Is the market ready for a 41-megapixel camera?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from Kansas City, MO
Published: January 23, 2013

As more rumors fly around, the latest (and yet not-so-latest at the same time) to fly past my ear is talking about another Nokia phone that may feature a 41-megapixel camera. Nokia already launched a smartphone called the Nokia 808 PureView that featured a 41-megapixel camera and ran on Nokia’s own software. The phone was not released in North America and saw very little demand in the areas it was released in, probably due to the fact that ran on Nokia Belle instead of a more popular operating system.

Following the announcement of the Nokia Lumia 920, there was some speculation that the first Windows Phone 8 smartphone would also feature a 41-megapixel camera since the phone claimed to be using PureView technology. What the phone ended up featuring was a glorified 8-megapixel camera that included some PureView features and modifications, but it certainly was no 41-megapixel wonder. With Nokia’s latest device in the making (codename “EOS”) the same rumors are resurfacing regarding the alleged super camera.

While 41-megapixels looks like a ridiculous number for a camera on something that is supposed to be designed as a phone first, Nokia’s PureView device wasn’t meant to be set at 41 megapixels all the time. The default megapixels for the camera was only 5 MP, but the trick to their PureView technology is using oversampling to reduce the “noise” (or fuzziness) that you would see in a normal photo shot. So, while you do have the option to increase the megapixels all the way to 41, it would really only be useful if you were planning to blow up your photos onto a huge canvas. Otherwise, the main purpose is to just produce a clearer, sharper, and more colorful image using the PureView technology. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Perhaps a superior camera that surpasses any other available on the market today is what Nokia (and Windows Phone) needs to step up their game. While the simplistic interface of Windows Phone 8 may work for some people, the platform certainly doesn’t have the same following that we see with Android and iOS; and with BlackBerry potentially getting itself back into gear with the release of BlackBerry 10, a 41-megapixel camera would certainly be a feature that would bring Windows Phone out of the shadows. It’s a big jump and would pressure other companies to try and keep up with what would then be known as “modern technology”.

I think that a 41-megapixel camera is something that Windows Phone in particular needs right now. If an Android phone or an iPhone were to feature such a high megapixel camera then Windows Phone (and even BlackBerry) would probably be put even further down the ladder for once again not having the next big thing to happen in the smartphone world. Since these are still merely rumors, though, who is not to say that it won’t be the case? Perhaps Nokia has no intention of releasing such a high megapixel camera on a phone again anytime soon.

But if they do: Would you, dear reader, be interested in a phone with a 41-megapixel camera? What if it was featured on a platform that you normally wouldn’t use? Are you satisfied with an 8-megapixel camera, or are you ready for something that’s a little bit clearer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

 

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