Just spotted on the BBC website today that Nokia have announced the Nokia 808 Pureview which contains a 41MP camera! I thought people have had enough of the mega pixel war but maybe not.
I’ve had enough of people asking me how many mega pixels my DSLR is and when I say 10MP they go “uh that’s shit. My camera phone’s better than that. It’s got 12MP”. When I first heard the term “Mega Pixel” I instantly knew what it meant so I presumed other people would work it out as well but it looks like that’s not the case. I’m going to have to do a big Mega Pixel rant at some point but for now lets moan about this camera phone.
Trying to cram mega pixels onto a tiny sensor just does not work. After hearing the Nikon D800 has a 36MP sensor but that’s on a full frame DSLR sensor. If that was crammed on even an APS-C sensor it would start getting into wastage because it’s really not going to show any improvement except on the best of lenses. Now consider that for a tiny little sensor you get in camera phones.
All very well me moaning about having that many mega pixels on there but I picked up on a keyword on the video. The Nokia rep when asked about the quality started sounding a bit weasely. She mentioned the word “over sampling“. I don’t know what she means in this context but I’ve heard it used when talking about digital zoom. When you use digital zoom on some cameras they just take a crop of a smaller picture and just blow it up to full mega pixel size. You just get a blurry mess instead of more detail. In most instances you might as well left it full size and crop later.
The one thing that might give it better image quality than other camera phones is it looks quite chunky around the camera area. That might be the thing to get more quality out of it. When you get such small sensors on phones you’ve also got a limitation with lenses. Diffraction would come into play if you didn’t make the widest aperture possible however good quality with wide apertures comes with cost (which for consumer devices is a no no). Maybe with this phone they’ve allowed the sensor and optics to be bigger to get more out of it but in the end whether it is a genuine 41MP sensor on it or just some bullshit software trick they do I think you’ll probably need to go at least as big as an APS-C sensor to get any benefit from it (and some monster decent lenses).