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Mark Peters : March 5th 2012 - 12:25 CET

Nokia 808 PureView Technology

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NokiaNokia PureView Imaging Technology explained : The Nokia PureView imaging technology is the combination of a large, high resolution 41 Megapixel sensor with high quality Carl Zeiss lens optics. The large image sensor enables pixel oversampling, which will be explained in detail in this article but in a nutshell it means the combination of many pixels into one perfect pixel. Nokia PureView imaging technology is the result of many years of research and development and the tangible fruits of this work are amazing picture quality, lossless zoom, and superior low light performance. A revolution in imaging PureView imaging technology doesn’t represent a step change for camera smartphones performance, so much as a quantum leap forward.
Nokia 808 PureView

Nokia 808 PureView
The first mobile device to feature Nokia PureView camera technology is the Nokia 808 Smartphone, which gives users the means to take better pictures and video footage than ever before. Nokia PureView Pro turns conventional thinking on its head. It dispenses with the usual scaling / interpolation model of digital zoom used in virtually all smartphones, as well as optical zoom used in most digital cameras, where a series of lens elements moves back and forth to vary the magnification and field of view. Instead, we’ve taken a completely new road.

Nokia PureView

Nokia PureView Imaging Technology
Unprecedented camera control and versatility, combined with high quality pictures and movies. The Nokia 808 PureView handset sets new industry standards - it will give you around 3x lossless zoom for stills, and 4x zoom in 1080p Full HD. For 720p HD video, you’re looking at 6x lossless zoom. And for nHD (640x360) video, an incredible 12x zoom. So how is this possible? The starting point is a high-resolution sensor. This has an active area of 7728x5368 pixels, totalling over 41 Megapixel. Depending on the aspect ratio you choose, it will use 7728x4354 pixels for 16:9 pictures / videos, or 7152x5368 pixels for 4:3 pictures / videos.

Pureview Technology

Nokia 808 camera settings
What happens next depends on the camera settings and whether or not you’re using zoom. But to give you an idea, the default still picture setting is 5 Megapixels at 16:9, and for video it’s 1080p at 30fps. Using these settings, the zoom is around 3x for stills and 4x for video. Conventional zoom tends to scale up pictures from a relatively low resolution, resulting in poor photo quality. We were convinced there must be a better way, and we found it.

Nokia 808 camera

Nokia 808 zoom technology
With the Nokia 808 PureView, zoom is handled completely differently - like nothing that has gone before. We’ve taken the decision not to use any up-scaling whatsoever. There isn’t even a setting for it. When you zoom with the Nokia 808 camera, in effect you are just selecting the relevant area of the sensor. So with no zoom, the full area of the image sensor corresponding to the aspect ratio is used. The limit of the zoom (regardless of the resolution setting for photo or video) is reached when the selected output resolution becomes the same as the input resolution. For example, with the default setting of 5 Megapixel (3072x1728 pixels), once the area of the sensor reaches 3072x1728, you’ve hit the zoom limit. This means the zoom is always true to the image you want.

Nokia 808 Smartphone

Nokia PureView Image Quality
The way Nokia PureView Pro zoom works gives you great benefits. But the main one is undoubtedly ‘pixel oversampling’ technology. Pixel oversampling combines many pixels to create a single super-pixel. When this happens, you keep virtually all the detail, but filter away visual noise from the image. The speckled, grainy look you tend to get in low-lighting conditions is greatly reduced. And in good light, visual noise is virtually non-existent. Which means the images you can take are more natural and beautiful than ever. They are purer, perhaps a more accurate representation of the original subject than has ever been achieved before.

Nokia 808 PureView Technology

Nokia pixel oversampling technology
The level of pixel oversampling is highest when you’re not using the zoom function. It gradually decreases until you hit maximum zoom, where there is no oversampling. At this stage, Nokia PureView Pro optics and pixels start behaving in a more conventional way. But because only the centre of the optics are used where there is less diffraction, you get better optical performance - including low distortion, no vignetting, and high levels of resolved detail. And because all of this is taken care of for you, you don’t need to think about it, the system gives you the best balance between zoom and oversampling based on how you frame and compose the scene or subject.

Nokia 808
Nokia 808 Smartphone

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