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PureViewClub is open for 2 years! Send your shots, share your own Nokia imaging history

I suddenly realized I started the PureViewClub two years ago – in May it opened its doors. With this post (I admit it’s a bit late :-) I’m celebrating the club’s second “birthday” to so say. And I thought of what made me so crazy about Nokia’s PureView technology.

I remember the day I heard about the 41MP sensor – and my instant reaction that it must have been a typo in the press release. It seemed such a “giant step for mankind” after the 12MP on the Nokia N8 – 14MP simply seemed more logical.

But I learnt it wasn’t a typo and I was in shock… How was it possible nothing even ever leaked about this device, with imaging specifications that were no less than spectacular? Everyday I attended the Mobile World Congress that year, I’ve been going to the Nokia stand to admire the Nokia 808 PureView.

Why did that device make me fall more or less in love with it? The unheard-of, almost insane possibilities it offered I guess. I couldn’t care less it ran on the “classic” Symbian OS. At the Nokia stand on the MWC, I saw walls printed with one single shot from the 808 PureView – and the image was sharp!

Also, working for a radio station in daily life, the amazing sound quality in the Rich Recording demo absolutely blew me away.

The first social medium I used to promote the club was Twitter, and the first PureViewClub tweet (May 13 2012)was about the first video I shared on YouTube, my first full HD video report shot with the Nokia 808 PureView during the Mobile World Congress. You’ll hear me talking in Dutch since I didn’t think of an English site yet…

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Nokia Lumia 1520 versus Nokia Lumia 930

In this post you’ll find my translation of the review/comparison I just posted in The Netherlands for my Dutch site Smartpone-Review.nl. It’s becoming quite impossible to maintain that site next to what I do here at the PureViewClub, but sometimes it’s simply irresistable to write a review there – like when you’re the first to get your hands on the Nokia Lumia 930 :-)

People have been asking me to write a Lumia 930 review here at the club as well, so I decided to share the same comparison. It’s not as much about the PureView camera as you are used to read here (working on that one) – it’s a general comparison of both Lumia smartphones. Here we go, I hope you’ll enjoy it :-)

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Ladies and gentlemen… The Nokia Lumia 930: 20MP Carl Zeiss PureView in a great design!

It is exactly two years and five days ago that I was incredibly proud to write “ladies and gentlemen… we got him“. Back then, it was the first commercial sample of the Nokia 808 PureView – and I was the very first blogger on the planet (!) to get my hands on it.

This might be a bit less exclusive (lots has been written about the Lumia Icon already, which is basically the same device) and it’s “just” a prototype, but still, today I was extremely happy to receive the Nokia Lumia 930.

Being a prototype however, it still ran on Windows Phone 8, so I installed the Developers’ Preview to enjoy many of the benifits we may expect after Windows Phone 8.1 (Cyan) is officially released.

This post is about its design mainly. You’ll see it captured in close-up with the Nokia 808 PureView, alone and with his two important predecessors: the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520.

The 1020 has a more or less similar size but completely different hardware and design. The 1520 has a completely different design but very similar hardware.

Since I’m from the Netherlands, my contact thought it would be a nice idea to send me an orange version, which makes for a nice contrast with the yellow Lumia 1520.

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I’m not 100% sure about this, but you see the lens looks a lot smaller on the Lumia 930 than on the 1520. As far as I’ve been able to check, the specifications are exactly the same however: both have a 20 MP sensor, 4992 х 3744 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, optical image stabilization, autofocus and dual-LED flash.

Now the screen size is of course the most noticeble difference – and the difference between 5 inch and 6 inch is immense. Here’s a bigger picture with both PureView devices combined to get you an idea of the exact difference in size.

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See what I mean? Remember the Lumia 930 has the same full HD resolution as the Lumia 1520, so on its smaller 5 inch screen your content (shots, videos, apps) looks even sharper – in fact it’s 441 PPI, where the Lumia 1520 has 367 (which is still a joy to look at!).

Now even if just for fun let’s have a look at the three Lumia sensors before I start piling them up. Here’s the Lumia 1020, 1520 and 930. Most striking difference of course is the sensor size and the Xenon flash on the Lumia 1020, which both the 1520 and 930 must do without.

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The science behind PureView oversampling

This morning I was surprised by a fascinating post over at AllAboutSymbian about an International Image Sensor Workshop (IISW) by the International Image Sensor Society in Utah in June 2013. This society is is a Californian non-profit, public-benefit corporation (formerly ImageSensors, Inc.).

During this workshop, Juha Alakarhu, Head of Imaging technologies at Nokia/Microsoft Mobiles did a presentation about the science behind PureView. If you know how to understand stuff like this (it’s way over my hear), you can grab the complete paper by Nokia’s Juha Alakarhu, Samu Koskinen and Eero Tuulos here.

Steve Litchfield has quoted a bit from the paper in his post, and he adds some interesting things, one of which I’d like to quote here: “The Nokia 808 implemented all this algorithmic work in hardware, in a dedicated chip, with shot to shot times of much less than one second, while the later Lumia 1020 does it in software, using the phone’s main GPU – and is a lot slower (four seconds) as a result. However, it’s hoped that future 41MP PureView devices will be able to use much faster chipsets to bring the shot to shot time down to less than a second again.

On the site of the International Image Sensor Society, you’ll find this portrait of all people attending the workshop, as captured by the Nokia 808 PureView in full resolution (click on the shot to get the original but mind you it’s 12MB large).

2013 Group Photo Nokia808

Took me a few seconds to find Juha in this shot, so here’s the crop :-)

Juha Alakarhu in 2013 IISS Group Photo Nokia 808

via AllAboutSymbian

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The PureView Wish List – what would you like to see on your next PureView device? (UPDATED)

After the start of my new poll yesterday, here at the club but also on Facebook and Twitter I already received quite a few interesting reactions what you would like to see on your next PureView flagship.

So I decided to start this post, the PureView Wish List. Here, I’ll present the suggestions I receive from you, readers, probably the biggest Fans of PureView on the planet :-)

This list will be continuously updated: you might add your suggestion below as well, I’ll add them to this post later. I hope this will prove to be a source of inspiration for the Imaging Team that is now part of Microsoft Mobiles, the very same team that brought PureView to Nokia since the incredible Nokia 808.

I’ll put my first suggestions (from the poll) on top, so they won’t go unnoticed in this post :-)

- Bring back the 41MP sensor. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but hey, never hurts to keep promoting the ZoomReinvented thing and already it’s the option most voted for.

- Include a micro-SD slot (another no-brainer)

- Make it waterproof. Now this seems kind of funny for an imaging device, but I really think this has been a very strong USP from Sony for years and now that the Galaxy S5 offers the same it’s about time the next Lumia PureView will be waterproof as well. There are quite a few shots I couldn’t make outside fearing I’d damage my Lumia 1020.

808 + 1020 640 x 360

I completely rewrote what you’ve been adding up until now (49 responses so far!) and I’m really impressed with what you all came up with I must admit – I do hope the Imaging Team over at (now) Microsoft will take note of these suggestions, quite a few of these are very valuable I think!

I tried to make some sort of praticle division between the wishes for hardware and software etc, you’ll see it all below, enjoy! :-)

HARDWARE

Cameras
- Isocell BSI 41MP sensor (high ISO sensor)
- or: 20MP w/ 2/3″ sensor for bigger microns
- Big sensor but less pixels
- Larger or variable aperture
- Optical zoom
- ND filter
- Better macro capabilities
- Secondary sensor for macro shots
- Remote control using IR, RF or Bluetooth.
- Dual LED and Xenon flash
- Better front camera (8MP)
- Graphene sensor
- Lens cover
- Waterproof

Device
- Quadcore CPU
- 4GB RAM
- 5″ 1080p Display, Gorilla Glass
- OLED display with the Assertive display technology
- or: make it smaller but a bit thicker (for bigger sensor)
- 64 GB of internal memory
- 3000 or even 5000 mAh battery
- HDMI support
- USB OTG support
- USB 3
- 128GB micro-SD support
- Snapdragon 808 or 810 processor with 64bit support
- FM transmitter
- Better audio speakers
- Support for external audio cards
- Notification light

SOFTWARE

Photo
- Longer shutter speed (up to 30 secs minimum)
- Lower ISO
- Reduced shot to shot time
- Decent HDR capability
- Improve panorama / burst mode
- Improve the touchscreen interface (see Leica)
- In phone conversion of DNG to JPG
- Allow user to turn on/off OIS
- Bring back interval capture mode
- Dynamic focusing on moving objects
- Lock the screen in timelapse and video
- Bring back a “pro” camera application
- Add more resolutions (2MP, 3MP, 8MP)
- fast shortcut for delete, share and crop
- Add software button for aspect ratio (16:9 / 4:3 / 3:2)
- Add pro-mode editing function like photproc on 808
- Zooming in Raw .DNG image.

Video
- More settings in video mode while recording (flash on/off, manual focus, pause)
- Manual focus and flash control during video
- 120 fps video frame rate (for slow motion video)
- or: 60 FPS on 1080p, 90 FPS on 720p, 120 FPS on 360p 30 FPS on 4k
- Improve White Balance in video mode
- All imaging settings we have in photo’s in regard to exposure

Extras
- More accessories like filters, optical/telephoto lenses

Already there
- Rich / Directional recording
- 5.1 surround sound capture (coming to Cyan already in 1520 and 930)
- Xenon flash (on 1020, more powerful or with power control)

Wishful thinking
- 128GB internal memory
- Less noise at higher ISO
- Inbuilt stand for long exposure shots
- APK (android) support
- Move to android

Well, this is quite a Wish List, isn’t it?  I’ll even change the recent poll here soon, since it has become competely superfluous after all this.

Someone suggested to make the Raw. DNG format available on all PureView devices, but I’m not sure if it’s possible, nor if it would be very useful on the 920, 925 and 928. Although it’s not for a “next PureView device” I do think it’s a nice addition to this Wish List. I’m quite sure the 808 PureView will never see Raw .DNG however.

I’d appreciate you sharing more ideas below, but please do check the Wish List so far. I’ll add them if your ideas are not on the Wish List. As always, you’re free to react below anyway.

Thank you all so much for contibuting, I’ll make sure the Imaging Team will take note of this post!

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Poll: 89% vote for more controls for sharpness, contrast, brightness and saturation

I was reminded about the previous poll here at the club and yes, it’s been there for a while – it even mentions “Nokia Pro Cam”, so that shows how old it is (never bothered to change the title it seems). I wanted to wait for an epic number of voters before closing it – like 920, or even 1020 – but enough is enough.

By now 906 people chose whether or not they would like to see more controls in their Lumia PureView device for sharpness, contrast, brightness and saturation. You know, the kind of stuff we had (and most of us loved) in the Nokia 808 PureView.

Well, an overwhelming amount of Lumia owners would like to see more controls indeed: a whopping 89% to be exact. To 6% it doesn’t really matter, and 5% think it’s too complicated.

Poll Nokia Camera

Apart from renaming Nokia Pro Camera to Nokia Camera, not very much has changed as far as the user interface and settings are concerned. Lenses have been incorporated in the application, which is a good thing, but I would still like to see more controls myself.

As I would just love to see a simple button to change the aspect ratio of the shot quickly from 4:3 to 16:9 and vice versa… Already, Nokia Camera isn’t the fastest application and adding that simple button would make it quite a bit faster to use – for me at least.

So now it’s time for the next poll. Now that we’ve established most of use would like to see more controls in the Nokia Camera interface, the question is what you would like to see besides that in your next PureView flagship.

Should it bring back the 41MP sensor, should it have a micro-SD slot, or should it be waterproof? I won’t add “all of the above”, since that would be a bit too easy. I would like to know what matters most to you. If it’s something else, don’t hesitate to let me know in the reactions below :-) You’ll find the poll on the right hand side of this page.

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