Surface Duo CameraSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Ari Partinen just joined the Microsoft Surface team as the director of imaging.
  • Partinen was the Lumia photography lead for Nokia and was a senior design engineer for Nokia working on cameras.
  • He also worked at Apple as a senior manager working on camera validation and testing.

Microsoft's Surface Duo may have just gotten the shot in the arm it needs to fix one of its biggest flaws. While the Surface Duo is an incredibly innovative device, its cameras are a major shortcoming. The good news is that this could change as Ari Partinen has joined the Microsoft Surface team as the director of imaging. Partinen has years of experience working on smartphone cameras, most notably Nokia's Lumia lineup and Apple's cameras.

Partinen is a well-respected name in the industry and brings years of expertise to Microsoft's Surface team. He worked for Nokia for a total of seven years, the last of which was as its Lumia photography lead. He also worked as a senior design engineer for over six years at Nokia.

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Following his time at Nokia, Partinen went to Apple. The majority of his time at Apple was as a senior manager working on camera validation and testing. He was in that role for three years before moving to AAC technologies.

Partinen worked at AAC Technologies for the last two years working on image quality and testing.

The about section of Partinen's LinkedIn profile reads:

Working in the field of digital imaging with a passion to drive digital imaging technologies to the next level. Continuously developing new ways to measure, enhance and productize image quality.

Specialties: I have worked with mobile imaging starting from camera module production all the way to the final image quality tuning and verification so I have very good overall understanding about the mobile imaging business. I have also worked several years as a commercial photographer so also high end imaging is familiar for me.

Partinen announced his move to Microsoft on Twitter and on LinkedIn. His LinkedIn post states:

Through new doors

After two years, today marks my last day at AAC Technologies. I would like to thank everyone at AAC for the great experience, professionalism, growth and friendship we fostered together. While sad closing this door, I'm very excited about what's behind the next one. It's an honor to have the opportunity to work in the field of Imaging, which I care so deeply about. Witnessing this technological revolution unravelling in front of us, and having a privilege to play my role in this.

With this, I'm delighted to announce that I'm joining Microsoft Surface team in a role of Director of Imaging. Even during these difficult times with the ongoing global pandemic, I couldn't be more excited about the future!

The Surface Duo saw mixed reviews when it came out, many of which mentioned its camera. In his Surface Duo re-review, our executive editor Daniel Rubino points out that the camera is still bad. Despite its camera, the Surface Duo does have some positive aspects. Its support of the best pens for the Surface Duo, its thin design, and a growing library of Surface Duo optimized apps make for a unique mobile experience.

Fans of the Surface Duo will likely be thrilled if Partinen can improve the image quality of future Surface Duo devices. Recent job listings from Microsoft suggest that the company is working to improve the camera quality of the Surface Duo 2. In conjunction with Partinen's hiring, it seems that Microsoft is prioritizing cameras going forward.