How Nokia's Radical New Zoom Tech Works

Nokia's new Lumia 1020 comes with a host of features you might not be used to on a humble smartphone. And one of the most intriguing is the Lumia's radical new approach to zoom. Here's how it works.

Because the Lumia 1020 shoots so many pixels on the 41MP sensor, it doesn't have to lose any actual "pixels" when it zooms in. It can go to 6x zoom by just cropping down on the original image taken (sort of like how the D4's 1080p crop mode works).

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The way to think of it is that the full, unzoomed images actually throw out a bunch of data. You know how Apple's retina method sends four pixels to populate what used to be one pixel? The PureView sensor, more or less, does the same thing, so it's sending that "retina" packet to a non-retina screen. But that data's all there, and so you can "zoom" in and access the data that would have been lost otherwise. The 1020 saves the "oversampled," smaller image (which has lost some data), but also saves the full file so you can zoom all around the image and zoom wherever you want later on.

Here's a quick look at how that "dual-capture" method—the 5MP oversampled image and the full file—breaks down in action:

Illustration for article titled How Nokia's Radical New Zoom Tech Works

What's it all going to mean for your photos? More control, mostly. A chance to frame your shot just right after you've already taken it, without losing all the important sharpness and detail that you want. It's a handy innovation, and one that might just win you over to Windows Phone once and for all.

Image credit: Nokia

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DISCUSSION

soron_12f
St_Michael

I'm wondering what your are talking about?

It is just about saving the crop region in an image...

so at then end? is it when you take a photo, the full size of the sensor captureed image is saved even if you "zoomed" in an area at the moment of the shoot?

is it said in the post?