Nokia’s super camera technology
SCIENCE & TECH / 07 Feb '13
London - Never mind 8 megapixels on your iPhone 5, Nokia will be rolling out a new flagship phone with a 41 megapixel camera sensor, sources close to the Finnish company have confirmed.
The camera technology, dubbed Pureview, first saw the light of day at the huge Barcelona cellphone fair, Mobile World Congress, in February last year.
Picture this: The Nokia Lumia 920 is the current flagship mode. Credit: AP
But the technology was debuted in the last of Nokia’s old range of smartphones, which used the now-defunct Symbian operating system.
Since then Nokia has partnered with Microsoft to launch a range of handsets, the Lumias, sporting the Windows Phone interface.
When Nokia and Microsoft launched the latest version of the Lumia, the 920, at the end of last year, observers wondered what had happened to the revolutionary technology because the top-of-the-range handset boasted “only” an 8.7 megapixel sensor.
Now the amazing 41 megapixel sensor will be in the next top-of-the-range Nokia Windows phone, which will be dubbed the EOS.
The resulting images will actually only be about 5 megapixels, but they will be very high quality, because the pixels and the sensor in the new phone will be bigger than their counterparts made by other technology firms – which means a bigger area for light to be captured on.
The sensor works by “oversampling”: each pixel also takes in information from surplus pixels around it. That means that “noise” – the coloured flecks that mar the dark areas of photos taken in low light – can be reduced.
It is difficult for handsets using the Windows Phone interface to stand out, as Microsoft defines the hardware specification and design very tightly.
Nokia thus immediately sought to produce the best images possible on a camera phone.
The existing Lumia and the forthcoming EOS, which will launch in the US later this year, will also use what Nokia calls “floating lens technology”.
This helps stabilise a shaky hand – a gyroscope detects the movement and the entire camera mechanism moves to correct it.
That means that the shutter can be open for longer, letting more light fall on pixels and reducing the need for flash, which is often very harsh on a camera phone.
Nokia would not confirm the move, saying only: “While we are delighted with the attention the Nokia Lumia range continues to gather, it has been our long-held policy not to comment on market rumours or speculation.” – Daily Mail
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