updated 11:38 am EDT, Mon September 10, 2012
Phone maker issues additional apology for faked stills
Shortly after it was revealed that Nokia had misrepresented video shot with a different camera as having come from the Lumia 920, the Finnish phone manufacturer has expanded its original apology, revealing that other parts of its marketing materials, including still photography, did not come from the Lumia's camera. The still photo discrepancy was discovered last week by blogger Youssef Sarhan. The new apology represents yet another black mark on the unveiling of Nokia's new handsets, distracting from the phone's considerable imaging technologies at a time when Nokia is hoping to improve its flagging sales and improve its market share versus Apple, Samsung, and other phone manufacturers.
An examination of Nokia's promotional materials reveals that the images said to have been captured with a Lumia 920 feature artifacts particular to higher quality cameras. The promotional images show large numbers of diffractions -- the sparkle effect one sees when bright lights are present in an otherwise dark photo. Observers have noted that the Lumia 920's fixed f/2 aperture should not be able to generate the number of diffractions seen in the promo photos; those images are more typical of a DSLR camera with a smaller aperture of around f/22.
As independent sources looked deeper into the issue, an image emerged of the photo shoot that produced the images used in Nokia's commercial. That image appears to show a professional-grade DSLR lens visible at the very left edge. Nokia's misrepresentation was all but verified when other observers compared Nokia's promotional images with images seen on the Lumia 920 launch site. Those images, while still of a high quality, don't approach the sharpness of the ones Nokia originally said had come from a Lumia 920.
Nokia has apologized for the switch, telling The Wall Street Journal that "there was no intention to mislead," but that "the failure to add a disclaimer to the video was obviously a mistake, and we apologize for the misunderstanding it did cause." The video, Nokia says, was shot when the Lumia 920 was in preproduction, and was meant to approximate the capabilities of the smartphone's imaging technology, not to be an exact representation. Further, a Nokia representative said that the company is responding internally to the matter in a swift, fair, and private manner.