Future Nokia phones will once again feature Carl Zeiss cameras

By midian182 ยท 9 replies
Jul 6, 2017
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  1. Phone maker HMD Global, which licenses the Nokia brand from the Finnish company, has announced an “exclusive” partnership with optical systems maker Zeiss that will see the pair develop cameras for upcoming Nokia handsets.

    Nokia was in a partnership with Zeiss until it sold its smartphone division to Microsoft in 2013. The company had used Zeiss optics in several of its phones, such as the Nokia N95. Now, HMD wants to make an excellent camera system the focal point of its future Nokia-branded Android handsets.

    "Our fans want more than a great smartphone camera; they want a complete imaging experience that doesn't just set the standard but redefines it. Our fans expect it and, together with Zeiss, we're delivering it - co-developed imaging excellence for all," said Arto Nummela, CEO of HMD Global.

    Nokia’s new Android smartphones – the N3, N5, and N6 (which was one of our top picks from last year’s IFA event) – don’t come with Zeiss lenses. It seems the first Nokia handset to feature the system will be the flagship Nokia 8.

    Back in March, rumors claimed it was unlikely that the Nokia 8 would use Carl Zeiss optics after Nokia said it is no longer using the imagining technology in its devices. But it appears that decision has now changed.

    Nokia’s previous relationship with Zeiss produced handsets that were regarded as hugely innovative at the time. Whether this new partnership yields equally impressive results remains to be seen, but it could help the Nokia brand stand out in an increasingly crowded market.

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,280

    "Our fans want more than a great smartphone camera; they want a complete imaging experience that doesn't just set the standard but redefines it. Our fans expect it and, together with Zeiss, we're delivering it - co-developed imaging excellence for all."
    That's an impressive, but meaningless bit of marketing mumbo jumbo. Those that dream it up must really have a vivid imagination.
    Reehahs and p51d007 like this.
  3. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 630   +403

    I owned a Nokia before having a zeiss lens during the 2000s. It was costly and I can tell you it was good during that time but I felt it was not worth the money compared with small cameras. Things have changed since then. We know now that the combination of good hardware + software that can bring out the best of that hardware produces great to excellent pictures. The iphone 7plus and galaxy S8 is a clear example of this. They dont need a branded lens to be in the top. They just need to know how to do things right. So what I am saying is this is just marketing gimmick at its best.

    edit: missing a word
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  4. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 390   +250

    I still use my outdated Lumia 928, and my brother uses the 1020, both using Zeiss lenses. They are superior to everything from that generation. It was because of these phone-cams in the Lumia line that all the other companies had to step up in the first place. Zeiss and Nokia raised the bar and everyone benefited, and they can do it again. My phone still takes better pictures than 98% of the phones out there.

    Professional competition is a good thing.
    Reehahs and killmess like this.
  5. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,492   +813

    It's "just" a name, if you ask me, when it comes to a camera on a smartphone. Considering how SMALL the sensors are on these things, compared to even an APS-C sensor, and, how SMALL the glass in front of that sensor is, it really isn't going to help much. Granted, pretty much any smartphone, in the past couple years, when coupled with fair to good software, and the smartphone users ability to HOLD IT STILL, will take ok photos, but, just by adding a "big name" to it, isn't going to make enough difference for me to shell out big bucks, if that's what it cost. My Mate 2, which I retired last year for a Mate 8 took excellent photos. I snapped a few of some flowers, by using the camera FV-5 software, which gives you greater control over how you capture photos, and the results are stunning, but, it helps to have a background in photography, and HOLDING THE CAMERA STILL. Even with OIS, you need to HOLD THE CAMERA STILL. ;)
    Teko03 likes this.
  6. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 390   +250

    Or just use Photoshop? :D
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,004   +1,316

    A smartphones are not only ubiquitous, but for average Joe Doe, subsuming in character - - replacing many other devices.

    However, to one who does a lot of photography, no smartphone will out perform a SLR (single lens reflex) camera. Why? Because the user can control both the Fstop and the Shutter speed to produce results not obtainable with point-n-click toys. The Carl Zeiss len is not just any-old-name - - every manned space vehicle has gone up with cameras fitted with them.

    It's a fair statement to make that if you don't recognize this name, then "you don't know photography or take serious photos which you print, frame and hang on your walls".

    If photography to you means selfies and FB pages, then even a pin-hole camera will do :grin:


    and a damn good one too(y)
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
    Reehahs and killmess like this.
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,116   +2,605

    I had nothing but Zeiss glass on my Hasselblads and to say they make superior glass is an understatement BUT I once used the 80 mm lens and compared it to the Yashica matt G, shooting an Air Force optics target at a distance of 10'. Much to my amazement, the japanese glass lens (last generation before the plastic lenses) actually yielded a sharper, crisper image. The Zeiss lens still had better color rendering, but it reminded me there is a LOT more in a lens than many know or understand.

    I would love to see a side by side comparison of these lenses on the various phones specifically for sharpness and color rendition.
    killmess likes this.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,004   +1,316

    hmm; IMO, colors transmit equally through lens, while the film, exposure and processing will greatly effect the image color & contrast. Yeah, I said film, but the CCD & exposure will be the biggest contributors to color fidelity. I would expect that Micro Focus or effective 200mm zoom might readily disclose lens quality.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  10. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,492   +813

    Yeah, to a point, but, unless you can output a DNG or similar RAW file, gonna be hard to pull out the
    details without screwing up the photo.
    The camera raw filter in the newer versions of photoshop "can" help jpeg files, but if it isn't a good clear
    shot, not really a lot you can do with them.
    killmess likes this.

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