The Nokia 9’s five cameras are each 12 megapixels and are complemented by an infrared sensor for depth readings.
Two cameras use a red-green-and-blue (RGB) sensor to capture colour. The other three are monochrome, allowing them to capture nearly three times as much light as there is no need to filter it for the different wavelengths.
Depending on the lighting conditions, the cameras are triggered up to four times in quick succession.
The device then selects one of the colour shots to act as the primary image, and adds detail taken from the other stills.
HMD boasts that by doing this the device can preserve detail within 12.4 stops of dynamic range – a sensitivity measurement where each stop represents a doubling of the brightness level from just-above black to just-below blown-out white.
This still falls short of many dedicated digital cameras, but is a “significantly wider range than any other smartphone out there,” according to HMD.
The advantage to owners is that they have more control when editing the exposure of the resulting Raw files
In addition, the phone creates a depth map of the full scene made up of 1,200 planes ranging between 7cm (2.7in) and 40m (131ft).
The company says this compares favorably to competing high-end smartphones that only create 10-layer maps that only cover part of a shot.
In both cases, the devices interpolate between the planes to allow users to determine how out-of-focus the blurred parts of their shots should appear.
But in theory, having the extra data should allow the Nokia 9 to get closer to mimicking the effect traditionally produced by using a more expensive lens and bigger sensor.