Friday, 20 April 2012

808 Pureview - further peeping

I wrote earlier a few quick thoughts about The Nokia 808.

One of the things which interested me was I wanted to see what the full res pictures would be like. Not because I want 39Megapixels from any camera but because if you're going to digital zoom it means cropping the image down to size. On a full wide angle image it would just be a reduction technique which (reading that they are using some intelligent pixel binning techniques) would result in quite good images.

So beside this image on the Nokia Photostream ..

The next image in their stream was this one ...

Which looks like an original full size and a 5Mpixel digital zoom version.

To support this supposition, the first image's size of the available 'original' was 7152 x 5368 Pixels (38.39 MPixels). So in all likelihood, this is an original full size image. I don't know, but it seems reasonable. Given that they don't say much its easier for them to deny any criticism.

I'll assume it it a full res version.

I know that it doesn't say "this is a sample of the digital zoom", but I get the feeling that it is. Things like the 'zoomed' shot is 5Mpixels (which is the claimed output 2592 x 1944 = 5.04 MPixels) and the obvious aspect that one is 'zoomed in tighter'. Links to these on Flickr are here: original and digizoomed.

A quick glance shows that they are not the same shot, but two shots from different angles.So playing with the full shot in photoshop reveals some interesting things:
  • clearly the shots are from a different angle and perhaps even a different place (even a bit closer). This could make the 'zoomed' image look better.
  • colour balance is a bit different: but as they have different cameras on the shoot and are stated as being pre-production that further explains the differences (btw I tried to alter the colour balance a bit to get skin tones to match, but the sky didn't)
  • If this is a digital zoomed images then the results are spectacular
Now, lets look at the full sized image cropped and then adjusted in Photoshop to get the same size as the 100% view of their (I assume) digitally zoomed image. On the left is digitally zoomed by me in photoshop and image on the right is their digitally zoomed shot (click to load larger image)

The above screen grab of viewing at 100% shows both as being very clean. I'd have no issues in getting A4 prints from either of them!

Very interesting stuff.

BTW, if you're happening to wonder why you'd be after such a good digital zoom, the answer in a nutshell is:
  • the most fragile part of a digicam is the zoom when its extended. Bringing that in and out is both noisy and takes time and makes the camera vulnerable if you drop it.
  • the noise control methods you use to make the zoom work will also work in helping you get great HIGH ISO images out of the camera on wider angles
  • it is likely to make the camera cheaper to make (and you to buy)
  • even with 10cm close focus its likely to give shit hot macro

So hopefully Nokia can pull the rest of the phone together, in which case I reckon they'll have an iPhone contender!

Fingers Crossed for Finland


Sami said...

" which case I reckon they'll have an iPhone contender"

If it didn't run Symbian, maybe.

obakesan said...


you raise an interesting point. I am uncertain how well the OS really drives the market, but from where I sit both iOS and Symbian are good reliable OS's.

Certainly from the public perception (and perhaps less from the telco one) iPhone is more iconic right now. Certainly from many perspectives iPhone does a lot of things better (than almost anything).

Symbian on the other hand with its new incarnations could easily be quite a match for iPhone if:
* they stop releasing things with bugs
* win over more developers (and I'm not sure QT is doing that)
* (speculation now) focus on security and privacy more.

I'm a little unimpressed with iPhone and Android for that last point.

Thanks for your thoughts

Sami said...

Purely from a functional OS point of view, Symbian is not bad - it's efficient with regards to battery life, did multitasking way before the others did etc. However, the development tree of Symbian was and is a royal mess and a huge pain. There is simply too much legacy code for it to be reworked into anything nimble and it'd be much easier to just start from scratch.

Another big problem with Symbian is that the apps ecosystem - which DOES drive device market share - is lacking. There are plenty of apps for sure, but 95% of the popular new apps target iOS and Android (in that order), then maybe Windows Phone and the others rarely, if ever.

Also, with Nokia publicly stating that Symbian is a dying breed it might be too late to even try to change that. It's still selling devices, but the future developments and prospects are not looking good, to put it mildly.

Charles Maclauchlan said...

I think Sami is correct. Steve Jobs originally announced the iPhone as having a "pretty good camera." (faint praise) That's still true. The lens system and the imaging chip have each gotten much better but it's still just "pretty good." It's probably not unfair to describe the phone part the same way.

The genius of this device is the Apps. It's the Apps. It's the Apps. The rest just doesn't matter as much. Nokia built and still builds a darn good phone with a darn good phone OS. All of my cell phones were Nokia 'till the iPhone. I was extremely comfortable with the hardware and with Sybian. That being said's still the Apps.

iPhone photography is incredible. It has become probably 90%+ of my work. As a discipline it's still infant and getting better. Frankly not much of it has to do with more does have to do with the Apps though...just in case I forgot to mention that.

Presently as far as Apps go the iPhone is in first place. There is no second place and perhaps no third place either (it's that far ahead) then Android. After that I think the field is closed. I hope for a dynamic, competitive head to head race. Competition would be good for the consumer. I hope Nokia can become a player but I don't see hardware as making that happen.

obakesan said...


re: There is simply too much legacy code for it to be reworked into anything nimble and it'd be much easier to just start from scratch.

while I don't know it strikes me as strange that both Andorid and iOS are stemmed from an OS which is ancient *UNIX*. So just that thought makes me think "it can't be too difficult to straighten out ...

perhaps it is?

I'm certainly not in any position to make statements about that.

obakesan said...


well actually I reckon that my 2009 model E72 has the edge over an iPhone (even the 4s) and that the latest Nokias have even more over the iPhones.

Certainly though its about the apps ... I feel like a straight guy at a MardiGras and wondering what all the fuss is about as I just don't see any apps which turn me on that much.

I mean heck I'd rather edit on a tablet or a real PC ... but then stuff like instagram shows that heaps of people like to do otherwise.

Perhaps I'm just not on the transient bandwagon yet and still think of permanence and archiving.

obakesan said...

and gosh I really didn't want this to turn into an iPhone vs Nokia thread.


obakesan said...

and Charles ... I think Sami is quite likely to be right too

Charles Maclauchlan said...

I do understand what you say, and a lot of it is in the doing I suppose. The idea of Apps has grown as they've grown up. Many are really quite sophisticated imaging programs. As they grew into iPad Apps (for a couple $ more) they added features and then they evolved into desktop Apps (for a couple $ more) and added an entire other range of sophistication. Then most of the additions are migrated down to the iPhone Apps. I reckon that for about $40 I can do everything I once did with Photoshop (actually more) and the upgrades are free. The result is that I now transfer my film scans, and any images from a "real" camera onto the iPad and process them there...easier than PS and in my opinion a superior result. That I can do the same things on my iPhone is quite amazing. That's why I contend that hardware capabilities or extra pixels really are quite irrelevant.

I also have to add that the characters I need to type in order to respond on your site are really almost impossible to decipher

obakesan said...

>The result is that I now transfer my film scans,
>and any images from a "real" camera onto the iPad and
>process them there...easier than PS and in my opinion
>a superior result.

actually the tablet thing has got me quite interested. A brief fling with an Android phone turned me off, but what I see us doing at my work with iPads and tablets (thinking Samsung Tab 7 or 10 there) is very attractive.

I'm quite OK on editing on this screen size and format ... phones remain just a wee bit teeny for my preference. They are however great picture display items ... which is great.

>I also have to add that the characters I need to type in order
>to respond on your site are really almost impossible to decipher

yeah, Its annoying for all blogger sites. I look at a blog by colin griffiths (who comments here from time to time) and its the same there.

Annoying and to my knowledge nothing I can do about it.

Right now its raining and I should be out cycling ... but I'm not


Charles Maclauchlan said...

I think that Samsung makes a lot of the components used in the iPad (and also the iPhone), I have always found samsung products to be top shelf.

That being said's still the Apps. In my opinion you will make a mistake to overlook the iPad. (yup...I know...everyone has an opinion). For example an App called Snapseed. It followed the path I mentioned from iPhone up through iPad to desktop. They made major changes this week adding features, free upgrades, migrating them through all 3 versions. Snapseed is made by NIK software (the folks who make the brilliant B&W desktop software). It really is an incredible App.

Snapseed is offered for the iPhone, iPad and MAC desktop. Android version "Available soon." Perhaps

I know there's nothing you can do about the incomprehensible letters we need to type, thus proving we're not a robot. I just needed to bust someone's stones and you were close to speak. :-)

obakesan said...


we fairly exclusively develop all our 'mobile' apps at my work for iPad and iPhone. So I think its fair to say my first choice of what to look at would be the iPad. In fact I have looked at it a little already.

I agree its an impressive tool with good software choices and integrates well with Mac and iPhone.

That said I do not wish to restrict myself to what I already see, and so I don't wish to ignore the others, so I'll also examine the other tablets.

One thing I'll say is that unless the iPad 3 is a huge step forwards the camera on it is ... well embarrassing really.

Sami said...

What comes to legacy code in the OS, Symbian has been developed for too long in too fragmented a fashion. Let's just say that I've seen the source code and touching it is just about the last thing I'd want to do.

The challenge with apps is also that if you find a really useful special-purpose app that you love that's only available on one platform (most likely the iOS), that alone is enough to keep you from going elsewhere.

I don't use a lot of apps, but I have enough to significantly increase the friction of moving to another platform - meaning for the foreseeable future I won't.

Having said that, it's not _all_ about the apps. You need to have pretty good underlying hardware as well.

Anonymous said...

I like how you can read his name that's written in texta on his shoe in the 38MP photo. And that if you zoom in behind his head you can see the white dot of a planet. Impressive photo.

obakesan said...

re: shoe texta

Damn straight!! Its a competitive camera with a phone attached!