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Photokina is the world’s largest trade fair for the photographic and imaging industries, which has been held biennially in Cologne, Germany since 1950. Just as in 2010, Nokia is participating at the event together with Carl Zeiss in hall 2.1 at booth B011, to be precise.

In two years, many things have changed but one: Nokia is still strongly innovating in imaging. Actually, 2012 has been another great year for imaging at Nokia: in February we introduced the Nokia 808 PureView and just a couple of weeks ago the Nokia Lumia 920. Both smartphones take excellent photos and address some of the most common problems that people face when they are taking pictures with camera phones.

To showcase our imaging innovation, we invited Photokina visitors to experience both of our PureView smartphones. We also built a special demobox to simulate low light conditions and compare the results of the Nokia Lumia 920 with other smartphones.

Nokia's low light box demo at photokina

The imaging experts

At Photokina 2012 we are also participating at the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) Awards Ceremony to receive the Best Imaging Innovation Award for Nokia 808 PureView that was announced in April. This gave me the chance to chat with our imaging experts Eero Salmelin and Juha Alakarhu.

“Consumers want to take great pictures in any conditions” says Eero “and the Pureview brand stands for the best imaging innovations we have created to solve everyday photography problems”.

With the award winning Nokia 808 PureView we solved the problem of zooming in with a camera phone. To deliver the best images imaginable at any resolution the Nokia 808 PureView features a large, high resolution 41 megapixel sensor, exclusive Carl Zeiss optics and Nokia-developed pixel processing technology.

“Low light performance has always been a very big problem in photography, since the very beginning; this is more manifest than ever in camera phones or compact cameras, which is why we looked into original ways to also solve this problem” continues Juha.

Nokia's imaging experts Eero Salmelin and Juha Alakarhu

Solving low light conditions

With the Nokia Lumia 920 we solve the problem of photos in low light conditions with a rear illuminated sensor, a f/2.0 aperture, optical image stabilization and the latest version of our imaging software.

All these elements combine to capture at least five times more light than other smartphones in similar conditions. In particular, the algorithms we are using in the Nokia Lumia 920 are enhancing brightness, colours, sharpness and clarity in the same way they do on the Nokia 808 PureView.

This is not only relevant in low light conditions; photos that are taken indoors are also sharper. In daylight the Nokia Lumia 920 can take better pictures of fast moving objects, removing blur and imprecisions caused by handshaking. Last but not least, video capabilities are also dramatically improved.

Although the Nokia Lumia 920 performs extremely well in low light conditions, you might sometimes want to use flash to create special effects. To our knowledge, the built in flash on the Nokia Lumia 920 is the brightest LED flash in the market, which also delivers better colours and a shorter flash pulse for best results.

The blogger’s view

Blogger visiting the Nokia stand

“Very often, you have only one chance to take a picture and the Nokia Lumia 920 clearly gives you the possibility to get it right” says blogger Steve ‘Chippy’ Paine.

“I use my DSLR for work, but in my everyday life I rely on the Nokia 808 PureView, with which I can capture so much more memories and emotions than without a camera; now I am very excited about the Nokia Lumia 920, because it basically allows me to take five times more usable photos.”

Photokina is always a great experience for me because I am amazed by the amount of technology packaged in cameras and relevant accessories. A feeling that, I know, is being shared by many other visitors.

Two years ago they couldn’t believe my photos were taken with a camera phone (Nokia N8). This year they are trying their best, unsuccessfully, to match their camera phones to the Nokia Lumia 920 and its performance in low light conditions.