Over the past few years, we’ve heard about these great advancements in smartphone cameras, but have rarely been “wowed” by the resulting changes. While companies like Apple continue to provide users with a less than amazing camera, Nokia is out to change the game, and they’re swinging for the fences with the Lumia 1020 available for AT&T.
Now, before we get into the nitty gritty, you should know, I don’t have an affinity to any one cell phone manufacturer; I find flaws as well as great elements in each smartphone I get my hands on. I’ve owned Nokias, BlackBerries, Sanyos, Samsungs, Motorolas, well, you get the point. But when a company takes the initiative to come out with what is being heralded as the best smartphone camera ever, we have to take note.
Sure, you won’t give up your professional camera for the Lumia 1020, but the picture clarity of the Lumia 1020 is unparalleled. You’re bound to find some grainy elements to your photos when you do extreme zooming, but luckily, the 1020 excels with its zooming capabilities. With a 41-megapixel sensor that includes image stabilization, there is no other smartphone camera on the market that can compare. Nokia claims the 1020’s camera sensor format is five times larger than that in your average smartphone, but the megapixels aren’t the only thing to take note of.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 comes with its standard Carl Zeiss optics; however, this model contains six Zeiss lenses, Xenon flash, and another separate LED flash to provide you with clearer and brighter images, while also providing you the ability to record high-def 1080p video footage. The Lumia 1020’s camera also gives you plenty of manual settings and controls to mess around with, all with the ability to complement the phone’s ability to auto-focus. And if you still enjoy your front-facing camera, don’t worry, Nokia has your back with a 1.2-megapixel camera on the face of the phone. Nokia bundled all of this capability within a 5.6-ounce phone that is taller and nearly as thin as the iPhone 5, but where most phones have a flat back, the Lumia 1020 isn’t flat, thanks to the camera mounting to the back of the phone.
So, with all that said, what makes the camera so incredible? Well, it starts by putting your megapixels to good use. Whenever you capture a photo with the Lumia 1020, you’re actually shooting two photos simultaneously. One of which is in full-resolution (34-38 megapixels depending on your shooting format), while also providing you with a high-quality 5-megapixel image that is easy to share with your social networks. Through the Nokia Pro Camera application, you have the ability to make adjustments to the flash, focus, shutter speed, white balance, exposure and ISO, but best of all, you can see the difference each adjustment makes to your photo before you take it.
The benefit of working with a 41-megapixel camera is that Nokia’s Lumia 1020 allows you to zoom in on your photo to the right spot, and create a new image out of the zoomed image. However, just like all things in life, this smartphone is not without flaw. After you press the shutter button to take your picture, the phone takes a good three seconds or more to display your image. And while the phone comes stocked with 32GB of internal memory, you cannot add a memory card, meaning you’re stuck with your 32GB of memory. Now, if you use your camera like there’s no tomorrow, you may feel duped by Nokia, as the use of a 41-megapixel camera means your memory is limited due to the photo size for each captured image. All that said, the Lumia 1020 still sports the ability to take photos up to 38 megapixels in quality. What your decision will ultimately come down to is whether or not you can live with somewhat limited storage space. If you can, and you love your smartphone’s camera, you should definitely get your hands on the Nokia Lumia 1020 and see the difference in your photos.