FIRST LOOK: NOKIA 808 PUREVIEW
There really canâ€™t be a contest on the greatest convergence device of all time - it has to be the modern-day mobile phone. Sorry, my phone lines arenâ€™t open for this debate. The smartphone as we call it these days defines the zeitgeist of the new millennium and all that that digitalization that we marvelled at in the early 80s sci-fi movies now fits in our pockets! Faster, slimmer and higher seems to be the mantra that all smartphone manufacturers follow these days. Faster processors, slimmer bodies and higher megapixels for their built-in cameras. If you thought that you havenâ€™t heard of Nokia playing this game in awhile, think again.
The Nokia 808 PureView is rumoured to be five years in the making. What Nokia is proud of isnâ€™t its shocking 41-megapixel rating on the camera, but rather the clever way it uses the large sensor size to produce â€œsuper pixelsâ€. Wary about the market dynamics and how a high megapixel count is directly related to better pictures, Nokia undoubtedly uses 41- megapixel liberally in their promo material. But speak to their engineers, dig a little deeper, and you realise that the true genius lies in the way Nokia has managed to do away with the traditional optical or digital zoom completely to give you lossless images that donâ€™t disintegrate when you pinch zoom on your subjects eyes.
Using 8 pixels to make one super pixel is the reason why the PureView sensor is default set to a camera resolution of 5MP. It can zoom in to the theoretical limit of the sensor with almost zero distortion â€“ something no optical and certainly no digital zoom can claim to do. The active area of the sensor is 7728 x 5368 pixels, totalling over 41- megapixel but the advantage of such a large sensor is not bigger images as Nokia wants us to believe. The difference is in performance during low-light situations, zooming in on an image, lack of distortion and of course, picture detail. As Damian Dinning, Head of Imaging Experience Nokia Smart Devices said, â€œAs exciting as it may sound to introduce a device equipped with a 41-megapixel image sensor, our real excitement has always been associated with the opportunities, and in particular the performance this provides in its default form when shootingjust 5-megapixel images or when recording full HD video. Weâ€™ve waited a very long time to be able to do what we believe is right and break free from the years of legacies laid down behind us.â€
Since the optics of this system take up to ten times more precision to manufacture than a typical SLR-camera, Nokia is confident that the 808 PureView is a never before attempted feat. The only possible chink in its armour is the Symbian OS that it lugs around. But then again, the lure of the killer cam could well attract consumers to adopt the tried-and-tested OS in its second coming. HTC One X, Sony Xperia Arc S and the iPhone 4S all feature 8MP or more but it suddenly seems meaningless compared to Nokiaâ€™s valiant attempt. The warhorse is back and this time itâ€™s got some heavy machinery behind it.
Nishant Padhiar is the editor ofStuff India