It looks like Nokia is continuing to concentrate on mobile photography as the venture-capital investment arm of the company, Nokia Growth Partners, is throwing some money behind Pelican Imaging (http://www.pelicanimaging.com). The technology is expected to creep into future Lumia phones as the hardware behind the Pelican Imagining gets commercialized.
So what does Pelican Imagining bring to the table? They make the software to handle multiple, tiny lenses that make up a meta-camera.
Think of flies eyes and you’ll have a better understanding. The idea is that with numerous, small cameras versus one large one, you can have more control over focal granularity and basically “do more stuff”. So Pelican doesn’t make this hardware, they just make the software to process all of the images together (you can peep the video below to get an idea of how it all works).
If that sounds a lot like those new-fangled Lytro cameras that allow you to take a single photo but then tap to re-focus, you’d be right. Of course, you don’t need numerous cameras to do a Lytro-like effect—in fact, tune in later today and we’ll show you how you can do it in April, 2013.
So when can we expect some multiple lens-cameras for our Lumias? Probably not in the immediate future (read: this year) but the good news here is that Nokia is once again ahead of the curve, investing where imaging will be in two or three years and not just working on today’s gear.
Combined with their purchase of Scalado, their over-sampling 41MP PureView (which will be instantiated later this as a Windows Phone ‘EOS’), optical-image stabilization in the Lumia 920 and Nokia is set to continue dominating mobile photography.