Most sophisticated smartphone camera on the market is on the Nokia Lumia 1020

Lumia 1020
update: Mr. Elop is returning to Microsoft

(Update: Originally posted July 11, 2013. See update at the end of this article.) With similarities and differences to the Nokia PureView 808 phone released a year ago, the newly-announced Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone has 41 megapixels, a backside-illuminated sensor, 2nd generation optical image stabilization (OIS) and much more to create stunning images and video. It will be an AT&T carrier exclusive here in the U.S. and run on Windows Phone 8. (Global regional versions will be announced later)

Nokia once again pushed the limits of optical design to match the resolution of the 41 megapixel BSI sensor with its new 6-element lens system. We were shown sample pics and videos shot with the Lumia 1020 revealing details not visible to the naked eye. The device can capture 34MP and 38MP image files at 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios, respectively. In addition to the full-res images, the sophisticated PureView sensor also captures 5MP oversampled images for incredible sharpness and fast sharing on social media. The simultaneous capture means there’s no guesswork and it allows users to shoot now, tinker later. We were told this is known as dual capture.

The event on July 11th was named Zoom Reinvented because with the default Nokia Pro Camera app, users can zoom or “un-zoom”, a unique option possible only with the Lumia 1020. Unlike in optical zoom, the Lumia 1020’s zoom is not permanent, meaning you can open your pic afterwards and remove the zoom to reveal the full scene. If you want, you can use manually-adjustable settings such as shutter speed, ISO, white balance and exposure value. An ergonomic camera grip attaches to the Lumia 1020 to give you the feel of an actual camera, along with bonuses such as extra battery power and malleable tripod mount. If you feel you need someone to sit down with you and teach you all this, don’t worry – the Lumia 1020 has a baked-in tutorial where you can safely try out the advanced settings such as EV and shutter speed.

As for third-party apps currently partnering (or coming soon) with the Windows Phone OS, the nice news is there’s more than before such as Hipstamatic Oggl PRO (for photo editing and sharing to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, etc.), Path (for private messaging/sharing), Vyclone, Panagraph, SNAPCAM, Yelp, CNN, Flipboard (later this year) and Foursquare. In addition to being a local information guide, Nokia’s here.com app lets you discover hidden ‘stories’ of cities around the world (such as Helsinki, of course!). 🙂

Could the Lumia 1020 be a hidden value? In other words, are buyers essentially getting two high-end devices in one?  After all, let’s state the obvious – the Lumia 1020 is first and foremost a smartphone – it just so happens to have a sophisticated camera built into it. My preliminary thoughts are yes, it’s a value with broad appeal. The love of good photos is practically a gene in every pro photographer, however he or she might not always want to haul pro gear to personal events. And alot of regular folks I know get easily overwhelmed at the vast amount of choices in DSLR cameras from makers such as Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, etc. So if this new smartphone can achieve all that Nokia says it can, then America’s next darling device might very well be the Lumia 1020. From what I saw at yesterday’s reveal, it certainly has the potential.

IMG_1427b1000zzbb711_120916

The specs for the Lumia 1020 are:
Networks: GSM: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz, WCDMA: 2100 MHz, 1900 MHz, 850 MHz, 900 MHz, LTE network bands: 1, 3, 7, 20, 8

Display: 4.5” AMOLED WXGA (1280×768), 2.5 D sculpted Corning Gorilla 3 Glass, ClearBlack, high brightness mode, sunlight readability, super sensitive touch

Battery: 2000 mAh

Main camera: PureView 41-megapixel with optical image stabilization, Resolution: 7712 x 5360. Includes Nokia Pro Camera. Xenon flash for still images, LED flash for video

Front facing camera: HD 1.2-megapixel wide angle

Size: 5.13 x 2.81 x 0.4 inches, Weight: 0.34 pounds

Other: 2GB RAM, 32GB internal memory; 7GB free SkyDrive cloud storage, BT 3.0, NFC with SIM based security, WLAN a/b/g/n

Update: Stephen Elop recently stepped down as Nokia’s CEO and will return to Microsoft to lead Microsoft’s Devices team

Disclaimer re: compensation for this article: None received; article included for site curation.

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