Flashback: the Nokia 808 PureView was from the future

17 November 2019
A higher resolution sensor with pixel binning for zooming and low-light shots six years before Androids started doing it.

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"It took six years for smartphone cameras to catch up"
Post a side view of the 808 and you'll understand why. This phone was always an experimental device never intended to be a big selling phone, because it was as thick as a 90's phone.

To when they built good phones.

  • Terryeesti

It was good no doubt, but also so slow to process

  • Anonymous

Nick Tagataka, 17 Nov 2019I'm pretty sure some Chinese phones use Quad Bayer for real time... moreBinning does not work for video.
Huawei does not record HDR not even with rear cam.

  • Anonymous

Nick Tagataka, 17 Nov 2019Unfortunately the non-Quad-Bayer CFA, FSI sensor and slow F2.4 a... moreNot like that. You are ignoring crop factor.
The f1.5 of note 10 is equivalent to f9 on FF.
While 1/1.2" behind f2.4 is equivalent to f7.7 on FF.

Tons of other things give advantage to newer phones.
Newer sensors are better with less noise and more DR.
Newer software and tricks.
Imaging processing core of cpu is better now.

Pixel 1 has 12MP 1/2.3" and does not give better results than Pixel 2 that uses smaller 1/2.55".

The 35mm f1.8 GM from Sony does not have same aperture diameter than a f1.8 cellphone. It is much bigger. There are lenses that can close up to f32.
Most cellphones do not have even 5mm of lens aperture.

Anonymous, 17 Nov 2019Also keep in mind that whenever you look at an image in an app l... moreWhat the hell are you babbling about? Obviously you don't know much about this phone. A lot of incomprehensible BS. Downsampling technology, lens sharpness, 2x crop etc etc etc.
As proud owner of 808 (and i use it daily) i thank you for a good laugh.

Anonymous, 17 Nov 2019True but so are the other phones in the same year... Lol, please... moreNonsense, other phone had already quad processors and beefy gpu's much more RAM and Android, besides camera 808 was junk of the past

  • krishnamurthy mphs

very nice

Anonymous, 17 Nov 2019"new tricks like one-shot HDR" As far as I know not a single sm... moreI'm pretty sure some Chinese phones use Quad Bayer for real time video HDR for the selfie camera. During daylight my P30's selfie camera records extremely high dynamic range in video mode, for instance.

Unfortunately the non-Quad-Bayer CFA, FSI sensor and slow F2.4 aperture meant the sensor wasn't really good performer in higher sensitivity, and due to that Nokia 808 had an abysmal low light performance even though it was using a sensor larger than any other smartphones that have come out so far, apart from Panasonic CM1, of course.

The truth is that nowadays the effective resolution of the image can be increased through clever demosaicing algorithms or super resolution stacking therefore it no longer requires ultra high MP sensor with regular Bayer filter structure to record an excellent amount of details. People tend to hate on Quad Bayer simply because how it produces wormy artifacts in full resolution mode, but in reality it's a far more practical solution for a modern smartphone camera compared to the equally-sized regular Bayer sensor with the identical MP count.

  • Anonymous

"new tricks like one-shot HDR"
As far as I know not a single smartphone manufacturer has actually confirmed that they do that.

People still use this beast as full size camera, it got 40mp ordinary bayer and xenon flash after all. What huawei does feels similar, 100.000s of iso, ultimate hdr and processing that makes 10mp with 16mp(in other phones) amount of detail with noise per pixel almost zero.
Other competitors are like dark, smudgy and noisy in comparison. Like nokia it got also sad fate of poor selling(despite different sold numbers).

  • Anonymous

The Great Phone Ever!!! :()

  • Anonymous

"It took six years for smartphone cameras to catch up to the Nokia 808 PureView"
The 808 didn't have OIS and also didn't have hardware pixel binning. Furthermore Google's HDR+ was able to nearly replace OIS with HDR+, which exists since 2013 and delivers outstanding results since at least the end of 2015. With HDR+ Google Nexus phones could capture more light than the Nokia 808 by combining up to ten 1/10s exposures in low light conditions. HDR+ was basically the first successful smartphone night mode.

Where is no Japanese tech is never true quality. Nokia would never had the privilege to be so well known in imaging department if Toshiba, Sharp nor Sony would help them in cellphone design. Memories are useless now...

  • Anonymous

Also keep in mind that whenever you look at an image in an app like for example Google photos, the image is obviously downsampled in real time as a Full HD display doesn't have so many pixels. So producing a downsampled jpg is actually unnecessary. It's the same effect as looking at an image from a higher distance. Downsampling is a totally different thing than hardware pixel binning (that's what Sony Quad Bayer sensors do).

  • Anonymous

"keep in mind that we’re talking about 1.4µm pixels here"
Keep in mind that talking about the pixel size is misleading. Rather keep in mind that a 2x crop of Nokia's 808 sensor only had 9.6 megapixels and that the sensor area of a 2x crop was 18.8mm². So in perfect light conditions a 2x crop captured less light than a 12 megapixel phone with 1.4 micrometer pixels, so it will have more photon noise. Furthermore as far as I know Nokia's lens wasn't sharp enough.

Anonymous, 17 Nov 2019"The original PureView phone still holds the record for the larg... moreYup!
(And that expanded to a thickness of about 23mm when the camera was open)

  • Rob

Wouldn't the largest phone image sensor go to the Panasonic CM1?

  • Anonymous

Anonymous, 17 Nov 2019"The original PureView phone still holds the record for the larg... morewhile true cm1 is more of a camera with phone function