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First Look: Lumia 1020: Calling all photogs

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First Look: Lumia 1020: Calling all photogs

2:44 /

Nokia gets serious with a 41-megapixel camera and sliding controls.

When is a smartphone not just a smartphone? When it's also a 41-megapixel camera. I'm Jessica Dolcourt with CNET and this is the Nokia Lumia 1020. Sold exclusively with AT&T, the 1020 packs on an enormous 41-megapixel camera, a larger than average sensor size, a Xenon flash, and an app that lets shutterbugs adjust everything from white balance to exposure, with convenient slider controls. Nokia's default ProCam app actually saves two images. The 5-megapixel photo that you can easily upload and share, and another 34 or 38-megapixel shot that lets you crop or zoom in to see more detail without losing image resolution. For creative types, the ProCam app has the slider controls that let you adjust everything from white balance to shutter speed to ISO and brightness. You can achieve some pretty cool effects this way and the built-in tutorial goes a long way to helping out novices. If you don't want to use the default app, there's also the native camera lens and other apps that you can easily load to capture panoramic shots and other creative scenes. Image quality is really good if you know what you're doing and pretty good if you're just playing around. I'm not even close to being an expert, but I still manage to tease out some fun shots from the advance settings. Other shots were just average. Since the phone is saving two images instead of one, it takes about 6 seconds until the camera is ready for another shot. That means, unfortunately, that you could be missing some really great photo ops when you're using the ProCam app. The video camera takes advantage of the 1020s lossless zoom during filming. In addition, it boosts audio during 1080p HD recordings, so that subjects sound louder than usual and that is a very good thing. Although the 1020's camera module does stick out a good half inch above the phones face, the phone is a lot slimmer than it could be and it didn't feel too bulbous or bulky in my pocket or in my hand. In fact, it's about the same shape as a lot of other Nokia Lumia phones. Running Windows Phone 8 is its operating system. This Lumia has 4G LTE and NFC in addition to the usual smartphone capabilities. The enormous honking camera is what really makes it stand out. Now Nokia's Lumia 1020 isn't for everyone. Avid mobile photographers really like the opportunity to try 2 in one device, but I think that more casual shooters will probably be happy with other high-end smartphones that sell for about $100 less than AT&T selling this one for. It's gonna cost $300 on contract at the full retail price. So, there you have it, the Nokia Lumia 1020 and its very large 41-megapixel camera. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET. Make sure you read my full review at CNET.com.

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