Time to sell your Leica M’s! A new 41MP monster has arrived on the scene…The Nokia 808 PureView

Time to sell your Leica M’s! A new 41MP monster has arrived on the scene…The Nokia 808 PureView

Ok everyone, are you ready for this insane 41MP monster? I was scouring through my e-mails this morning and found 5-6 about this new camera that is hitting the market with crazy specs and 41 mega pixels and Carl Zeiss optics. Yep, it’s called the future and I have mentioned these things before but I feel that the camera phone market is starting to cut into  camera sales and it has mainly been for point and shoot cameras due to the usually teeny sensors in phones. But you see it, I see it…every day we see soooo many shooting with their phones! I do it too. My iPhone and tadaa app are always clicking away at something but it in no way replaces my more serious cameras.

But what happens now? Yep, this 41MP monster is in the form of a new Nokia phone! This 41M sensor has a 1/1.2 inch sensor  – The Nokia 808 Pure View phone  – wow. Nikon is putting 36 mega pixels on a huge FF sensor in their new D800 yet Nokia crammed 41MP on to a small one. Sounds like you can take full res images but Nokia has been designing this for the last 5 years (or so they day) and the goal was to use those mega pixels to create outstanding quality 5-8 megapixel images. Either way, it is another huge step in phone cameras it seems. I am still waiting for the day when Leica releases a camera phone 🙂 Now that would be sweet.

 I’ll be sticking with my simple iPhone 4, my Leica and other cameras but the masses are going to love this Nokia.


  1. Its a phone, not a 35mm camera. And as such it is useful as not everyone carries a full sized camera with them everywhere, all the time. And as camera phones go.. well. It has a pixel size of 1.4 microns. The same pixel size as an iPhone 4S. But 41MP instead of 8. Ok not as good as the Nikon D800s 4.9 microns. But it fits in a pocket and makes calls etc. It has a fixed 28mm (in 4/3 ratio) f2.4 aperture lens. No adjustable aperture as its a phone and thats bulky, so instead can use a ND filter. No optical zoom, once again too bulky. It uses down-sampling to 5 or 8MP to reduce noise and improve per pixel sharpness, not aggressive NR + Sharpening in post. It can also take 38MP photos without the in phone down-sampling.

    Sensor sizes

    iphone4s (1/3.2″) – (4.54 x 3.42 mm)
    Canon S100 (1/1.7″) – (7.44 x 5.58 mm)
    808 pureview (1/1.2″) – (10.67 x 8.00 mm)
    Nikon 1 Syst. – (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
    m4/3 – (17.30 x 13 mm)
    APS-C – (23.7 x 15.60 mm)
    35mm – (36 x 24 mm)

    Not a replacement for a big expensive dedicated camera, of coarse, but I think it gives most pocket point and shoots a run for their money. Well, the N8 already was close to a lot of them. My 2 cents if anyone is interested.

  2. This is much better than the nikon J1 with the 18-55. Same price, same sized sensor, faster lens, much more megapixels (so better 12mp photos). The j1 is still faster but this has wifi and can make calls 😀

  3. i am not a iphone fanboy prefer nokia phones and now with a camera like this wow! and will save money not buying another plaubel makina 67. i guess no more film

    • Yes of course, it is a mobile phone with a tiny lens and a quite tiny sensor – only fools would belive that the output would be similar to an entry level DLSR or for that matter a 4/3 camera.

  4. I think a lot of people are misunderstanding the 808. It isn’t meant to replace a DSLR or even the m4/3 format. This is an amazing camera for a phone that cant be beat yet by OTHER phones. I recommend people to check out the sample photos of this camera.

    I do wish nokia would have a sample picture during night time to check the ISO.

    A question couldn’t nokia just put 8mp on this same size sensor and have the exact same benefits?

    • The idea is that since noise is random; combining lots of smaller photosites when downsampling the file ought to remove a lot more of it, since only a few of the ones being sampled together will have noise.

      It also allows for fancy digital zooming.

      So, we’ll see, I guess;)

  5. I downloaded and checked out 3 of the jpeg files from the phone. For a phone …the files are very impressive…but I am not getting rid of my full-frame camera just yet! Maybe when Nokia comes out with the postage stamp interchangeable prime lenses.

    • And you’re right Bob.
      Replacing a DSLR or even a micro 4/3 is not Nokia’s intention.

      See the 808 as second backup camera that’s always with you and ready to seize the moment.
      In the past, you wouldn’t print a photo from your smartphone, since the N8, it’s a whole different story.
      A 35mm movie was entirely shot with a N8 last year : Olive. A world premiere !!!

      I don’t know if they have implemented a kind of snap function in the 808, ala Ricoh…

  6. Quite interesting result! The samples, even the full res ones, look quite good, and having a good quality 28mm equivalent on a phone is a first!

    I remember reading a few years ago in a photo magazine that what looked like an insane megapixal race in the compact digicams field could actually be beneficial to IQ, as the increased number of pixels would help for noise processing. This phone brilliantly illustrates this!

    Now, why did they put this in an sub-average phone that nobody will want to buy?

  7. What really matters here is the OS. Let’s see what Nokia managed to produce. I would have preferred to see Android instead Symbian though …

  8. At least now photog-journalists can go into war zones with out looking too obvious. The way of the future folks……..thats what the news desks are interested in

    • That’s the point !
      I remember the second invasion of Irak (Oops, sorry, we did not find any weapons of mass destruction… But we found lots of petrol !!! Colin Powell), I was in Qatar and that’s the first time I saw a journalist standing before his cameraphone and doing his commentary live on CNN.
      That day, I knew the media world as we knew it would change forever.

      The 808 opens new perspectives. Everyone can be a journalist. And everybody can cook ! (Ratatouille)

  9. Mmm… interesting…

    My non-camera mobile is a pay-as-you-go that I load with thirty quid a year – I’m still trying to get my head around texting!

    However, I’d be interested to know, with a 41MP sensor, how much memory does this monster have? Does it save RAW?!

  10. If iPhone 4S’s 8 megapixel sensor were physically as big as the Nokia 808’s it would have roughly the same resolution given that they increased the megapixels in relation to the sensor size.

    The Symbian Belle OS stinks, but I’m still intrigued by this phone. Full HD video looks and Sounds pretty spectacular. Nokia, now get Instagram on board, and let people ruin their pictures with cheeky filters; this will make the 808 more successful than you ever imagined.

  11. I can hardly digest their announcement today to have 41 mp on tiny sensor,.. Anyway they have succeded to shock the photography world.
    What a day ,.. Do they come up with RAW file ,… Lol

  12. I think a few years ago I read about a finnish company that was designing this weird new sensor for camera phones.

    The idea was just what that Nokia guy descriped in the video. They make a distortionless wideangle lens and use the sensor for digital zoom, so you get zoom with good quality fixed lens.

    Very interesting technology indeed.

  13. I’ve always dreamed of the day that Apple would create the iCamera, a fully dedicated pocket camera complete with a proper zoom, memory card slot and shutter where you can download apps into. It would be like the iPhone, but without the phone. It will be purely for iPhoneographers. With such massive interest in the iPhone as a camera, makes me wonder why this hasn’t happened yet.

    • apple actually did produce a digital camera, several years ago, i think they got to the second iteration and dropped the whole concept, it was a real flop…. much like the newton, a brilliant personal organizer that got massacred by the palm pilot.
      i guess they learned from the success of the ipod subsequently ….

  14. what a joke… but of course people can do whatever they want.

    i personally have NO interest whatsoever in ever taking a photo with a phone, for so many reasons that i won’t even get started.
    a great saying i saw once on a tee shirt sums it all up nicely:

    “if i have to explain it, you wouldn’t understand”

    i’d be thrilled if phones could do ONE thing well, i.e. make/receive calls. sadly, this is a ‘feature’ that seems to be lost nowadays, with all these ‘smart’ phones packed with music, movies, camera, cappuccino machine, etc.

    i did have the iphone for a while (early adopter), sold it, had most of the nokias and android phones out there, and got rid of all of them. i am more than happy to carry a CAMERA when i want to take pictures, and a PHONE when i want to call somebody. for everything else, there are far better devices.

    • I dunno Pal…thé ToTom GPS on iPhone is excellent, nô of féline GPS on android. I travel alto and thé iPhone really cut m’y bulk… GPS, pictures for sing around, vidéos for fun, music, vidéo for transatlantique trips, internet to replace thé newaper when having donner alone…

      • like i said, people can do – and like – whatever they want, this is purely my personal opinion.

        by the way, the navigation on android is EXCELLENT, i have it on my samsung tablet and it works just as well -if not better- than the tomtom i had before.

        i would not use it on my phone though, the battery life of the iphone was, as far as i can remember, really appalling

  15. I thought the nex5n is a camera phone, because I’ve seen people hang it around their neck without a lens attach to it. Any ideas? Sony?

    • Please give Sony a break – they lost their factory with the floods. A lot of people suffered in the floods and deserve a little sensitivity instead of selfish remarks. Sony would love to ship and make money if they can finally put the disasters behind them. I just got notice that my Nex 7 shipped today and am delighted. I have had the 24/1.8 for some time. It is the first time I have had a lens without camera but I understand the difficulty and can hardly wait to start taking photos and will stick with the camera as it has had incredible reviews on a number of competent sites that used RAW.

  16. For the iPhone owners… You guys should check out on eBay the Leica m9 skins for your iPhone it’s actually pretty cool!

  17. they should have a infrared camera sensor on a cellphone!!! everyone will turn into detectives! or make secret pronos!

  18. well there you have it folks , sell all your leica equipment , and all your gear cause nokia will be the only camera phone gadget youll ever need !!! + you can listen to your audiophile music all on this one gadget …..does it get better then this , i ask you?

  19. Having owned a fair few N-series phones, I expect this to be the next king of the cameraphones, taking over from the aging N8.

    I have an N9 now, but they had to make the same design sacrifises as the Iphone 4S and other similarly shaped phones. I read that the camera unit in N9 is 70% smaller than in the N8 to keep the slim profile, which is why nothing yet has managed to beat it.

    Until this, I expect. Some people are willing to live with a hump on their phone, and they’ll be rewarded with great image quality 🙂

  20. Wow ! I’m surprised to read such news here.
    I’m a long time user and lover of the amazing Nokia N8.
    This phone is a milestone in the mobile industry.
    No cameraphone have better IQ. Period.
    And please, please, don’t come waving the Iphone 4S in front of my face.
    Regarding the OS, Symbian is among the safest and most reliable OS (with BB Os).
    I NEVER experienced any viruses on my N8 and “There’s no app for that” because everything is already in phone : photo/video editing software, PDF reader, HDMI output+cable, USB on the go : just plug a keyboard, a mouse or a memory stick with the USB cable that’s bundled and your done.

    Now, I’m a bit confused about this newcomer. I don’t think Nokia made the right move increasing the pixels count.
    The average Joe will think he has a pro camera…
    It’s pretty insane to stick 41 Mpix in such a small sensor, although the biggest of any camera phone.

    But it seems that you won’t be able to take full res pictures at 41 Mpix. The whole surface of the sensor is used to take the photo, then, it is resized to a more reasonable 5 or 8 Mpix : http://blog.gsmarena.com/the-amazing-science-behind-the-nokia-808s-mammoth-camera-sensor-explained/

    One goog point is that the equivalent focal length is now 35mm vs the N8’s 28mm.

    Let’s wait until the phone is released so we can really discuss the pros/cons…

    For those interested, here’s a link to my Flickr stream with the N8 set : http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaisdebali/sets/72157625255448771/

    • i must agree nokia makes much better phones than apple – and than most other competitors. i did own the n8 for a short time, while i was on my eternal quest for the perfect phone, ended up not keeping it, but it was a very well made product.
      and yes, the symbian OS is very good indeed!

        • i think you are right about windows on nokia phones, and that is indeed a real shame.

          if they HAD to drop Symbian, at least they could have gone android, which would have been a MUCH smarter and wiser choice.

        • They are keeping Symbian for mid-range. As evident by this phone; as they’re well into putting out Windows Mobile flagships by now.

  21. 41MP and only a 4″ screen with 360 x 640 resolution? Something smells fishy. Also the Nokia “Belle” OS (Symbian) is a definite dealbreaker. Finally, the sensor site size is so tiny (1.26 µ) it’s going to be horribly noisy and have lousy dynamic range at full resolution. In fact, after reading about the sensor technology they’re using, I’m convinced that this thing will only produce acceptable images when it’s shooting in 5MP mode. Whoopee.

  22. The biggest drawback will be its use of Nokia’s Symbian OS. It was this more than anything that caused major inroads into Nokia’s once domination of the market when first the iphone and then Android phones appeared.

    Whilst I had a little chuckle, I wouldn’t bet against it producing some very good pics in the right light. My very old Nokia produced very good images from its 5 meg sensor and Zeiss lens. In fact, some of the best I have ever seen from a camera.

    By the way, can anyone tell me the actual physical size, in mm, of a 1/1.2 sensor, and why do manufacturers persist in quoting this antiquated way of describing the sensor size?

    • Wasn’t aware of the OS. I would have to do a lot of research before I jump from android (unless it was to ios which i have experience with and like well enough.)
      interesting bit with Nokia camphones is a photographer in like 06 did a series of American travel photography ( a la the Americans) entirely with a Nokia and produced some profound imagery. Cant recall his name right now but A lesson to those snickering. Any tool in the right hands can be the right tool.

  23. Honestly I’m interested. I need to upgrade soon anyway and I would love a good phone p&s. I was looking at an iPhone but I like androids. So who knows.

  24. the way we all laugh at this tells me we all might miss the shift in the development of technology.

    I wish Canon would get back on track of introducing new techs,
    for almost ten years it just creates what everybody does or can do.
    So boring. Sony gives all exciting news lately…and now Nokia too.

  25. I love my iPhone because the iTunes, store and iCloud and photo streaming, not only it take great pictures i have them on my Apple TV at the same time. Is going to be very difficult for me to drop my iPhone, i will love to have a better camera on my phone.


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