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Highlights from the Nokia Conversations AMA with Juha Alakarhu and Eero Salmelin

Ask-Me-Anything-launch-FEAT1As you may know, Nokia Conversations held an AMA today with imaging experts Juha Alakarhu and Eero Salmelin. It was an opportunity to hopefully gain some insight into what Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s mobile business means for the future of Nokia’s imaging prowess. Here are some of the highlights from the AMA.

– “Hi, I got one question does Microsoft acquired PureView Technology or it belongs to Nokia?

Eero: “The whole team that developed the PureView technology is now part of Microsoft and continuing to work hard to develop the technology further.

– “What kinds of imaging improvements [do] I get for my Lumia 1520 after Nokia Cyan update?

Juha: “There will be a lot improvements for Lumia 1520, Icon and also Lumia 930.

  • much better low light performance
  • better colors
  • continuous autofocus
  • better video quality
  • and even the raw images will look better because we are using the sensor in more clever way.”

– “Any improvements in Nokia Camera and Nokia Creative Studio in Lumia Cyan?

Juha: “The creative studio is completely rewritten and it has new filters, and non-destructive editing. Also the Nokia camera has been improved. It is a bit faster and better camera roll.

– “How long did it take to invent the 41MP Pureview technology? Is it a long way for development?”

Juha: “We had the original idea in 2007. We had to develop a lot of new technology in optics, sensor, actuators and processing to make it happen.

– “What is the timeframe for release of a successor to the Lumia 1020?

Eero: “The same team that developed the 1020 continues to push the boundaries of imaging but can not talk about future products.

– “Are we going to see a faster shot to shot time on the large >= 20MP sensors?”

Eero: “We improved the shot to shot time somewhat in the new camera application which will be part of Cyan update.

– “Why aren’t we seeing more phones (especially pureview) with Xenon flash? For still photography it’s far superior to any LEDs.

Juha: “We optimize our camera solutions for different kind of products, and we have been bringing also big improvements to led flashes.

– “Ari Partinen, who worked with Nokia PureView camera technology, joined Apple last month. Do you think that Microsoft/Nokia feels threatened that one of their most senior and experienced engineers is now with competing company?”

Eero: “It was great to work with Ari and hope him all the best. Just had a farewell party for him a week ago and I can promise he will not remember anything about his time in Nokia/Microsoft :-)”ย What, did they erase his memory or something? That doesn’t sound sketchy at all… “It’s good to remember that there is a big team behind the imaging innovations in Microsoft.

– “Will “living images” be also able to be stored/viewed on a desktop PC soon? I love looking at my gallery that way.”

Juha: “If you remove the .thm extension, you can see them already because they are normal .mp4 files. I cannot say more about the updates to PC.

– “What about on device DNG editing? are we gonna see a feature like that?”

Juha: “It’s an interesting idea. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

– “1020 great camera but hindered by not powerful enough processor. I would also like to see better front facing camera in its successor. Great work guys. Nokia make the best camera phones.”

Juha: “I promise that we are working hard๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the compliments.

And there you have it. If you were not able to ask any questions yourself, hopefully someone else did. Juha and Eero brought up some additional points, such as the difference between pixel size and pixel density (to which we were directed to a scientific paper they wrote on the matter), as well as if Cortana was going to imaging integration (the answer was simply that we should ask Cortana). The two experts also mentioned how well they work together and how they enjoy pushing the evolution of mobile imaging, and how the 808 Pureview is still used to this day as a reference for new cameras, probably the reason Eero doesn’t use his Nikon D3 SLR too often ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nokia_Lumia_1020_vs._Nokia_808_PureView

As for the team’s transfer to Microsoft, Juha ensures us that the teams are still able to work together seamlessly without corporate borderlines that were present before the purchase, meaning we should see more innovations coming to us as a faster pace. My favorite part has to have been when they were asked if they were confident that Nokia would remain the imaging leader, to which they responded: “No, Microsoft will ๐Ÿ™‚

To see the full AMA, head over to Nokia Conversations

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