I am a mobile photography evangelist. For years now, the only cameras I have owned are cameraphones, and they have held their own in every

Do you need 41 megapixels? Digital Photography reviews the Lumia 1020

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I am a mobile photography evangelist. For years now, the only cameras I have owned are cameraphones, and they have held their own in every situation possible – informal shots of family and friends and formal photography jobs for work and business. In my opinion, dedicated consumer cameras have a lot to fear from cameraphones.

Digital Photography Review is a dedicated photography site for consumer digital cameras, and they have taken Nokia’s Lumia 1020 for a spin. They have a section, Connect, for smartphone photography. The smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. Their focus is on camera features, performance and image quality. You should go read the full review, but here are excerpts from their conclusions:

The Nokia Lumia 1020’s innovative 41-megapixel sensor breaks new ground in terms of image quality. The rest of the phone is about what you’d expect from a flagship handset in 2013: it’s fast and fluid in everyday use. Its screen isn’t as high-res as the full HD displays on several of its competitors, but it’s certainly sharp and boasts very good sunlight visibility.

The Lumia 1020’s image quality is best-in-class: in both bright and low light conditions, it delivers impressive performance. In good light, the high-resolution sensor captures a tremendous amount of detail, even in darker, low-contrast parts of a scene that many competitors tend to smear with noise reduction. Colors are punchy but generally well rendered. The 5MP images are nicely sharpened and ready for sharing.

The Nokia Lumia 1020’s innovative zoom and impressive image quality set it apart from all competitors. By nearly every metric, it takes better pictures than any other phone on the market.

There you have it. Megapixels do matter in the hands of a manufacturer who knows what to do with them. I have owned several excellent Nokia camera phones, including the Nokia E90 Communicator, Nokia N8, Nokia 808 Pureview, and now Nokia Lumia 920. As an owner of the PureView 808, I repeated to people that it isn’t about the raw megapixels, but about what is done with it. The 808 performed superb things with the 41 megapixels, and the 1020 is following in its steps. In my experience, Nokia has proven consistently that they know what to do with megapixels. The Nokia Lumia 1020’s camera has been tested and acclaimed by Digital Photography Review to be head and shoulder above the competition. The full review is an 11-page job though. They certainly threw everything at the Lumia 1020 and scrutinized it through and through!

Go check out the DPR Connect’s review: Do you need 41 megapixels? Our Nokia Lumia 1020 camera review.


  1. If you ask me, anything above 8megapixil is over kill. Most people who use so phones dont use it to print out pictures for bill boards, its all in the ‘efficy’. What nokia show focus more on is battery life and getting more apps. Besides we in developing countries really NEED the option to peg network on only 3g.

  2. Yes the camera output of the 1020 is really good, but second to 808Pureview. My joy is that both phones (808&1020)are both products of NOKIA.
    Even though all reviewers so far are “scared”(because of the name Symbian) to say it straight that the 808 still rules, they always say in one way or the other.
    For instance, after all the praises for 1020, dpreview.com gave the 1020 8.8/10 while the almighty 808 scored 9/10 when it was reviewed last year by the same site.
    personally I will get the 1020 as a replacement for my 920(because zooming into pix on the 920 is rubbish if you have owned or used the 808) rather than a replacement for my 808PureView. To me, 1020 is just an almost equivalent of the 808 on windows phone platform rather than a TRUE successor, and having the two (808&1020) in your pocket makes you the happiest NOKIAN and a true camera phone freak on Earth.

  3. I am primarily a photography enthusiast, if I don’t want to carry around a camera, mobile photography is a valid alternative and par for the course.

    The Lumia 1020 and Pureview 808 stand on their own purely for those with an interest in mobile photography, and “the others”. While it is true that it isn’t about the amount of pixels but the eye of the photographer, the Lumia 1020 and Pureview at least give an alternative to those who really only want to go with the mobile option. Nokia has consistently been the best phone camera maker over the past decade, not even the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom can dethrone them; the iPhone is good, but Nokia is better.

    The problem with some of these reviews is that it depends whether the person reviewing is a phone person or a camera person – there opinions sharply differ.

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