Nokia launches image-conscious Lumia 1020
Finnish smartphone maker delivers telephony as afterthought with 41MP super-camera
Almost exactly a month after Samsung launched its 13MP Galaxy S4 Zoom, Finnish smartphone maker Nokia continued with its imaging-first strategy late on Thursday with the New York launch of the Lumia 1020 handset, which comes with a second-generation 41-megapixel camera.
The sensor's power is delivered by a combination of hardware and a new application called Nokia Pro Camera, which is designed for professional-quality image capture regardless of the skill of the photographer.
The Pro Camera interface is built around previewing how settings will affect the final photo or video. A new feature called dual capture simultaneously takes a high-resolution, 38-megapixel image and creates a 5-megapixel picture that can be shared on social networks.
The 41-megapixel sensor features ZEISS optics: six physical lenses, plus optical image stabilisation, designed for optimal results even in low light conditions. The camera also carries a built-in xenon flash and mechanical shutter.
The camera is also engineered for the capture of "blur-free" videos with stereo sound even at the loudest concerts, through Nokia Rich Recording, which is said to "handle sound pressure levels six times louder than conventional smartphone microphones".
"We want to take people on a journey from capturing pictures to recording and sharing their lives," said Stephen Elop, president and CEO, Nokia.
"The Nokia Lumia 1020 will bring new meaning to pictures and continues to strengthen Nokia's leadership in imaging."
Nokia also released a new imaging software development kit (SDK) that provides key image editing features of the Nokia Lumia 1020 to developers. The SDK is available now at developer.nokia.com with a number of developers including Vyclone, Yelp and CNN integrating these features into future releases.
GALLERY: Nokia's Lumia 1020 camera phone.
At the launch Hipstamatic showcased Oggl PRO, an exclusive application for the Nokia Lumia 1020 offering the most advanced smartphone camera controls for their creative community. It was also announced that applications Path and Flipboard will soon be available on Windows Phone.
Nokia also claimed additional battery life from the 1020 and announced the new sold-separately Nokia Camera Grip, which, as such accessories are usually reserved for stand-alone cameras, establishes the 1020 as a camera first and a phone second. The Nokia Camera Grip also has a tripod mount, and is expected to be available this month for an estimated retail price of $79.
The camera integrates with Windows Phone, updating the Start screen's Photos tile, quick sharing to social networks, and allowing access to files across a number of devices with SkyDrive. The Nokia Lumia 1020 will be available in yellow, white and black, but an exact UAE release date and price have yet to be announced.