We all know that the Nokia 808 PureView made quite a splash when it was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year.
Almost immediately, the blogosphere became smitten with its 41-megapixel sensor, cutting edge optics and advanced algorithms that produced images on a par, if not better, than digital SLR cameras.
Marc Wielaert is an enthusiastic blogger from Hilversum in the Netherlands, who runs the smartphone-review.nl website and he was in attendance at Barcelona for the launch. It’s fair to say that the 808 PureView made quite an impression on him as well.
In fact, Marc, who has been using and testing camera phones for over decade, became so infatuated with the device that he set up a website dedicated to spreading the word about PureView technology.
The PureView Club, run by Marc and his webmaster Peter Buijsman, has now been going for a couple of months and already boasts a lively forum, galleries of photos and video and all the latest news about the Nokia 808 PureView.
Among the latest highlights on the site are some recent photos taken with an 808 PureView of Wollaton Hall in England, which was filmed in The Dark Knight Rises as Bruce Wayne’s mansion.
Marc, who works for a Dutch Soul & Jazz radio station, spoke to me about his love for the 808 PureView, why he set up the website and his fascination with camera phones.
Can you remember when you first heard about the Nokia 808 PureView?
In Barcelona, I can remember that as soon as possible I went to the Nokia stand, it was very big and busy, but I just had to see the 808 PureView. I completely fell in love with it.
The next day I returned again. In fact I visited the Nokia stand every day of the Mobile World Congress because the 808 PureView had some sort of magical attraction to me.
Did you get to use it?
The second day at the Mobile World Congress they allowed me to make a full HD video because I was not only blown away by the 41-megapixel sensor but also the first time I heard the result of Rich Recording it knocked me off my feet.
I talked with the Nokia employee at the stand and said, ‘this is not true. You plugged this directly into the soundboard.’ He said, ‘no, I recorded this in the hall with no microphone attached.’
I was totally blown away because the sound was so incredible.
So being fanatical about taking pictures with smartphones, plus working in radio and listening to that recording, I just fell in love. This was my future device.
How long have you been interested in smartphones and camera phones?
I have been interested in mobile phones for a very long time. My first mobile phone was in 1999, the fantastic Nokia 6150. It is an iconic phone.
Since 2001, I have been taking pictures with smartphones. The Nokia Communicator 9210 was packed with the Concord eye-Q camera, so I consider that to be my first camera phone. The Nokia N8 was also an iconic phone and I took many great pictures with that as well.
The camera has always been very important in how I value a smartphone. When the 808 PureView was announced I was blown away because I had been following the megapixel race from the very beginning, from VGA up until 12-megapixel. Now, the 808 PureView offers a totally new future.
You now have your own Nokia 808 PureView. What are your impressions of the device?
In the beginning it was not very easy because you have many settings. Of course, you have the idiot-proof setting, which is point and shoot. Then Scenes, which is a bit more interesting and can be quite handy.
Of course, though, to make the optimal macro shots and to get the best out of the camera you have to use Creative mode. So you have to get used to it, but my pictures are much better now. It is a very sophisticated camera.
I can compare the 808 PureView with my wife’s compact camera (a pretty good Panasonic TZ7) and I know for sure that the Nokia 808 takes better pictures. It has also replaced my SLR. For my website, I always used my SLR to take photos of the phones I am reviewing. Since I have the 808 PureView there’s no need for it anymore.
Why did you start the PureView club?
I saw an opportunity to build an international community to do with my passions, which are smartphones, taking mobile pictures and in a way, Nokia as well. I have been using Nokia since 1999 and the brand grows on you.
I fell in love with the PureView technology and I thought this is going to be big and it is going to be very important. Let’s start a website about it and make it in English so that it’s worldwide.
It will start with the Nokia 808 PureView and the fan base will be relatively small but as soon as PureView hits Windows Phone and the Nokia Lumia series then I am sure that many, many people will be massively attracted to it.
What kind of reaction have you had to the PureView club?
Reaction has been very enthusiastic and people make it clear that they love the site. We are part of a community that embraces the PureView technology and it’s all part of the charm.
You won’t find any digital camera, no matter how expensive, that you could also make phone calls with, share the pictures on Facebook or email them, etc.
It has so many communication opportunities, cellular data, WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC. The Nokia 808 PureView offers all those possibilities and is a perfect camera too. It’s a very complicated concept made extremely simple.
Follow the PureView Club on Twitter at @PureViewClub and see Marc’s Flickr account for his collection of smartphone photos.