Stas Antropov

Thoughts on life, learning and software engineering

On the Brilliance of Nokia 1020

Posted at — Aug 10, 2020

I’ve been organizing personal files recently and I came across some photos I’ve taken in 2013 with the venerable Nokia Lumia 1020 cameraphone.

If you are not familiar with this phone, it was a Windows Phone based successor to Nokia Lumia 808.

Nokia Lumia 1020 and PureView 808

Image from Wikipedia by Kārlis Dambrāns

The Lumia 1020 had a fantastic camera for its era (the phone was unveiled in July of 2013), sporting difficult to believe then 41 MP sensor. The phone had a protruding camera bump on the back, the camera was slow, the image files were huge, but it was still an amazing device. I brought it with me to our honeymoon and I found myself sometimes using the Lumia despite having Canon DSLR hanging from my neck. It was that good.

Looking at the photos got me thinking about the sheer audacity of the Nokia’s product team, especially when it came to the first 808 PureView. “Let’s release a very niche camera masquerading as a phone with unusual form factor and give it ridiculous resolution the CPU can barely deal with”. This took vision and balls. While it wasn’t quite the Apple-level consumer device leap, it was still quite a step. Nokia made a risky bet and advanced state of the start in mobile photography overcoming very tough technical challenges in the process. They also made brilliant devices people loved. Kudos.

Below are some of the photos I’ve taken with the Lumia in 2013-2015. The photos are clickable and clicking will open unedited full size originals. I wish I knew how to take better pictures back then but even if the composition may be off, you can still get the idea of quality.

St. Petersburg, Russia

Milano Centrale Train Station

Chicago Buildings

Venice Channel

Venice Bridge

Venice Morning Mist

Salustio Bandini Statue in Siena

Cathedral in Tallinn

Snowstorm in Chicago

Bengal Cat

CDG Airport Window

Glasses in a Bar

Chicago Highway at Dusk