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To: Eric L who wrote (1286)3/3/2012 3:03:22 PM
From: Eric L
   of 1644
 
(More) PureView Background Video Interviews and the Whitepaper

I. Interviews with Nokia's Damian Dinning at MWC 2012 ...

Damian Dinning is Head of Imaging Experience for Nokia Smart Devices and he is based in Guildford, United Kingdom. He joined Nokia in 2004. Prior to joining Nokia he was a Group Product Manager at Minolta (UK) where he worked from 1990 to July 2000 when he joined Eastman Kodak where he was a Product Marketeer and then New Product Development Manager for Digital & Applied Imaging.

Damian points out that Nokia's imaging teams have been working for 5 years to optimise PureView for Symbian. They’ve been with MS for 1 year and had a lot of catching up to do with it. Now they can focus on porting PureView features from Symbian to other operating systems. There is much repitition in the 4 videos below but also each has some unique insight into PureView Imaging technology ...

Damian explains Nokia PureView technology to Nokia's Mark Squires (6 minutes)



The Definitive Nokia 808 PureView Video Interview by Vaibhav Sharma (13 minutes)



The Verge Interview by Vlad Savov: The 808 PureView's history and future (11 minutes)



The Engadget 808 PureView Interview by Myriam Joire (11 minutes)

tinyurl.com

II. Other PureView Background ...

Interview with PureView Developer Juha Alakarhu: Nokia Head of Imaging Technologies



The PureView whitepaper linked below explaining the technology was written by PureView developers Juha Alakarhu, Damian Dinning, and Eero Salmelin "on behalf of many dedicated Nokia imaging experts" ...

Nokia PureView Imaging Technology PDF Whitepaper (10 Pages)

tinyurl.com

###

- Eric -

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From: Eric L3/4/2012 8:10:45 PM
   of 1644
 
Samsung and Acer: Androids AND WinPhones ...

... and tablets and laptops.

<< Samsung to launch Windows Phone 8 handsets: Possibly Windows 8 tablets too

Gareth Beavis
TechRadar
February 28, 2012

techradar.com

Samsung has told TechRadar that it will be bringing out Windows Phone 8 handsets when the new platform is announced.

With Windows Phone Tango making a low-key entry into the market at MWC 2012, the focus is now on Windows Phone Apollo (or Windows Phone 8 as it will formally be known) for the future for the top brands.

Matt Brum, head of product management at Samsung, said that the company would be working with Microsoft to bring WP8 products to the market at the end of the year:

"We're very much still focusing on Windows, and still have products in that area. We're committed to delivering their products going forward."
More phones on the way

"There will be more products, and the key thing for us is making sure we hit the right price points and segments for our customers.

"[Windows Phone 8] is coming at the end of the year, and will increase the capability of the platform, and Samsung is looking to optimise its devices on that.

Brum also pointed out that Samsung is looking to tell a slightly different 'story' from its rivals when it comes to integrating Microsoft products, hinting strongly at a Windows 8 tablet too:

"We're very excited about [Windows Phone 8], as we're one of very few manufacturers that can do the convergence story that we can – so the fact that Windows 8 covers everything from tablets to laptops to phones is very cool." ###

>> Acer backing Android and Windows Phone: Set to release more handsets this year

John McCann
TechRadar
February 29, 2012

techradar.com

Can Acer make it in the mobile world?

Acer will launch a range of new smartphones later this year and will offer Android and Windows Phone handsets.

We've already heard about the Acer CloudMobile which will be launched this summer and now Acer's UK Sales Manager Julien Bertheuil has told TechRadar at MWC 2012 that the firm will launch a new range this year.

Bertheuil said: "Acer is going to bring a comprehensive range of handsets to the market every year, but we don't intend to launch hundreds of products each year, because of our size and that's not what the market is expecting from us."

Bertheuil highlights that Android is the big player in the mobile market, but feels Windows Phone has a place too: "Windows Phone 7 is a very good and credible alternative to what's already on the market and its a good platform to use as well."
Completely different DNA

In an already saturated market Bertheuil believes that Acer will be able to provide a unique experience for users as the company "has a completely different DNA, completely different background to other handset manufacturers, which people are quite interested to hear about."

This difference will allow Acer to deliver alternative smartphones compared to what is already on the market, in an attempt to catch the eye of the consumer and to make a name for itself in the industry.

Acer will launch a couple of other handsets alongside its flagship CloudMobile in the summer and will then release more devices in September. ###

- Eric -

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From: Eric L3/5/2012 9:42:04 AM
   of 1644
 
Camera Phone Technology: ImageSense from HTC ...

... launched at MWC 2012.

Sample ImageSense 'HTC One' images (resized and not the complete resolution originals) are available at the link for the article below:

>> HTC Shows Off ImageSense Technology With Sample HTC One Images

David Beren
Tmo News
March 2, 2012

tmonews.com

There is little question that HTC is going “all in” with their new HTC One lineup and by all accounts, HTC’s newest devices seem a step ahead of the current market. With dual and quad-core technology, HD displays, Android 4.0, HTC’s newest devices have our complete Android attention. However, there is one key factor truly separating these devices from the rest of the pack — their camera. To help make the HTC One lineup stand out, HTC has equipped their new lineup with f/2.0 aperture, a 28mm lens, HTC ImageChip, BSI Sensors and a smart LED flash with five levels of brightness. Add in a 0.7 second shot time and 0.2-second autofocus and you’ve got a serious smartphone camera on-board.

“With ImageSense HTC One rivals traditional digital cameras with improvements to every part of the camera, including the lens, the sensor, the software, and even integrating a new custom HTC ImageChip.”

So what else will make HTC’s One camera line-up standout?

• The Superfast Capture: As we just mentioned, HTC reduced the amount of time it takes to capture a shot, to just 0.7 seconds. With 0.2 second autofocus, you can take almost unlimited continuous shots by just holding down the shutter button.

• Good photos in bad lighting: HTC has improved image quality in low light, no light or bright backlighting. The f/2.0 lens on the HTC One X and HTC One S captures 40% more light than the f/2.4 lenses available on other high-end smartphones.

• Video Pic: Want to capture a photo and shoot video at the same time? Good, because HTC is introducing this feature. Tap the shutter button while recording video and you will capture a high-resolution still photo while the phone continues to record your video. Sound good?

So how does all of this actually translate to real-world photography? Check the gallery below and tell us what you think. ... [at link above, not below] ###

>> HTC One Series Unveiled

HTC One™ Highlighted by an Amazing Camera and Authentic Sound Experience
Unprecedented momentum for HTC One series – available beginning in April with broad global availability through more than 140 mobile operators and distributors.


HTC Pres Release
Barcelona, Spain – Mobile World Congress –
February 26, 2012

HTC, a global designer of smartphones, today unveiled its new HTC One series of smartphones that represent its most premium mobile experience with a new level of iconic design and amazing camera and authentic sound experience.




“The best moments in life are captured with a photo or remembered by a song, so it was key for the HTC One series to improve these emotional experiences with an amazing camera and authentic sound experience,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. “We are very focused on creating a camera and audio experience customers will love and use often and we believe the HTC One series delivers this in a way never seen on a phone before.”

With HTC’s most premium experience, the HTC One series integrates Android 4.0 (ICS) with HTC Sense™ 4, the new version of HTC’s branded user experience that is introducing HTC ImageSense™, a new suite of camera and imaging features that set HTC One apart from other phones. HTC Sense 4 also includes broad enhancements to audio quality and simplifies how people listen to music on their phone.

Amazing Camera: With ImageSense HTC One rivals traditional digital cameras with improvements to every part of the camera, including the lens, the sensor, the software, and even integrating a new custom HTC ImageChip. These enhancements combine to deliver our fastest image capture, best image quality under adverse conditions and easiest interface that enables quick access to capturing stills and videos with side-by-side photo and video capture buttons.

• Superfast Capture - HTC One dramatically reduces the time it takes to capture those key moments. In just 0.7 seconds you’re able to take a shot, and with a new superfast 0.2-seconds autofocus, continue to take nearly unlimited continuous shots simply by holding the shutter button.

• Good photos in adverse conditions - HTC One delivers dramatic enhancements in image capture quality even in adverse conditions such as low light, no light or with bright backlighting. The f/2.0 lens on the HTC One X and HTC One S offers best-in-class performance, capturing 40 percent more light than the f/2.4 lenses available on other high-end phones. HTC One also includes HDR, a market-leading technology, for taking great photos even when there are varying levels of brightness.

• Video Pic (Concurrent Video/Still Capture) – With Video Pic you capture a photo and shoot video at the same time. Now, while you’re shooting HD video, all you have to do is tap the shutter button and it snaps a high-resolution still photo while the video continues to shoot. You are also able to capture a photo frame from a previously recorded video.

• Dropbox integrated with HTC Sense - HTC One gives you an easy way to save and share your photos and videos. HTC has integrated Dropbox into HTC Sense 4 enabling HTC One customers to get 25 gigabytes of free Dropbox space for two years. That’s enough to keep more than 10,000 high-quality photos. Dropbox is also integrated throughout HTC Sense 4, so it’s easy to edit, save and share your documents and other kinds of files.

• Sharing your photos and more - HTC One gives you a new way to share your photos and videos. When you plug in HTC’s wireless Media Link HD* accessory into your TV’s HDMI port, you can easily share your photos, videos, or anything else on your phone with your friends, family or colleagues regardless of the television’s brand as long as it has HDMI.

Authentic Sound: With HTC One, Beats By Dr. Dre Audio™ integration is enabled for the first time across the entire experience for richer, more authentic sound whether you’re listening to your favorite music, watching a YouTube™ video or playing a game. HTC One also makes it easy to get and listen to your music on your phone with the built-in HTC Sync Manager software that automatically installs to your computer when connected. Once connected, it is easy to transfer songs, artists and playlists from your music library.

Of course, people today no longer just listen to the songs stored on their phones; they use streaming services and tune into Internet radio. So HTC One lets you customize the new Music Hub with your favorite services and music applications, like the latest Soundhound technology, giving you one place to go for all of your music.

HTC One lets you take all of your music anywhere, including the car. With HTC One, you get an easy way to bring your mobile music to your car’s sound system with the HTC Car Stereo Clip*. It also lets you connect to your music through more than 50 thousand online radio stations worldwide or play music from any service or app on your phone through your car speakers. All this makes HTC One the one place to enjoy all your music, wherever you are, with the power of Beats By Dr. Dre Audio and HTC Car.

HTC One X: The HTC One X features a beautifully crafted polycarbonate unibody that has the ruggedness of metal but is super lightweight. With seamless construction, the unibody combines a unique high gloss 'piano' finish and a matte back. HTC One is blazing fast with the new NVIDIA® Tegra 3 Mobile Processor for clear graphics, faster applications and longer battery life. It includes a 1.5GHz Super 4-PLUS-1™ quad-core with an integrated fifth Battery Saver Core and a high-performance 12-Core NVIDIA® GPU. The HTC One also has an amazing 4.7-inch, 720p HD screen crafted from contoured Corning™ Gorilla Glass. HTC One X will also be available in select 4G LTE markets with a LTE-enabled Qualcomm Snapdragon S4™ processor with up to 1.5GHz dual-core CPU’s.

HTC One S: The HTC One S is for people who want a high-end smartphone in a more compact size. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with up to 1.5GHz dual-core CPU’s. It also includes a 4.3-inch screen crafted from contoured Corning™ Gorilla Glass. HTC One S brings HTC’s innovative metal unibody styling to a new thin 7.9-mm design, making it HTC’s thinnest phone yet. The HTC One S sports two new finishes that break new ground in mobile phone innovation. The first is an ultra-matte black Ceramic Metal surface that is the result of a microarc oxidation (MAO) process originally developed for use in satellites. It transforms the surface of the aluminum unibody into a ceramic, super-dense crystalline structure that is four times harder than anodized aluminum, enabling the HTC One S to look great over time. The second finish for the One S takes anodizing to a new level with a new patented process that creates a light-to-dark gradient fade that looks gorgeous and sophisticated.

HTC One V: Utilizing the classic, award-winning design of the HTC Legend, the HTC One V brings top-end design to a smartphone with broad appeal and a premium experience that delivers an amazing camera and authentic sound. It features a simple, iconic aluminum unibody design that exudes craftsmanship and quality.

Global Availability: With unprecedented excitement, the HTC One series will begin shipping in April with broad global availability available beginning in April through more than 140 mobile operators and distributors globally. For more information and to pre-register for HTC One visit htc.com ... <snip rest> ###

- Eric -

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From: Eric L3/5/2012 11:09:02 AM
   of 1644
 
Smartphone Competition: Price v. Brand

>> Price Versus Brand In the Battle for Smartphone Supremacy

Established vendors will have a tough year as they try to keep cheaper Chinese vendors at bay

Mikael Ricknäs
TechWorld
05 March 2012

features.techworld.com

Established vendors such as HTC, Sony and LG Electronics want to set their smartphones apart from less expensive devices from ZTE and Huawei. But as looks and hardware specifications are becoming more similar and software differentiation harder, having a better reputation is their last ace, according to analysts.

Mobile World Congress 2012, which ended last week, lacked really big announcements, but offered a plethora of new smartphones in all price ranges. Before the show, Geoff Blaber, an analyst at CCS Insight, said HTC and LG Electronics needed to do a major refresh of their respective portfolio of smartphones, and that they did.

"HTC had a good show and the One X is a very, very strong device, and LG has done as well as anyone expected," Blaber said on the last day of the event.

But those vendors along with Sony and Motorola Mobility are facing the same problem as before the show. They are being squeezed on one side by Apple and Samsung Electronics' growing market shares and on the other side by Huawei's and ZTE's low pricing, according to Blaber.

The Chinese vendors have a clear strategy, according to Francisco Jeronimo, research manager at IDC.

"They are trying to make their products as similar as possible to ones from established vendors and hope the consumers will go for their cheaper smartphone," said Jeronimo.

The quality of Huawei's phones has improved a lot over the last couple of years, although ZTE's products still lag behind Huawei in that regard, Blaber said.

The established vendors don't want to compete on price with Huawei and ZTE, so they need to set their products apart, but doing either via software or hardware is increasingly difficult, according to Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

"There isn't much I have seen that would drive me from one vendor to the next," she said.

On the hardware side, the focus at this year's show was very much on processors, especially quad-core, according to Jeronimo.

"It is a race and something that makes headlines," said Jeronimo, who doesn't think the addition of two more cores will make much of a difference to users, since there aren't many applications that can take advantage of them.

But while LG and HTC are releasing smartphones with quad-core smartphones and big screens, so are Huawei and ZTE.

And HTC is getting kudos for its deal with Dropbox, which will integrate cloud storage service on smartphones.

"It is reassuring that HTC is not starting from scratch and trying build their own service," said Blaber.

HTC also launched Media Link, which allows users to integrate their smartphones with their TVs.

"It is kind of important, because HTC doesn't have a TV business and everyone is talking about integrating multiple screens," said Milanesi.

But turning that accessory into an advantage when a user is standing in a store choosing their next device will be a challenge for the company, according to Milanesi.

Now HTC, which still has an edge over Huawei on the quality of the hardware, needs to become more aggressive with its marketing.

"At this point, HTC has to stop being quietly brilliant and be a bit more gutsy in their advertising and really communicate what it stands for," said Milanesi.

Vendors are also continuing to put their own touch on Android's user interface, but doing that will not be sustainable, according to Blaber.

"Everyone is moving quite late to Ice Cream Sandwich and Google will likely announce the next version of Android in three four months, and then they are on the back foot again," said Blaber.

But one thing that Huawei and ZTE still lack are well-known brands.

"Brand is particularly important in the high-end, where phones get more complex and users want either the security or to show off the brand itself," said Milanesi.

To have a chance of overcoming that the price of ZTE's and Huawei's smartphones have to be at least 30-40% lower, otherwise consumers will go with the brand they know, according to Jeronimo.

But it isn't just the Chinese companies that want a bigger slice of the smartphone market - at Mobile World Congress Japanese vendors Panasonic and Fujitsu presented smartphones they hope that European operators will pick up. But their chances of becoming successful are slim.

"I think they are going to have a really hard time," said Milanesi

Jeronimo agreed: "They don't stand a chance."

Just like many vendors before them - including HP, Acer, Toshiba and Dell - they have the impression that strength in the laptop market will translate into success in the handset market, but that just doesn't work, according to Jeronimo.

The only chance they have to succeed is to spend loads of money on operators to subsidise their own devices and drop prices below those of Huawei, Jeronimo said.

Even if there were many impressive smartphones launched at Mobile World Congress, it remains to be seen how competitive they will be. That question will only be answered when Samsung launches the Galaxy S III, according to Blaber.

"Last year everyone was stunned by what Samsung achieved with the Galaxy S II. It changed the game; it was significantly thinner and had a phenomenal screen," said Blaber.

Mobile World Congress wasn't just about Android, though. Nokia continued to build on its Windows Phone portfolio, with the introduction of the less expensive Lumia 610, which will cost €189 (£160) and be available in the second quarter.

"I think Nokia have done a very good job. No one was expecting to see a device at that price point before 2013," said Jeronimo.

The speedy arrival of the Lumia 610 shows how well the relationship between Nokia and Microsoft is working, but now they have to continue to put out new models, including even cheaper ones, and develop more services, Milanesi and Jeronimo agree.

"Nokia is only half way through its transition to Windows Phone," said Jeronimo.

But Nokia will have to face competition from the Chinese vendors, as well. ZTE launched the Orbit, which is also an inexpensive Windows Phone.

"It could turn out to be a real thorn in the side of Nokia," said Blaber.

Overall, Mobile World Congress was a success. Attendance was up by 11% over the previous year, with more than 67,000 visitors, which includes delegates, exhibitors, contractors and the media, from 205 countries, according to organizer GSM Association.

Starting next year, Mobile World Congress will be held at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via, a move that will provide approximately 50% more space, the GSMA said. The event will be held February 25-28. ###

- Eric -

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From: Eric L3/6/2012 11:51:38 AM
   of 1644
 
Nokia Rich Recording (YouTube Video) ...

[yt]p8RHQC0eS_k#%21[/yt]

... Uploaded by Nokia on Mar 6, 2012

Demoed above is video capture from the Nokia 808 PureView, clamped on a rig with an iPhone 4S and a Galaxy S II (plus an N8, though its output wasn't used for the comparison). For best results ...

1. Start the video playing
2. Maximise the playback window
3. Click on the gearwheel and up the quality to maximum (for best effect)

"Soon Nokia Rich Recording will be found in All devices in our [Nokia's] Smart Devices portfolio"

The world's first implementation of Nokia Rich Recording technology in Nokia 808 PureView records best in class stereo audio with every detail. Whilst most high end smartphones can only record without distortion to around 110db, the Nokia 808 can comfortably continue to around 140-145 db, which is 4 times louder than the conventional mics can record. Apart from that Nokia Rich Recording can also record very low frequencies also without any distortion. The combination of all of these elements means the Nokia 808 records audio with almost CD like quality. It has to be heard to be believed. - Nokia -

>> Nokia Rich Recording Demonstrated

Steve Litchfield
All About Symbian
March 6th 2012

allaboutsymbian.com

We've been used to CD quality audio capture on the Nokia N86 and N8 before, plus the C7, E7 and E6 (arguably), with digital MEMS microphones, but Nokia's Rich Recording takes the idea and bolts on the next generation of MEMS mike, together with dedicated audio processing and Dolby software, yielding the capability of recording low bass through to the highest treble, all at up to 140dB. The video [above] provides some proof. Impressive stuff, and it's good to hear that Rich Recording will make it into all future Nokia smartphone designs. Rafe's got lots of notes on how Rich Recording works and there's a special feature coming up soon here on AAS. ###

- Eric -

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To: Eric L who wrote (1286)3/7/2012 8:35:43 AM
From: Eric L
   of 1644
 
Developing PureView Technology (The story behind it) ...

>> The Story Behind the Nokia 808 PureView

Nokia imaging guru Damian Dinning on the journey to create industry-changing camera tech

Nokia Conversations
Damian Dinning
March 7, 2012

conversations.nokia.com

Yes, the Nokia 808 PureView has the largest-ever sensor by a long way shoe-horned into its pocketable dimensions. When people hear the figures, many either find their jaws on the floor in sheer astonishment or struggle to believe it’s possible. After all, this isn’t a digital SLR (that would be astonishing enough) but a smartphone! Something you can carry with you at all times.

I can understand the reactions: even people inside Nokia have reacted similarly.

Despite this, the innovation and news is NOT the number of pixels but rather HOW those pixels are used.

It’s been incredibly exciting to have been associated with this project from a very early stage. For some of our team, it’s taken over five years to bring this to the market, such is the technological and engineering achievement, so you can perhaps imagine the excitement but also sense of relief some of us are feeling right now.

Given the amount of effort that’s gone into this project, I wanted to share more of the background as well as some more detail around how PureView works.

Where it all started

In late 2005, Nokia were in the final phases of preparing the Nokia N73 3Mpix AF and the rather unique N93 3Mpix AF 3x optical zoom smartphones for introduction in the spring of 2006. We’d already been researching alternative directions in the area of imaging and camera development as well as extending the direction both of these products would be soon starting. Roughly a year after their introduction, the N95 and N93i came to market.

Around this time, we were starting the development of a number of next-generation imaging rich smartphones. Commercial products such as the Nokia N82, N86 8MP as well as the extremely popular Nokia N8. But there were many other projects intended to include optical zoom which never made it to the market. A number of these were quite advanced concepts using different camera configurations and physical form factors, some conventional, some significantly different.

However, over this time, the market was evolving. For example, displays were becoming bigger and bigger. This aspect alone resulted in a number of concepts not being taken forward due to the limited potential screen size of some concepts. Another important factor was how market expectations were evolving in the area of image quality.

For example, at one stage we had working prototypes equipped with optical zoom using folded optics. Despite this almost reaching commercialization, the module was relatively large and we decided the performance would not be fundamentally good enough to meet the evolving expectations.

It became clear to us that if we were ever to meet the increasing expectations and evolving market dynamics we were going to need to find a new direction in imaging.

After developing several optical zoom modules, we were still seeing significant performance trade-offs caused by optical zoom: performance in low light; image sharpness at both ends of the zoom range; audible noise problems; slow zooming speed and lost focus when zooming during video. We became convinced this could never be the great experience we once hoped. You’d need to accept a bigger, more expensive device with poor f no., a small and noisy image sensor and lower optical resolution just to be able to zoom.

Around this time, the Nokia imaging team had just finished creating a tool called the Camera Simulation Environment. This tool is a virtual environment where we can easily simulate the performance of different types of optics, image sensors and image processing algorithms and see the impact of different technical solutions to the final image quality. It’s an easy and fast way to try new ideas.

Nokia was also leading the market by driving large image sensors into devices and understood how to integrate large image sensors in to small camera modules. The Nokia N73 and N95 were the first mobile products with 1/2.5” sensors and since then we’ve continued to introduce large sensors such as the 1/1.83” sensor in the Nokia N8.

Of course, we understood the need for being able to zoom and frame the shot during video recording. However, compromising image and video quality to achieve the zooming capability was something we were not willing to do.

One idea leads to another

One day when a couple of our engineers met over lunch, one of them mentioned how earlier that day he found an article in the Electronics Times on satellite imaging inspiring, specifically how satellite imaging uses extremely high resolution sensors to capture high resolution images. It was the fact that we typically only ever look at a section of a satellite image that inspired him the most.

An idea emerged from this discussion to use a sensor with somewhat higher resolution sensor than needed at the time but output a lower resolution image than the sensor input resolution possibly adding some upscaling/interpolation to provide a meaningful enough zoom range. This would provide the user with an experience similar to optical zoom. Whilst the performance was thought to be superior to conventional digital zoom as well as result in a far smaller package than optical zoom, it was felt that the performance would still not be up to the standard we were aiming to achieve.

Sometime later after a ten-hour long meeting seeking to solve the technical challenges of optical zooming, a few engineers were sitting in a Tokyo hotel bar. During a lively discussion about how the technical problems of optical zooming could be solved the earlier idea came up again in conversation…. What if we would just add enough pixels to avoid having to upscale the image?

After some further discussion they concluded that a sufficiently large enough image sensor could create an output image with excellent low light performance, excellent optical performance as well as maintaining a low f no. Instead of trade-offs, there would be significant benefits, especially at the wide range of the zoom. As an additional benefit the file sizes would be small due to low noise whilst the level of detail would be way beyond anything seen before thanks to the pixel oversampling.

At full zoom, while pixel oversampling could not be used, optical performance would benefit as only the central optical path would be used, where the performance is always superior due to manufacturing tolerances and light incoming angle. We could therefore keep the same low f no. and achieve performance which is not possible with optical zooming (not even in expensive SLR optics. As a bonus the closest focus distance would remain the same as wide, resulting in greater macro performance!

We would also achieve instant and silent zooming by keeping the focus during zooming which has always been a problem in optical zooms. We would also be able to achieve simpler, smaller and more robust construction for the camera. Eureka! The solution was right there!

That evening the basic idea had been sketched on a bar napkin, but even during ‘the morning after’ it was clear this idea was really worth taking seriously.

In order to make the camera happen, the largest and highest resolution image sensor in mobile devices would need to be created. Simulations showed that we would need new solutions and materials in the optics to be able to achieve great optical performance in a small enough package. Manufacturing tolerances, materials and surface accuracy used in SLRs, pocket cameras or mobile cameras would not be enough to make it work. Working closely with Carl Zeiss, we analysed different optical solutions, materials and manufacturing technologies, searching the world for image sensor technologies and companies willing to take on the challenge.

We had often debated that, for the vast majority, 5-megapixels completely fulfils their real world needs, but the market for many years has been pixels, pixels, pixels. It’s hard to block that out. Our friends at Carl Zeiss believed the same. At the time, the challenge was like Columbus trying to convince people the world was round and not flat.

At full zoom, while pixel oversampling could not be used, optical performance would benefit as only the central optical path would be used, where the performance is always superior due to manufacturing tolerances and light incoming angle. We could therefore keep the same low f no. and achieve performance which is not possible with optical zooming (not even in expensive SLR optics. As a bonus the closest focus distance would remain the same as wide, resulting in greater macro performance!

We would also achieve instant and silent zooming by keeping the focus during zooming which has always been a problem in optical zooms. We would also be able to achieve simpler, smaller and more robust construction for the camera. Eureka! The solution was right there!

That evening the basic idea had been sketched on a bar napkin, but even during ‘the morning after’ it was clear this idea was really worth taking seriously.

In order to make the camera happen, the largest and highest resolution image sensor in mobile devices would need to be created. Simulations showed that we would need new solutions and materials in the optics to be able to achieve great optical performance in a small enough package. Manufacturing tolerances, materials and surface accuracy used in SLRs, pocket cameras or mobile cameras would not be enough to make it work. Working closely with Carl Zeiss, we analysed different optical solutions, materials and manufacturing technologies, searching the world for image sensor technologies and companies willing to take on the challenge.

We had often debated that, for the vast majority, 5-megapixels completely fulfils their real world needs, but the market for many years has been pixels, pixels, pixels. It’s hard to block that out. Our friends at Carl Zeiss believed the same. At the time, the challenge was like Columbus trying to convince people the world was round and not flat.

Shaping the sensor

At this time, the sensor was supporting the conventional 4:3 aspect ratio. 4:3 aspect ratios were the norm but we could see the future was 16:9. The challenge was how to support 4:3 and 16:9. This part of the story I remember well as I was in the meeting when we brainstormed this part of the module design.

People from Nokia were in the meeting, of course, but also our friends from the companies we work with often on our high-end optics and sensors. The atmosphere was relaxed but I had a feeling that some of our optics and sensor suppliers thought we were perhaps crazy. Nevertheless, they were still putting 100% into the project. We were really pushing the boundaries of optical design at this point clearly going where no one had dared before.

In this meeting we created the idea to use the 13:9 sensor based around the optical circle to fully support both 16:9 and 4:3. Of course, since then we have been incorporating this into the new modules for example in the N9, Lumia 800 and 900. But to maintain the same effective zoom range someone quickly pointed out we were going to have to increase the size of the sensor even further… and that’s how we ended up with 41-megapixels.

A few months later, in October 2008, the initial prototyping had been done. There was enough evidence now to show this was possible, although we knew there were going to be lots of challenges ahead of us.

Many different optical designs were trialled, using different lens configurations, lens materials, lens designs etc. In the end, I think we considered around 40 design proposals. As one aspect improved, another became worse. We continuously changed and then evolved the design until we were completely happy with the balance of the various aspects.

But even then, while we knew the camera performance would be really good, we didn’t know how good. Simulations are one thing but with so much complexity involved in the image processing as the area of the sensor used changed and effecting scaling and oversampling behaviour, we never really knew that we could be 100% confident what would work well and what wouldn’t. A great deal of discussion and simulating was carried out to try and predict every eventuality, but there’s only so much you can do.

When the very first prototype camera modules became available, the excitement and anticipation of all those involved in the project was pretty extreme. Would it be as good as our simulations showed? One sample was sent to our friends at Carl Zeiss for testing around this time. A few of guys from our imaging team went to take some shots over the Pyhäjärvi lake, which lies in between cities Tampere and Nokia (yes, there really is a city called Nokia in Finland).

I remember the content of two emails still to this day. One from the Tampere team with images attached captured with the first prototype camera and another captured with a Canon digital SLR as a reference. I opened both images and viewed immediately at 100%. Initially, I thought the images were labelled wrongly. Then I also saw the email from Carl Zeiss with the results from the lab testing. It’s usual for Carl Zeiss to provide a list of comments on areas where improvements could be made. On this occasion however, the email was uncharacteristically short. Here’s a short unedited excerpt from that email: “Our lab people are VERY happy with the quality.”

Relief!

This is, without doubt, our most complex imaging project to date. Often the ‘big idea’ has involved much discussion, but throughout the development process, as exciting as it may sound to introduce a device equipped with a 41-megapixel image sensor, our real excitement has ALWAYS been associated with the opportunities and in particular the performance this provides in its default form when shooting ‘just’ 5-megapixel images or when recording full HD video. We’ve waited a very long time to be able to do what we believe is right and break free from the years of legacies laid down behind us.

During the journey, what was originally a simple idea evolved into something a great deal more revolutionary. This was possible due to Nokia’s long expertise in imaging, partnering with the best companies in the world, incredible craftsmanship and unwillingness to compromise in performance.

[image note: the images in original post at the link above have been resized in PhotoShop. To inspect the quality of the Nokia 808 PureView's output, check out the flickr set where they were first published.]

- Eric -

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From: Eric L3/7/2012 9:57:59 AM
   of 1644
 
Apple's iPad 3/iPad HD Day Today at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT from San Fran

One of several event Live-Blogs is here:

pcworld.com

The anticipated initial iPad 3/iPad HD Release Date has been leaked unofficially as March 16th.

- Eric -

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To: Eric L who wrote (1297)3/7/2012 1:46:20 PM
From: Eric L
   of 1644
 
The New iPad ...




The new iPad adds HSPA+ with a max downlink of 21 Mbps, dual carrier HSDPA with a max of 42 Mbps, and LTE with a max of 73 Mbps download. HD video recording now at 1080p resolution. An iSight camera with Auto Exposure and Autofocus, Auto face detection. A FaceTime camera on the front. Voice dictation, tap and speak. Available on March 16. US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, and more. One week later, 25 more countries.

- Eric -

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To: Eric L who wrote (1297)3/7/2012 3:47:18 PM
From: Eric L
   of 1644
 
The 'New iPad' Price and Specs ...



Tech Specs

apple.com

- Eric -

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To: Eric L who wrote (1299)3/7/2012 3:58:52 PM
From: jmiller099
1 Recommendation   of 1644
 
I envy their pricing power:

Deal of today:
16GB SanDisk Class 4 microSDHC Flash Memory Card
$13 + Free Shipping

16GB jump on that product is $100! Note: No memory slot which you could plug the $13 card into for these products.

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