This is where Ian Burley, DPNow's editor and founder, shares his unique thoughts and impressions on subjects that he hopes will be of interest to others on the subjects of digital photography and other related or loosely related topics! You can follow DPNow Editor's blog on Facebook and Twitter, too.
A quick first look at the 41 megapixel Nokia Pureview 808
Posted 25-06-12 at 09:21 AM by Ian
A pleasant surprise at the end of Friday last week was the arrival of a courier to deliver a Nokia Pureview 808 review sample, which I previewed earlier this year. What's that? It's Nokia's rather amazing new smartphone that boasts an astonishing 41 megapixel sensor for its camera.
As I explained in my preview the outlandish number of pixels on offer appears to contradict the smart view that too many pixels, especially on a small sensor like the Pureview 808's, is madness. But Nokia has turned that entirely logical supposition on its head. Basically, Nokia's Pureview strategy is to treat the 41 megapixels as a much lower resolution sensor and combine several pixels into one. This is known as pixel-binning (combining). The aim is to produce one high quality pixel from several pixels that may not all be premium quality. Does it work? It certainly looks like it.
Although completely unscientific, here is a back to back comparison between the Pureview 808 and my Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone in very low light. These are 100% (1 image pixel to 1 display pixel) crops using the Nokia in 8MP Pureview mode. The Samsung is 8MP natively:
Samsung Galaxy Note 8MP
Nokia Pureview 808 8MP
The Samsung Galaxy Note's camera is a good performer in good light. There are better smartphone cameras than the Note's but it's certainly fair to say it's one of the better ones. But as you can see the Nokia Pureview 808 walks all over the Note in low light thanks to that clever pixel-binning Pureview mode.
Is the Nokia Pureview 808 as good as a dedicated compact digital camera? I've not yet had a chance to answer that question, but I certainly don't think it will be a stroll for the conventional camera.
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