Nokia unveils Lumia smartphone with 41-megapixel camera



The smartphone camera has entered a new era with Nokia´s newly unveiled Lumia handset

The smartphone camera has entered a new era with Nokia's newly unveiled Lumia handset.

Nokia Lumia 1020


The Lumia 1020 was unveiled at a launch event in New York as the world watched online.

It boasts a 41-megapixel camera sensor which Nokia says will "bring new meaning to pictures".

People using the camera will be able to zoom in and reframe photos without having to fret about it compromising the quality of the image, Nokia said.

Chief executive Stephen Elop said the handset can capture pictures and video of "amazing quality and amazing clarity" and will "change how you shoot and how you create forever".

It runs on the Windows Phone 8 operating system and comes in yellow, black and white.

People in the US will be able to get their hands on the new Lumia later this month, but Nokia didn't confirm a UK release date.

Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa, said the smartphone is "packed with some revolutionary technologies".

It features enhanced zoom and optical image stabilisation, which promises sharper images, even when shooting in low light.

Other features include a manual shutter and a xenon flash.  

Meanwhile, dual capture technology allows users to take a high-quality 38-megpixel image at the same time as a social-sharing-friendly five-megapixel one.

When using the camera to shoot video, users will also be able to zoom in up to six times without any negative impact on quality.

However, despite the revolutionary camera features, one analyst told the BBC that many people generally look at pictures taken on a smartphone on the actual handset or online.

Francisco Jeronimo, a mobile phone analyst at IDC, said: "Most people just look at their photos on their smartphone or via a social network on a computer - and for this the other vendors already provide very good quality.

"Nokia needs to convince consumers that this new handset outperforms others in low-light conditions, otherwise they would only really notice the difference if they zoomed in on the images on a large screen or printed out a poster."

An expert at TechRadar acknowledged the impact of camera phones in changing our photography habits and said the technology had "come a long way". However, he also hailed the increasing popularity of compact system cameras.

Patrick Goss, TechRadar editor-in-chief, told the BBC: "Compact system cameras, basically much smaller versions of DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex cameras) are also becoming more popular."

The Lumia 1020 has been hailed as having "the best smartphone camera on the market" by analysts and as "the next chapter in smartphone photography," by Nokia chief  Elop.

However, analysts have questioned whether it is enough to tempt people away from Apple and Android.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said: "The Lumia 1020 truly takes mobile photography to the next level.

"Whether the mother of all cameras will entice phone fans away from Apple and Android devices is questionable, though."