Nokia raises the bar with 41-megapixel Lumia 1020

By on July 11, 2013, 2:00 PM
nokia, windows phone, camera, lumia, 41 megapixels, lumia 1020, pureview 808, carl zeiss

Nokia’s latest flagship phone is now official as the Lumia 1020 was revealed at a press event in New York earlier today. The device is noteworthy as it is the first Windows Phone to carry the company’s 41-megapixel camera using the same sensor from the PureView 808.

Sticking with the camera for a moment, it also includes a xenon flash for photos and an LED flash for video. The camera is capable of capturing images at up to 38-megapixels in 16:9 or 4:3 ratios while at the same time snapping a 5-megapixel image that uses image oversampling to increase the detail found in each pixel.

The camera uses Carl Zeiss optics with six lenses and Nokia’s second generation optical image stabilization technology to reduce shakiness when taking photos and especially videos. It’s worth noting that the rounded section on the rear of the phone that houses the camera is raised a bit which I assume is done to accommodate what is likely a larger-than-average sensor.

Nokia is clearly serious about the camera in the Lumia 1020 as they are also planning to release a detachable camera grip. This $79 accessory also includes a tripod, another battery and a two-step shutter button.

Camera aside, the Lumia 1020 ships with a Gorilla Glass 3-coated ClearBlack 4.5-inch AMOLED display operating at 1,280 x 768 and is powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor alongside 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal flash storage.

The handset will be available in black, white and yellow exclusively at AT&T starting July 26 for $299.99 with a two year service agreement. Pre-orders will be accepted starting July 16 with plans to expand to China and key European markets sometime this quarter.




User Comments: 30

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lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It won't matter.

Nokia has it right, but the WP team has to understand that form follows function, not the other way around.

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Anyone who's read the camera section of a smartphone review on Anandtech knows that megapixels are not the defining factor in what makes a good camera. However, I really doubt Nokia made any huge tradeoffs (like terrible low light performance) in this camera as their Lumia 920 is a top-of-the-line smartphone camera.

But 41MP means you can zoom way way in on a picture after it's taken, and for that to look good the focus must be perfect. That means the responsiveness may not be so good doesn't it?

Then there's the issue of screen size... HTC put a 4 MP camera in their One phone because like 90% of smartphone pictures end up on facebook/instagram and on computer screens where the limit in resolution is your eyesight and the monitor, not the picture. A 41MP camera would be great for cropping and zooming, but for regular pictures it won't offer much of a benefit.

I'm looking forward to seeing some pictures this thing takes. For curiosities' sake though, I'm happy with my Android OS.

roxxas2 said:

It won't matter.

Nokia has it right, but the WP team has to understand that form follows function, not the other way around.

What? What you're saying makes no sense. Are you saying that WP is limited or something?

tw0rld tw0rld said:

Anyone who's read the camera section of a smartphone review on Anandtech knows that megapixels are not the defining factor in what makes a good camera. However, I really doubt Nokia made any huge tradeoffs (like terrible low light performance) in this camera as their Lumia 920 is a top-of-the-line smartphone camera.

But 41MP means you can zoom way way in on a picture after it's taken, and for that to look good the focus must be perfect. That means the responsiveness may not be so good doesn't it?

Then there's the issue of screen size... HTC put a 4 MP camera in their One phone because like 90% of smartphone pictures end up on facebook/instagram and on computer screens where the limit in resolution is your eyesight and the monitor, not the picture. A 41MP camera would be great for cropping and zooming, but for regular pictures it won't offer much of a benefit.

I'm looking forward to seeing some pictures this thing takes. For curiosities' sake though, I'm happy with my Android OS.

Actually, the phone takes 34 -38 mega pixels photo but there is also a 5 mega pixels copy for sharing on social network. You will have better quality photos(5 MP) on your social networking site.

tw0rld tw0rld said:

It won't matter.

Nokia has it right, but the WP team has to understand that form follows function, not the other way around.

What? What you're saying makes no sense. Are you saying that WP is limited or something?

It is limited but to be fair, Windows Phone 8 is a young OS, that will improve with time. The GDR2 update next month is a step towards that, then there is the GDR3 at the end of the year, also WP 8.1 coming early next year. Everything takes time, although WP 8 should not have some of the issues that it has now. I still find it to be a great OS for its state of maturity.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Are we talking about phones with camera capabilities, or cameras with phone capabilities?

roxxas2 said:

It won't matter.

Nokia has it right, but the WP team has to understand that form follows function, not the other way around.

What? What you're saying makes no sense. Are you saying that WP is limited or something?

It is limited but to be fair, Windows Phone 8 is a young OS, that will improve with time. The GDR2 update next month is a step towards that, then there is the GDR3 at the end of the year, also WP 8.1 coming early next year. Everything takes time, although WP 8 should not have some of the issues that it has now. I still find it to be a great OS for its state of maturity.

And what "Limitations" and "issues" does it have?

OortCloud said:

Crazy - Top of the line cameras with large light-gathering lenses and full-frame 35mm sensors are only just getting up to that resolution - on the tiny sensor in a camera on a phone with no view finder it seems a bit pointless - more of a gimmick to sell to people who don't look beyond the number. File sizes start to get so unwieldy too once you get that big - it better support some really big SD cards etc as its going to need them!

1 person liked this | tw0rld tw0rld said:

Crazy - Top of the line cameras with large light-gathering lenses and full-frame 35mm sensors are only just getting up to that resolution - on the tiny sensor in a camera on a phone with no view finder it seems a bit pointless - more of a gimmick to sell to people who don't look beyond the number. File sizes start to get so unwieldy too once you get that big - it better support some really big SD cards etc as its going to need them!

No gimmick here are the photos to prove it:

[link]

tw0rld tw0rld said:

It won't matter.

Nokia has it right, but the WP team has to understand that form follows function, not the other way around.

What? What you're saying makes no sense. Are you saying that WP is limited or something?

It is limited but to be fair, Windows Phone 8 is a young OS, that will improve with time. The GDR2 update next month is a step towards that, then there is the GDR3 at the end of the year, also WP 8.1 coming early next year. Everything takes time, although WP 8 should not have some of the issues that it has now. I still find it to be a great OS for its state of maturity.

And what "Limitations" and "issues" does it have?

Calm down, I have a Lumia 720. I am not a Droid agent sent here to reek havoc. I find WP 8 very pleasing, but it lacks some functionalities that will be address in the upcoming GDR updates.

Joel F Joel F said:

Completely worthless phone because of the OS. Would it really kill Nokia to run Android?

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Would it really kill Nokia to run Android?
Are you suggesting there are not enough Android phones to choose from?

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Whoa, since when do phones have optical stabilisation?! I'm impressed!

But I'm also let down by the terrible form-factor of this phone - those bezels are ridiculous as always.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It won't matter.

Nokia has it right, but the WP team has to understand that form follows function, not the other way around.

What? What you're saying makes no sense. Are you saying that WP is limited or something?

Yes. Do you know what 'form follows function' means? Look it up.

It won't matter.

Nokia has it right, but the WP team has to understand that form follows function, not the other way around.

What? What you're saying makes no sense. Are you saying that WP is limited or something?

It is limited but to be fair, Windows Phone 8 is a young OS, that will improve with time. The GDR2 update next month is a step towards that, then there is the GDR3 at the end of the year, also WP 8.1 coming early next year. Everything takes time, although WP 8 should not have some of the issues that it has now. I still find it to be a great OS for its state of maturity.

And what "Limitations" and "issues" does it have?

I'm putting the blame on the Windows Phone team, not the OS itself. It has a powerful kernel, but the things they add and at the rate they add them leaves a lot to be desired. Which is sad, because their developing tools are really good.

WP is rushed product that ironically arrived late to market. It's beautiful, but feature-poor. It's personal but not that powerful.

WP launched and without basic smartphone features such as ringtone support. It took them over a year to add copy/paste support. And to this very day, the OS' clipboard is erased after you lock the phone. I should know because I own a 920, and I've had WP since the LG Quantum.

Here's a rhetorical question for you: Is there a finish line in catch-up race?

Joel F Joel F said:

Are you suggesting there are not enough Android phones to choose from?

With 41 mega pixel cameras? YES. Kinda I am.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Concerned only about 32GB - that's only a couple of hundred pics at max settings - you can run out of memory fast - there better be a way to add external memory

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I'm under the impression that the picture is only 5MP. Works in the same way as HTC One camera. Therefore 32GB isn't a problem.

JC713 JC713 said:

Nice phone. I think the $300 price tag will scare away some people though.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

The phones not for everyone. It's targeted at snap happy people much the same way rugged waterproof phones are targeted toward the outdoors type. It's a camera that can also do duty as a phone. Journo's would find value in something like this. That said, some people will buy this phone just to brag about the camera.

OortCloud said:

No gimmick here are the photos to prove it:

[link]

I'm not arguing that its a good camera (for a phone) - I expect it is - most recent Nokia Phones have good cameras, but it still isn't a camera that can really make use of a 41mp sensor - the sensor is far too small as is the lens for that to really be of any benefit - but it sounds good!

Guest said:

Yes it would, as much as it is killing HTC right now.

roxxas2 said:

Completely worthless phone because of the OS. Would it really kill Nokia to run Android?

How is WP worthless? I have a Lumina 920 and it does everything I need it to.

Teko03 said:

I'm under the impression that the picture is only 5MP. Works in the same way as HTC One camera. Therefore 32GB isn't a problem.

Correct, the Lumia 1020 is capable of producing 5MP, similar to HTC's UltraPixel Technology (large sensor & wide aperture for more light; similar to the way a full frame DSLR would work with a prime lens) --- but better IMO, not to mention this thing featrues Zeiss glass and the ability to shoot at larger MP with insane detail (for a camera phone) even when cropped.I wish HTC had given the One the ability to shoot at at least 8MP for more -- I'd be okay with the option to increase file size & deal with a slight shutter lag.

swapnil sood said:

Good for people who are confused whether to buy camera or smart phone

Nobina Nobina said:

Now I'll see stupid people bragging about how they have the best camera in the world because it has 41MP.

For $300 + contract you can buy a decent phone and a camera better than that 41MP trash.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm reading the comments and have become confused. How can they classify this to be 41MP, if the images are only 5MP? What kind of BS sales gimmick is this?

drjekel_mrhyde drjekel_mrhyde said:

Whoa, since when do phones have optical stabilisation?! I'm impressed!

But I'm also let down by the terrible form-factor of this phone - those bezels are ridiculous as always.

Since the Nokia L920

drjekel_mrhyde drjekel_mrhyde said:

I'm reading the comments and have become confused. How can they classify this to be 41MP, if the images are only 5MP? What kind of BS sales gimmick is this?

It takes two pictures a 38MP and a 5MP on. You can watch the keynote on youtube (21:00 mark is when the camera really shines) and how they explain it

avoidz avoidz said:

Giant photographs that will have to be resized to be sent by MMS or email. Doesn't sound too useful.

Guest said:

Great camera won't fix the dodgy keyboard and other software issues.

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