What PureView means and why it’s on Nokia 8.3 5G

The PureView Family and my not so PureView face

PureView… as fans of the Nokia brand, we’ve seen this iconic nameplate on many devices in the past, and it’s starting to make its way to current Nokia devices. But what does it actually mean, and why is the Nokia 8.3 5G branded as a PureView device? This is what my latest video tries to explain while going through the history of the nameplate and how it started. You can check out the video below:

PureView is not a specific type of feature or technology. It was just a label for Nokia’s best imaging efforts, to distinguish the very best from others. The nameplate was first introduced with the Nokia 808 PureView, arguably the most iconic cameraphone of all time. This insane hybrid of a phone packed what is still the largest camera sensor to be ever put on a phone, a 1/1.2″ 41-megapixel sensor. The goal? Capture the best possible images with as little noise as possible, by combining up to 8 pixels into 1 “Pure” pixel, for ultra-detailed 5 Megapixel images. The other benefit of this sensor was lossless zoom. By cropping from the huge sensor, you could zoom in up to 4 times in 1080p video without any notable loss in quality. Brilliant stuff. I still remember reading the whitepaper explaining the technology, and being absolutely mind blown.

The next iteration of PureView was very different. This time it was on the Nokia Lumia 920, with its  Optically stabilized phone camera sensor. This implementation completely changed the game for low light photography, as well as video stabilization. OIS allowed the phone to keep its shutter speed open for longer without visible shake, which meant that the phone was able to capture more light than its competitors. The Lumia 920 was also equipped with the first f/2.0 aperture for its camera, which was also larger than its competitors at the time.

The next big step after that was on the Lumia 1020, which combined the best of both worlds: A huge 41-megapixel sensor (slightly smaller in size at 1/1.5″) with Optical Image Stabilization. It also used oversampling technology and even introduced RAW format into smartphones. It did that will also completely changing the game in terms of phone camera UI, by giving us full manual controls over ISO, exposure, white balance, shutter speed, and manual focus.

Then we have the trio of 20-megapixel holders, the Lumia 1520, Lumia 930, and Lumia 950XL, which all used the same sensor but added advanced HDR options allowing you to specify exactly how much HDR effect you want in images. The Lumia 950 went a step further with triple LED flash and gave you the option to adjust the flash effect on images. Pretty cool.

Back to modern-day, and the first recent device to carry the PureView branding, the Nokia 9 PureView. The 9 had 5 identical 12 megapixel cameras on its back, 3 of them monochrome, and 2 in RGB. It combined images captured from all 5 at the same time for better dynamic range, ultra-detailed RAW images, and advanced bokeh featured. It managed to deliver on all 3 fronts but was unfortunately held back because of reliability issues and weak low light images in auto mode. A good innovative effort nevertheless, even if it wasn’t a total success.

Now with the Nokia 8.3 5G, why does it have the PureView branding? In my opinion, its due to its focus on videography. It’s equipped with a 12 megapixel ultra wide camera perfectly optimized for video capturing. The Nokia 8.3 has for the first time on a Nokia device, complete manual controls over video. From shutter speed, ISO, focus, and white balance. It’s also the first Nokia device to support the H-log format which captures videos similar to how RAW images are captured. Perfectly suitable for color grading later on. Its also equipped with a cinematic mode that captures 21:9 video in 4k at 24 frames per second. There is also an action mode that uses the ultra-wide camera for super-smooth footage while walking/running, and it works nicely. Finally, the phone also comes with a cinema editor for preset color grading on your H-log videos, as well as the ability to add artificial lens flare.

Anyways, you can stay tuned for our full review of the device, to see how well its camera performs, specifically in video recording! So what are your thoughts on the Nokia 8.3’s camera focus? let’s discuss in the comments down below.