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02-28-2012, 12:01 AM   #1
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Possible trickle-up effects of Nokia's sensor vis-a-vis APS-C and FF?

Well, I'm no engineer, and I'll surely manage to demonstrate that in this post , but what would happen if the Nokia 808 technology were applied to larger-sensor cameras?

I haven't done the exact maths, but I don't think I'm too far off if I simplify and say that the Nokia 808 1/1.2" sensor is approximately 1/10th the size of a FF sensor and a little less than 1/5th the size of an APS-C sensor.

At the same 1.4 pixel pitch as the 808 sensor, a 4:3 image on FF would be 380MP and APS-C would be 170MP (approximates).

My question is, would any existing primes be able to resolve anything like this? If they can't, how is Nokia doing it?

If they could, most people would only need one (somewhere in-between 25-30mm equiv) or two fast primes (say a 20mm and an 80mm equiv), and the rest could be achieved by zoom-cropping...

Think of the advantages... distortion-free primes, silent zoom for video, compact kit size, almost total elimination of noise through oversampling (diminished as you crop-zoom).


Last edited by Unsinkable II; 02-28-2012 at 12:06 AM.
02-28-2012, 10:22 AM - 1 Like   #2
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One large limitation that exists now is the processing chain of moving that raw data around (even before it hits the SD card).

Another part is the physics. I believe it's easier to design a lens that resolves more detail with a smaller true aperture (not f-ratio), due to imperfections in the glass and amount of curvature required. Since this is going on a smaller sensor, the true aperture is much smaller. The shorter focal length and more parallel incident rays to the microlenses probably have an effect, too. And you'll start to bump up against the diffraction limit soon anyway. Add in SR/VR and the sweet center spot isn't in the center anymore.

Also, the light falloff at the tele-end is significantly more than even on variable aperture zooms (which do increase the true aperture while zooming in), and of course, fixed aperture zooms.

There's also the AF system, since the depth of field will be shallower and the circle of confusion much smaller.
02-29-2012, 03:42 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for your interesting and detailed answer. I see all the electronic limitations (processing, data pipes, AF) being overcome soon enough, but optical laws of physics obviously aren't about to change. I've read elsewhere that Nokia have pushed the 808 close to its optical limits already. Looks like it may have been a huge leap into a glass ceiling; hope not.

I'll definitely be getting an 808. If it's their sensor (of if they have an agreement on exclusivity) Nokia have locked up the pocketable camera market for I'd guess at least 18-24 months, and thrown away the key. Which was eaten by a monster, shot and killed by a hunter, cremated, had it's ashes compressed into a diamond which was then shot into space on a rocket.
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