Most user research shows that camera specifications are a major influence when buying a smartphone. Regrettably, the hardware and control software is seldom up to the quality of a dedicated digital, point and shoot camera.
The new Nokia 1020 changes that, yet it is still not a dedicated camera substitute. I suspect that, with its close alliance with Carl Zeiss lenses, and the ability to run Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 later this year, it is only going to get better and better.
Lens: Six, F/2.2, focal length 26mm. ‘The Nokia 920 had five and most smartphones use cheap three lens setups. What this means is that it presents the best clarity of all current smartphones’.
Image quality: ‘Colour representation and dynamic range are both awfully impressive. The result is a more manageable image that's both more accurate and far less noisy than what you'd get from a traditional smartphone or even a point-and-shoot’.
CCD: 41MP, 2/3” (usual smartphone sensor is 1/3”), 7712x5360 pixels. ‘Backside-illuminated sensor (feature of iPhone 5) allows more light into the camera’.
Low light: Claimed best low light performance of any current smartphone.
Picture size: 38MP for 16:9 and 4:3 plus a dual store mode in 5MP as well. To be clear it saves two images.
Flash: Xenon, range 4m
Zoom: 3x Digital ‘lossless’ zoom. ‘Since the sensor is so pixel-dense, when you zoom before taking a photo the Lumia 1020 will only use a portion of the sensor to take the photo, effectively zooming you in without degrading quality as much as you would with traditional digital zoom (read: up-scaling) on a smartphone. It's not without some performance drop. However: the oversampling that helps produce great images will be limited or non-existent, depending on how much you zoom.
Image stabilisation: Optical (not the inferior digital). ‘Optical image stabilisation (similar to Lumia 920) uses ball bearings and tiny motors to help keep the lens from shaking, which is useful for both stills and videos
Scene modes: Automatic, Night Portrait, Sports, Night, Close-up, Backlight
White balance modes: Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, Automatic
Light sensitivity: Automatic, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200
Photos viewed by: Camera Roll, Month, Timeline, Photo editor, Favorites, Album, Photos from social networks
Video Mode: Camera video resolution: 1080p (Full HD, 1920 x 1080)
- Camera video frame rate: 30 fps
- Camera video zoom: 6 x
- Video playback frame rate: 30 fps
- Video playback codecs: VC-1, Windows video, H.264/AVC, H.263, MPEG-4
- Video playback file formats: MP4, WMV, AVI, 3GP, 3G2, M4V, MOV
- Video recording formats: MP4/H.264
- Video white balance modes: Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Automatic, Daylight
Pro Camera App features: ISO, focus, white balance, exposure, shutter speed, gridlines, edit and crop. The UI uses series of semicircle sliders but the headline feature is manual focus - you can slide a cursor across a semicircle to change the focus point from the foreground to the background. With the other options, you can do long exposures for light paintings and streaking taillights on the highway. Enthusiast photographers should be happy to see them on a smartphone.
HD video: High-quality stereo sound with concert level tolerance.
Panorama: Automatically stitches picture sequence
Creative Studio: Photo editor adjusts colour balance, remove red eye and apply filters.
Nokia Smart Camera: Shoots a sequence of photos, choose the best shot or combine the photos into one picture, make a strobe effect to emphasize motion, remove unwanted objects or choose the best faces for great group shots.
Nokia Glam Me Lens: Face beautification enhances self-portraits with toning, eye resizing, teeth whitening and all sorts of artistic effects.
PhotoBeamer: Show pictures on any screen. Point your Nokia Lumia at any compatible screen - a mobile projector
Cinemagraph: Turn still photo into movie-like animations
Nokia also released a new imaging software development kit (SDK) that provides key image editing features of the Nokia Lumia 1020 to developers including Vyclone, Yelp and CNN integrating these features into future releases.
Leather wrist strap
Camera Grip shell that features tripod-mount support and a two-stage camera button. The Camera Grip attaches to the rear of the Lumia 1020 and includes a USB port and battery.
Wireless charging cover
- 4.5”, 1024x768, Corning Gorilla Glass, 15:9 ratio. Clear black AMOLED and ‘glove touch’.
- Snapdragon S4, Dual core, 1.5GHz
- 2GB ram, 32GB storage (USB and cloud storage supported)
- Wi-Fi N, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, USB 2.0
- 4G LTE and 2/3G
- 2000 mAh battery - 13.3 hour talk time (3G) and 63 hours music playback. What is not clear is the drain from the camera and flash.
- All the usual Windows Phone 8 and Nokia apps.
- Black, yellow and white
- 158g 10.4mm thick
This is a stunning smartphone, err camera-phone.
It could have been even more spectacular but Windows Phone 8.1 has been delayed until 2014 - and it will be upgradeable to that- and the new hardware specifications it supports.
More stunning will be the price, not confirmed in Australia, but estimated to be around $300 in the US.
There are only a few positions that can differentiate in the smart phone market. This one has the best camera by far and is the best Windows 8 OS smartphone.