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41-meg (forty-one!) smartphone from Nokia

Nokia has announced the Nokia 808 PureView, featuring a 41-megapixel sensor and a Carl Zeiss f2.4 fixed focal length lens. It’s a phone.

Nokia uses oversampling technology to create high quality images with manageable file sizes: ‘Taking typically sized shots (say, 5 megapixels) the camera can use oversampling to combine up to seven pixels into one ‘pure’ pixel, eliminating the visual noise found on other mobile phone cameras. On top of that, you can zoom in up to 3x without losing any of the details in your shot – and there’s no artificially-created pixels in your picture, either.’

Alternatively, users can take images at high resolutions – up to 38 megapixels – then reframe, crop and zoom to find the best ‘picture within the picture’ after the image has been shot and before saving it at convenient sizes for sharing and storage.

The sensor is physically 1/1.2-inch, which is actually large than sensors found in many popular digital compact cameras, and only slightly smaller than the sensor in the new Nikon 1 CX mirrorless system, according to phototech website, 1001noisycameras.

It has 1.75 micron pixels – 7728 x 5368  of them.

Nokia has cleverly solved the problem of limited space for housing zoom lenses in phones by using a high quality fixed focus lens and then using in-camera ‘digital zoom’ – essentially cropping – of the massive ‘native’ picture file.

Nokia says the oversampling technology also allows for significantly improved low light performance, capturing ‘five times more light than an optical zoom camera at full zoom.’

The lens is a Carl Zeiss fixed-focus, f2.4, 26mm (35mm equivalent). The lens appears to be, in camphone terms, a substantial piece of glass. The phone actually bulges out to accommodate it. It has five elements in one group, (one high-index), and a neutral density filter.

Camera functionality is impressive (on paper) and digicam-like: It has autofocus and touch focus, and macro focussing down to 15cm; there are three shooting modes including a selection of Scene modes; it has face detection software, geotagging and a built-in picture editor. Aspect ratios of 16:9 and 4:3 are offered.)

The 808 has a Xenon flash (range up to 3.5m) as well as an LED video light for shooting in dark places, and offers integration with some social networking services.

Video performance is also impresive on paper. The camera allows for 1080p recording at 30fps, with 4X lossless zoom. The image processor within the Nokia 808 handles over 1 billion pixels per second.

Quality video is augmented by audio recording ‘without distortion at audio levels beyond the capability of human hearing.’  This allows you –  and your dog, for that matter  –  to enjoy CD-like stereo audio ‘even in the harshest of environments’.

The handset is also the first smartphone with built-in Dolby headphone technology, so you can listen to tunes (or your videos) in Dolby Surround sound using any set of stereo headphones.

It has a 4-inch screen with a 640 x 360 resolution, a 1.3Ghz single-core processor, and 512Mb of RAM. The handset comes with 16GB of storage space, but supports microSD expansion up to 48GB.

The (Symbian, not Windows) Nokia 808 PureView is expected to roll out in May in the US for a figure quoted in the tech press as anything from US$600 – $750. No local release details are currently available.

To view some high-res images ‘straight off the phone’ click here. To read a White Paper on the Nokia 808, click here.







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