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Nokia details history of 41-megapixel 808 PureView, image sensor inspired by satellites

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Nokia's head of imaging Damian Dinning has detailed the multi-year process that led to the creation of the 808 PureView.

Nokia 808 PureView
Nokia 808 PureView

Nokia's 41-megapixel 808 PureView was one of the highlights of Mobile World Congress 2012, and we managed to get a few details about the device's development from Nokia's head of imaging Damian Dinning at the event. But in a post on Nokia's Conversations blog, Dinning has written a more in-depth account of how the PureView technology went from concept to reality. It actually started back in 2006, when Nokia began experimenting with including optical zoom on its devices. With the constantly evolving expectations for screen size and image quality, the company went through a number of concepts that never actually made it to market.

The breakthrough moment came when one of the engineers stumbled across an article about how satellites use high resolution sensors to capture high resolution images. This gave the team an idea — a high resolution sensor that outputs images at a lower resolution, providing "an experience similar to optical zoom." Initial prototyping on the device was finished in 2008, and after around 40 design proposals, the team eventually landed on its current design. The 808 PureView is set to launch in the second quarter of this year (though not in North America), while the underlying technology will be used in future Nokia devices.

Be sure to check out Dinning's post to get the full details, and you can see our interview with him at MWC 2012 in Barcelona below.