AS A keen photographer, it scares me seeing the number of people who trust life's special moments to a smartphone camera.

Let's face it, even the best of phone cameras can't match the pace, flexibility and power of a good SLR.

But the 41-megapixel camera in the Nokia Lumia 1020 comes pretty close.

Taking photos and video at two weddings, a surfing shoot, as well as sunrise and sunset scenes, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Sure, I would have got better results with my trusty Nikon, but not that much better for many of them.

While a 41-megapixel camera may seem overkill in a phone - particularly when you consider the latest Samsung Galaxy s5 will have a 16-megapixel camera - it does have some big benefits.

The sensor allows you to zoom in up to three times so you can see the most minute of detail - and crop exactly what you want from the larger frame. With such a huge file, you could easily print the best of posters.

Shooting surfers at a distance on dusk I found there was some noise in the shots, but given the light and movement, it was expected.

The camera is designed to record two shots - a 38-megapixel high-resolution image and a sharp five-megapixel image you can easily share on Facebook or store on SkyDrive.

One of the coolest things is the Nokia Pro Camera app, which provides swipeable dials to adjust settings such as ISO, exposure, shutter speed, white balance and manual focus.

The video allows you to zoom in four times while recording a 1080p high definition video and six times in 720p.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 captures vivid colours, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 captures vivid colours, particularly at sunrise and sunset.


The results are super bright with sensational colours and great sound - something that was especially noticeable during sunset and sunrise shoots.

Promotional videos for the Lumia 1020 show it being used to film background scenes in music videos, a complete wedding shoot as well as exotic travel trips.

On the downside, the Nokia phone can be a bit of a slippery sucker to hold, so it's certainly worth considering buying the Nokia Camera Grip which gives you longer battery life, a two-stage shutter key and a standard tripod mount.

The Nokia is a Windows phone, something I am not used to, but I found it very easy to navigate with the benefit of the menus staying in the same place.

For those unsure about going for a Windows-based phone, given the huge number of Apple and Android apps out there, Nokia points out the Windows phone store has well over 170,000 apps available including plenty of local ones. If you are buying a phone to take photos, this one should be on your shortlist.


  • Windows 8
  • 41MP camera with Xenon flash, LED flash for video
  • Front facing HD 1.2MP wide angle camera
  • Display: 4.5-inch AMOLED WXGA (1280x768), 2.5 D sculpted Corning Gorilla Glass 3, PureMotion HD+, ClearBlack, high brightness mode, sunlight readability, super sensitive touch, Nokia Glance Screen
  • Processor: 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
  • 3G and 4G network support in Australia
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory; 7 GB free SkyDrive cloud storage. USB support

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