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 Some thoughts about the Nokia 808 PureView

·   The Nokia 808 PureView is a serious photographic tool, it offers one of the largest CMOS sensors. It can capture large resolution pictures up to 38MP in the aspect ratio 4:3 and up to 36MP in the aspect ratio 16:9. The diagram below taken from dpreview shows different cameras sensors. Notice the position of the Nokia 808 sensor in comparison to other cameras and mobile phones sensors. The Nokia 808 has an impressive sensor compared to other professional or point and shoot cameras. You will probably think that it is hard to use the camera in Nokia 808, but the truth is, that it is quite simple to access the camera and to use it. In fact, if you aren’t familiar with all the camera details you can still take photos in the automatic mode. And the photos shots in the automatic mode are as good as any other photos, they aren’t 38MP but they can be 3MP, 5MP or even 8MP.

·   I would describe the camera interface in the Nokia 808 as handy and simple.

·   With a 4x optical zoom, you can easily zoom in by swiping vertically on the screen to capture more details (in the 8MP/5MP/3MP capture more). Unfortunately, in the maximum resolution, you can’t zoom in. I am sure Nokia is working on this issue, and we can never know when a new device would allow us to zoom in 10 or even 20 times more, to capture the tiniest detail on the surface of the moon. If you think that it is too good to be true? well, let’s wait and see 🙂

·   As I mentioned in a previous post, the Nokia 808 that I received for the 2 weeks trial, came with a tripod and a tripod mount to attach the phone to the tripod. Attaching the phone to the tripod mount and to the tripod is quite easy. On a tripod, you can enjoy capturing self-portraits and group shots. You can also experiment with the interval mode or with the self-timer mode or even with the bracketing mode.

–  In the interval mode, you can choose from two options:

1.  Number of images from 2 images to 1500 images: you can choose to take 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 or 1500 pictures.

2.  Interval from 5 seconds to 30 minutes: you can choose to take a photo each 5, 8, 10, 15, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes or even 30 minutes.

The interval mode offers endless creative possibilities. It is an automated recording made at set intervals of your choice. Its purpose is to create time-lapse effects. It is usually used with video recording. With interval recording you can set the camera to record 5 seconds of video every 30 seconds, the effect when played back is fast motion video. I didn’t get the chance to try the video mode and to experiment with it in the Nokia 808. Interval mode is usually used to make animations. Not many cameras offer this option, the Nokia N9 and N8 don’t have it. The Canon 7D doesn’t have it either.

–  In the bracketing mode, you need to specify two options:

1.      Number of images: 3 or 5

2.      Exposure adjustment:

    •  -0.7/+0.7
    • -2.0/+2.0
    •  -4.0/+4/0

What is the bracketing mode and what is it used for, you’d probably wonder? Wikipedia gives the following definition: “In photography, bracketing is the general technique of taking several shots of the same subject using different camera settings. Bracketing is useful and often recommended in situations that make it difficult to obtain a satisfactory image with a single shot, especially when a small variation in exposure parameters has a comparatively large effect on the resulting image”. Dummies.com on the other hand defines auto bracketing as follows: “Auto bracketing in high dynamic range (HDR) photography enables you to shoot faster. A camera with a normal frame rate can shoot faster brackets than even the most dexterous photographer in manual mode. The faster your camera, the more scenes you can shoot that are hard or impossible manually — moving clouds, some foliage, people (in some circumstances).” Apple gives the following remark about bracketing: “HDR photography is fun… Waiting minutes to get the results is not! Introducing Bracket Mode, now capture your under/over exposed pictures in a blink of an eye and merge them later using your favorite HDR app or desktop application.” In other words, when you choose the bracketing mode in Nokia 808 and you specify the number of pictures and the exposure adjustments, you ask the Nokia 808 to take 3 or 5 consecutive pictures with different exposure adjustment and you can later through Photoshop or any other application, merge these photos to get a photo in high dynamic range.

Specifications of the Nokia 808 PureView


  • Camera sensor: 1/1.2” CMOS sensor, pixel size: 1.4um
  • 41 Megapixels.  38 Megapixels maximum resolution (in 4:3 aspect ration-output size: 7728 x 5368).
  • Camera flash type: Xenon flash
  • Lens: Carl Zeiss Tessar. 8.02mm lens (26mm, 16:9; 28 mm, 4:3)
  • Camera resolution: 7728 x 4354  Pixels
  • Camera focus type: Auto focus with two-stage capture key
  • Camera F number/aperture: 2.4
  • Camera digital zoom: 4  x
  • Camera focal length: 8.0 mm
  • Flash operating range: 4.0  m
  • Focus range: 15cm – infinity

Camera features

  • Touch focus
  • Landscape orientation
  • Exposure compensation
  • Sequence mode
  • Geo-tagging
  • Auto and manual white balance
  • Still image editor
  • Face recognition
  • Full screen viewfinder
  • Self timer
  • Center weighted auto exposure
  • Auto Exposure
  • Camera image formats
  • JPEG/Exif

Image capturing

  • 4 Flash modes (off, automatic, red-eye reduction, flash on)
  • 8 Scene modes (landscape, automatic, night portrait, night portrait, sports, night, portrait, close-up, snow)
  • Light sensitivity modes: Automatic
  • 4 Capture modes (sequence, self-timer, video, still)
  • 5  preset white balance modes (cloudy, Incandescent, Sunny, Fluorescent, Automatic)
  • Photos can be viewed by Camera Roll, Timeline or Photo editor