Nokia's PureView cameras are the best available on smartphones today. Nokia has always been strong in imaging and their 808 PureView set the bar a couple of years ago. Engadget reports that Apple has hired one of the experts from the Nokia team. Ari Pertinen, a senior camera engineer, reported on Twitter that he will be starting with Apple in June.
I have tested most of the PureView smartphones over the last couple of years and still own the 808 and Lumia 1020. There really is no comparison when it comes to these cameras, but the iPhone 5s does perform admirably and for most people who use auto mode it is one of the best cameras on a phone.
It is exciting to see Apple looking seriously at continuing to improve their cameras and I think this is a great move for Apple. PureView is great because of both the hardware and software with the software powering the PureView experience being extremely powerful.
Pertinen has been working with Nokia for since 2007, the year the original iPhone was released. Check out this Nokia Conversations post from last fall where Pertinen used the Nokia Lumia 1020 to take some studio shots.
It will be interesting to see if other former Nokia employees will be making moves away from the company now that Microsoft owns the Nokia devices and services business. While I am sure there are other excellent engineers on the Lumia imaging team, it doesn't help that a lead engineer is leaving Microsoft to help Apple improve their camera technology.