#CES Video: Nokia’s Head of Imaging Juha Alakarhu – Nokia Imaging team working on making impossible possible

| January 10, 2014 | 20 Replies

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Got 15 minutes? Check out this video from Engadget where Brad Molen interview’s Juha Alakarhu, head of Nokia’s Imaging!

They talk about the history of PureView as a way to get around optical zooming. Back in 2007, it wasn’t possible. Zoom Reinvented was something that came after, being able to zoom in or out after you take the photo. The invention became so much more when they put it into a product.

Transition of Symbian to WP? 1 YEAR. PureView process itself took 5 years.  Original 5 years was designing to make the idea become realistic (a lot of tech development).

The Windows platform was excellent. The concept of dual capture recording oversampled and full resolution at the same time to zoom back. It was actually surprisingly easy to implement that on windows.  But also developing algorithms on symbian and making them for windows – there was lots of hard work in making it happen on a different platform.

On competitors:

Brad say’s he’s always felt the 1020 as top notch and top of the class. He’s very impressed. On the Android side, the competitors have been taking their time to get where Nokia is. Are there limitations to Android causing this, asks Brad? Is this something WP is giving an advantage?

(I think it’s more Nokia than the actual OS, no?)

Juha says he wouldn’t be able to know so much about Android but they have a really passionate team, working impossible projects for 10-11 years.

  • Impossible to make LED to make 100 Lux at 1 metre
  • Impossible to make smartphone camera with sharpness similar to SLR (DPReview confirms)

Impossible made possible so many times. It’s about the team and how they’re working at NOKIA to make this happen.

I love his passion. You can see how much he loves the challenges on his face.

Impossible. + drinks. = Possible! Magic.

“Beer makes wonderful things happen” -Juha.

I like this kind of thinking. There are people that see obstacles and stop and then there are others that see solutions to those obstacles.

The future?

What’s gonna happen with the imaging team when MS takes over?  Juha has personal friends at MS and they’ll be a really strong team together to make better products. Juha promises to push the boundaries of digital imaging.

Vision over the next few years?  Juha jokes about revealing the roadmap…

Where does Nokia go from here? Brad says the 40MP camera is hard to beat. Where are we going?

Juha: It’s a really exciting time right now. Sight is the most important human sense. You can always make things better.

He mentions a little bit about post editing and Nokia Camera’s smart mode, and lenses like Refocus to make new experiences that we weren’t able to think about in the past.  Now the technologies are growing faster than ever and it’s super fun for Juha to work in this field.

Brad talks about camera phone’s being used for snapchat, instagram, facebook. Is that a hindrance as all that imaging goes to waste?

(For me, no. People are taking more and more time to take pictures. They’ll want better cameras. Plus you see the likes of the 1020 USED in more professional scenes, such as music videos and Nokia’s own promo videos)

Juha says it definitely helps. Now he can share his photos with everybody. More people are excited about imaging. You can take images on a Nokia camera that others can’t (e.g. frozen low light due to xenon flash in N82, N8, 808, 1020), Nokia photos stand out in the crowd. Social imaging puts a stronger pressure to make big innovations in imaging.

Smartphones taking over DSLR’s?

Juha says he doesn’t want to dictate what someone uses. He uses a DSLR AND a 1020. He recognises the pros and cons of each device.  He talks about comparisons between SLR’s and 1020 and how unbelievable it is.


Juha was taking a group photo last summer, prior to having the 1020. Others were using DSLRs. He recommended they try the 808, you’ll get better quality. They were of course skeptical. But when they looked at the DSLR photo and 808 but the 808 photo was BETTER!




Category: Lumia, Nokia, PureView, Symbian

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