Nokia has made the startling announcement that it has created a 41MP smartphone, the Nokia 808 PureView. Interestingly, in most shooting modes the camera will output 3, 5MP or 8MP stills, rather than offering its full resolution - promising greater quality and offering some clever features. And this isn't a trade-show concept model, this is a product that will be offered to the public, though details of when and in which countries haven't been announced. What's interesting isn't so much the pixel count as how it's used, so we took a closer look.
The first thing to realize is that this isn't a standard 1/3.2" mobile phone sensor, it's an unusual and remarkably large 1/1.2" type (five times larger). In fact, it's almost three times the size of the sensors in most compact cameras. As a result, its photosites are the same size as those in most 8.2MP cameraphone but the 808 doesn't try to create an image of the same quality, 5 times bigger. Instead it oversamples the image and then pixel-bins down to a smaller size (though there is a special 'creative' shooting mode if you want the full resolution - 38MP at 4:3 aspect ratio, 36MP at 16:9).