A camera on a cellphone? What a novel idea. When cameras first began appearing on cell phones they were a rudimentary addition tacked onto the devices feature set. Image quality was poor and social media sites focused on images such as Facebook, Instagram and Flickr were nonexistent. The camera as a competitive feature among phone manufacturers was still years away. As technology progressed, and social media and image sharing became an integral part of society, and parity has been reached between most features of cell phones produced, the camera has become a clear focal point(see what I did there) among the competition. They are no longer designed as a clever, sub-par addition, but manufacturers such as Nokia are clearly striving to create true cameraphones by endowing thier smartphone cameras with photographic prowess that will make users comfortable leaving their point and shoots at home.
Enter the Nokia Lumia 1020. Nokia has positioned this device to contend with point and shoot cameras and even equipped it with controls usually found on DSLR’s(Digital Single-Lens Reflex Cameras). Nokia’s apparent aspirations for this device is clearly to position it
as a highly capable camera as well as an advanced smartphone. To provide a clearer context of the photographic capabilities of this device consider the following. The Nokia Lumia 1020 was the only smartphone named in the 2014 CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards in the Digital Imaging product category. This annual competition honors outstanding design and engineering in consumer electronics. Nokia’s accomplishment with the Lumia 1020 smartphone is an extraordinary feat especially considering all of the other devices honored in the Digital Imaging category were dedicated digital cameras. Let that marinate for a moment. The Nokia Lumia 1020, a smartphone, was named among a host of dedicated digital cameras for it’s digital imaging innovation. Got it? Okay let’s proceed.
To further convey that the Lumia 1020 is a serious camera and not just a novelty, Steven Alverez an award winning National Geographic photographer used one as his only camera when on a 10 day assignment. His photographs, journey and testimonials extolling the merits of the Lumia 1020’s camera, have been recorded on the National Geographic
This innovative hardware is combined with innovative software algorithms designed to process and over sample the data captured by the groundbreaking Pureview camera system. Simply put the innovation did not stop with the hardware design. Nokia also designed groundbreaking software to work alongside it’s groundbreaking hardware to ensure that the Lumia 1020 would produce quality photos that surpassed anything ever seen on a smartphone. To take advantage of the 41 megapixel sensor the software will produce either a 34-megapixel full shot (16:9 aspect ratio) or a 38-megapixel shot (4:3 aspect ratio) and a second oversampled image of 5 megapixels, with each of those oversampled “super pixels” actually being comprised of up to 7 megapixels each.
That software and hardware foundation combined with a camera interface that provides options for auto mode which gives quick options for flash, night mode and sport mode, or the more elaborate manual controls of the Pro Cam Mode which gives control of flash, manual focus, white balance, ISO, exposure value, and shutter speed, you’ve got quite the camera in hand. That combined with the additional option of the Smart Cam mode which takes burst shots and then gives options to change faces, remove objects, motion focus, action shot and best shot the smartphone’s already industry leading camera is simply expanded.
The great part of the software is that any modifications to any image can be saved without altering the original image. Thus cropping, changing faces, blurring, modifying the image in any way can all be done to “tell one story” and you always have the option to go back to the original image, to apply changes to “tell another story.” Add to that the optional camera grip which adds a more traditional camera form factor, a tripod attachment and additional battery life, the Lumia 1020 sets a high bar and is indeed quite a camera and a capable smartphone. With the Lumia 1520 debuting RAW(.dng) photo data access on a smartphone, a higher level of photo editing (lending to the position of a smartphone as a highly capable camera) is now available to the mobile photographer. This same RAW access is promised to be coming to the current premier cameraphone, the Lumia 1020, in the next software update Lumia Black. Finally the video capabilities of the 1020 camera cannot be overlooked and are also outstanding with great OIS, awesome microphones and clear crisp video.
Additionally because Windows Phone, the mobile OS that drives this powerhouse device, allows access to the camera API, all photo apps on the Lumia device also function as “lenses” which can be directly accessed from the camera rather than being required to leave the camera interface to launch an app that utilizes the camera app such as Instagram, Vine, CNN, Cam Scanner, Twitter, Nokia Refocus and many others. Also, since Nokia released its camera SDK to developers, many innovative third party camera apps can be developed and have been developed utilizing this leading hardware.
That combined with incredible ease of sharing Windows Phone enables between apps allows the camera/photography aspects to shine when sharing photos. By simply selecting the “share” option in a photo you can share your precious photos to any relevant app or directly to the OS level integrated social networks. Unlike iOS for instance, you don’t have to open the app, import/copy the picture, then share it. You can share directly from the image to any app you choose such as Instagram, Tumbler, etc which are all available when you choose “share”.
Nokia has without a doubt designed an extraordinary camera. But we mustn’t forget that the Lumia 1020 is also a smartphone. As such the Nokia Lumia 1020 continues to shine. The Lumia 1020 has access to most of the popular mobile apps such as Instagram, Vine, Pandora and Waze, built-in free Microsoft Office, (the worlds leading productivity suite) Microsoft One Note, social networking such as Facebook, Facebook Chat, LinkedIn and Twitter integrated directly into the OS and is built onto a very fluid and fast user interface in Windows Phone 8.
This device fills the gaps of social networking, blogging on the go, productivity/working(free Office), leisure with gaming, surfing the web, free offline turn by turn voice navigation, free Nokia Mix Radio, Xbox Music, integration with Xbox gaming, Outlook Mail and the ability to seamlessly link inboxes with Gmail, Yahoo(other mail accounts)and seamless integration of Skydrive cloud services (7 gigs free) for saving documents, pictures and video which can be accessed anywhere from any other connected device. As a Windows device it fits seamlessly within an ecosystem utilized by nearly 1 billion people around the world who use Windows based PCs at home and for business.
The Windows Phone OS on the Lumia 1020 offers a high degree of personalization and a level of customization. The innovative and customizable live tiles which fill the Home/Start screen, replace static icons such as those found on iOS and Android, and update with glanceable information from your apps. Social network tiles such as Faceboook and Twitter, contact tiles of your friends, family, Rooms and Groups, news apps like CNN and ABC NEWs, system tiles like People, Messaging and Photos and a host of other first and third party apps create a lively and dynamic Start/Home screen as the live tiles update and move in virtually real time. The “ME” Tile acts as a “command center” for sharing to your integrated social networks(Facebook, Twitter and Linked) allowing you to post to multiple social networks simultaneously, check-in, set chat status, view and respond to notifications such as Twitter mentions, likes and comments made to posts and to view and interact with previous posts you have made.
In Conclusion the Lumia 1020 in many ways has been designed to replace certain point and shoot cameras, and is quite a formidable device when the imaging capabilities are combined with the smartphone capabilities. It’s functionality for photography and imaging, productivity, gaming, music, blogging(I use it to make blog posts for instance), video and sharing combined with great sturdy build quality make it a great all around device, especially for those of us who love taking photos and also want the productivity a smartphone can offer. Nokia’s implementation of innovative imaging hardware combined with innovative imaging software powered by a powerful and feature rich OS has indeed positioned Nokia to produce a true cameraphone in the Lumia 1020.
The bulk of this post was written and edited on the Nokia Lumia 1020.
This is a device designed as an extraordinary cameraphone so please visit the following sites for samples.
JLView.wordpress.com and thebossentertainment.weebly.com