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Nokia's 41-megapixel camera monsterphone

Mat Bettinson
Nokia's 41-megapixel camera monsterphone

Nokia unveiled a camera with an astonishingly high resolution camera sensor at MCW 2012 with the Nokia PureView 808 boasting a 41-megapixel camera.

Quite why you'd want to take an insanely high resolution photo on a phone is another matter but that hasn't deterred the Finnish phonemaker. The PureView 808 is apparently the product of some years of development which explains why the device is still running the aging Symbian OS rather than Windows Phone.

Nokia had to come up with a new fancy image compression scheme to get the 41-megapixel images down to a mere 10MB in size. Not really the sort of images one might upload to Facebook. That said the point seems to be to take wide angle images of such quality it's possible to massively zoom in to crop out a section of the image later.

This is probably like the phone equivalent of those implausible crime shows where a savvy chin-scratching investigator asks that their resident boffin zoom up on some detail and 'enhance', revealing the identity of the murderer in the reflection of a name badge from several kilometres away.

To be fair, Nokia is rather sensibly using the massive pixels of the 1/1.2-inch oversized sensor to create better quality standard resolution shots, including the ability to deliver superior low light performance. Even so, the PureView 808 is fitted with both a LED 'flash' for video recording and a Xenon flash for still photos.

Pricing is said to be under the £300 mark ex contract when the device appears in the second quarter. It doesn't seem much of a stretch to suggest that Nokia will port the fancy Symbian camera app to Windows Phone and ship the overachieving image sensor in a Microsoft based phone later in the year.

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Tags: smartphones, nokia, cameras

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