Almost immediately after Nokia’s launch event for the new Lumia 920 and 820 smartphones, Nokia posted a video on its YouTube channel demonstrating the impressive new PureView technology – and specifically on its Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) feature. It featured a couple riding on separate bicycles with the man recording the precious moment on the bright yellow Lumia 920. The video then switches to the actual footage captured from the device, and then a side-by-side comparison with OIS on and off, and the image stability with OIS on was stunning.
Too bad it was never shot on the Lumia 920.
More on the matter after the break.
The eagle-eyed men over at Pocketnow caught a glaring oversight by Nokia, when they discovered that a window reflection of a trailer in the background caught a white van with a cameraman sitting on the doorway recording with what appears to be a DSLR, complete with lighting rigs.
Needless to say, the news spread like wildfire in the early hours of this morning, with it even appearing on the Nokia 808 PureView thread on our forums. Initially, Nokia went on the defensive, claiming that the video was meant to demonstrate the advantages of OIS technology, and not necessarily PureView.
Obviously, they missed out the fact that they titled the video as “PureView The next innovation”. Or that in the video description, they wrote “The latest innovation in PureView technology: http://nokia.ly/Q7qTtR changing the way we capture the world around us!”
Facing increasing pressure over the mounting body of evidence, Nokia issued an apology for misleading the public over the PureView technology. In a blog post titled “An apology is due” on its official Conversations blog, Nokia apologized “for the confusion they created”, and stated that the video was indeed not shot on a Lumia 920.
Surprisingly, Nokia have still not removed the controversial video (embedded above), nor have they amended the description with a disclaimer that explicitly states that the video was not shot on the Lumia 920, which the blog post mentioned they should have done in hindsight.
What is most disappointing, for us here at least, is the implication that Nokia themselves aren’t confident enough in their own technology. Which is not true, of course. This iteration of PureView technology focuses on OIS and dramatically better low-light shots. And for the most part, that much is true. It is, in many aspects, an improvement over the PureView tech used in the 808 PureView (with the exception of the omission of the lossless zoom feature). In fact, had they posted the same video they showed during the press event (which compared the videos shot with the 920 against the Samsung Galaxy S3), they would have spared themselves plenty of embarrassment and bad press.
What impact will this have on the consumer? Nokia wants you to believe that videos recorded on the Lumia 920 will be as good as it is on the said video, but they didn’t even use their own device to record it, as the video implies. That casts quite a cloud of doubt, which is easily avoidable.
A natural train of thought would then lead consumers to wonder, what if the sample photos shown in the press event were faked as well? What else were faked? City Lens? (Not true, it’s been working for about a year now, with an app originally developed for the orphaned N9) On Twitter, while many have gone gaga over the admittedly amazing low-light shots, some photographers remain unconvinced. “Until I see the EXIF file, I’m not jumping to conclusions,” seems to be the general consensus.
Further, in the hour after the press event, Nokia’s share price plunged more than 10% as investors remained unconvinced over the new lineup. The fact that the drop happened before the video controversy would mean that Nokia has some serious damage control to do.
Have a look at the video for yourself, as we ponder on the old adage that “it takes years to build a reputation, and a second to ruin it.”