Nokia has created a stir as it introduced the Nokia 808 PureView at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012, since the Nokia 808 PureView is a camera phone equipped with a 41-megapixel sensor. More interestingly, the Nokia 808 PureView’s sensor doesn’t only offer a significantly higher resolution than ever offered by any camera phone’s sensor, but it also comes in a larger physical size. It is also worth noting that the Nokia 808 PureView’s sensor is even larger than the sensors found on the majority of point-and-shoot digital cameras available on the market today.
Speaking of sensor size, the Nokia 808 PureView’s 1/1.2″ sensor is two and a half times larger than the one used by the 12-megapixel Nokia N8, which was the company’s top of the line camera phone in terms of imaging capability. For comparison, the Apple iPhone 4S only features a 1/3.2″ sensor, while most point-and-shoot digital cameras available today use 1/2.3″ sensors. Based on those facts, the Nokia 808 PureView is undoubtedly the camera phone with the largest sensor in today’s mobile imaging market.
Logically, packing a two and a half times larger sensor with more than three times the amount of pixel will result in a smaller pixel size, and a smaller pixel size generally decreases the image quality because it collects less light. Nokia is clearly aware of that and therefore implements a so-called pixel-binning process that combines seven pixels into a single super pixel. In other words, instead of trying to produce a large-sized image, the Nokia 808 PureView oversamples an image through the pixel- binning process in order to generate a smaller-sized but higher-quality image.
The pixel-binning process also explains why the Nokia 808 PureView will only deliver 3.5-megapixel or 8-megapixel still images in most shooting modes, although there is still a special shooting mode available for those who expect 36-megapixel or 38-megapixels outputs. Please check out our next post to learn more about the benefits of the Nokia 808 PureView’s pixel-binning process.