How the Nokia 9 PureView Camera will be Arranged

HMD Global is preparing the flagship smartphone Nokia 9 PureView in conjunction with Light – a startup developing technologies to improve the quality of photos due to the simultaneous use of multiple sensors. The company recently published a description of its technology for smartphones, explaining in it the key points of the Nokia 9 PureView camera. So, according to Light, the main problem of mobile cameras is a small amount of information captured by sensors – and this is a consequence of the fact that the sensors themselves are small in size. This already explains why it is useful to have several lenses – this allows you to capture multiple times more information.

And from N cameras, the use is not N times more than from one, but more than N times more. Firstly, due to the fact that cameras can shoot with different exposures and exposures, receiving slightly different information: bright objects are distinguishable in one image, and dark in another. Secondly, algorithms that compare photos with each other can better filter the noise, “adding” useful details into the final image and discarding the noise. It is these algorithms that are the basis of Light technologies.

In addition, lenses do not need to be the same. Different sensors and different optics with different focal lengths, different image capture angles and different apertures can be used. Combinations of different cameras, according to Light, also allows you to increase the detail of images and implement a zoom without loss. In addition, the analysis of images from different points (and because the cameras are in slightly different places) allows you to build a depth map – like the Xbox Kinect. This is useful for software simulation of a wide aperture and other post-processing images; and if the majority of modern smartphones with “depth sensors” have a number of layers on a map with a depth of less than ten, then Light has more than a thousand.

The use of several cameras simultaneously opens up wide possibilities in the field of HDR. Light declares at least 13 stops of the dynamic range – this means that the maximum difference between the darkest and lightest identifiable objects in a frame is at least 8192 times. Another “bun” is the ability to do frames with different exposures not consistently, as it usually happens, but at the same time on different lenses. This is very useful if you are trying to make an HDR image of a moving object: it will not fall apart, as is often the case with HDR.

Finally, several cameras are very useful if there is not enough light – in low light the amount of light captured by the cameras grows in proportion to their number, and this allows for much better frames in low light. In addition to all the above tricks with combining information from different sensors, Light does not hesitate and more traditional methods of improving photos – in particular, AI-recognition of scenes.

Together, all Light software chips form the Polar Fusion engine. Of course, it requires a lot of computational power – and Light is ready to provide it. The company has developed a special Lux Capacitor chipset that stands between the camera modules and the computing processor of the smartphone. He is able to process images simultaneously from six sensors – and if there are more, you can “plug” several Lux Capacitor in parallel. According to Light, Lux Capacitor is compatible with modern mobile chipsets; An example is the Snapdragon 845, which will be used in the Nokia 9 PureView. Recall, the announcement of the smartphone is scheduled for the end of January.