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Now that’s a camera phone: Nokia’s 41 megapixel Windows Phone star is real

By Leigh D. Stark | 11:39 am 12/07/2013

An upcoming smartphone from Nokia is out to show the world that the compact camera really is at risk of being superseded, as the brand pushes camera-phone technology to an astonishing 41 megapixels.

With a megapixel count higher than most compact cameras and DSLRs, the Nokia Lumia 1020 looks to be the first smartphone to truly bend the limit of what we recognise as a smartphone camera, packing in a 41 megapixel sensor into a 4.5 inch smartphone body and making it possible to take 38 megapixel images with a device stored in your pocket.

“We want to take people on a journey from capturing pictures to recording and sharing their lives,” said Stephen Elop, President of Nokia. “The Nokia Lumia 1020 will bring new meaning to pictures and continues to strengthen Nokia’s leadership in imaging.”

It’s not the first time we’ve seen a 41 megapixel camera made by Nokia, though.

The technology first appeared in early 2012 when Nokia showed off a 41 megapixel sensor inside the 808 PureView, an experimental camera that ran on Symbian and took advantage of the massive sensor to use digital zoom for a good reason: when you zoomed, the sensor cropped to actual usable sizes, such as 5 and 8 megapixels.

In the recently announced Nokia Lumia 1020, it’s a new version of that technology making a 7712×5360 image, along with Carl Zeiss (now just called “Zeiss”) optics made of six lenses, image stabilisation, a new microphone recording setting for filming videos, and two different flashes: one for video (LED) and one for still images (xenon).

Big image. Lots of detail. This from a phone.

A 100 percent crop of the image above, image by Nokia.

That idea of zooming is still present, with digital zoom actually delivering a cropped image when you zoom in, bypassing the need for optical zoom that would normally require moving parts.

Even when you don’t zoom, the Lumia 1020 will export both a high resolution 38 megapixel image and a smaller file to share on social networks.

Soft focus, now something a camera phone can do. Image by Nokia.

We’re hearing that the software for the camera has also been enhanced to let you play with the settings more, essentially allowing for more creativity than your average camera phone. Also, the phone will also feature an external camera grip accessory giving the handset a feeling closer to that of a camera and adding a tripod mount.

Outside of the camera, there’s still a phone for you to use, with a body that look close to the Lumia 920 design, supporting a 4.5 inch screen using AMOLED technology and 1280×768, Corning’s third-generation Gorilla Glass, a more sensitive touchscreen, and enhanced readability under the sun.

Windows Phone 8 is the operating system of choice, running atop a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB RAM, 2000mAh battery, and 32GB storage. A camera does sit at the front, but it’s only for 1.2 megapixel images, so unfortunately, there won’t be any super-duper high resolution selfies for you.

Pricing and availability hasn’t yet been announced yet, but we suspect we’ll hear more from Nokia Australia on this within the next month or two, especially since select markets will be receiving it this quarter.

Here’s hoping that includes us.

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