[Review] The Nokia Lumia 1020 41MP camera...will this be THE ONE camera phone?

Had an experience with the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the opportunity to ask myself if i go overseas, do i need to lug my DSLR or this 41MP camera phone?


Well, i brought both out and see which one i used most often. Well, let's start from the beginning, i had with me, the Apple iPhone 5 (default phone), Sony Xperia Z1, Blackberry Z1 and not forgetting the Lumia 1020, all the 4 different OS flavors in my hand.

During the last 2 weeks (locally and overseas), i have shot more photos as much as i used to have my iPhone 5 in a week, using the Lumia 1020.

Firstly it's easy to use, just press the button at the side and the camera just launches.

I have shot all the photos with the default AUTO settings and also some of them i post processed them on the phone using the Nokia Creative Studio software...especially the "Colour Pop" and "Clarity" (...aka sharpening) functions.

As a photographer, megapixels don't really mean a lot to me, but i am going to focus on how this camera "wow-ed" me when i had so much fun from it and the output, i would say, is up to my expectation for a camera phone.

Let's start with some indoor food photos which i have below.

Taken in auto mode and no flash (...not a fan of flash photography especially those coming from camera phones, i find those too harsh.).

The colour saturation and accuracy is there. May not be sharp but hey, it works for me and after all this is still a camera phone.

Even a little bokeh can be achieve by this.


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Now this is the test (to myself), will a camera phone be sufficient for a week overseas? One thing for sure, i don't have to bring out DSLR, lenses, batteries, filters...all i need was this phone and a rechargeable battery pack and USB cable when i went around Macau and Hong Kong.

The following shots are in taken while i was on the plane...had a Window seat so whipped out the Lumia 1020 and see what it can do.

This was a 7am flight so i manage to catch the morning sun. You can even see the sun rays and the glare.

All these photos are straight out from the phone. No post processing was done.


In the Venetian Macau, the lobby is impressive...the "gold" was just overwhelming. These were all taken handheld before i checked in. I didn't know what to expect and how the pictures will turn on from this phone. Everything was in auto, as usual, but i believe if i switched to manual exposure and increase it by 0.3 or 0.7. The pictures below will be slightly brighter and thus may look better.


Now one of the most used function to post processed my photos, was the Colour Pop from the Nokia Creative Studio.

You can edit any of your photos on the fly and post it.

Compare this with copying out of a DSLR and try to do all these and share it with your friends.

It's a holiday...so why stressed over it....the Lumia 1020 takes great pictures and it really give me a whole new mentality of leaving my DSLR behind while overseas.

Can't really have the best of both worlds but this camera may not or may not suit everyone but majority has a camera phone wherever they go...it's up to ones expectation.

My "Color Pop" samples taken with the Nokia Lumia 1020 :

oh...one more thing...this camera can do panorama in both portrait and landscape mode on the phone...which i believe some phones can't.



ClubSNAP Editor
Staff member
Jul 19, 2012
The Lumia Black software update is being rolled out today! Which means, the Nokia Lumia WP8 owners around the world will have access to new features, improvements in imaging, new apps and app updates from Microsoft and Nokia to make their Lumia smartphone experience even better!

Get inside the box to know more about the improvements that are in store.

  • App Folder. This brand new feature makes your Lumia experience even more fluid by giving you an option to further personalize and organize your Start screen. With App folders you can group similar apps and settings into one folder, a tile, on your Start screen.
  • Nokia Glance screen 2.0. Helps you keep track of information in real time, making all your most important notifications including: phone, messages, email, outlook, calendar, or any apps that use notifications such as Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, or games; always visible at a glance on your screen. It saves time and energy.
  • Bluetooth LE. Will now be enabled across the full Windows Phone 8 Lumia range for compatible gadgets like the Adidas MiCoach smart run watch.
  • Nokia Refocus. The amazing Nokia Refocus comes to all Windows Phone 8 Lumia smartphones with 1GB of RAM and upwards.
  • Nokia Beamer. Sharing what’s on your phone is easier than ever with Nokia Beamer. You can now beam documents, presentations, anything you like, to any HTML5-enabled screen by simply scanning a QR code on the screen. It’s coming to all of the phones with 1GB RAM upwards.
  • Nokia Storyteller. The app arranges your photos for you, by date and by place, making it easier to tell the stories behind your pictures, and give extra context through the close integration of interactive maps.
  • Nokia Camera. Combines Nokia Pro Camera and Smart Camera to simplify the photo-taking experience, and ensure you get the perfect shot every time. The app has been available for Lumia PureView smartphones since last year, but it’s now coming to the rest of the WP8 Lumia range. The latest Nokia Camera update also brings raw DNG support for Lumia 1020 owners.
  • Latest generation of imaging algorithms. The Lumia Black update further improves the image quality, especially in Lumia 1020. Among others, the improvements include a new oversampling algorithm, making your images more natural looking with reduced noise, while ensuring your photos remain wonderfully sharp.

The Lumia Black update also brings a series of enhancements from Microsoft to Nokia Lumia smartphones. These include safe driving mode – which cuts out unnecessary distractions when you’re on the road; customised ringtones for each contact. You can now also close apps within the in multitasking view and lock the screen rotation if you wish.

Timing: The Lumia Black update has begun rolling out today for Lumia 1020 and Lumia 925 smartphones, with other models in the range following shortly after.

How to update: Nokia Lumia smartphones automatically check for updates every week, and will notify people when it finds one. Otherwise check by going to Settings -> Phone update - it downloads and installs straight from that screen.

More information can be found at Nokia Conversations.


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