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Video: how do the FIVE cameras work in the Nokia 9 PureView?

Nokia 9 PureView

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The Nokia 9 PureView is one of the highlights of MWC for one simple, crazy reason: its camera. More specifically, its five cameras and one sensor. I was lucky enough to speak to Mahesh from Light, the company behind the camera technology, on the showfloor, and you can see him demo the Nokia 9 PureView below.

When you take a photo (which happens just as quickly as with a normal phone camera) it doesn’t only store one layer of depth information. It doesn’t store 100. It stores 1,200 layers.

That means you can play around with depth, as shown in the video. If you want to focus on a particular person, who happens to be in the background, it’s not a problem. Just select them. It makes plain bokeh effects, with their blurred background and sharp focus on the subject, look very 2018.

Nokia 9 PureView

I asked Mahesh why the cameras were in the freaky arrangement shown below, and he said this was Nokia’s decision. They could just as easily have been in a line.

So what do each of the cameras do?

Nokia 9 PureView

There are three black-and-white cameras: the top one, the bottom left and the bottom right. Two capture colour photos: the middle one and the lens below it.

The one at roughly two o’clock is a time of flight sensor, which captures all the depth information. There’s also a microphone sitting above the lens arrangement, with a dual LED flash at ten o’clock.

Nokia 9 PureView: more photo tricks

Meddling with depth of field isn’t the only advantage of the Nokia 9 PureView. It promises far better dynamic range than normal HDR photography (where a camera takes three successive shots at different exposures and then merges the information), because you’re getting five simultaneous photos merged together.

And because the camera shoots in “native monochrome”, rather than converting it after the shot, Nokia promises “stunningly crisp black-and-white photos with exquisite detail”. An official Nokia example below.

What’s more, because the camera saves the images as a RAW file as well as JPEG, it doesn’t throw away any information.

As you can imagine, this requires a huge amount of storage, so you’ll you want to supplement the 128GB of built-in storage with a high-capacity microSD card.

Other key stats: there’s a nice-looking 6in screen with a 1,440 x 2,880 resolution, a fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM and a respectable 3,320mAh battery.

How much? All we know is that it will cost around 600 Euros (roughly £520 on a direct conversion, but likely to be around £600), while there’s no word yet on an official release date.

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About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis. Email tim@bigtechquestion.com

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