Nokia 9 PureView cameras explained: Here’s how the five cameras work

Understand the functionality of the Nokia 9 PureView cameras.


At the MWC 2019, HMD Global took the wraps off four new Android smartphones. One of them is the long-rumored Nokia 9 PureView flagship smartphone. It carries the credits of being the world's first phone to feature a unique penta-camera setup.

Nokia 9 PureView cameras explained: Here’s how the five cameras work


Nokia 9 PureView has five rear cameras with the ZEISS Optics and is aimed at the next-generation photography enthusiasts. It is touted that every photo captured using this smartphone is in HDR. Also, the company explains that all the five cameras work simultaneously to capture a photo and fuse it into one photo of 12MP. Eventually, the final output has outstanding dynamic range and depth effect.

Given that the five cameras at the rear are the highlight of this smartphone, here we have come up with a detailed report on how these cameras work. So, let's dive deep in the imaging technique of Nokia 9 PureView from here.

Hardware of Nokia 9 PureView camera

Well, Nokia 9 PureView has seven cutouts at the rear. Five of these are for the cameras, sixth is for the flash and the last one is for the time-of-flight sensor. Of the five cameras at its rear, two are RGB sensors and the other three are monochromatic sensors. All these sensors have an f/1.8 aperture and use the same 12MP Sony sensor. All these cameras sensors work together in order to gather up to 10x light as compared to a single color sensor.

Each image captured using this smartphone is HDR with a 12MP depth map and up to 12.4 stops of dynamic range. The images have outstanding details, be it bright or dark shots. With a depth map, it creates beautiful bokeh. Also, there is a possibility to adjust the focus of the shots in Google Photos.

As you hit the camera shutter button to capture a shot, the five cameras of the smartphone will work simultaneously to click the same shot with at least five exposures. So, the information for a photo actually comes from five sensors. Eventually, for every photo, at least 60MP of information is captured and this can go up to 240MP. Later, Nokia will deploy its computational AI algorithms to extract the necessary information for a 12MP photo.


Notably, the three monochrome sensors will capture the contrast, sharpness and details while the two RGB sensors will capture the elements in the colors and white balance.

Also, there is a 3D ToF sensor. This one is aimed at providing great post-shooting focus editing. It will be responsible for creating a depth map for the subject.

Nokia 9 PureView software optimizations

When it comes to the software optimizations for the camera department, there is enough information of up to 240MP for an output of 12MP. This is where the software comes to play. It deals with different levels of lighting, colors, contrast, textures and exposures. The device employs machine learning algorithms to process the data quickly. It also enables high dynamic range that makes it proficient at shooting even in low light. There is a custom DSP that lets background defocus adjustment, thanks to the 3D ToF sensor.

As it is meant for the photography enthusiasts, this Nokia smartphone features the ability to click photos in uncompressed RAW (DNG) format. And, it lets users edit the RAW images directly on the smartphone. This is possible due to the partnership with Adobe Lightroom.

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