Nokia 9 Pureview :: the best camera phone nobody noticed

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This smartphone might be the weirdest thing to ever come out. A collaboration between Nokia and Light gives us no less than 5 cameras on the Nokia 9 Pureview. So its it the smartphone for photography? Well yes and no…

Apple have introduced some amazing computational photography with the iPhone 11 and of course Google with nightsight and the Google Pixel 4. The Nokian 9 Pureview has a completely different approach which is quite interesting. Using 5 lenses that all fire at once, Nokia achieves the same result in real time. But it comes with a few flaws.

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Ted Forbes
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45 Comments

  1. I think this is right now the only phone which can shoot RAW monochrome, which is great. But the rest around it is mediocre. Hopefully the 9.3 or 10 will do better

  2. I have only just purchased the Nokia 9 Pure View, really for its still photography. I am late considering its been out quite a while. I have had professional level DSLR, mirroless camera.before and I still have one. I am not a professional, but an enthusiast, my knowledge of photography is adequate, but not extensive. I was looking for something light to carry I'm my pocket, but at the same time, does not take a massive performance hit. I am to tell, this is the finest smartphone camera I have ever used, and not by a small margin either. I have several smartphones, and I have what many people call the king of smartphone cameras now, Huwai P40 Pro, which is the second best camera on any smartphone I have used. Back to the Nokia 9 Pure View, I am in awe of it's capability. Purely as a smartphone, it's other features, I don't think it's in the race, hence my purchase of the Huwai P40 Pro. And I acknowledge that it's processing of images is slow, buggy type of camera app, and for outdoor night photography their are better options. And I realize this is not for your average smartphone user, who is neither a professional or enthusiast, better options for them too. But looking purely from a point of view of photography, hard core photographers, who are willing to use its settings to its full potential, and are okay with post processing on the phone, or better still on your computer in Photoshop, Lightroom or any other software, this is a no brainer. The images this camera produces, it's dynamic range, the way it keeps a lot of information in its shadows and highlights is really impressive. I have had a medium format digital camera, sometimes I feel it even edges past that. I am no way saying it compares with full frame, or medium format camera, with their high quality sensors, lenses and the ability to actually change the aperture. But for a smartphone, this is beyond my expectations, it's beautiful. And the ability to take good quality Raw images, and truly actual monochromatic images in the raw format, due to its triple monochromatic sensors! I think apart from the Leica Monochrome professional camera, I don't think there is a another digital camera with this ability, even among dedicated high end cameras. But to have this in a smartphone is impressive. I really hope Nokia releases the next version of this smartphone, updated and all the places were this falls short improved, whilst keeping the same photography concept of this camera, several sensors working together for jaw dropping results, and I hope the dedicated monochromatic sensors, with the ability to shoot black and white photos in Raw and Jpeg remain. Nokia, you really have something to be proud of, I would really like to see an improved version of this soon.

  3. When I bought the PureView I had some hopes. The camera is good so far, but the phone itself is too unrereliable to trust. Updates help, provided it will connect to the WiFi and that's not always the case. I seem to spend too much time trying to use it. I also bought a Xiaomi Note 8 pro. It's camera is pretty good too. I need that for reliability. I had a Nokia 1020 once and it too was a camera phone with issues.

  4. Nokia has 7 Camera?
    1) Normal
    2) Wide
    3) Ultra Wide
    4) Ultra Zoom
    5) IR Camera / Filter Chroma
    6) Night Vision Camera
    7) and FLIR Thermal

    I hope somebody can make something like this.

  5. Aside from taking black and white, no other thing is remarkable in this phone. Any other flagship can take good RAW images.

  6. This phone is priced at $399 dollars over here… that makes it an amazing deal ngl for those cameras and that beautiful build with symmetrical bezels and a not to bad snapdragon 845.. I hope Nokia stops using year old processors

  7. 5:45 you are right but only on one condition, that from the quantum mechanics point of of view cameras are the same, which is not possible from the qm point of view. In all (infinity?) other cases every aditional picture will decrease the noise.

  8. i had the phone for few months – camera is awosme when it is – brutely bad when its not , black and white is amazing ….phone is leggy and the back shuttered very quickly …all in all really nice idea , and I enjoyed for a while but quality is shakey at its best …

  9. If Nokia continuing this or not. We will find it by the year-end. The rumours say they are working on a 5-6 camera setup this time. Let's hope for the best. 🙂

  10. WOW! I just came here from Samsung S20 Ultra review. I commented on S20 video about checking out the N9PV and you already have done it. I should watch the video now. 🙂

  11. That ''true'' Nokia is definitely missed. Their designs and very innovative approach especially in photography is somehow absent in recent products from other manufacturers. Still love to use (for photography) my Lumia 1520 in manual mode.

  12. only probl;em is even the best cell phone cameras can never replicate something like the image of an a7 III with a 135mm g master. not yet anyways. 😉 if your serious about photography dont get the next big cell phone……..get a mirroless camera or dslr with some good lenses you will be amazed at the results. and i urge everyone more to do that. my mom has a basic iphone and a basic camera and she LOVES talking photoes but i keep telling her to invest in a better camera system it would improve the images AND push her to try to take better photos but NOPE……most people use crappy cell phones some are GOOD today but. still more are wide angle. so you get family pictures, christmas card pictures that are so so at best. but hey phones ARE coming a long way soooo maybe down the road there will be a phone with a built in great 135mm lens lol

    that whole multi- exposure thing is so gimmicy. its only great for stuff that is still and you better make sure you hold the camera still lol…..it sounds nice but i rather have a camera that can take a damn good photo not some computer assistated multi image hing plus no way your gonna get pro level photos from a 500 phone. sorry. but i mean its nice to have that option but i really really think people need to stop taking pictures with their phones and invest in a decent dedicated camera system and a few lenses. youll thank me for it 😉

  13. You know. They made same mistake with samsung.

    Galaxy Note 5. Why Sucks? bcs there is no microsd card support. With Galaxy S6 not much people cares. But Note series? Dude you say Note is for creativity and business, but you don't care how much data they need to store.

    i wanted to buy 128GB Note 5. They said they don't sell it. There is only 32GB version in your country. Morons. i have money but i can't buy. WTF. And even for 128GB, we can't say it's enough for everyone.

    It's obvious, this is a camera phone. And you will most likely buy it to take RAW photos. And 128GB memory? Nahhh.

    if it is have a sd card i would probably buy it. Even as a second phone.

  14. I am a nokia 7310 supernova owner that works continiously everyday from the first day i bought it around 2008 and i haven't change neither its battery and i really love that company.Its successor will be something really good like this nokia 9 smartphone i think.

  15. I have it and some of the images I take are fantastic! It just feels a little unrefined and I hope to see a sequel. Hope Nokia didn't give up on imaging! Question: could these effects be achieved with one large image sensor! Nokia 808?

    Thanks for the video (-:

  16. I got one of these a few months ago on sale for $399 and I really like it. I have taken some stunning photos with it. Most of the time the jpegs right out of the phone look great. Once in a while i grab the raw file for some post processing in my PC. My fingerprint sensor works almost every time. It did not, however, work at all when a tried a screen protector. It’s my first high end phone soI really can’t compare it to other flagships but for the price I paid I don’t think there is a better phone for the photo buff. I am not a obsessive phone watcher either. I get 2 to 3 days of battery life with it mostly sitting around.

  17. This is the first video I didn't feel like I needed to fast forward. I have the Nokia 9 and its a great phone. The hardware is nice and the Android One program keeps it updated. The fingerprint sensor needs to be re-calibrated often and the flashlight wont work if you use the face unlock. I think the cameras have a lot of potential. 5 cameras does take a lot of processing power. It does take a moment to render but The pictures are great and videos are good enough. Much better than paying double price or more for an Iphone in my opinion. I got mine on sale fore $400.

  18. I used RAW files when I got mine but I stopped shooting in RAW. It does a great job on JPG's. I don't bother with RAW files on my Fuji X-T2 either.

  19. AS an owner of this phone, I am positively impressed with the camera and processing power for games. Also it can shoot pictures in complete dark environment. Switch to the pro mode and set ISO to 6400 and shutter speed to 1 or 2 sec. and it will make a reasonably good color picture even in a pitch black room.

  20. i think nokia completely neglected the consumer factor. The phone is great for photographers who actually know what they are doing. But it's an overkill for the majority of users who at best need a phone to upload some crap to their instagrams. So, it's just too complex for regular people and yet not ideal for pros because any pro will choose his camera over any phone at any given point. Nokia did not consider that at all and missed on all fronts simply because people have different needs and you cannot satisfy them all with one product. The P30pro is a great example of being much more user friendly, simple, and mainly public oriented. People bought the zoom capability which nokia9 will never have. So, i think nokia9 is a dead concept and they did announce that there wont be a 9.1 phone, instead they're developing a 9.2 version (basically skipping a generation) which will take them another year to develop, and it wont have a penta camera on it.

  21. The smartphone industry is controlled by the consumer. Most consumers are not tech savvy and photography enthusiasts/professionals. I'd highly doubt that they will create another phone with a camera array like that one again. It is an interesting concept. I use a Pixel 3 which is a mediocre camera but the software behind it makes it produce fantastic images. If I want a monochrome image it isn't hard to convert it using snapseed or add a LUT using 1998 cam (which are both fantastic apps). Regardless, a smartphone still isn't close to producing images like a good camera body paired with good glass can.

  22. What exactly do you mean when you say that you can't capture more light with more cameras?
    To me it seems abvious that you should be able to capture more light. I mean is won't be the same light photons hitting lens A as lens B.
    And I guess that the most light photons you capture the less grainy the picture will be.

  23. i was also one of the fools like you who just sticks with the usage of the latest technology. but later i found that this fucking world is MATERIALISTIC and astonishingly brand conscious especially the premium brands like APPLE and Samsung Latest expensive phones. Even in Dresses and Perfumes people usually like to hear the Brand Name of that beautiful smelling fragrance and if you tell them you custom mixed it in DUBAI then the world will never take you seriously. i hope you understand what i mean..!!