Archive for March 1st, 2012

41Mpixels and it’s a phone!

Thursday, March 1st, 2012 by Roberto Saracco

The new Nokia 808 with a 41Mpixel camera

Just a week ago Nikon announced the D800, a digital camera having 36 Mpixels and now Nokia is announcing a digital camera with 41 Mpixels. And this camera is embedded in a phone!

Now, 41 Mpixel is quite a lot! Interestingly, Nokia is using this sensor to reduce the noise plaguing the images taken with a cell phone. By downsampling the information harvested by the sensor it can create an 8 or 5 Mpixel image equivalent that averages the voice, basically getting rid of it.

Additionally, the image can be cropped (but in this case the noise is no longer removed completely) giving the camera an effective zoom lens equivalent to a 28-80.

It is not, yet, the sort of camera that photo aficionados are looking for since the depth of field cannot be controlled because of optical limitation (the out of focus filed is equivalent to an 18 mm f5.6) but it is quite a feat nevertheless.

What really impresses me is the ingenuity of researchers that circumvent apparently unsolvable problems, such as the one of noise related to small pixel size: in this case they found a way to decrease the noise through downsampling!