Nokia unveils Lumia 1020
Company sees phone with 41 megapixel camera as challenger to point and shoot digital cameras
Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop unveils Nokia’s new smartphone, the Lumia 1020 with a 41-megapixel camera, in New York Photograph: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Nokia has unveiled its latest Windows smartphone, featuring a 41 megapixel camera built in. The Lumia 1020, which was launched at an event in New York, will reinvent photography, the company claims, and change how people take and share photos.
Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop took to the stage to present the phone and detail Nokia’s work in bringing better cameras to mobile phone users, that, he recvalled, began when the company filed its first imaging patent in the mid-1990s.
“We are not done – not by a long shot,” he said. “In fact we have only just begun this journey. We’ve helped people capture pictures for more than a decade; now we can help people see more than their eyes can see,” he said.
“With the Lumia 1020, pictures will mean more to you. You will see things with this device that you’ve never seen before, you’ll get closer than ever before.”
The device uses oversampling technology that combines pixels to create images that are highly detailed, which has also been included in the video capture.
The Lumia 1020 also includes a dual capture mode that allows users to take both the oversampled lower resolution image for uploading directly to social media or sharing with friends and a high-resolution 38 megapixel version for re-framing and editing.
The device is also optimised to take photographs in low light, and includes optical image stabilisation to eliminate shake from both still and video images.
Mr Elop also demonstrated the new “Pro Camera” app gives users more access to manual settings than before, including ISO, white balance and shutter speed that are adjusted in real-time.
The view of the Lumia 1020 as a potential replacement for point and shoot cameras was advanced a little further when Nokia revealed the camera grip, a snap on accessory that adds a tripod mount, an additional battery and two-step shutter control.
Nokia is also laying down the gauntlet to software developers, with a new software developers kit designed to create imaging apps to take advantage of the new technology.
The Lumia 1020 will go on sale later this month in the US, with China and “key European markets” getting the handset later in this quarter.
Rumours about the new device had intensified in recent weeks as a number of leaks hit the internet. That revealed the PureView Pro camera specs, the 4.5 inch Amoled display and the dual core processor, with the 1.2 megapixel front facing camera also getting a mention.
The existence of the device was confirmed after Windows Phone executive Joe Belfiore uploaded photographs to photo sharing site Flickr from the new device. The EXIF data, information embedded in the image that shows the various settings used as well as the type of camera, revealed the Lumia’s name.
The Lumia 1020 is the first time the technology has been put into a Windows 8 Phone. The Finnish firm first unveiled its souped-up camera phone at Mobile World Congress last year. The 808 PureView was the first phone to contain Nokia’s PureView Pro imaging technology. The Symbian powered device came with a 41megapixel sensor
The Lumia 1020 has competition, however, with Samsung unveiling a new version of its popular Samsung Galaxy S4 handset with an optical zoom built in.
Nokia has seen its market share slide in recent years as competition from devices such as the iPhone and touchscreen Android powered handsets enticed consumers away from the once top smartphone maker.
In 2011, Nokia announced it was dropping Symbian as its preferred smartphone operating system and adopting Windows Phone.
The company recently unveiled the Lumia 925, a Windows Phone device intended to appeal to a more premium audience, using aluminium in the casing and coming more sober colours - silver, black and white.
However, it is still struggling to catch up with Samsung and Apple, who continue to lead the smartphone markets. According to the latest figures available from IDC, Android and iOS phones account for more than 92 per cent of the market worldwide.
The data showed a small victory for Windows Phone devices, however, with the platform overtaking Blackberry in the first three months of the year to move into third place.