[REVIEW—NOKIA LUMIA 1020 PHONE CAMERA]

by terry on 30 October 2013

 nokia_lumia_1020_duo Price: Check with telcos
Revolutionary

THE LOW-DOWN: This Windows 8 smartphone differs from the pack in its extraordinary 41 megapixel camera. The sensor is larger than most phone cameras but still smaller than the average compact. The Zeiss lens has a wide-angle focal length of 26mm with internal image stabilisation. Nokia warn not to worry about the rattling sound, it is the stabiliser at work. By default the camera captures two images, one in full high resolution and the other resampled to the equivalent of about 5 megapixels. There are manual controls over ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation and white balance, although we suspect most users will be content with full automatic.

LIKE: The image quality is of a higher order than any other smartphone camera. We shot a fixed subject with an Android, iPhone 5 and the Nokia, tripod mounted, and the difference in detail resolution, even comparing the Nokia’s scaled down image, is astonishing. For the first time in a phone camera digital zooming can be done without loss of image quality. Or you can zoom post-camera by simply cropping the big image.

nokiaiphone[1] [Click on image to see Nokia/iPhone comparison]

DISLIKE: The lack of apps for the Windows 8 system.

VERDICT: The camera in this phone is revolutionary. DxO Labs rates it the second best camera in the business, beaten only by the earlier incarnation in the Nokia 808. However, the famous elephant in this case is the shortage of apps for the system and, in particular, the absence of the camera control apps for the newest cameras. And we could scarcely believe that Microsoft has blocked Dropbox, presumably to force customers to use MS Skydrive. Windows 8 is an excellent phone operating system but it struggles against Android and iPhone to attract application developers.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheeds October 31, 2013 at 12:43

Terry,

Good to see you review the #Lumia 1020. It is amazing to see this sort of performance in a smartphone.

Were you aware of the announcement last week that all 1020 devices will get a free Nokia firmware update in the coming months which will add the option of the Full-Res images in RAW DNG format? http://conversations.nokia.com/2013/10/29/another-nokia-first-digital-negatives-raw-dng-lumia/ Incredible!

Also – 3rd party Apps and official apps continue to arrive on WP. GoPro have a remote camera app, Instagram is coming (there are already 3rd party solutions available)…and there are many unofficial apps for WP such as Boxfiles (Dropbox) http://www.windowsphone.com/en-au/store/app/boxfiles-for-dropbox/6ca15174-a206-40ef-a792-d95d60098f9a

I don’t think your comment about the “lack of apps” on the platform is as black and white as you suggest.

Here’s a couple of my shots on my first night play:

http://www.wpdownunder.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/WP_20131017_21_34_47_Pro.jpg

http://www.wpdownunder.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/WP_20131017_20_18_58_Pro.jpg

Cheers.
Sheeds.

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terry October 31, 2013 at 12:57

The camera is amazing. The resolved detail beats most compact cameras. My only reservation is that it does tend to clip highlights in high contrast situations, but apart from that it is a marvel.

I am aware of the promised apps, but I still want DropBox. I am using FileBox as the “unofficial DropBox app”, but I am not comfortable with it. Also there is a need for photo editing programs comparable with Photogene and Leonardo or Snapseed. And Microsoft must keep an eye on the new cameras which all come with wifi capability and can be controlled from a phone. So far as I am aware there are no camera control apps for Win Phone8.

Loved your pics.

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