Have you ever wondered what it would take to create a 41MP cameraphone? Nokia
just did that, and they announced the 808 PureView at Mobile World Congress last week. There has been tons of hoopla going around regarding the camera portion itself, and while it isn't slated to ship to North America (sorry!), and it's only running Symbian Belle instead of Windows
Phone, there's still a lot of interest here. After all, what's stopping Nokia (or anyone else) from putting this insane sensor into the next great superphone?
Nokia has today unwrapped some key details behind the device, including a new name: Carl Zeiss. Well, that's not a new name in the technology universe, but a new name to this discussion. The 808 PureView has a Carl Zeiss lens, smaller than a sugar cube, and it turns out there's a ton of work that goes on behind the scenes in order to make it all come together. This new expose on the process is quite interesting. We're told that "the comparison between the absolute performance of a 2/50mm photographic lens for full-frame (24x36mm) sensors and a 2.4/8mm lens for a mobile phone shows that the lens for the mobile phone is sharper. However, an image taken with the big lens is better overall because the information is not compressed on such a small image area as it is on a mobile phone sensor."
Traditional camera lenses are made from a piece of glass called a ‘blank’, and then polished with a computer controlled precision tool. Lenses used in mobile phones are made from plastic and pressed in a mold.
“The only reason you can’t make a larger camera lens from plastic is the physical size. A larger plastic surface area expands and shrinks too much at different temperatures, but that doesn’t apply on a lens as small as one fitted in a mobile phone.”
It's a great and rarely uncovered look at what goes into making cameraphones tick; give the Via link a look if you're both a mobile and camera nerd.