Nokia PureView camera lead departs to help improve Apple iPhone cameras

Nokia PureView camera lead departs to help improve Apple iPhone cameras

Summary: Nokia has been a leader in smartphone imaging for a long time and their PureView cameras are the best in the industry. A lead engineer announced his departure from Microsoft to help a competitor improve their cameras.

Nokia PureView camera lead departs to help improve Apple iPhone cameras
(Image: Nokia)

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.

Further reading:

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone, Nokia, Smartphones, Windows Phone

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Camera hump

    Apple gonna let this guy produce a camera the results in a physical lump on the back of the iPhone? Apple gonna built an iPhone variant built AROUND the camera? Apple gonna let this guy put physical springs on their camera? Apple won't even produce a phone with an NFC antenna. In a merger people leave, it's typical and it only makes sense.
    widow maker
  • Lead....

    ...I am sure that Nokia (now Microsoft) still have one or more capable guys in their team to further develope their (patented) technologie. So it won't be the end of the world....
    • Looking at the news of late, it appears that Apple is willing to pay

      to buy the best talent they can.

      This is both good and bad in that it shows that Apple is serious about making a really good phone, but bad in that it's also an acknowledgement that they really didn't put any real effort behind previous phones, opting for "good enough" in many areas.
      • That should scare competitors

        They've been on a hiring spree of late. Cook is showing how different a CEO he is from Jobs with such a hire. Jobs would have seen this as some type of admission that a competitor have something on the iPhone. This and the Beats rumored purchase shows cook will be much more aggressive a CEO when it comes to moving the company forward. Stepping out of the box.

        "bad in that it's also an acknowledgement that they really didn't put any real effort behind previous phones"

        Problem with that statement is the iPhone's camera is regarded as one of the best, if not the best in the market. For a number of years now. It is also the most popular camera phone. So they've put lots of effort in their camera.
        • I'm sure he is talented

          But let's not exaggerate.
          There is no big secret behind lumia 1020 camera - they've just placed a bigger sensor that offers a big noise advantage. The trade off - is a massive heavy phone.
          When we compare the lumia 1520 with Sony z with a similar size sensor and same pixel count, the pureview technology doesn't offer more.
        • But if the cameras on others phone were so-so

          then of course Apple's "good enough" camera would be considered "the best".

          It doesn't mean it was a good as it could be, that their engineers put the effort behind it to make it the best imaginable, it just means it was better then what other phones have.
          • The cameras on the other phones are not so so

            They are equivalent or even better when the size of the sensor is similar.
            And there is no secret about making larger sensors, even if they cost more money.
  • Nokia PureView camera lead departs to help improve Apple iPhone cameras

    A surprising move. Really, who wouldn't want to work for Microsoft? But the bigger issue here is if that engineer is allowed to work for Apple. I would think he had to sign some type of non-compete clause for such technology. Or at least have to wait 6 months to 1 year before being able to work for a competitor.
  • Ari Pertinent might be able to leave MS and go work for Apple, BUT...

    he can't take any of the applicable patents which MS/Nokia own.

    Whatever he develops for Apple, can't be a duplicate of what Nokia developed, and which Microsoft now owns.

    Perhaps Ali might develop software that is "pertinent" to what Apple already has, and which doesn't directly conflict with Nokia's patents.
    • Nokia will be willing to sell their IP

      It's part of their core business now. And Apple has "scale" working for them, while I doubt lumia 1020 can even reach 1 million units, iPhone do that in first hours.
      While 1020 has the best camera, everything indicates it is a commercial failure.
      • Nokia already has an agreement with MS, and any "selling" of IP will have

        to be cleared with MS first.

        And, if the IP or patents were to be made available for selling, you can be sure that the biggest bidder would be Microsoft. Even if someone else were to become the proprietors of the IP, the Nokia agreement with MS would still be in place, which means that, MS would have access to that IP, free of charge.

        When it comes to iPhones, they're no longer the biggest kid on the block, and Android phones have surpassed them, a long time ago. iPhones are still selling well, but Apple is worried and they do have good reasons for worrying. WP/Nokia smartphones will be marketed more aggressively, and eventually, they will surpass iPhones worldwide, which they've already done in some countries in Europe. The best usually rise to the top, even if there are struggles in the beginning.
        • The deal

          "Nokia will retain its patent portfolio and will grant Microsoft a 10-year non-exclusive license to its patents at the time of the closing. Microsoft will grant Nokia reciprocal rights to use Microsoft patents in its HERE services. In addition, Nokia will grant Microsoft an option to extend this mutual patent agreement in perpetuity."

          Nokia can do whatever they want with their patents.
  • Nokiasoft

    I just hope Microsoft improves upon on Nokia and doesn't ruin it. Nokia was a great company that made phenomenal phones, so I just hope that continues now.
    Pollo Pazzo
  • Was this typed on an Apple device?

    Ari Partinen. Damn auto correct.
  • What a joke.

    "Nokia's PureView cameras are the best available on smartphones today."

    What a joke !! The iPhone is a far better camera than the nokia and it is clear that Cook wants to keep it that way. Pertinent Will find a far better and more innovative environment to work in than he had in Nokia and that is the main reason he is joining Apple.
    • That's Funny!

      Thanks for the laugh!
  • Nokia Lumia 1520 Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 1080 x 1920 pixels, 6.0 inches

    Please check the url at
    Stephen Razmik