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About the Nokia Lumia 1020: Everybody Chill Out

About the Nokia Lumia 1020: Everybody Chill Out

Today I figured I would try and sow a little truth into the mess that has become the camera phone market. Numbers inflated for PR rather than quality have been put front and center with today’s launch of the Nokia Lumia 1020. As a stance on this whole issue, I really don’t have much of a dog in the fight. Yes, I have spoken for Apple and like the iPhone, but this post does not find its roots in fanboyism. This is a preventive measure for the sanity of professional photographers everywhere.

We have all been there, sitting in a airport terminal, at a bar, at Costco, only to hear a baby boomer with a 20 megapixel camera phone ask why we shoot a D3x when we could use the latest Windows phone. I mean a megapixel is a megapixel, right?

To someone that asks said question, I usually give a response that goes something like this, “I would totally use the Windows phone instead of my old D3x on set, however, I have a different carrier… bummer.”

Sarcasm aside, let me speak to the great people over at Engadget and Gizmodo for a second…

Hey guys, cool phone, huh? Let’s be honest, it is not a 41 megapixel monster that your youthful enthusiasm wants it to be. Yes, it probably is a good camera, but no, it will not hold up to anything professional in nature. Will it beat the iPhone camera? Maybe, but that is yet to be seen. Quantity for the sake of quantity does nothing but create a false idea inflation that poisons an industry. We can all remember the Kodak DCS-14n and its huge claims of 14 megapixels. It was nothing but a PR stunt that cost many people money when they found that the camera had little quality and even less resale value.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is the camera phone version of the joke that has become the Chicago Sun Times. Yes, we can have writers take pictures, but surprise should not be had when the quality of the images falls off the face of the Earth. Too much have I clinched my teeth in a conversation where someone asserts the idea that megapixels equal quality… if you haven’t experience this in person, go to Best Buy. I feel like people that will read into the hype are the same people that think having a camera on the iPad to do photography is a good idea. It’s not.

So in closing… will the Lumia 1020 be a good camera phone? Probably. Will it be anything like the 41 megapixel camera it is claiming to be? Nope.

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You would be surprised...

In that case you guys should start screening your readers before allowing them access! :)

How about more post oriented to educate them?

Instead of all those "look how funny internet is" posts?

Yeah, more posts to educate them would be great. But a post bashing the camera as marketing hype when it may prove to be the best cell phone camera on the market is a bit daft.

I lost interest when the articles pretended to want to "sow a little truth"...

Exactly. It's an article I would have expected back in 2006.

I lost interest when he tried to be sarcastic.

lol, Jon do you have any idea what you just said?

No, I was drunk. But you said "lol" so my post still makes more sense!

41PM camera in a phone!! I'm selling all my gear and shutting the doors to my photo biz... when everyone has a professional camera in their phone, there will be no need for photographers anymore... (insert sarcastic eye roll here)

speaking for gizmodo, no one holds or expressed any of the opinions you are criticizing

Nor did Engadget. It's a fluff, look-at-me piece.

Funny that the article does exactly what it complains about, judging the quality of a camera by the number of megapixels. What's important is what the phone does with those pixels, and that's what's really impressive about the phone (and the Nokia 808 before).

Just checked out the supposed pictures shot by this phone. Very impressive (and I'm chill). If they're really shot by this phone, that is.

Blair Bunting, Chill.

You are a god damned beast Sam. <3

I'm sorry did you just say , will it beat the Iphone ? as if the #lumia920/925/928 aren't beating the Iphone to dust in the camera department /Night/videos/daylight you name it ?
come on, there has to be a writer better than this one on this site, do you do any reporting ? or did you just hear 41 and expected yes this wouldn't be true because its a PR campaign , Its not like there isn't a damn 808 pureview phone already for you to do at least a bit of research.

You should leave the comments here after reading this , Check out Pureviewclub.com , hunt flicker for some 808 shots , watch some comparisons between 808 and some DSLRs and then comeback and reverse your joke of an article , unlike you I read up on your "gun jumped bullshit" and I think you should learn what Gizmodo learned the damn hard way when it said the same thing on the 808 only a week later they would regret what they said completely and publish a whole article explaining how great it was ...

I hope for god sake you don't get fired.

I kinda hope he DOES get fired for this kind of BS article.

Check out 1:15 ... and then go kill your iphone ...

OMFG !!! You can actually see the fibers !!! This phone is going to be legendary !!!

Sorta echoes my thoughts. It's pretty damn obvious it blows the iphone away... "yet to be seen" my behind. I have the 920 and it is unreal how much better my night shots are compared to all my iphone friends.

41MP Pureview vs 12 DSLR @ISO100 (things get worse as it increases)

Not sure why you're comparing this Camera Phone to your D3x. But the sample pictures from Nokia seem pretty legit.

Also this 4K timelapes done with a 808 Pureview (Older version of the 1020 camera) seems pretty cool. Used the all the megapixels and zoomed the image in post.

This is the stupidest fucking clickbait article I've read in a long time. I mean seriously, who is arguing that a camera phone with an oversampled sensor is going to knock the socks off of a DSLR? Only simpleton morons that nobody gives a crap about anyway. So all you've done is try to hide fanboyism with stupidity.

Here's the reality... nobody wakes up in the morning, gets ready to leave their home and packs up their giant DSLR camera bag along with their phone. Hell, they're probably not even grabbing their simple point-and-shoots either. What do they grab? Their phone. So wouldn't it be great to have a phone that replaces their P&S's with a spectacular camera? Hell yeah!

Save the DSLR for the professionals and the big events-- vacation trips, special events, etc.-- but carry something that isn't going to produce such craptacular pics that you feel compelled to screw it up more with Instagram and other filters... or at least, if you do feel using those apps is important, at least they won't actually look like crap.

Let the Lumia 1020 be what it is... a GREAT device that serves its roles beautifully as a communication tool, a gaming device, a media player, and a camera. Then, if you still want to take professional photos with a real camera, go for it.

And please... stop being a moron.

Wow, this guy really went on the DSLR defensive over nothing. P&S cameras are a dying breed, but the phone camera tech hasn't properly filled the gap. Nokia is trying to do just that. So, yeah, chill.

Hey guys, as title implies, let's chill. Implications of the article was not that the Lumia takes bad pictures. I said on multiple occasions that it probably takes decent pictures. The article merely implies that 41 MP is a joke. There is resolution to create a quality image and then there is resolution to create a large number in front of the "MP" in the camera description. Those that argue that, "hey bro, 41MP is 41MP" are correct in the math, but not the idea, and are likely the same that would turn down a D3 because it is only 12MP. But here's the thing, the purpose of the NC81338L was to create beauty. Larger diodes on the D3 limited Nikon to 12.1 because of a need for accurate color and reproduction. Who cares how many pixels exist when the size of the pixel determines your depth of image. With the D3 you are dealing with a pixel that is 8.45µm². That means a diode that nodal point can read clearer the image that converges from the rear element. Even taking out the argument of speed (in frame rate) and need for column amplifiers, you still have more accuracy than the 41MP that goes to a smaller chip. Nokia is placing a 1.1µm size pixel at the heart of the 1020, a statement that you will indeed make larger images, but at the cost of quality, dynamic range and sensor noise ratio. Now the counter to the micro differentiation will be a statement to the BSI CMOS vs. standard CMOS, and there is a valid point in read for dark currents on the Lumia because of this. However, it is a rather forced induction of information that mirrors a curve pull rather than a straight read. Now you may get less deviation of current because of CMOS (pA/cm2), the BSI has proved more variations and is indeed higher than the standard 16.25 (17.73pA/cm2). The creates register error (false color) and an image that takes on the abstract in the minute details. Final argument would say that unity gain per pixel pitch will cause the blue and green wavelengths (mid absorption microns usually around 2.3 1/e length) to wander closer to green and yellow (3.3 1/e) and cause color drift in non ideal lighting situations. Again, a minor issue, but one that will hold separate the qualities of a pro SLR 41MP sensor and the one in the 1020.

"Yes, it probably is a good camera, but no, it will not hold up to anything professional in nature. Will it beat the iPhone camera? Maybe, but that is yet to be seen. Quantity for the sake of quantity does nothing but create a false idea inflation that poisons an industry."

Nobody, not Nokia or Engadget or Gizmodo, put this in the same class as a DSLR. If you think any other phone camera can touch the capability of this, I think you will be surprised. Speaking of capability, the touted advantage of this is to control digital zoom before AND after taking a shot.
I still do not understand why you are taking such a attitude when no one has claimed anything contrary to what you are defending.

I'm sorry sir, we would ask again , did you read the White Paper on the #lumia1020
as you seem too lazy to do research on articles you do we'll help you

Do you understand that they're not really saying that because of its being 41 its the best and in turn it should compete with DSLRs and Point and shoots right away,
We all understand how MPs aren't everything, and the white paper i attached above clearly states all the ways Nokia milked the power of the 41mp with.
Its detailed and very informative and you should give it a geeky read.
They are not saying you'll be able to shoot in 41mp either as you'll probably find out due to 4:3 and 16;9 aspects you'll at max get 38/34 mp depending on the aspect ratio

A DSLR will always beat a Phones Camera , but then again a DSLR won't fit your pocket , a DSLR will always Zoom but if you dropped a DSLR you'll probably be a DSLR short if the fall was above a meter high (or atleast you'll shell some $$$ for some new lenses and what not).
A DSLR isn't a smartphone and you won't look like an idiot talking to a Lumia1020 (hint hint SGS4ZOOM)

You can't say probably take good pictures when you claim Iphone is still unbeaten , its not you being honest it is you being condescendant.

Please revise your article with the information you mentioned above and drop your condescendant BS ...

You're completely missing the point. Nokia didn't make 41MP just to have it. They did it to overcome a limitation that exists with smartphones that want to zoom. They tried mechanical zoom, but found that wasn't the right path. High number of pixels is how to solve the zoom problem on smartphones. Nobody (not Nokia, not Engadget, Gizmodo, etc) has compared the Lumia 1020 to a DSLR in terms of quality just on account of having 41 million pixels.

Do you have any understanding what the Lumia 1020 does with those 41MP? Are you even remotely familiar with the Nokia 808 PureView?
It sounds like you do not understand that the 1020 downsamples the 41MP image to 5MP to create a far better image. Or that it enables lossless digital zoom because it can capture the whole 41MP image and then crop it to the zoomed section, rather than blowing the photo up like other phones do.
No one is "chilling" because everything you have written implies that you have no idea what you are actually talking about.

I'm sorry, but you lost the right to tell your audience to "chill out" the moment you started insulting their intelligence about megapixel and quality measurements.

I hope you have paid attention to the responses. The lesson to be learned here is to not make judgement until you can back it up. The burden of proof lied with Nokia when they introduced the phone, and they proved it during their presentation along with some white papers. They explained the advantage of having 41MP explicitly not for the sake of resolution but for "over sampling".

Not once in your article or response did you use this term. I ask myself why that was, and I think its honestly because you didn't know about it. No one had told you and you didn't perform the research and fact checking, which means you should have never written the Op-Ed to begin with. Unless, of course, your intent was to get annihilated in the comments.

So what was the reason you never mentioned it? Were you aware of the unique treatment of MP? And if so, how come you didn't bring it up? To me it makes you look like an iPhone wielding bully ready to pull up some Flickr stats to show superiority who couldn't muster the intellect to cultivate a solid assessment. Either you couldn't or you wouldn't, because the 1020 would then be superior to the iPhone camera.

Awful click bait mess of a article. I feel a bit dirty for even reading this mess

We have all been there, sitting in a airport terminal, at a bar, at Costco, only to hear a baby boomer with a 20 megapixel camera phone ask why we shoot a D3x when we could use the latest Windows phone. I mean a megapixel is a megapixel, right?

When exactly has this happened to you , WP never had a 20MP phone before , at most it had 16MP and that is when Nokia actually released the 808 which had 41mp still not a WP and I think where you live or still living not lots of 808 showed up nor HTC titan 2s for that matter ...
Its a bullshit made up story , the rate of people having WP at the time your describing is less than 4% of the whole smartphone market. So this can't happen to you for it to happen to everybody as you're describing . Such WEAK reporting ...

This is the most irrelevant, weak post i've ever seen on fstoppers.

Blair Bunting, I am a great admirer of your work. Keep it up and I am glad to see you on this site and am excited to see what you will offer!

Wow, this is even worse than that "article" about Canon being the only company with a professionals program.

Mr. Author, YOU chill out. Neither Engadget, nor Gizmodo said anything like what you're implying. In fact, most tech bloggers, although not the sharpest knives in the cabinet when it comes to photography "Got" what the Lumia 1020 was about. The 41MP sensor in it isn't trying to compete with DSLRs. No one claimed so, not even Nokia. Its primary function is to oversample pixels to come up with a 5MP image that's better in quality than what other camphones and even point and shoots can offer. If anything, this is similar to (But not the same as)pixel binning, as done by Fuji in their EXR sensors and PhaseOne with Sensor+.

I will be buying one of these, but NOT to replace my D800 or even my D7100. I know fully well that it is no match for either of those two cameras with some gold ring glass. But, it just might do better than my Nikon V1 as a vacation camera. And THAT is why big camera manufacturers should be worried about the Pureview.

You've just proven yourself to be a complete moron when it comes to imaging technology. Please do not write articles about such topics anymore.

I always thought the guys at fstoppers were photographers... o_O Photographers don't comment like this before trying themselves or at least review the sample shots...

Did you really not know what Nokia did with 808's 41 megapixels? You need to get an idea how Nokia used them...

Blair Bunting! You are so defensive for no thing :)

Seriously, dude ? You should seriously check out the 808.

There was another very successful camera which used this same technique of binning pixels... the Nikon D1.

The point is that this is something to be excited about, just like the the 70D new dual pixel tech. No it won't replace my DSLR or ilc but this tech will make its way around for us all to benefit. I'm sorry to inform you that this article comes off very apple fanboy and very short sighted.

If their are photographers who are very revered in the photography world, and some of the most successful that we know, say that this phone has incredible picture quality, I will believe it. *cough*Jeremy Cowart*cough*

Al opinion and no facts. Facts... then an argument.

Like it or not, this article is getting some serious feedback.

"So in closing… will the Lumia 1020 be a good camera phone? Probably.
Will it be anything like the 41 megapixel camera it is claiming to be?

Aren't you now at the other end of that argument? Unless you've had it in your hands and have tried out under X conditions, how do you know how that phone will perform as a camera? Certainly sounds like disgruntled iPhone fanboyism to me.

Wow ... just wow. Nokia is genuinely on the leading edge of imaging in phones, and you bash all their awesome work as a PR stunt?

You should really take the time to read the whitepaper that Nokia published on it's oversampling technology. Or get your hands on one soon. The proof will lie in the pudding, and I think we'll all end up impressed with the results of the 1020.

Wow. This has been the WORST EVER post from fstoppers. Pure prejudice. It ignores the brilliant camera that the Pureview 808 has. Please read and research a little before just ignoring everybody with your "I-know-way-more-than-the-rest-of-the-world" atitude. Makes me want to not to access fstoppers anymore. And "maybe it will be better than the iphone"?? Have you ever seen the Lumia 920 pictures? Have you been reading tech news recently? If the 920 kicks the iphone's butt, imagine this guy... It's sensor is several times larger than ALL the phone cameras out there.
Really, really low quality, fstoppers.

Do you work for Nokia?

Nope. Its just that I think that we're comparing apples and bananas here. If it were an Iphone camera, everyone would be posting what a revolution Apple has released., because comparing to other camera phones, it's wonderfull.
But when the new Lumia comes out the article bashes it because the quality isn't par with a D800! To me, it just doesn't make sense.
ps: there is a technical reason for the 41Mp.
ps2: I had an iphone 4 and currently own a Nexus 4, so I'm no fanboy.

This article has prompted a thought here...but I feel like fstoppers keeps putting out articles saying about "gear doesn't matter.. you can take beautiful images on an iphone even!" and then articles like "iphones are ridiculous.. it'll never replace dslrs!!!"

It's been mentioned before, but the articles and quality of writing at Fstoppers has really gone downhill. This article is a good example.

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