The 808's sensor is the big one at bottom-right, next to typical phone and compact camera sensors. Photo Nokia
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Yesterday, Nokia announced its crazy new 41 megapixel camera phone, the PureView 808, and the world chuckled. Just how big is the damn phone, I wondered, when Cult of Mac Deputy Editor John Brownlee woke me up and told me the news. But last night I spoke to a Nokia engineer, and it turns out this camera is pretty smart after all.
First, while the sensor does indeed contain 41 megapixels, it doesn’t snap 41MP photos. Instead, the sea of noisy data collected from those pixels is combined in software to get 5MP photos. Why? It started with the desire to design a better zoom.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — As a company, Nokia has embraced Windows Phone as their long-term smartphone strategy, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some Symbian execs rattling around inside the company, and today, they’ve given us the PureView 808, a Symbian-driven smartphone with a laugh-out-loud claim: a 41 megapixel camera.
Does it really have that many megapixels? It seems so. Does it take nice pictures? Absolutely. But there’s a lot more going on here than just megapixels, and it’s doubtful anyone with an iPhone 4S will be clamoring for one.