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Head of Nokia’s digital imaging departs for Land Rover/Jaguar

The Nokia 808 PureView has the highest resolution of any mobile phone camera. Damian Dinning lead the digital imaging team at Nokia during the development of this groundbreaking smartphone.

The head of Nokia’s digital imaging team is leaving the mobile giant for a job at Land Rover/Jaguar. During Damian Dinning’s nine years at Nokia, he lead the team that developed the PureView technology that introduced a 41 megapixel camera to a smartphone. 

Nokia has been in a sharp decline since it was the mobile leader in the early 2000s. Known for its reasonably-priced and durable cell phones, Nokia was slow to keep up with the growing smartphone market. As a result, Nokia's share prices have fallen from $40 USD in 2007 to under $3 USD in 2012.

Earlier this year, Nokia laid off 4,000 employees in Europe to move its manufacturing to Asia (cutting over 10,000 jobs across the company worldwide). During the shake up, Dinning was asked to move from the UK to Finland. In a recent release to the PureView Club blog, Dinning explained that instead of uprooting his family to continue with Nokia, he decided to change careers and start work with a car company.

The newly released Windows platform Lumia 920 and the groundbreaking 808 PureView—phones developed during Dinning’s time at Nokia—made tech-heads think twice about disregarding Nokia completely. With Dinning gone, many are wondering if Nokia will continue to release phones with cameras that challenge the industry standard.

Dinning shared a response to reports of his parting from Nokia on the PureView Club blog:

As reported by a few, the work area I am best known for, imaging, is the result of a huge and massively talented pool of people. I have often felt embarrassed by the media attention I received knowing that whilst I am proud of my own contributions and the forward looking guidance I have strived to provide the teams, there are a lot of unsung heroes!

[...]At a very young age, I had two very strong interests, cars and photography. With regards to the latter, I wanted to be able to take photography from the nerdy or for special occasions only use it was at the time, to being part of everyday life. I never thought I’d be able to play a role in making that happen, but my time at Nokia gave me exactly that opportunity. I really feel I’ve been able to fulfil that ambition. Whilst we’re really only just entering the next major stage in the development of photography and I still have a very clear vision of how I see it’s longer term development, I fully recognise this is the perfect opportunity for me to work in quite a different area.”


Total comments: 28

Nokia slow to catch up in smartphones?

Nokia was an early leader in that area, bringing many innovations. For years, Nokia was the market leader in smartphones with over 60% market share. The problem was that they were stuck with an OS created in the 1990s with the limitations of technology at that time.

1 upvote

Will Land Rovers and Jaguars now have 41MP cameras installed as their hood ornaments? Rear-view cameras have already been standard on some autos since 2009.


The way Stephen Elop has handled the excellent product Damian created, the Nokia 808 Pureview, I do understand that he leaves Nokia:

Damian helped create an excellent technology that Elop has tried to hide: Where are the ads for the Pureview? At least not in Norway.

Oh, yes, that's right, the Lumia 920 (was it) uses the "Pureview" technology, or at least a lobotomized version of it with an 8 Mpix sensor:

And here I thought that the PureView tech was all about downsampling a High Res sensor (41 Mpix on the 808) and doing clever image processing in the process...

Good luck Damian, I certainly hope that Landrover / Jaguar knows to appreciate your talens!

Geir Ove

Edited 2 times; latest 3 minutes since posting
1 upvote

What a piity for Nokia and photography !


What was done 5 years ago is irrelevant to the market today.


That's true, but since the 808 and the 920 were both released last year and represent the cutting edge in photo technology on smart phones this does not bode well for where Nokia is going in the coming months....


Lumia 920's camera is not well reviewed. While peerless in low light (besides 808), it has huge lens flare, poor WB and inconsistent color.

I was expecting some huge advancement but it turns out to be mostly hype. Just because it says PureView doesn't mean it is not just an off-the-shelf OEM unit.


Depends on the reviews I suppose, some are very good. Fantastic low light performance and Image Stabilization is a huge step forward for a smartphone camera - that isn't hype, nothing else comes close to it.

One thing to note with Nokia products, is they often have issues at release that the company fixes with updates (since they'll literally do updates to a product for years)...the 900 has camera issues that were fixed after release with updates. I'd expect the WB and color issues to be fixed with updates. Not saying its good, but it seems to be how Nokia works.


I hope so. One thing I really like about Apple and Nokia phone is their engineering and long term software support.


I supposed Dinnings role in the PureView technology is highly overrated.

1 upvote
Debankur Mukherjee

Sad news for Nokia but what will an imaging expert do at Jaguar ??


I would think it is more to do with 'connected' than just 'imaging'. Scary thought, but these days cars are becoming web-enabled 4G devices.


Kudos to the man for putting family ahead of career.


He was too honest...

1 upvote

If MS is a sinking ship, where can I get aboard such ships? I wish my company performed as well!

Nokia is in a mess from doing nothing about smartphones until it was bordering on too late...

He left Nokia because they were moving the MGMT staff to Finland and his family didn't want to go...he said this clearly in his blog post...

The 920 is sold out everywhere and is an awesome phone...

Haters going to hate I guess


They should have just gone to android a long time ago, great camera but overall the OS, while in it's own right not bad has simply been outclassed and left behind by iOS and the mature android.

I remember going from my Nokia N95 to a mid range android device and it wasn't hugely more capable technically but everything came so much easier and the power and potential was much more accessible.

Edited 2 minutes after posting

The guy missed a great chance to move to Finland, the land of dreams, hehe.

Reg Natarajan

Pity. I enjoyed his comments here. Straight shooter.


What will he do at Jaguar?


My guess would be navigation, safety and parking assist....


Like the Bible says pride comes before a fall. Nokia/Microsoft together are a sinking ship. With Steve ballet @ the wheel, no wonder they are sinking. Nokia raised the bar, yes but did not blow anything away. A great camera in an outdated OS and low class hardware doesn't work, period. Adios Amigo.


Your reply was either strangely biased or just massively uninformed. I just bought a Nokia 920 in the U.S., after not owning one for about 15 years. It is pretty much sold-out everywhere in the world within weeks of becoming available.

Despite some of the iOS "imprinted" media being routinely skeptical of anything un-Apple, a huge plurality of those who try one, buy one, and of those that own them, almost everyone really loves the phone. This is already, and is likely to continue to be, a smashing success for Nokia. As a former iPhone and Android user, I think it is the best phone I've ever used. And, of course, the camera is quite good, good enough for me to many times abandon my Canon SX230 HS for snapshots. If it had a real optical zoom and a slightly bigger sensor, that would about do it. Good job Dinning! And, good luck with those Range Rovers and Jaguars. Tata, it'll be off to India with you; I guess it's warmer there than in Finland.

1 upvote

I played with the Lumia 920 and HTC 8X at the AT&T store a week ago. The HTC was not impressive, feels cheap and poorly made like all HTC. Windows 8 is actually much better than the HTC Win 6.5 I used years ago. More organized and thought out than Android.

The Lumia 920 just stupid in the hand. Huge and thick but with a tiny screen. If they fit a 4.8~5.0” screen and whittle down the curved side like 8X I would think differently. As it stands, it feel like a bar of soap (Irish Spring) and clearly behind other phones in design.

1 upvote

If Steve is dancing ballet behind the wheel while he is sinking, then clearly something is not right.

0 upvotes the guy who said the phone is huge but the screen is tiny...I am absolutely 100% positive you never have handled the 920 or the 9X...
The 920 has a 4.5" screen...LOL
The 8X is arguable a better overall design than the 920 as it's nice and thin and beautiful.
However, I get that people have different opinions and you might not like a particular product for your own reasons...however, coming on here spouting utter lies and nonsense is just not cool

1 upvote

I have a Lumia 920. Switched from iPhone. This whole weight BS given to this phone is exactly that. BullSh*t. Put an iPhone in a protective case. Bam! Same weight as 920. Guess what the 920 doesn't need a case. Love this phone.


You said I must haven't handled the phone because I think the phone is huge yet you followed up with you understand people can have different opinions. Do you just like contradicting yourself or what?

The bezel around the screen is the thickest I've seen on a smartphone. iPhone5's is tiny and so are Optimus G and Droid DNA

iPhone 5 is a full 73g / 2.5oz lighter. What type of stainless steel case are you using?

1 upvote

Deserts the sinking ship, who can fault him?

Total comments: 28
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