Nokia bets on photography to boost sales with 41MP Lumia 1020

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Nokia on Thursday announced the new, 41-megapixel Lumia 1020, a Windows Phone 8 handset that will try to turn the Finnish phone maker's photography cachet into unit sales.



The new Lumia handset is the spiritual successor to last year's 808 PureView. That Symbian-powered handset also sported a massive camera sensor, and Nokia has long promised that a comparable PureView model would debut in its Lumia line.

The 1020 has a suite of photography options meant to complement its oversized sensor. Chief among these is the Nokia Pro Cam mode, which allows users to make changes to the camera's white balance, ISO, and exposure. In order to ensure that users can share photos easily, the device takes two versions of any particular shot: one in the 41MP resolution and another in 5MP resolution.

The 1020 can also attach to an optional camera grip. This accessory gives the Nokia handset a look closer to that of a traditional camera, but it also packs a shutter button and a battery attachment that plugs into the Lumia's microUSB connector.

Aside from the camera, the 1020 packs a 4.5-inch AMOLED PureMotion HD+ display outputting at 1280x768. Inside, it has the same 1.5GHz dual-core MSM8960 processor that the Lumia 925 and Lumia 920 bore, though the 1020 has 2GB of RAM in order to better process photos.

The new handset ? which will launch on AT&T on July 26 for $300, with the UK's O2 and Three set to get the device in the third quarter ? is Nokia's latest attempt at clawing back market share in the wake of Apple and Samsung's rise. Once the leader in the mobile phone business, Nokia's fortunes took a tumble with the emergence of the iPhone, and the company has since struggled to retain relevance in an increasingly Android and iOS-dominated market.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 110


    Sigh. The more megapixels does not make a better photograph

  • Reply 2 of 110


    SOunds great - now make it truly useful by having a 20x Optical zoom lens, ultra-stabilizer app/hardware, medium-light enviro setting, better than 1/250th sec, and the storage capacity to have at least a couple hundred high-res photos -without affecting phone compactness - then it will become more of a sharp-shooter camera than a quick-pic shooter.

  • Reply 3 of 110
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member
    While I would not buy one, I think that this is a valid approach. There are quite a few people (not tens of millions, but a significant amount) who do care about the camera quality of a phone most. Having OIS, a more powerful flash and 3x zoom is certainly not bad. And having a phone model that has no peers is certainly a proper strategy (if it works out remains to be seen).

    I do not really understand the logic of marrying such a camera with an OLED screen that does not render some colors (and especially skin tones) properly though.
  • Reply 4 of 110
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,799member
    Nokia used to be the king of cameras on phones. It is very true that megapixels mean squat when it comes to the actual quality of a photo. But since most consumers have no clue about that 41MP will be an impressive selling point to the 90% of the public that don't know any better.
  • Reply 5 of 110
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    What's the file size of photos taken with this thing?
  • Reply 6 of 110
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,511member
    Johnny-

    You are correct. The pixel spacing on these phone camera sensors became smaller than the point-spread function of the optics a long time ago. (Probably way back at about 3 MP, actually, but I haven't checked the optical specs for a while. There's only so much you can do physically with a small lens and short focal distance. ) So if Nokia adds a bunch more pixels we'll just have a bunch more blurry pixels. Now we have greater zoom levels into the universe of blur and artifact.

    But the general consumer will be duped.

    Thompson
  • Reply 7 of 110
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johnnyb0731 View Post


    Sigh. The more megapixels does not make a better photograph



    Incorrect.  It's not the only factor by a mile, but what you say is factually incorrect if all other aspects are identical.

  • Reply 8 of 110
    stniukstniuk Posts: 90member
    What size are the pic files?
  • Reply 9 of 110
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,511member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post


    Incorrect.  It's not the only factor by a mile, but what you say is factually incorrect if all other aspects are identical.



    As I mentioned to johnny, due to the tiny optics on phone cameras, image resolution is now limited by the optics as opposed to how tightly you can sample the pixels at the focal plane.  This has been true for a long time.  So if you keep all other factors identical and bump the pixel count up by adding more pixels on the sensor (with tighter spacing) this will not do anything at all to improve image resolution.  You just find out that instead of having blurry pixels when you zoom in, you have a bunch more blurry pixels when you zoom in.  But when you zoom all the way out, you should see no improvement.


     


    Johnny was correct.

  • Reply 10 of 110
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,800member
    andysol wrote: »
    Incorrect.  It's not the only factor by a mile, but what you say is factually incorrect if all other aspects are identical.

    For 4x6 shots, it's overkill. For poster size images, it'll be better but who prints out those?

    The phone can hold 5 images at at time. Yay?!
  • Reply 11 of 110
    richard getzrichard getz Posts: 1,142member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post


    Incorrect.  It's not the only factor by a mile, but what you say is factually incorrect if all other aspects are identical.



     


    That is incorrect. Megapixels has NOTHING to do with the quality of an exposure. What megapixels brings you are two things 1) the ability to print onto larger medias (paper or screen), although most software can do what megapixels can't. 2) the ability to heavily crop an image and maintain reasonable megapixels when printing. That is it. What increasing megapixels will do is increase the size of the file, which on a phone for texting and emailing is a bad thing. 


     


    Now the quality of the pixels is a key factor as well as sensor quality and processor and software. And by far the most important is the glass!!!! 


     


    Canon's top of the line $6,700 EOS has 18MPs, while their 5D MIII $3,500 EOS has 22MP. So it is safe to say that a $200 phone having 41MP is strictly marketing! 


     


    I shot 90% of these with an 8MP EOS and assure you, it will beat out any 41MP phone image. 

  • Reply 12 of 110
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,511member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post





    For 4x6 shots, it's overkill. For poster size images, it'll be better but who prints out those?



    The phone can hold 5 images at at time. Yay?!


    Even for poster-sized images, it won't be better.  Even on the iPhone 5, as you blow up the image to print at larger dimensions, you'll see the blur from the optics well before you get to the point where you see the individual pixels.  41 MP with teeny-tiny optics will get you nothing but a larger image file.


     


    Thompson

  • Reply 13 of 110
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post


     


    That is incorrect. Megapixels has NOTHING to do with the quality of an exposure. What megapixels brings you are two things 1) the ability to print onto larger medias (paper or screen), although most software can do what megapixels can't. 2) the ability to heavily crop an image and maintain reasonable megapixels when printing. That is it. What increasing megapixels will do is increase the size of the file, which on a phone for texting and emailing is a bad thing. 


     


    Now the quality of the pixels is a key factor as well as sensor quality and processor and software. And by far the most important is the glass!!!! 


     


    Canon's top of the line $6,700 EOS has 18MPs, while their 5D MIII $3,500 EOS has 22MP. So it is safe to say that a $200 phone having 41MP is strictly marketing! 


     


    I shot 90% of these with an 8MP EOS and assure you, it will beat out any 41MP phone image. 



    I agree....nice point. BTW...very nice pictures on your site! :-)

  • Reply 14 of 110
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member


    From what I've seen, it takes amazing photos for a phone. Take a look before whining about mega-pixels. 

  • Reply 15 of 110
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by johnnyb0731 View Post


    Sigh. The more megapixels does not make a better photograph



    Yeah, like they are going to make a better camera than a high end Nikon, Minolta, Canon, Sony or Hasselblad.  I think it cool that they can do what they are doing but I wonder how much impact it's going to have on resources.   Obviously, the more pixels they capture, the more storage it's going to take, battery life, processing power and it may make the thing unusable.  


     


    I used to use a digital camera and it had HORRIBLE battery life.  I used to go through batteries so often that I ended up not using the thing and it wasn't that great of a camera to begin with.  Battery life on smartphones, especially, is a big deal.  Same goes with digital cameras for that matter.

  • Reply 16 of 110
    ipenipen Posts: 410member


    Size of photo file:  400-600 KB


     


    //arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/07/in-the-dark-and-on-the-move-with-the-nokia-lumia-1020s-camera/

  • Reply 17 of 110
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,511member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    From what I've seen, it takes amazing photos for a phone. Take a look before whining about mega-pixels. 



    I saw them and think they look great too (zoomed out).  But on the web page you are really only seeing a very small fraction of the pixels unless you zoom all of the way in.  Do so and you'll see the blur from the optics.  Stopping at 5 MP was probably sufficient.

  • Reply 18 of 110
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,511member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ipen View Post


    Size of photo file:  400-600 KB


     


    //arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/07/in-the-dark-and-on-the-move-with-the-nokia-lumia-1020s-camera/



    Just saw the back of the phone.  That's a pretty sizable lens housing... so if the optics are high quality, it really might make for a good camera.  (Still think 41 MP is overkill though.)

  • Reply 19 of 110
    ajbdtc826ajbdtc826 Posts: 190member
    I can finally start my own billboard company! /s
  • Reply 20 of 110
    2oh12oh1 Posts: 503member


    There is absolutely no way that thing has a large enough sensor to support 41 megapixels.  They're targeting dummies who simply don't know better.  Cramming more pixels onto a sensor only works if you increase the sensor size dramatically.  For 41 megapixels, we'd be talking about a sensor the size of what would be in a top of the line full frame DSLR (think $3,000+ price range minimum).


     


    Apparently, we're going back to the old days where people buy based on numbers even when they have no idea what the numbers mean.

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