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Gear & Apps

41 Megapixel Camera Phone? Crazy But True! CameraTalk w/ Matthew Saville

By Matthew Saville on February 29th 2012

Step aside, 36 megapixels! The Nikon D800 is officially obsolete, thanks to a new smartphone from Nokia.Now there’s some serious competition for the awesome iPhone 4 camera, heck even those really nice compact “pro” cameras like the Canon G12 etc!Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the 41 megapixel Nokia 808 PureView!

Okay first things first, let’s mention that you never actually shoot at 41 megapixels.The sensor is larger than the lens format, so it ALWAYS crops to 3:4 or 16:9 which gives you 38 MP or 34 MP, respectively.

However next I should mention that, SURPRISINGLY, the camera sensor is HUGE.Almost as large as the new Nikon “CX” format found in the Nikon V1 / J1 cameras, which is about half the size of the a four-thirds, 2x crop DSLR sensor.Still dwarfed by a full-frame 35mm sensor, but THREE TIMES larger than the average compact camera, and FIVE times larger than other cell phone cameras.

What does this give you?Mostly, you shoot in a 5 megapixel or 8 megapixel mode, and get GREAT image sharpness thanks to some really incredible pixel-binning.(Taking four pixels and turning them into one) …This means decent low-light performance even at ISO 800, and *amazing* per-pixel sharpness.

Also, pixel-binning gives you much more accurate colors, because the bayer pattern sensor usually only interpolates it’s color between separate Red, Green and Blue pixels.

And of course, such high resolution it means awesome things for video.With a 41 megapixel sensor, you get to shoot full 1080p video while zooming in up to 4x!!

Last but not least, it comes with a half-decent f/2.4 aperture, and a very respectable wide angle of ~26mm fixed.(Although you zoom by cropping, of course!)


Of course if these numbers disturb you at all, then you’re probably suffering from severe megapixel envy. Any photographer worth their salt knows that a cameraphone’s image quality isn’t going to come CLOSE to that of a DSLR. …Or can it? Check out the article and a few sample images on DP Review.




…I guess my 12 megapixel Nikon D700 is officially a dinosaur!Okayall joking aside, on the one hand I’m certainly going to keep on using my AWESOME camera, but on the other hand I’m VERY excited to see where technology is taking us!Stuff like this may not replace huge pro cameras, but their functions are still very useful and highly interesting to any camera geek.I’ll certainly buy one of these if I can ever get it on my cell phone carrier!


Take care,



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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ed Rhodes

    that is a lot of megapixels for a phone. holy moly

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  2. Dustin Gardner

    This is ridiculous, absolutely astounding. That camera has a built-in phone! 36mp phone? I thought I was in high heaven with my Canon 40D lol.

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  3. Dustin Gardner

    This is ridiculous, absolutely astounding. That camera has a built-in phone! 36mp phone? I thought I was in high heaven with my Canon 40D lol.

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