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Nokia 808 PureView First Impressions: Photo Samples



The Nokia 808 PureView is finally available in the U.S. as an unlocked smartphone. The Symbian phone sells for $699 with no contract, and can run on any GSM carrier like AT&T or T-Mobile.

The main feature on the Nokia 808 PureView is not the device’s screen or its operating system. No, the main feature is its camera. With a 41MP sensor and oversampling techniques, the Nokia 808 PureView has a more advanced camera than any other smartphone on the market.

I brought the PureView with me to a Bastille Day celebration and a Terracotta Army exhibit in New York City this past weekend with the intent of using it as my main camera for the event, and I wasn’t disappointed. For my main camera, I currently use a Canon S95, and I honestly don’t think I could get better images out of that camera.

At full resolution, the 808 PureView’s images aren’t amazing, but it takes amazing 5MP images using the oversampling technique. The pictures aren’t as large as the images from my point-and-shoot, but to my eyes they capture the detail of scenes much better. The colors look more natural, and there’s virtually no noise in the images.

I’ll need more time to use the camera for more photos and videos, but for now I’m very impressed with the photos the camera can take.

What little time I spent interacting with Symbian wasn’t great, but thankfully the camera app works well. There’s easy options for setting the MP of the photos as well as changing the white balance and ISO. Like most cameras, there’s also scenes like landscape, close-up, night, snow, and others built-in so users can choose the best presets for the scene they’re shooting.

Other features for less casual users include the Neutral Density feature for taking photos with motion blur, and Bokeh effect (which blurs the background of an image).

For now, all the images taken here are 5MP in a 16:9 format with the default automatic settings.



  1. Scott iPodtouch

    07/17/2012 at 4:02 am

    I try to be tech savvy but I must admit my shortcomings in some areas. As far as cameras on smartphones, I tend to rely on amounts of megapixels . While I’m impressed by numbers like “41mp sensor”, it is followed by “takes amazing 5 mp images”.
    I realize that megapixels aren’t everything, my 8 mp Razr is easily outdone in by the iPhone and iPad when taking pictures of my baby daughter. When it comes to people, they are definitely more “skin friendly” color wise. Despite the fact that you say it has got the best camera of any smartphone out now, I don’t think I’m alone in seeing this; —$800 for a phone that takes 5 mp pictures.——. In the examples it would be nice to have seen at least one close up of a person. I think most people primarily take pictures that include close ups of family and friends. The review of the other features of the phone seemed less than glowing and a little premature, there not being much opportunity to really put the phone through its paces more thoroughly. The “Bokeh” effect mentioned sounds interesting and like something I’d like to have.

    • NokiaUser

      07/17/2012 at 5:52 am


      Here’s a nice article by Nokia describing their PureView technology.

      The 808 can take 2MP, 5MP, 8MP, 34MP, and 38MP shots. The reason for the lower resolution shots (2, 5, and 8) is because at those resolutions, the camera performs “pixel oversampling” and takes in the several pixels around one particular pixel to create a “super pixel” with virtually no noise or artifacts present in the picture. At the highest resolutions (34 and 38) there is no oversampling and the camera essentially takes giant pictures. For more info on the camera, you can look at that article.

  2. "G" (Yo G Wassup G)

    07/17/2012 at 4:14 am

    In the picture of the accordion player, is the pedestrian in the background picking his nose?

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