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February 27, 2012

Megapixel Rage: 41-megapixel 1/1.2" Nokia camera-phone [update: 3 JPEG samples]

You think the new 18mp 1/2.3" Sony sensor has too many megapixels? Well, you will be thrilled to know that Nokia has just announced the Nokia 808 Pure View cameraphone at the Mobile World Congress. This has a 1/1.2" sensor and *drum roll* 41 megapixels in a 7728x5368 formation! As you may recall, Nokia teased this last week with an Image Quality theme.

UPDATE: Nokia has published sample pictures in a .ZIP file available towards the bottom of their blog-post (right above the comments) at the Nokia blog (via Photography Blog). It is a 32MB~ file hosted at the Amazon Cloud. As of 3:48pm NYC time, downloading of the samples is fast! There are three JPEG samples in the .ZIP file, all three of mountain-climbers. [IMAGE SAMPLES!] [NEW!]

It has a Zeiss-branded lens along with a less toyish on-board flash. The lens has a 8.02mm native focal length (28mm eq in 4:3 or 26mm eq in 16:9) with a respectable f2.4, with five elements in one group, all aspherical, with one high-index. Focus is 15cm (6 inches) to infinity. Mechanical shutter with neutral density filter.

The smartphone has a fixed local length lens but they are using the larger sensor size to create digital zoom. Nokia promises 3x lossless zoom for stills and 4x for 1080p video. It is explained in this Nokia whitepaper (PDF file). The PDF whitepaper confirms this is a 1/1.2" sensor with 1.75 micron pixels.

Engadget has a couple of hands-on videos with this megapixelphone! The first video is a quick 2-minute video followed by a 7-minute video [if you have Flashblock enabled, it may interfere with the video playback]

Read more about it at Pop Photo, et al. There is never-ending coverage of this at various tech-blogs, organized at Techmeme. UPDATE: The background story on the development of this camera-phone is published at All Things Digital.

On Sensor Size
A 1/1.2" sensor is larger than the sensors found in popular compacts with RAW such as the Canon S100, Panasonic LX5, Nikon Coolpix P7100, Ricoh GRD IV, and such, which are typically in the 1/1.6" to 1/1.7" range. The Nokia 808 sensor is slightly smaller than the sensor used in the Nikon 1-inch CX mirrorless system. When the actual numbers are factored in (as opposed to the rounded numbers) they may be even closer, since the Nikon CX is slightly smaller than 1".

For a refresher on sensor sizes and the anachronistic sensor size 1/notation, check dpreview and Wackypedia.

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