2013 has been a tremendous year for Nokia innovation – especially in imaging.
We continued to develop PureView technology, that first appeared in 2012 on the Nokia 808 PureView, by delivering the Nokia Lumia 1020 with its improved BSI 41-megapixel sensor earlier this year.
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When creating the Lumia 1020, Nokia’s leading imaging experts, Eero Salmelin and Juha Alakarhu combined a high-resolution sensor with the optical image stabilisation (OIS) technology that first made an appearance on the Nokia Lumia 920. By merging both technologies the Nokia Lumia 1020 has really set a new benchmark on what can be done, and what’s expected, with a cameraphone.
The camera module used on the Lumia 1020 was totally redesigned from previous models and both the imaging sensor and OIS were revamped for a new generation of thinner, sleeker smartphones – a true feat of engineering.
PureView has also made an appearance on a number of other devices throughout the year, such as the Nokia Lumia 925, Lumia 928 and Lumia 1520, which offered our oversampling technology at 20 megapixels..
The improvements didn’t stop at the hardware; innovation also came by way of new algorithms and clever software.
Nokia Smart mode
Nokia Smart mode was first introduced in May on the Nokia Lumia 925. It gave budding photographers the chance to get clever with their photos and create some truly creative shots right on the phone.
By taking a series of ten shots in a short burst, Nokia Smart Camera gave you the powers to use all, or some, of these photos in one image.
If somebody blinked in photo, Change Faces will swap the face with another non-blinked on. You can remove passersby as well as photobombers from a shot by selecting Remove Moving Object – it’s like they were never there!
Action Shot enables you to highlight motion and bring each picture together into one shot, creating a unique trail of movement. And if you want to keep the subject still but move the rest of the world, Motion Focus would give you the illusion of just that – while remaining perfectly still.
Nokia Pro mode
As if erasing unwanted guests from your photos wasn’t enough, Nokia Pro Camera was launched in July to change the game once more.
Nokia Pro Camera was developed to unlock the full imaging potential of the Nokia Lumia 1020 and it later became available for other Lumia PureView smartphones, too.
By enabling people to take full control of the camera settings, Nokia Pro mode simplifies the controls previously reserved for professionals using a DSLR.
The features include the ability to manually set the focus, adjust ISO, shutter speed and exposure.
But by creating such an easy interface (UI), on top of the added functions, the controls can be easily hidden when not in use to make it easy for anybody to create amazing photos on a smartphone.
In October, the highly acclaimed features of both Nokia Smart Camera and Nokia Pro Camera merged to become just one app – Nokia Camera.
Combing the two apps makes for an even better photography experience by reducing the amount of times you may need to switch between two different apps.
Again in October, a new imaging app was revealed – Nokia Refocus.
Nokia Refocus takes a series of photos covering the entire focus range possible on your phone and creating a depth map. The result is a photo that you can interactive with to determine the perfect focus point, after you’ve taken the shot.
You can rework the photo as many times as you like and share it to your social networks where your friends and family can also adjust the focus themselves.
Bringing RAW DNG support for Lumia was a world’s first, blurring the lines between pro cameras and smartphones. Being able to shoot in RAW allows you to do more with your images and be more creative. DNG support is available for Lumia 1520 now, and it’s coming to Lumia 1020 soon.
While we innovated with imaging in the high-end, we also brought innovation to the low-end with Smart Self-Portrait.
The ‘selfie’ became the word of the year, according to the Oxford Dictionaries, and having the ability to take a good one is a must for many people today.
We first saw Smart Self-Portrait on the Nokia 301 back in February. With it, you can look at the rear-facing camera and the phone will use voice prompts to guide you to the perfect selfie by telling you something like “Left a bit. Right a bit.” until, click! Your perfect photo is captured for you.
What’s been your favourite Nokia imaging innovation this year? Do let us know, in the comments section below.