All about the Nokia PureView 808’s 41MP camera

Everybody was astonished as Nokia announced the PureView 808 yesterday at the Mobile World Congress. A sense of excitement was seen as Nokia proclaimed that the smartphone will have a whooping 41MP camera sensor.


Now we did a little research as to how it is possible for a small sensor to capture such high resolution images. Let’s unfold some details on the camera of the PureView 808.

Yes, it is truly amazing. The sensor size is 1/1.2 inch; the N8 has a 1/1.83 inch sensor, so this makes it one of the biggest cameraphone sensors out there. The optics is done by Carl-Zeiss, and has been done beautifully. The lens has an aperture of f/2.4, which is pretty awesome and means you can get good results even in low light conditions.
nokia-808-cam-resolution  So we are back to the same thing. 41 megapixels? Actually it produces an effective 38MP. The Nokia 808 can capture 4:3 images at up to 38MP and 16:9 images at up to 34MP. You cannot take 41MP photos as the sensor has a total active surface of 7728 x 5368 pixels which is not exactly 41MP. Depending on the aspect ratio, you get about 7728 x 4354 pixels for 16:9 images or 7152 x 5368 pixels for 4:3 images/videos.


The default resolution for the camera is 5MP in 16:9, 8MP for 4:3 and a full resolution mode that takes it to the huge 38MP resolution.

It uses a technology called oversampling which means that out of several pixels of information it captures, it commits to memory a single resulting pixel. This leads to amazing image quality, lossless zoom, and superior low light performance.

One of the best things about the PureView is that its camera offers lossless zoom. Everybody knows that digital-zoom just ruins your image/video and optical zoom is a bit difficult to fit in a camerphone. So Nokia used the same 2x digital zoom from the N8 and added special companion processor with sensor to overcome the interpolation and all the pixel binding and processing.

So you get lossless 3x digital zoom in still images. For video, at FullHD 1080p resolution you get 4x lossless zoom, at 720p HD video you’ve got 6x lossless zoom, and for nHD (640×360) video there’s the 12x zoom.

Well, the mind-boggling stuff by Nokia is just impressive. This not only means a new flagship cameraphone, but a revolution in mobile camera photography.