Gear Test: Can AT&T’s Nokia Lumia 1020 41-megapixel camera replace your SLR?
The Lumia 1020’s calling card is its 42 megapixel camera built into a Windows Mobile cell phone platform. All those pixels crammed into a small, high-resolution sensor design deliver sharp, digitally zoomed photos, a feature that that even the iPhone 5s can’t beat. But more pixels don’t equate to better pictures; smaller but larger pixels often more accurately capture images. Where more pixels have an edge are in producing images that can be zoomed without loosing line detail.
The camera produces really good images though. Pro photographer Stephen Alvarez shot a two-page spread published in National Geographic Magazine with the Lumia 1020, which even Alvarez admits is an astounding feat.
I loved the pictures I took with the Lumia 1020, mainly because I could manually adjust ISO, shutter speed and white balance, plus shoot in RAW mode– all things you can’t do with the iPhone (though some apps, like Camera Pro, sort of fake it). The Lumia’s screen is big and bright, though the cameral software is a bit sluggish. The app launches slowly, the camera focuses slowly, and the shot-to-shot time is a bit slow. That can be a problem if you’re capturing sports or kids, but if you’re shooting, say, food or landscapes, it’s not a big deal.
If you want to ditch your point-and-shoot and make your phone your main camera, the Lumia 1020 is a good pick, especially if Apple is not your choice of fruit.
The 1020 features a 4.5″ 1280×768 touchscreen display, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB on-board storage, 41-megapixel rear camera, 1.2-megapixel front camera, 1080p video recording, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 3.0, and Windows Phone 8.
Right now, you can pick up a Nokia Lumia 1020 32GB Windows Smartphone for AT&T in Black for $199.99 with activation of a new 2-year contract.