Nokia Officially Outs The Lumia 1020 And Its 41-Megapixel Camera

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Well, that was pretty anticlimactic. After teasing us mercilessly for the past few weeks, Nokia’s Stephen Elop has taken the stage here in New York to surprise absolutely no one and officially reveal the Nokia Lumia 1020.

The device is apparently set to launch exclusively with AT&T on July 26 with a $299 on-contract price tag. China and certain European markets will get the Lumia 1020 some time this quarter.

Sadly, a string of recent leaks have done away with much of the mystery surrounding the event (but really — what else is new?). As expected, the 1020 features a 4.5-inch AMOLED PureMotion HD+ screen running at 1280 x 768, but we’re still waiting on confirmation on a tentative spec listing that claimed the device sports a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm dual-core chipset, along with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory.

Naturally, the real star of the show is the 41-megapixel backside-illuminated PureView camera sensor nestled in the 1020’s rear end, and Elop is currently running through what makes it so special.

That 41-megapixel camera is capable of capturing 34 and 38 megapixel-photos in 16:9 or 4:3, but when it takes that high-res image the 1020 is also saving what Elop calls a 5-megapixel “oversampled” image. Each of the pixels in those oversampled photos is composed of up to 7 pixels captured by the sensor (HTC did something similar on a smaller scale with the One’s UltraPixel camera), which makes for some richly detailed photos for sharing. Nokia’s Floating Lens stabilization technology seen in devices like the Lumia 920 has also been reworked to support the 1020’s hefty sensor.

There’s some truly impressive zoom capability here as well, as evidenced by the fact that Elop likes to ride in helicopters and capture shots from the air. Video recording is similarly important to the Lumia 1020, and the device is capable of recording 1080p video at 30 frames per second, and the same imaging innovations that make pictures look as good as they do also dramatically improve video quality. Throw in continued support for rich audio recording (which featured prominently in the 808 PureView’s spec list) and the 1020 is looking like quite a media creation tool.

Thoughtful hardware is only part of the imaging solution Nokia has concocted here, as it’s supplemented by a new Nokia Pro Camera mode that gives users much more granular control over photo quality. The viewfinder gives you realtime feedback of your settings changes, and enhanced exposure settings enabled Elop and pals to do a little light painting on stage.

The camera grip that leaked earlier made an appearance, and in addition to giving mobile photographers something more substantial to grab onto, it also packs a 1,020mAh battery to supplement the (rather anemic) 2,000 mAh battery sealed inside the 1020.