Category: Nokia 808


To finish off #NCphotoweek we have our usual round of Sunday debate. Of course this one is photography based too, so we’re looking at whether a cameraphone should really replace your standalone camera.

There are some brilliant standalone cameras out there that give stunning top quality performance to any person with a little bit of know how in the photography sector. In the last two or three years though we have seen the rise of many excellent smartphones sporting advanced cameras being brought to the table too, which are now shouting a strong message to the world of photography.

Camera or cameraphone?

So… what we are really talking about here is pretty simple. Should a camera on your smartphone replace your standalone camera, ever?  We’ve seen on the Nokia Creative N8 Photo Awards how stunning photography with a Nokia N8 can turn out… imagine what will be achieved when theNokia 808 PureView starts falling into the mittens of trigger happy photographers!

Zooming in here to show you the amazing details within an image captured the Nokia 808 Pureview.

Not only for sick images, you can use your cameraphone for wonderful videos and stories too, like what we saw from the guys who took part in Nokia Shorts last year. This really demonstrates the power of what is available to you in your smartphone.

It goes without saying that the benefits of a cameraphone run further than taking sweet photos and recording videos. All of the features you’d expect like GPS, maps, apps, games, internet browsing, music, the ability to share instantly… these all help smartphones stack up against the standalone camera in a big way.

What do you think though… would you ever replace your standalone camera with a cameraphone, or have you already done just that? Let loose in the comments section or reach out on Twitter#NokiaDebate.

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In honour of Nokia Connects photography week, we have a guest post from the man behind this wonderfully spliced picture of the Naurissalmi strait in Helsinki. This was taken by cyclist and Photographer Hugo . After sharing this on Twitter, we asked if Hugo could spare a few words about his experience with photography on his Nokia and the story behind this great image. Take it away Hugo…

It took me a whole year to take this photo of Helsinki with a Nokia N8.

One year in one image

It’s made from 45 photographs of Naurissalmi strait (between Kulosaari island and Herttoniemi) sliced up into a single photo, January on the left and December on the right.

I took one photo with a Nokia N8 each week for most weeks of 2011, all around the same time in the morning, except one near the middle taken near midnight near midsummer. Obviously when I started I wasn’t planning on making an image like this, which is why it’s a bit wonky at the left.

I take photos a lot with whatever mobile phone I have. At the moment it’s a Nokia N8. I’ve been cycling to work almost for nearly two years, and often take photos of stuff I see on the way, and it’s interesting to see the variation of a single spot over the course of a year.

February, July, October, December 2011

I’ve done this a couple of times  before , also on bridges, when working and cycling to different places, but didn’t take more than once a month, and I wasn’t as persistent. This time, I started monthly and then switched weekly.

The Baltic sea ice lasted until mid-April, the leaves really turned golden in mid-October and had fallen in early November. The 2010/2011 winter was long, but this 2011/2012 winter was short, as can be seen by the departure and arrival of snow and ice.

I hadn’t planned to make a stripy image like this until I saw Eirik Solheim ‘s impressive 3,888-photo image. He glued down an SLR camera to a shelf by his window and took a photo every half an hour and ended up with 16,000 photos. I also used Aslak Hellesøy ‘s eirikmagick.sh script to generate my full-year picture. These are known as HDTR  (high dynamic time range) images.

You can see most of my photos individually here , where you can see the winter migration of the boats and a canoe slowly sinking between weeks 45 and 49:

I also made a time-lapse video (using Picasa).

If you want to do something like this, half the battle is picking a good location. A good location not only has plenty of scope for seasonal variation (I had trees, reeds, water, boats), but is one you will regularly be at or pass, without fail. I chose a spot I cycled past on the way to work. If it’s going to be out of your way, then you will end up skipping some. Make sure you have a more-or-less exact spot to take the photo (for me, it was just to the right of a lamp post), and I found the grid lines useful for lining up with the horizon. Other than that I just used the default automatic settings.

In general I use automatic settings or close-up, with flash off or auto. What I’d like to see would be some time-lapse or long exposure settings in the camera.

Thanks for that Hugo! If you’ve been inspired to try something different by this project or have an idea bubbling away at the back of your mind, why not go out and start making it happen? If you need anything to help you achieve your goals we are always looking for exciting things to get involved in, so drop us a trial request and let us know what you have cooking. Feedback and comments are more than welcome in the below section and we’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter (@Nokia808PV)  too.

Vuclip research names brand most-wanted .

 

GLOBAL – A world-wide survey  by streaming video providers Vuclip  has revealed some eye-opening statistics on phone preferences.

 

Two of the results were of especial interest to us here at Conversations.

First of all, when people were asked what mobile brand they wanted to buy next, the biggest vote by far was for Nokia.

According to the survey, a massive 36.9 per cent of people want a Nokia as their next phone. The closest competitor managed to gain just 24.8 per cent of the vote, and the closest after that 20.8 per cent.

We don’t have details of the methodology used, and different surveys all have their own slant. But nonetheless, it was a pleasant start to the day this morning.  ;-)

 

 

All the details: Nokia Lumia 800

All about our stunning new smartphone.

The specs; the price; the facts

 

The second point of interest is in the differences between men and women when it comes to choosing a mobile phone.

For both sexes, the price, the features and the screen are the biggest deciding factors. However, the order in which those are ranked is apparently quite different for men and women.

For women, it seems, the top concern is the feature set, followed by the screen, with the price as the third consideration.

Men, on the other hand, say price is the most important factor, followed by the features. The screen was the third most popular answer.

More than half a million phone users in 188 countries took part in the survey. The full results are available here (PDF) . Take a look and let us know what you think.

https://twitter.com/#!/Nokia808PV : Follow Nokia 808 PureView On Twitter .

GLOBAL – The Nokia 808 PureView wouldn’t be a revolution in mobile imaging technology if the programing was beyond developers.

 

But it isn’t – the 41-megapixel sensor functionality is accessed by Qt apps. And the video shows how pleased National Geographic is about that.

Qt and the Qt Mobility APIs link developers to the Nokia 808 PureView’s rich imaging, video, and audio features.

The cross-platform app framework is part of the phone’s DNA. For example, the UI’s crucial camera and gallery apps were built from scratch using Qt.

And the Qt Mobility multimedia APIs will put you in control of audio, as well as camera capabilities.

As Qt-powered Nokia devices hit a new record level of 180 million – news of the Nokia 808 PureView at MWC 2012 was a massive bonus.

Nokia 808 PureView for Qt developers

But of course the advantage of Qt is that you can deploy across Windows, Mac, Linux/X11, embedded Linux, Symbian and MeeGo, without rewriting the source code.

Daniel Kihlberg, Global Director Qt Ecosystem, said: “In 2011, we experienced 2,1 million Qt downloads plus a multitude of online updates. When comparing this to the almost 1,6 million Qt downloads we had in 2010, you see a significant indicator for an increasing amount of Qt projects.

“So it is spring in Barcelona and for Qt, optimism is running high, and the opportunity for Qt developers continues to grow and flourish. For mobile developers, the amazing new opportunity that is coming in the form of the Nokia 808 PureView is just icing on the cake.”

New to QT ? Start with this guide ›

Published by Adam Fraser on March 23, 2012

GLOBAL – The Nokia 808 PureView has a truly mind-blowing camera. If you don’t know that by now, where have you been hiding? Not only does it use a 41-megapixel camera to capture what’s called a pure pixel, it also uses something called Rich Recording to capture pure sound. We think that the result is the richest sound you’re likely to have heard from a mobile phone.Before we go into some of the details, we’d suggest you press the play button on the video above.

Done that?

Hearing is believing, as the video above demonstrates. It shows the Nokia 808 PureView pitched against two other competitor devices to record the sounds of a singing group, a car engine and a rock band playing a track.

Recording

What you’ll notice is that the recordings from the Nokia 808 PureView are considerably better than the other devices.

What makes Nokia Rich Recording different to any other current high-end smartphone is the ability to record sound without distortion at around 140-145db. Most current smartphones record up to 110db. The Nokia 808 PureView records at volumes four times louder than conventional microphones.

The lower bass sounds are also captured without distortion and by combining the upper and lower range together you’re left with the full range of sounds. The result is almost CD-like quality.

Nokia 808 PureView

Given that the Nokia 808 PureView is capable of capturing some amazing HD footage with the video camera, the addition of true stereo sound makes the phone a great movie-making device.

The Nokia 808 PureView will be the first phone to feature Nokia Rich Recording technology, however we’ll be seeing it introduced to the rest of the smart devices portfolio in the future.

Are you looking forward to experiencing Nokia Rich Recording for yourself? Let us know, below.

Nokia Connects explores eight ways the Nokia 808 PureView has changed digital photography for ever.

Search for the Nokia 808 PureView in your web browser  and you’ll get over 11 million results. The headlines are packed with words like “revolutionary” and “unbelievable”. No surprise, then, that when the 41 megapixel marvel was launched at Mobile World Congress, it won the prestigious Best in Show award. But once you get beyond the accolades and gasps of wonder, what does the Nokia 808 PureView actually mean for everyday photographers like you and me? To find out, we asked Juha Alakarhu, Head of Imaging Technologies, the man who has spent five years developing the Nokia 808 PureView.

1. You’ll be hooked on quality

The Nokia 808 PureView is without doubt the best cameraphone ever made. This fact alone, Juha believes, will change the way we think of cameraphones. “Naturally, there is a huge step forward in overall image and video quality in the spontaneous everyday photos that you usually capture with mobile phones,” he says. “And once you’ve tried the Nokia 808 PureView, you won’t want to go back.”

2. You’ll take more low light pics.

Most us don’t bother taking pictures in low light. Why? Because they’ll either be too dark to see anything, or the flash with ruin the ambience. According to Juha, that’s all set to change. “The Nokia 808 PureView’s low light performance is so amazing that people can now really capture the natural atmosphere, so you’ll see lots more natural low light photos.” And if it’s really dark, users can make use of Nokia’s most powerful xenon flash ever.

3. You’ll zoom zoom zoom

Let’s be honest, most cameraphone zooms suck, so most of us don’t use them. With PureView technology, though, you can zoom, zoom and zoom some more. “The wonderful quality of zooming means people can take more images of far distance objects, or use the zooming for some other creative purpose,” says Juha. The zooming can be done also after capturing the image, which is called post capture zooming.  “This is very exciting feature. When you zoom deep into the details, you may find stories that you were not even aware of when capturing the original photo”.

4. You’ll focus more on composition

Composition is key to great photos. The Nokia 808 PureView makes it easier than ever to get it right. “With closer distances, there will be visible “bokeh” or shallow depth of field,” says Juha. “This really helps the photographer to get a composition that supports the story and gives something extra, a professional look, to the photos.” In addition, the post capture zoom function of 808 PureView makes it easy to reframe the image later to improve the composition.

5. You’ll find more beauty in the detail

Zooming isn’t just about seeing fantastic far away things, it’s also about getting up close and personal. PureView technology means you’ll be able to see the world in all its detail. “Its amazing sharpness will get people interested in capturing the beauty of the world in a whole new way,” Juha believes. “For example, try zooming in on raindrops with and without the flash.” The possibilities are endless.

6. You’ll take photos of loads of new activities 

How many times have you been doing sport or riding your bike and wanting to take great photos? A decent camera is normally too heavy to lug around. Not anymore. “There are many activities where you need amazing camera quality but it needs to be robust and small size. Say scuba diving (with some extra protective gear of course) or bird watching,” Juha says. “It will be interesting to see how people use this.”

7. You’ll capture more spontaneous moments   

Life is full of fleeting moments you wish you had caught on camera, but by the time you’ve fiddled with the controls, the moment has gone forever. Juha believes we’re now better equipped than ever to change that. “Now that you can start the camera very quickly just by pushing the camera button, there will be more photos captured at exactly the right moment, when something exciting suddenly happens.”

8. You’ll act more like a pro

In the last decade or so we’ve seen amazing advances in camera phones. When it comes to editing your photos, though, it’s often not worth the hassle. Juha thinks the Nokia 808 PureView is so good, many more of us will find interesting new opportunities editing our shots like pros. For example, the PureView images display such great detail and shade that it is possible to find very interesting new looks by editing them. “You’ll also probably see professionals using 808 PureView as a backup camera or camcorder,” he says.

Juha paints a pretty incredible picture of what the future holds for everyday photographers like most of us. What do you look forward to the most?

Dolby reveals audio secret of new phone’s success .

Dolby Headphone demo 

BARCELONA, Spain –You perhaps won’t be surprised to know that there was very little noise at the Dolby stand at Mobile World Congress. Just a lot of people standing around with headphones on and big smiles.

The audio tech giant was first on our list of Nokia partners to visit after we learned that they had supplied the sound software for the new award-winning Nokia 808 PureView.

Taking pride of place at their stand, the world’s best camera phone owes much to Dolby technologies for helping to make it an HD mobile entertainment device.

For the PureView is also about pure audio thanks to its high-definition Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel surround sound which plays on HD TVs, and home theatre systems, and when combined with Dolby Headphone technology – also built into the PureView – provides a personal 5.1 surround experience over any headphones.

Nokia is also bringing the Dolby  experience to other smartphones with Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1 software upgrade for the Nokia 700Nokia 701, and Nokia 603, also displayed on the Dolby stand.

Mobile Sales Director Shawn Richards talked us through the tech on a Nokia 700 with a demo from Batman movie The Dark Knight.

Dolby Headphone booth

He explained that the Dolby Headphone upgrade transforms stereo content into a personal surround sound.

“You get a more natural, engaging, and authentic sound,” he said. “Good audio is even more important when you are watching a movie on a small screen. And Dolby Headphone creates a totally immersive feel.”

I popped on the headphones and gave it a try. Sure enough, the action sequence, complete with explosions at the back of my head and voice front and centre was really impressive.

I could see what Shawn meant. Normal stereo is fired into your ears, but this Dolby software converts it into a kind of sound halo around your head.

And the Dolby button on the Symbian phone screen took me right back to my first cassette recorder back in the 70s, which wiped out the awful hiss that came with it. These days however, the Dolby button means a whole new cinematic surround sound experience.

Nokia Siemens Networks

Leaving the Dolby people quietly entertaining themselves we headed off to
Nokia Siemens Networks  who, with Qualcomm, showed us a new feature that will allow people to benefit from two base stations at the same time when using their phone.

Called HSPA+ (High-Speed Packet Access) Multiflow it allows the transmission of two data streams from base stations in two adjacent cells to a single handset.

After being standardised later  this year, it should come into use commercially sometime next year on existing hardware. Only a software upgrade will be needed for networks, modems and smartphones. And the future benefit to phones like the Nokia Lumia 900 which will run on HSPA, is obvious.

Nokia Siemens demonstrated the effect using a commercial base station and prototype USB dongle from Qualcomm .

Nokia Siemens Networks also repeated their world 4G speed record yesterday with 1.4 Gigabits-per-second mobile call.

Other partners at the show included Microsoft, who were displaying Nokia Windows Phones, much as they did at CES.

They were also holding a Smoked by Windows Phone  challenge, where any Mobile World Congress visitor could try to outpace a Microsoft booth host who was using a Nokia Lumia 800 after nominating a task.

If you could manage to post a picture to Facebook before they did, for example, you’d win €100. It was fun watching users of so-called rival smartphones fumble and lose. Out of 20 or so challenges on the first day, they’d only paid out twice. And one of those was a dead heat, a Microsoft spokesperson told me.

Smoked by Windows Phone

Pictures: Ian Jones

It’s now a couple of weeks since the Nokia 808 PureView launched and the Internet is buzzing with fantastic feedback. Websites and blogs solely dedicated to cameras have given raving reviews about the image quality of this smartphone, and quite rightly so. The Nokia 808 PureView has a mind-blowingly good camera. One area, however, that our photography guru, Ari Partinen, believes hasn’t been discussed in enough detail is dynamic range. To put that right, he shares his thoughts today.

The benefits of super pixels

In very simplified terms the Nokia 808 PureView combines the information from roughly seven pixels and uses this info to re-create what we call super pixels. The benefit of doing this is that when you multiply several signals (or pixels in our case) with random noise floor, you end up with amplified signal, but lower noise floor compared to the actual image signal. The most obvious benefit from this is the improved signal-to-noise ratio in low light images, but also daylight images benefit from this as an increased dynamic range. And indeed the dynamic range of Nokia 808 PureView is huge and achieved without any additional HDR processing, which often may lead to unnatural results.

Taking photos in the midday sun

Let’s discuss the following image of this lovely lady, on a beach, in Cape Town South Africa. All photographers know how deadly the midday sun is when it comes to ruining your images. The shadows caused by that midday light are a problem for any camera currently on the market. This picture was captured around 11:00am in South Africa and as you can see from the image the light was already very harsh. But the Nokia 808 PureView did excellent job preserving all the details also in the shades, making the smiling eyes of our lady perfectly visible. And please remember, we are running the camera in standard mode, without any excess HDR processing.

Another maybe even more astonishing example is the second image.

This image was originally planned to be a funny image with just legs sticking out from underneath the colorful hut, but for our amazement we ended up seeing also the upper bodies of the two young fellows in the picture. This image was captured around midday in Cape Town, South Africa and from the shadows you can see that sun was practically straight up. Holding the details in those strong shadows would be an amazing job for any camera, let alone for a mobile phone or smartphone.

The easy way to achieve perfect exposure

Also very welcome feature for more serious photographers is the live histogram that makes achieving the perfect exposure very easy. Just adjust the exposure compensation so that the bright part of the histogram does not clip, and the massive dynamic range of the Nokia 808 PureView will preserve the details in the dark end. As you can see from the image below, the live histogram becomes visible automatically when exposure compensation is adjusted.

Digital camera markets are currently full of all kind of HDR cameras and applications to handle those very high contrast scenes but with Nokia 808 PureView we took another route. We actually designed and executed a camera that is simply so good, that no extra HDR processing is needed.

People have rightly focused on resolution, the details that the Nokia 808 PureView is able to capture and its great low light capabilities. Now, thanks to Ari, we hope you have a better idea of its massive dynamic range, too.

700-nokia-808-pureview-white-pairThat buzz you’ve been hearing isn’t a swarm of early spring bees. It’s the discussion about Nokia’s 808 PureView smart phone, the one with a 41-Mp sensor tucked inside.

That’s bigger than the 36.3 megapixels in the Nikon D800.

A week ago Damian Dinning, the head of imaging experience for Nokia smart devices, explained the concept in an article on the Nokia 808. He was there at the birth.

It isn’t about the megapixels, he argued, explaining “the innovation and news is not the number of pixels but rather how those pixels are used.”

HOW TO ZOOM

The team, Dinning said, was working on “imaging rich” phones that would include optical zoom. Mobile phone screen sizes were getting bigger and customers were demanding better image quality from their phones, factors which pushed the limits of optical zoom design.

The team nearly brought to market a device that used folded optics to zoom (like many ultracompact digicams) but scuttled the project due to the size of the camera module and its performance.

“It became clear to us that if we were ever to meet the increasing expectations and evolving market dynamics we were going to need to find a new direction in imaging,” Dinning said.

As the team developed different optical zoom modules, they ran into significant problems: “performance in low light; image sharpness at both ends of the zoom range; audible noise problems; slow zooming speed and lost focus when zooming during video.”

To use optical zoom, “you’d need to accept a bigger, more expensive device with poor f no., a small and noisy image sensor and lower optical resolution just to be able to zoom.” Not good.

OPTICAL OUT

Then came the key discovery, inspired by the company’s understanding of how to integrate large image sensors into small camera modules. The trick was to “use a sensor with somewhat higher resolution than needed at the time but output a lower resolution image than the sensor input resolution, possibly adding some upscaling/interpolation to provide a meaningful enough zoom range.”

In short, they abandoned the idea of using optical zoom in favor of, well, digital zoom.

Time out.

TWO KINDS OF DIGITAL ZOOM

In the camera world we inhabit, digital zoom is not held in very high regard. But there are two variants of the concept.

In the common variant, a crop of the sensor is upsampled to the same image dimensions as a non-digital zoom image would be. If, for example, you have a 2000×3000 sensor and take a 1000×1500-pixel crop in digital zoom mode (to zoom in on the scene), the camera would interpolate that back up to 2000×3000 so it would be the same size as all your other images.

As sensors became larger, however, the upsampling became optional. In this variant of digital zoom — often tagged Smart or Intelligent — the crop simply isn’t upsampled. So your 16-Mp camera takes 10-Mp or 5-Mp images when smart digital zoom is engaged. And that’s plenty good enough for prints up to 13×19.

But in the camera world, you’ll notice, all of the sensor pixels are normally used except when using digital zoom.

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL

Nokia turned this approach on its head by establishing a 5-Mp image size for the 808 PureView and downsampling everything to it. A 5-Mp camera in a smart phone is still pretty cool. On a digicam, not so much.

Why would they downsample everything?

Downsampling “could create an output image with excellent low light performance, excellent optical performance as well as maintaining a low f no,” Dinning explained. “Instead of trade-offs, there would be significant benefits, especially at the wide range of the zoom. As an additional benefit the file sizes would be small due to low noise whilst the level of detail would be way beyond anything seen before thanks to the pixel oversampling.”

So by pixel binning — as some digicams do in low light Scene modes that save smaller image sizes — you gain some imaging chops. You can zoom. Noise is averaged out. And the file size is kept low enough to fire off to Flickr or FaceBook, etc.

There is an option to save the 41-Mp image in the 808 PureView (and zoom later in-camera), Dinning noted, but in typical use, you would be recording 5-Mp images.

6934445859 998c23d62d b

 41-Mp image from the 808 PureView

Dave did a little math to explain the 41-Mp sensor size. “Zoom is linear, while pixels vary as an area or the square of the magnification. So 3x zoom = 9x the number of pixels. 3x wider and 3x taller: 41/9 = 4.56, so they’re actually pushing it slightly to come up with a full 5 megapixels.”

Print

Same image printed on Moab Slickrock Metallic Pearl on the Canon Pro-1

If Nokia were a camera company instead of a phone company, they would be marketing a 41-Mp camera featuring 3x smart digital zoom at a 5-Mp image size. But as a phone company, they’re selling a 5-Mp smart phone with 3x zoom and great low light performance.

Nokia has posted some Nokia808 PureView images on Flickr. Several image sizes are available for each image, including the 7728×4354 original and 1024×577 downsampled image. We printed a full resolution image on 13×19 Moab Slickrok Metallic Pearl and are pretty sure nobody is going to believe it came from a smart phone.

The company has also posted a white paper on its PureView imaging technology.