Friday, September 7, 2012

Despite’s Nokia’s greedy unsafe biker video, the new PureView is still amazing

Despite’s Nokia’s greedy unsafe biker video, the new PureView is still amazing:

I over-reacted to Nokia’s optical image stabilization video yesterday but Nokia’s PureView technology has been innovative with the PureView 808 but the new one is once again pioneering camera technology for smartphones.
The Nokia PureView 808 was the first of its kind because they did something in optics that was considered impossible – lossless digital zoom. Nokia was able to use a 41 megapixel sensor which really maxes out at 38 megapixels to capture loss-less details while using digital zoom up to 3x zoom. Since digital cameras generally capture less tonal range than the human eye can see, Nokia decided that it would try to generate the same tones of colour that humans can see. So while producing one great colourful photo, Nokia captures the photo with multiple exposure settings and combines the up to 7 pixels into one optimized pixel for the human eye to see. This is particularly innovative for consumers since we just want a great picture.

Usually, cameras on high-end smartphones have digital image stabilization for photos that require more light to pass through the shutter. This is useful in HDR photography where there requires ample time to capture 3 photos and combine them but what it can do is quite limited. Here is a photo with digital image stabilization capturing fast-moving objects while moving. The photo shows the risks of long exposures but Nokia solves this problem with optical image stabilization.

What PureView 2.0 has done this time is actually called optical image stabilization (OIS). This is usually used on a large lens of expensive DSLR cameras where a floating lens element on the camera can shift to offset the user’s shaky movements as seen in the photograph below. However, it is not possible to have such a delicate spring system to absorb the shock of the movements in a tiny cellphone-camera lens.

That is why Nokia chose to innovate and set foot on territory that no competitor has tried – Nokia imaging technology team decided to make the entire lens element floating and supported by springs and they created optical image stabilization for a phone.

Dinning said that “it’s not about the number of pixels but it’s what you do with them.” What he is hinting at with the PureView technology is the emphasis on image processing – in other words software. The digital camera automatically sets the light exposure time longer when the environment is dark. In fact, this video shows that the Nokia Lumia 920 PureView can even take photos in the dark. I am completely mind-blown.
The video should have used focus assisted light with HDR. The PureView may be a brand to Nokia’s camera as iPhone has Retina branding for its display but it is definitely impressive. Most people don’t care how the photo is taken as long as the photo is of good quality. And the photos from the PureView is definitely of amazing quality.
I had been angry in the previous article because Nokia got greedy in showing off their OIS in this video. The image below shows how the video was shot by a DSLR with an square lighting rig when it appeared as if the Nokia Lumia 920 PureView captured the video with OIS.

Another nice detail Windows Phone 8 and Nokia made was the lens. There are many problems with imaging on 3rd party apps for Android but since they only appear as skins on Windows Phone called “lens”, you will still get the sharpness in your image but with your other software-based effects.
Nokia is “amazing everyday.” The PureView technology looks too good to be true. It is simply so amazing that I will have to see for myself to believe it. If the PureView 2.0 technology does exactly as they claim and have shown in demos, then the Nokia PureView will take substantially better photos by the leading competitors, namely iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X. Beyond these videos. I suggest you to do the same.
Stay tuned for more Nokia articles tomorrow. I will have finished more Finnish articles about Nokia.

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