NokConv: “PureView: There’s more still to come”

| January 10, 2013 | 75 Replies



Nokia Conversations put up an exciting post titled “PureView: There’s more still to come”, where they have an interview with Juha Alakarhu, the head of imaging at Nokia. He doesn’t give anything away (they never do!) except that they still have things to bring to the market.

What could they bring? A blend of 808 and Lumia 920?

It’s basically about problem solving, Juha explains. “Nokia 808 PureView solved the problem of zooming and sharpness, and for Nokia Lumia 920, it was low light.

What other problems are there that they are yet to solve?

Source: Nokia Conversations


Category: Nokia

About the Author ()

Hi! My name is Michael. Like the others, I'm also a Student, living here in Sydney. I have a real passion for the latest technology and I'm a real Nokia buff! My aim is to keep those of you, like myself, updated with the latest in what's going on in the Nokia World. Currently sporting N9 & Lumia 820, with other Nokia devices in my posession. Get in touch on Twitter via @MFaroTusino, Google Plus or even simply drop me an email at mike.mnb[at] or tips[at]
  • rstyle


    • WhiteAdy

      That would be awesome! An augmented reality first-person shooter game that “shoots” enemies with pointed lasers is definitely something worthy to named “Pureview 3”!

      • ravo

        I don’t think that he meant first person shooter but frames per second:D

      • richard

        I think Ravo is right.

        • WhiteAdy

          I think you guys are really clever^^

  • brio

    i think it will be with infrared

  • Peter L

    This paragraph was interesting:

    “Asked if there’s one major problem he would like to solve in the years ahead, Juha takes his time before answering. “I’d love to make it super easy to get great photos every single time,” he tells us. “You should be able to give your phone to a 3-year old and still capture amazing photos, like with a big DSLR camera.”

    For some reason this made me think about EDoF cameras.

    • Banderpop

      I wouldn’t mind a 41MP EDoF camera at all. Focusing takes time and can go wrong, and PureView phase 1’s zooming ability would help compensate for macro shots. Plus without a focus mechanism, the camera module could be smaller, or upgraded further (like adding OIS), and there is some potential for adding depth of field effects in software.

      I recently had to take a photo of a password written on a wi-fi router with my 808, but the router was close to the ceiling, so I couldn’t get near it without getting a ladder. The 808 did the job though, with zooming in. A previous attempt with an iPhone 5 failed completely, and the password wasn’t readable to the naked eye either. A readable photo of a business card taken from a metre away is within the 808’s ability.

      Unfortunately, while practical, EDoF is a difficult thing to market, and not supported by Windows Phone anyway.

      • mirco

        “EDoF is (…) not supported by Windows Phone anyway.”

        That’s not true anymore. Check the Lumia 505 which runs WP7.5/7.8 and has no auto focus.

        However, while the results of EDoF are promissing the market doesn’t like it at all.

        • Banderpop

          That’s good to know about WP. I’m glad it’s becoming more flexible bit by bit.

  • KT

    I would love the lumia 920 successor to have

    *24 megapixel sensor
    *dual XENON flash
    *lossless zoom
    *3x optical zoom.

  • Werner Ruotsalainen

    Please give us a WP8 device with the camera of the 808 with OIS.

    • Anastasios-Antonios Toulkeridis


  • Paul

    I would like this too, but to me it sounds like something different.

  • Paul Grenfell

    Take too long for me, will just keep my 808 and get the Sony Z as the second least for the meantime.

    • miki69

      My thoughts exactly! After N8, I have bought Xperia T, had it for a week and replaced it with 808. Xperia Z – I would like to keep.


  • Yialun7

    As usual. There is always “more to come”, “things to bring to the market”, blabla. And then what comes out ? Blurry-canson-paper-pixelated-920 “PreView”. Come on, guys, how come you can’t manage to take clean pictures with such a thick body ?

    I want Nokia to tell us clearly what is the problem :
    – Is it the lens ?
    – Is it the sensor ?
    – Is it the software (WP8 or Nokia side) ?
    – Is it the post-treatment ?

    Pictures in daiylight aren’t very good, we know it, but I would know why. I don’t care if they aren’t good as long as I know why.

    Remember EDoF ? It was supposed to be the “future” of imaging, blabla. We weren’t able to take macro shots nor getting depth of field, come on.

    • Keith too

      I don’t remember what update it was but that was fixed already.

      • Yello920

        Yes, but even after the update is appears there’s a decent amount of noise filtering/smoothing, followed by digital sharpening… it’s certainly not a touch on the N8, and imo, behind the iPhone 5 which seems to have more reliable metering and sharpness (but no OIS). For me it’s just about workable the L920, but far from ideal.

  • viktor von d.

    i’m guessing they are starting the hype for mwc or a event soon after to launch the new pureview’s about time, a year has passed.

    i wonder how hard will the tech blogs bash nokia this time when they announce a new imaging technology?they did it for the 808, they did it for the 920 even if it was without merit. all doubts and trolling.and then months later forced to aknowledge nokia tech

  • burningBits

    Here comes PureView 3. Wonder what they’ll try to solve next. No way they’ll release a PureView 1 + 2 yet. It’ll just cannibalize the sales of their precious 920. EDoF version 3 anyone?

    • Paul Grenfell

      4.5″ 808

  • GS65

    A problem in all cameras I have including Eos 5d MarkII and Lumia 920 is autofocus in darkness. It doesn’t matter if the light is enough if it’s out of focus!

  • StefanP

    The camera is besides the design and build quality one of the view plus points of Nokia’s current flagship device. They have to fuel the camera hype and use their pole position. The first quarter will be tough with Sailfish, BB10 and Ubuntu adding choices for people tired of the existing iOS and Android sauce.
    I discover almost daily missing features on my 920, which exist on most other devices, especially Nokia’s pre WP devices and Androids.
    I have absolutely no control over my data volume, which is quite risky while roaming abroad (just returned from a short vacation). How can they omit data volume counters? My collegue’s Android has a super cool view of the used data volume of every single app! MS still does not think mobile, only desktop.
    So, yeah, a super good camera ist the least Nokia must add to sweaten the WP devices.

    • Paul Grenfell

      Tyical with nokia, introduce features with one model, then take it away with the next..They are yet to produce one phone with it all. The 808 was the closest yet.

    • mirco

      Nokia offers a quite good counter for WP as a free App. Simply check the Nokia collection at the marketplace.

      For me, it is actually vice versa… with WP I found many things where Symbian lagged or was too complicated. I like Microsofts approach but everybody has different whishes. One should respect that…

      • StefanP

        Can you point me to that counter app, I could not find it? I heard that there was a counter for WP7, but none yet for WP8.
        WP8 is certainly very fluid. The UI is debatable, but I think there are many (too many) feature gaps.

        • viktor von d.

          a lot of bugs in wp8 so far. these dudes really worked till the last possible moment on the internals and still didn’t finished the job. i expect some new features however this year, once they fix all the bugs and have time to work on the other stuff.the notification center is a great example of that.

          by the way, doesn’t data sense work on international phones?or they need carrier approval everywhere for that app?

          • StefanP

            Thanks, yes, “data sense” was the keyword, heard this somewhere before. Obviously this needs operator support. At least its not available for me.
            A lot to do on WP8. I have doubts that they manage it fast enough. Wasn’t the notification center expected with the portico update? How many years do they work already on mobile OS? Jolla will present something more complete, I am sure. Of course they did not start from zero. But MS had much more time and budget.

            • Viipottaja

              No it wasn’t expected with Portico. All MS has said (in a single tweet, mind you) is that they are working on it.

        • mirco

          Oh, maybe it is really not yet available for WP8 then 🙁

    • viktor von d.

      ”The first quarter will be tough with Sailfish, BB10 and Ubuntu adding choices for people tired of the existing iOS and Android sauce”

      sailfish doesn’t even have a phone yet, and when it will launch they will probably concentrate more on china then the rest of the world. anyway i don’t see it happening this year

      bb10 will only have the touchscreen phone at first, then the qwerty one. so judging by date of phone releases and time till they are fully deployed i’d say they will pose a problem in q3

      ubuntu? they don’t have any plans for this year. most likely we will see devices running the os from oems next year at ces or mwc and even then it will be hard for them to get notice.only tech entusiasts are following it right now( and i don’t mean this as an insult, i think ubuntu os is great as has a lot of potential).

      so no, the first quarter will be bussiness as usual for nokia, the 2n aswell. the real competitors for now are all the androids with 5 inch full hd screens.the s4 will launch in q2, whatever htc has, the sony phones are wonderfull.

      next year however,and then the next one will be very hard for nokia however if they don’t succeed by then to elevate wp and their marketshare. cause by then bb10 will be available in full force with rim having a full lineup of devices. ubuntu will probably come together pretty nicely and have a few oems to suport it.tizen and sailfish on the other hand i don’t see them surviving in the next 2 years. one of them probably had the chance to make it, but the news about the ubuntu os, imo just cancelled most of the shots of these 2 os’es.(i’m not talking here about how good one os is over the other, it’s just how much support they will get from the community,what carriers will stand behind them,what oems, what supliers)

      • mirco

        Where do all of you get the strong believe that those competitors are a threat for WP? Even if they were the best invention since sliced bread, they will need years to gain traction.
        Jolla? Nobody out there knows about them and they have to prove that they can deliver. Ubuntu? As you say, mostly entusiasts follow it and then (just like Jolla) they have to show that it really gives an advantage to the customer. (…and we should not leave aside that Ubuntu is bashed for Unity by many Linux geeks).
        Finally Blackberry with BB10… it is very strange to me to believe that they can overtake WP like if it was nothing… Also, it is delayed and delayed and delayed (reminds me very much on the old Symbian/MeeGo-Nokia). RIM also lost quite some mindshare and the situation of Nokia shows how hard it is to gain it back. Now, 2 years after breaking with their history they start recovering in terms of mindshare. Maybe I’m to pessimistic there but I also cannot believe that companies like RIM or Nokia could be able to compete with Apple, Microsoft or Google when it comes to software. The three are simply to big and an OS together with a ecosystem is very complex to manage.

        I would not bet on one of those three. Just because they are based on Linux doesn’t guarantee quality or success…

  • B.Srikanth

    What else you have guys?
    PV, Low Light, 41MP, Motion HD….\

    Something that no others can do.

    Anything equal to human eye?

  • mirco

    I’m not sure if PureView3 will be basically a 808 type of a camera plus OIS. The OIS of the 920 moves the whole camera assembly but the one of the 808 would be much heavier. Things would get more complicated in this case. Also Nokia often failed to unite all of their top features in one device.

    However, there are more fields where they could improve. Dynamic range is one area where even the 808 needs dramatic improvement. Maybe the really need a real variable apperture.

    • javier

      my bet is on dynamic range (i´d love a fuji style sensor) or plenoptic camera – Toshiba manufactures the 808 sensor and they recently announced a 1cm3 plenoptic lens tjat would nicely match s 41mp sensor 🙂

      • dss

        Do you have a link with a bit more info on that Toshiba tech ?

    • monkeyandweasel

      HDR shooting mode gets my vote for Pureview 3 – though someone mentioned that we may be getting an app for that on the 808 soon.

  • Grendell

    WP8 or Sailfish/ Meego OS with Harmattan UI, lumia 920 body with16:9 screen, N8 level photography with no bump, 808 hardware functionality, video codecs and sound recording and I’d be an extremely happy fan!

  • Kjetil

    I would buy a Nokia Windows Phone when the camera is as good as on my N8

    • stevebarker66

      …whereas I would still be using my N8 if it had a UX as good as my Lumia 800…

      • Just Visiting

        ^This x 100!

        I kept my N8 default at 16:9 (9MP), so using my Lumia 900 for the past few weeks isn’t jarring at all with regards to photo quality.

        WP7.5 more than makes up for delta in photo quality (between my N8 and Lumia 900), as far as I’m concerned.

        Very happy with my Lumia 900 and I am looking forward to the next Pureview iteration in Windows Phone:)

        • Grendell

          But isnt that like being happy with a Civic because you didn’t use your Ferrari past 2nd gear?

        • Pawlee

          You do realise that on the Nokia N8 that 16:9 was just 4:3 (12mp) but with 1.5mp chopped off the top and bottom?

          It’s not like the Lumia 800 onwards where 16:9 uses extra sensor width and 4:3 uses extra sensor height.


    you can measure success with actual product sales figures,
    you can also measure it by the level of hype and anticipation for certain types of technology in future products,

    i think nokia is starting to achieve that kind of success with it’s PureView brand name,
    PV has been demonstrated, compared, discussed and commented on in most consumer electronics websites and tech blogs, PV1 and PV2 devices are used as benchmarks more often.

    who talks about the retina display brand anymore, that brand name turned out to be a limited marketing name, after all it is just about the minimum number of pixels required to be called a retina display and the 920’s display has already surpassed it.

    but what the PureView brand name represents, camera/video, can be discussed about endlessly, allot more technology can be applied to cameras, making the PV brand relevant for many years to come,

    before people would measure the abilities of camera phones by quoting the megapixel number, but now its starting to be measured by it’s pureview technology.

    • stevebarker66

      I think I see what you’re saying, but PureView is a brand, whereas Retia display was (is) more of a standard like 720p or 1080p.

      The PureView name could be applied to ever-improving camera tech on mobiles for years to come, whereas Retina Display was efectively a standard now frozen in time and, as you say, outdated and outclassed by competitors.

  • Blackidea

    A pureview which have timeshift ability like bb10 is welcome to me…

  • StefanP

    Off topic: There was just a sudden hike on the Nokia stock, from 2.90 to 3.45 Euro within 30 min! There must have been some important news (or rumour) circulating. Does anyone know?

    • Janne

      Nokia issued a positive profits warning and a return to profitability for Devices & Services unit.

      • StefanP


  • Lumikola

    Nokia has just annnounced that Q4 results will be better than expected.

    14 millions Lumia and Ashas combined, says Elop.

    • Lumikola

      They were 9 million Ashas and 5 million Lumias.

      • Janne

        Here is the exact breakdown:

        Total smartphone volumes of 15.9 million units composed of 9.3 million Asha full touch smartphones, 4.4 million Lumia smartphones and 2.2 million Symbian smartphones.

        Some pointers: Lumia sales up from Q2 and Q3, best ever. Lumia sales 1.76 times Tomi Ahonen estimate of 2.5 million. HOWEVER, 4.4 million Lumia sales is clearly peanuts. They say it exceeded expectations (they can’t lie about such stuff on stock market papers) meaning old Lumia probably sold better than expected, since they probably knew exactly how many WP8 Lumias they were able to make (very few it seems!).

        We’ll analyze the numbers more later…

        • Lumikola

          If they made only 4,4 million Lumias and sold all of them, I think its exceeding expectations. 😉

          • Janne

            Well, 4.4 million is upwards for Lumia at least. And the results otherwise are fantastic news as Viipottaja says. BUT, there is no healthy upwards trajectory for Lumia, there is just barely an upwards trajectory.

            And the guidance for Q1 is still so so. We’ll see what the full results say on January 24th (and the conference call today and 24th say) to make some conclusions. I’m especially interested in learning more about supply constraints, if possible.

            • Lumikola

              Nokia has reduced its production cabability a lot lately. So, is this 4,4 million result of low demand or short supply?

              • Viipottaja

                Both, weight depending on market. Globally speaking though, I think its more about short supply and being in the market only a part of the quarter.

                Will be interesting to hear if Nokia sheds any more light on this during the call today.

        • Viipottaja

          I think they say it exceeded expectations financially/profitability wise, not so much volume. Which is good news too, but volume is low – I guess in big part due to late launch and low supply of WP8 Lumias.

          Q1 outlook does not look very good…

          • Lumikola

            I dont know how many Lumia 920 could Nokia have delivered even if they wanted to?

            Limited geographical release and shortages in supply hints that they werent even prepared to sell much more, YET(!). China and India have only just been released and some areas are still waiting I think.

            • Viipottaja

              True. At the same time, if they _had been able (and willing) to_ (also bearing in mind the investment needed to ramp production up or down, component supplies, portfolio/device/market/carrier timing, margin management (e.g. 920 vs 820 price points relative to BoQ) etc. etc.) supply more to certain markets, they could have sold somewhat more (how much, who knows).

        • Ere oli aliarvostettu

          Yes, it seems that Tomi Ahonen failed miserably with his forecast of 2,5 million Lumia phones sold in Q4 2012.

      • Viipottaja

        FANTASTIC news on the results, somewhat disappointing Lumia number – I had personally hoped for 6 million. Damned 920 supplies..

        • Viipottaja
          • correct

            I’m very surprised with the lower than expected Lumia volumes. The Asha sales were amazing though!

            Also a very pleasant surprise is the positive profit warning for Devices and Services division.

            So even though lower volume of Lumias sold than expected, they managed to make a profit.

            Also the Q1 2013 outlook makes no sense. Are they expecting to “exceed” expectations again? Now in Q1 the 920 will see much more expanded carrier and country availability, and the 620 will be available in many markets, so why such a low outlook in Q1 they gave? Unless they are very limited for production volumes on Lumias, which also doesn’t make sense.

            • StefanP

              Nokia expects its non-IFRS Devices & Services operating margin in the first quarter 2013 to be approximately negative 2 percent, plus or minus four percentage points. This outlook is based on Nokia’s expectations regarding a number of factors, including:
              – competitive industry dynamics continuing to negatively affect the Smart Devices and Mobile Phones business units;
              – the first quarter being a seasonally weak quarter;
              – consumer demand, particularly for our Lumia and Asha smartphones;

              Consumer demand for Lumias is seen as having a negative impact on the Q1 results?? Do I understand this correctly? I thought the huge demand could not be satisfied in Q4 and thus there should be a backlog. Or is the demand already decreasing?

              • Viipottaja

                They are factors impacting the expectations. So, at least in principle seasonality would tend to, say, decrease the volume by 10% QoQ. However, positive consumer demand for Nokia products could help reduce the decrease to say 6%.

                Also, note the “plus or minus 4%”. So doing as well as this quarter (i.e. positive 2%) would still be withing guidance..

                I gather a factor is also that Symbian will fade even more – there is still 2.2 million devices “less to be sold”. 🙁

      • Just Visiting

        I think that the Lumia numbers are good, especially considering supply shortages, and the late launch of the WP8 devices (by late, I mean not being able to take advantage of the month of October 2012).

        Well, I purchased one new Lumia 900 in November, and one new Lumia 900 last week. That’ll do it (for now) 🙂

  • tasos13

    of course a blend….he implies it;)hehe

  • reptile

    Maybe 4K? :D:D:D

  • D Harries

    Well it could be some new sort of HDR, but with out all the layering that makes traditional HDR look surreal

    • mirco

      The dynamic range of HDR on mobile phones is seldom close to the dynamic range of a good dedicated camera (especially when using RAW file-format). With a good dynamic range nobody would ask for HDR anymore (well, at least not for a non-artistic purpose).

  • 1″ 50MP sensor

  • qwerty

    For me, I believe the biggest problem is to create a 41mp camera with the goodies found on the 920 but without the huge hump on the 808.