My thoughts about the next Lumia PureView
September 5th is going to be an important day for Nokia, Nokia fans, shareholders and even Microsoft. I'm invited to attend the keynote, though not in New York, but in the Microsoft (!) office in Amsterdam, via a live connection. And of course like every Nokia fan I'm extremely curious as to what will be shared that day.
After Damian Dinning talked about PureView technology in "more lightweight smartphones" and after a hint by @Nokia self (for both see this blog), everyone is more or less expecting the announcement of PureView technology in the first Lumia to run on Windows Phone 8.
But in the same blog, a lot of readers reacted that it should at least offer the same 41MP camerasensor. As Matt wrote: "the 808 Pureview should be the standard that all others must meet". Words that didn't really leave my mind...
You will find all my thoughts about this subject after the break.
First of all, I definitely want a Lumia running on Windows Phone 8, whether it offers PureView technology or not. But that's no surprise, since I have the 808 PureView already. My experience with Windows Phone 7 on the Nokia Lumia 900 has been extremely positive, and I have the impression Windows Phone 8 will resolve all issues I have using it.
Let's assume Nokia will announce PureView technology on the next Lumia... Remember Damian Dinning already hinted at more lightweight smartphones". That most likely means "thinner", since there is no reason to think that Nokia will stop using polycarbonate for the next Lumia (I hope not anyway). And here's a picture I found (on Flickr) of the camera module of the Nokia 808 PureView.
Now this is enlarged of course, but we all know how thick the camera part of the Nokia 808 PureView is, so I guess this is what you need for a 41MP sensor. And since many (not me) think the Nokia 808 PureView is too thick, Nokia must either have found a way to shrink this module - to make it fit in a thinner smartphone - or it will be quite impossible to fit a 41MP sensor in a new and thin Lumia.
Now of course I love the PureView technology, pixel binning so many information into just one pixel, reducing the noise - this technology really works as we now know. And of course it won't work to the same extent, but still... The technology remains the same, essentialy...
Less pixel binning?
Let's suppose it will be a 16MP sensor - still pretty large, right? For PureView technology it will use the information of 2 to 1 for a 8MP result, and about 3 to 1 for a 5MP result - which is about minimum I guess, but maybe you can use 4 to 1 for a 4MP result.
Now that all sounds like it would be a major setback, but even in 8MP resolution the result would be at least twice as good as any standard resolution on other smartphones. I write "at least" because of the collaboration with Carl Zeiss.
Less lossless zoom?
But zooming is another aspect that will change. We now have a lot of lossless zoom thanks to the enormous sensor - it has been demonstrated with countless pictures and videos. Now reducing the sensor of course means reducing the amount of lossless zoom - and quite a bit as well...
So all in all: no, a smaller camerasensor doesn't sound too exciting I guess.
But there is some hope. I guess we have all seen this picture on dozens of websites:
I never really believed it would be genuine, but hoping for enough room for a 41MP camerasensor in the next Lumia, I will hold on to practically anything. It is (supposed to be) a picture from a slideshow presentation.
The occasion where this picture was (again: supposed to be) taken is blurred, but the words next to the device are not, and quite interesting in fact.It has been done many times before, but let´s take a closer look at the text once more. This is the best I could make of it for now:
4.3" curved touchscreen with HD display
41MP sensor, Carl Zeiss lens and PureView imaging technology
1080p Ful HD video recording with Rich Recording technology
Dual-core processor with Adreno 320 GPU
Microsoft Windows Phone Operating system.
Now I'm not a geek that knows all about processors, but I found the Adreno 320 GPU belongs to a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro. According to the Qualcomm site it is designed for tablets and laptops as far as I can see, so it must be blazing fast, right? It looks unlikely, but it is not impossible...
And it's not like nothing ever leeked about the Nokia 808 PureView as I first thought, I've blogged about it before. So you never know. When I first saw the design of this "Nokia Lumia PureView" I thought it was quite ugly and I thought it couldn't be true. But what if it IS real, what if someone actually had the guts to make this shot during a Nokia presentation and even more guts to leak it?
When this is what it takes to bring the 41MP camerasensor and Carl Zeiss lense to a Lumia on Windows Phone 8, I say go ahead: make my day. September 5, that is.
I'm curious what you think about this: would you be okay with a smaller sensor as long as the phone looks like the thin kind of Lumia we already know? Or would you prefer any design as long at it offers the 41MP sensor? I will write updates on Twitter that day, you might want to follow @PureViewClub before that :-)
Follow @PureViewClub on Twitter for updates on the Nokia 808 PureView, PureView technology, Rich Recording and Nokia in general.