Testing the New Nokia Lumia 1020's 41 MP Camera in the Arizona Desert / by JD Andrews

The nice folks at Nokia know how I love to take photos. So they asked me if I'd like to take the new Windows 8 smartphone, The Nokia Lumia 1020, out for a spin. It's the one with the 41 megapixel camera and according to Nokia's website it has: PureView technology, Optical Image Stabilization and an amazing high-resolution zoom.

Since I was in the Tucson area, I thought a great place to test that 41 megapixel camera would be the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum - One of my favorite places! The photos below were taken with my iPhone 5 and the Nokia 1020. You can click on the individual photos to get a bigger view. Please note: ALL the photos were resized to 1500 pixels and saved as a JPEG. NONE were manipulated in any way EG: cleaned up, adjusted or edited.     • For more photos • Scroll all the way to the bottom •


Original Photo - Nokia Lumia 1020

4352 x 7712 7.3 MB JPEG

Original Photo - iPhone 5

2448 x 3264  2.4 MB JPEG

Original Photo - Nokia Lumia 1020

7712 x 4352   10.5 MB JPEG

Original Photo - iPhone 5

3264 x 2448  2.7 MB JPEG

Original Photo - Nokia Lumia 1020

7712 x 4352   13.9 MB JPEG

Original Photo - iPhone 5

3264 x 2448  4.1 MB JPEG

I knew the photos would be a bigger size but was pleasantly surprised to see the lens was wider and could capture more of the landscape. I thought they looked very colorful and I only had to adjust the auto white balance a few times to correct a 'greenish effect' that I'm sure was caused by all the foliage. (Tucson has gotten a lot of rain this year)

Click to see Full Panorama

Nokia Lens.png

I was taking lots of photos and I noticed that the lens in the front (the black circle area) would get very, very hot to the touch.

camera grip.png

I was also using the camera grip (the grip has a button to help with taking pics and can attach to a tri-pod) It's supposed to give you an 55 extra minutes but the camera battery and the grip were both dead in just a few hours. (I was just taking photos, The phone doesn't have a sim card)

What I like:

  • 41 megapixels!!! Come on, my pro Canon DSLR only has 20. 
  • Takes great photos and video.
  • Carl Zeiss Tessar lens
  • The large screen is nice! (I have an iPhone)
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 6-lens optics
  • High resolution zoom 3x
  • A lot of camera apps - Panorama, Creative Studio, Smart Camera, Glam Me Lens, PhotoBeamer and Cinemagraph.
  • Lots of adjustments for a more pro feel but can also be put on auto for everyday use.
  • It's yellow! (I wish it came in orange) 

 What I didn't like:

  • It's more difficult to use with one hand (like the iPhone) but it does come with a wrist strap.
  • The lens got very hot.
  • Battery didn't last very long. There could be some online tips to help with battery life but I didn't have time to look.
  • Since it is a 41 MP camera, it took awhile for each photo to save  - so you can't really get a photo of something right away or multiple photos quickly.

This review was only on the camera of the Nokia Lumia 1020. It is a Windows 8 Smartphone with lots of other bells and whistles that I'm sure are covered in numerous other reviews online. Please feel free to share any good ones you find in the comments below, thanks!

Pssst...Do Have the Nokia 1020 and use a Mac? You'll need this - How can I transfer full resolution photos to my Lumia 1020 from Mac?