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Report: Nokia to conduct ethics review after faked PureView images

Nokia last week admitted to faking a demo video of its PureView camera technology during a New York press event, and now it appears that the footage was also used for still photos found in marketing materials.

As a result, Nokia is reportedly pursuing an internal review to find out what happened. In an interview with Bloomberg, a Nokia spokeswoman said an ethics and compliance officer is working on an independent report of the incident.

The demo video shown at the press event featured a woman riding a bike, and was meant to show off the optical image stabilisation (OIS) technology found within the PureView camera on the new Lumia 920 smartphone. OIS stabilises images, making them look less shaky and more professional, and the video was pretty impressive. But technology blog The Verge soon spotted a glaring error. Nokia made it look like the woman was shot by a companion who was also riding a bike, but a reflection in the video showed that she was actually shot by someone in a van holding a much larger camera and accompanied by a lighting crew.

Nokia later apologised in a blog post, saying that the company "should have posted a disclaimer stating this was a representation of OIS only."

It was later revealed that some still images meant to show off the PureView camera were also taken from the faked video.

"Some further misunderstanding has arisen about still photographs taken at night in the street in Helsinki. We want to be very clear that these still images were taken from the same video, which uses the same actress in three separate scenarios – riding a bike, on a carousel and standing in the street at night in Helsinki," a Nokia spokesman said in a statement today. "The entire video is a representation of the benefits of optical image stabilisation only and our apology was for using any part of the video without a clear disclaimer."

Nokia opted to use the faked video and images, he said, because the content was "produced while the Nokia Lumia 920 was in early prototype and still not ready to show the full benefits of the amazing innovation it contains." He insisted that "the quality of images produced by its PureView camera reach new heights every day."

The spokesman, however, declined to comment directly about the ethics review.

Nokia last week revealed its next-generation Lumia smartphones – the Windows Phone 8-based Lumia 920 and 820. The company heralded its PureView technology, saying it can capture five to 10 times more light than any competitors' smartphone, by using a "floating lens technology" that Nokia claims is more high-quality than that of most digital SLRs.