The Nokia 808 PureView surprised the world in early 2012 with its insane 41MP sensor. Weve lined the megapixel wars earlier than lengthy story brief, earlier than the 808 confirmed up, the best decision smartphone sensor was 13MP. The 41MP decision wouldnt be surpassed till late final 12 months (Nokias personal Lumia 1020 matched the decision, however thats not the entire story).
The unique PureView telephone nonetheless holds the report for the most important picture sensor ever at 1/1.2. For comparability, the 108MP Samsung ISOCELL Shiny HMX sensor is 1/1.33 and the Lumia 1020 had a 1/1.5 sensor. PureViews pixels have been suitably giant too 1.4µm in comparison with zero.8µm for the present model of 48MP, 64MP and 108MP sensors.
Its not simply the megapixel rely that made the Nokia 808 really a glimpse of the longer term. It used pixel binning to supply 5MP or 8MP pictures by default, combining a number of sensor pixels into one picture pixels (and growing the picture high quality within the course of).
Right nows excessive decision sensors additionally lean on pixel binning to spice up their picture high quality (and so they want it too with these tiny pixels). Word that these are completely Quad Bayer/Tetracell sensors whereas the Nokia used a conventional Bayer filter that means it colleced extra shade infomration.
This was important for the lossless digital zoom, one other function forward of its time. With no zoom utilized, 7 sensor pixels have been mixed into 1 picture pixel, leading to a 5MP photograph. While you begin zooming, fewer and fewer pixels are mixed till its 1:1 a 5MP crop from the entire sensor.
Nonetheless, needless to say were speaking about 1.4µm pixels right here (as giant as these on the iPhone 11 Professional). Additionally, the crop got here from the middle of the sensor the place the optics present the sharpest picture.
The end result was great-quality 3x zoom for 5MP images and 4x for 1080p movies. One other fascinating bit in regards to the picture sensor is that as an alternative of being optimized for both four:three or 16:9 facet ratios it sat between the 2, that means it labored equally nicely for images and movies.
Nokia additionally claimed superior picture rendering. Say you may have an 8MP sensor with a Bayer filter. This implies the uncooked output is four million inexperienced pixels, 2 million purple and a pair of million blue pixels. For the ultimate output, every pixel must be interpolated to RGB utilizing knowledge from its neighbours. And in pixel binning mode on the PureView every pixel was computed from true RGB knowledge.
Word that Quad Bayer filters dont resolve this problem as 4 pixels share the identical shade filter, so interpolation remains to be required.
Nokia was additionally intelligent in the way it processed the uncooked knowledge to create the 5MP last picture. It labored non-destructively (saving the total sensor output), permitting you to zoom in or out and even reframe the shot after it has been taken with no loss in high quality.
Again within the day, Chipworks disassembled the telephone and located the Toshiba HES9 CMOS sensor. Right heres the way it compares to the Sony IMX145 the 8MP sensor of the Galaxy S III and iPhone 4S. By the best way, Sony purchased Toshibas picture sensor enterprise in 2015 for $155 million.
Chipworks additionally discovered a Broadcom BCM2763 picture processor. Nonetheless, that chip topped out at 20MP. Particulars are sparse, nevertheless it appears to be like like Nokia used on-chip picture processing (dealing with 1 billion pixels per second) earlier than sending it to the Broadcom chip. The 1.3GHz single-core ARM processor actually couldnt deal with such a load, so this was actually a bespoke answer.
The digicam featured a vibrant for its time f/2.four aperture and an ND filter to cut back gentle in vibrant scenes (in lieu of a changeable aperture). The shutter was mechanical, snapping shut in simply zero.09 seconds and stopping the rolling shutter or jello impact.
It wasnt simply imaging, movies recorded with the PureView had audio that would rival semi-pro . Nokia Wealthy Recording captured sound from 25Hz to 19kHz and will simply deal with loudness as much as 145dB with out distortion one thing that grew to become very evident if you attempt to report a video at a live performance or different equally noisy venue. The PureView simply blew different telephones away.
It took six years for smartphone cameras to catch as much as the Nokia 808 PureView. The brand new fashions are undoubtedly higher with new methods like one-shot HDR and picture stacking, enabled by the a lot sooner picture processors. Nonetheless, the 808 appears like a time traveler, it was simply so totally different from the rest round it. We’ll depart you with digicam samples from our review.