly 5 megapixels in size. That’s still plenty of dots for most uses, and the image quality you can obtain from such a system is frankly ridiculous.”

“First, the 41-megapixel figure is really misrepresentative, not to say untrue, writes Devin Coldewey in TechCrunch. “It doesn’t take 41-megapixel photos in any way, shape, or form. Even in the specialhigh-rescreative mode, it “only” produces 38 megapixels. Mostly it will be takingnormal-sizeshots, between 3 and 8 megapixels. So what the hell does this 41-megapixel figure even mean?”

To us, it looks like an overblown publicity stunt by Nokia to promote its Lumia Windows phone across Europe and the United states.

But then again, maybe not. The PureView 808 runs on Symbian Belle OS and not Windows, so why bother in the first place as Symbian is pretty much dead in the water?

But, as Techcrunch’s Chris Velazco notes: “While I can’t help but wish it was a Windows Phone, the OS choice doesn’t come as a huge surprise. More than a few of Nokia’s recentN-series devices have gained a devoted following of photographers who have fallen for their great mobile optics, and the PureView 808 is geared toward that same set of mobile shutterbugs.”

What’s more, the PureView 808 packs a high-endCarl Zeiss lens, and is capable of shooting video in 1080p. It also includes an HDMI port to transfer HD video and sound straight to your TV quickly and easily.

As Velazco points out, smart moviemakers may also take an interest in the new NokiaN-series: “Nokia has folded their new Rich Recording technology, which apparently allows for recording audio at nearlyCD-quality. I give it all of 10 days after this thing launches before someone is struck with the notion of filming a movie with this thing. While the camera is going to be the big draw, the 808 is no one trick pony – it also sports Dolby headphone technology that allows users to experience their media in surround sound.”

A strange beast of a camera indeed. Anyone fancy making a movie on one?

Read more on the PureView 808 spec at Techcrunch: Why You Can’t Dismiss Nokia’s 41-Megapixel Phone



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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.


  1. [...] way back in February at the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona when Nokia announced a 41-megapixel 808 PureView [...]

  2. Extraneus says:

    A biased review/article if ever I saw one!

    “smacked of near desperation”… How so? A desperate company would hardly care to put a lot of effort in a niche camera, and even they would, the best EVER camera phone would hardly qualify as desperation…

    “To us, it looks like an overblown publicity stunt by Nokia to promote its Lumia Windows phone across Europe and the United states.” Really? To pretty much everyone else it actually seems rather odd that Nokia would put effort into a product that does NOTHING to advance the sales of the Lumia series…

    Did it occur to you that W7 just isn’t capable of running this kind of camera hardware, and that this camera has been in the works since way before the decision to switch to windows phones?

    “First, the 41-megapixel figure is really misrepresentative” Really? So, because the round lens limits the actual mp output to 38 mp (which is true for EVERY SINGLE PHONE WITH A CAMERA, from iphone to androids), it’s all a big hoax? 38 mp isn’t impressive in itself? And the fact that it can use those many mp to optimize photos in the 3-8 mp range as well does not impress you in the least?

    This article is the biggest piece of biased crock and the greatest waste of time I’ve come across in a looooong time…

  3. [...] of the 808 PureView were quick to point out that the camera only provides a default 5mp image, but according to Nokia its enhanced digital zoom and larger image sensor allows you to scale up [...]

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