Meanwhile at MWC 2019: Nokia launches the '9 PureView'
Rafe's over at MWC, though you don't have to wait for his comments to know that there is a new 'PureView' device released, exactly seven years after the Nokia 808 and six years after the Lumia 1020 - and from the new Nokia, run by HMD Global. Consider this the latest phase of the original PureView if you will, but the only real link other than the use of ZEISS lenses is that there's lots of computational photography going on.
Here's Nokia's promo video for the Nokia 9 PureView tech. It's a little short and frothy, but hey, you'll get the gist:
For a real world hands-on, if rather brief (journalists were only allowed half an hour or so solo-time with the device, I gather), here's long time Lumia 1020 fan Jaime Rivera:
Essentially then, we're talking about merging up to five simultaneous 12MP shots to produce purer images in low light, and with the facility to refocus after the fact, thanks to the preservation of all the intermediate images from the spatially separate lenses. The imaging know-how isn't in-house, this time, rather it's bought in from Light, which specialises in imaging arrays.
Which is all fine, except that there has been no mention of zoom. The original Nokia 808 PureView was conceived around the idea of a solid state lossless zoom (though the 'PureView' bit was a reference to the way images could be made 'purer' by oversampling the - then - giant 41MP sensor) and I can't help but wonder whether a hybrid lossless zoom should be possible with the Nokia 9, thanks to the five separate images and tons of processing power. After all, they'll each take a slightly different view and you'd have thought that digital zoom results could be combined and refined in some way?
With smartphone flagships all now having 2x optical zoom as a minimum, sometimes 3x, and often up to 5x hybrid lossless zoom (e.g. Huawei Mate 20 Pro), plus wide angle lenses, to have just a 'plain frame' approach seems a bit limiting, surely, however 'pure'?
There's also no sign of OIS, ruling out longer exposures in low light, though with all the data gathered in multiple shorter exposures, maybe OIS isn't needed here?
Anyway, this runs Android, of course, but it's 'pure' Android One and free of bloat and extras, making this, once it's released, perhaps a great way onto the platform for the imaging enthusiast?
Published by Steve Litchfield at 20:58 UTC, February 24th