Nokia Sets Sights on Revolutionary Smartphone Camera

by Matt Klassen on July 12, 2013

Despite Nokia’s best efforts, rumours about the company’s forthcoming smartphone super camera have been leaking like holes in a collapsing dam, and there are simply not enough fingers to plug them. In a press event yesterday Nokia finally unveiled the next evolution of smartphone camera technology, a monster 41 megapixel camera embedded in the company’s latest line of Windows 8 handsets, effectively removing the current gap between dedicated standalone DSLRs and the convenient default smartphone camera.

There’s no question that even with its current unique line-up of Windows smartphones, Nokia has struggled to differentiate itself from the mobile pack, having only recently admitted that it is no longer a leader in the smartphone industry and must now act as a mobile challenger.

But while Nokia’s revolutionary new camera will help it stick out from the crowd, it remains to be seen if a new camera alone is enough to really compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple, the ongoing success of both evidence that perhaps the quality of the smartphone camera isn’t really an issue at all.

The camera itself uses Nokia’s camera technology 808 PureView, present since the age of Symbian phones but given little notice by the market in general. Of course Nokia is hoping PureView will be able to emerge from the shadows now that it blows away the competition by offering 4 times the megapixels of the highest end smartphone cameras, but we’ll really have to wait and see.

While officially mum about the rumours leading up to the release, for weeks the market has been speculating about the details, such as the phone’s 41MP camera will have a maximum aperture of f/2.2 along with image stabilization features. It looks like the camera will allow users to take two pictures simultaneously: one 5MP shot for low-res uploading to social media, and one 32MP picture for high-res purposes.

If anyone cares, the first flagship camera phone, the Lumia 1020, will sport a 4.5-inch display, have two GB of RAM, 32GB of online storage, support for NFC and wireless charging. But unfortunately, none of it will matter to consumers.

Now don’t get me wrong, Nokia’s 41 megapixel camera is impressive, particularly in a technology market where smartphones have replaced standalone cameras as the default image capturing device. But while I’ll give Nokia kudos for trying to differentiate its flagship features from its competition, it looks like it has missed the boat yet again.

As Carl Howe, research director for the Yankee Group, observes, while the ability to take pictures with mobile devices and share them via social media is important to mobile consumer’s, “that’s not a game won with megapixels,” its one you win “with apps and ease of use.”

Further, megapixels mean little to the online savvy photographer, particularly as most of the image resolution will be washed away when you try to upload it to Facebook or other social media feeds. While such resolution may be important to a segment of smartphone users, it’s the segment who still hold on to their DSLRs for dear life, and who wouldn’t be caught dead taking a picture with their phone.

In the end, while its clear Nokia is putting all its eggs in the smartphone camera basket, it remains to be seen whether or not it’ll be the right basket, my guess being that this will once again serve as evidence that Nokia has no idea what mobile consumers want, or how to give it to them.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Donna Spencer. July 12, 2013 at 9:02 am

It’s really true,
Nokia is not even bad, But today’s technology replaced nokia by Smart Phones.

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