Apple steals away one of Nokia’s PureView sensor innovators

Daniel Bader

May 9, 2014 12:05pm

Likely lost in the hubbub of the potential Beats deal this week is the fact that Ari Partinen, one of PureView’s inventors over at Nokia, is moving to Apple.

Now that Microsoft wholly owns Nokia’s Devices & Services business, it was inevitable that some personnel shifting would happen, but this is a big gain for Apple. Partinen was one of the original authors of the PureView oversampling abstract that birthed the idea of large-megapixel sensors working together to deliver sharper, better-quality photos.

Apple has taken device imaging very seriously since the original iPhone’s 2MP rear camera, and more recently used a variation of oversampling to deliver better lowlight photos on the iPhone 5s. Dubbed pixel binning, the technique increases sensitivity by assigning two or more pixels in a particular area of the sensor the job of combining the capture of light. Photos of this kind are slightly lower-resolution than their regular counterparts but result in more usable nighttime photos.

It’s not clear what Partinen will be doing at Apple, but his expertise will certainly come in to play during the design process of the next few iPhones and iPads.

  • rgl168

    Lumia 1020 with a huge lens on the back => hardly anyone noticed.
    iPhone 6/7/[whatever] with a huge lens on the back => people will think it’s the best thing since sliced bread

    • barrist


    • rgl168

      So so?

    • hamza

      Was about to say the exact same thing. Can’t wait for people to lose their minds and claim it as revolutionary and say that Apple changed smartphone cameras. Sad how blinded people have become.

    • barrist

      And people call Apple fans hipsters. This is the epitome of “i knew about it before it was cool!” whining. Blame Nokia for not marketing it better, not Apple for doing it well.

    • rgl168

      Try going to any Robelus stores playing dumb, approaching the sales guy, pointing to the phone at the shelf and asking him “what about this Nokia”, and I’m sure your friendly sales guy will divert your attention to his iPhone or Galaxy selections.

    • HiKsFiles

      If so, he’ll be doing a good job! Not trying to shamelessly flame Nokia, but the Robelus salesmen are there to sell you phones first and foremost and, as a second thought, make sure your happy of your choice. Unless there’s that very special unique feature you’re looking for on that Nokia collecting dust over there, you sure as hell are better off with an iPhone or a Galaxy S!

    • rgl168

      How would that sales guy know that “very special unique feature” is *the* feature I want, if he didn’t even ask?

    • HiKsFiles

      Easy, you’ll tell him! When I’m shopping and looking for something in particular, if a sales guy come to me asking if I need help (assuming I am), I’ll let him know what I’m looking for. In that case, the inexistant “very special unique feature” 😉

    • rgl168

      Offline maps for virtually all countries in the world, without data or network connectivity, without buying anything extra. For a person that travels a lot, yup – that’s a “very special unique feature”.

    • MikeOxlong

      Oh, so just like Google maps (6.14.4), without all the advaved features? Heh.

    • rgl168

      I knew you are going to ask that. Try getting offline maps for Taiwan and Spain with Google Maps.

    • MikeOxlong

      Honestly I could care less about both locations. However, Spain can be saved with the exception of the area in and around Madrid, due to some licensing issue (same goes for Taiwan and Ireland too in case you didn’t know). However, there are versions (6.8&6.9) of maps out there that do work as they’ve been “altered” to do so. But you already knew that right?

    • rgl168

      I just did a search on Barcelona on the my phone and it shows no download button. Neither does Badajoz. Yet with Lisbon, Portugal immediately shows download.

      And sorry, I don’t use hacked apps.

    • alphs22

      I like how people like you get upset at things that haven’t happened yet.

    • rgl168

      sarcasm != upset

    • MikeOxlong

      Oh you’re upset buddy. Don’t lie.

    • rgl168

      There are better things to get upset about, like the unnecessary election in Ontario.

    • Mo Dabbas

      Ppl did notice. But the things weren’t as perfect as they appeared. Some reviews mentioned slow performance for example. Also, Windows phone hasn’t caught up to android and iOS yet, the OS is a deal breaker for many.
      Still, I doubt we’ll see any pureView in the next iphones or ipads. Apple needs smaller sensors than the 1020 to fit in those slim devices.

    • Dany Tremblay

      Did you try to take a picture with the Lumia 1020 ? It’s really hard because the autofocus is so slow. Better have less pixels, but a fast and accurate camera who works great everytime.

  • peekabo

    anything to kill off shamesung

  • Lucas Pedersoli

    Apple, pure innovation…

  • mwahahahaha

    STEAL THIS –> (__|__) !!

  • Brian_Pelican

    So. Nokia isn’t in on the anti-poaching agreement then?

  • VH

    That giant yellow monkey doesn’t belong to Nokia, he works for Microsoft after the recent msft/nok deal, entire phone division was sold off to msft, the giant yellow monkey included