Inside the Nokia Lumia 1020's camera housing

If there is one thing that is fun to look at, it’s just how massive the Nokia Lumia 1020’s 41MP BSI sensor is when compared to “normal” smartphone sensors.

Such is the case in the photo above, where you can see the Lumia 1020’s sensor, lenses and housing, along with “standard” 8MP sensors (Hint: the 1020’s are the big ones).

Nokia's Juha Alakarhu and the Lumia 1020 camera housing

We also listened on to Nokia’s Juha Alakarhu talk about the process of making the technological achievement, and as you can see in the split diagram of the camera housing, there’s a lot going on.

One way they made the camera thinner, we’re told, is by pushing things out to the side e.g. the gyroscope. They also had to invent a new flat transistor capacitor for the Xenon flash, since one did not exist that would work. Combined with their re-engineered image stabilization system using ball bearings and you can see why Nokia is good at what they do: they don’t just jam in technology, they invent it.

From Left to Right: Lumia 1020, Lumia 1020 camera, Luma 720 camera

Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera housing sensor

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Awesome, I wish other OEMS would put this kind of effort into their windows phones instead of just recycling old designs/tech...
  • I agree. Nokia seems to be leading the way with windows and I hope it remains that way. You cannot get better quality than Nokia
  • Nokia is not just leading with WPhones its leading with overall Smartphone technology.
  • No kidding.  Not only are they far and away the best OEM for Windows Phone, but sometimes I think they do more work for the platform than MS itself.  I'm a WP and MS fanboy and I hope the platform succeeds.  But if it does, I think its only due to Nokia dragging MS kicking and screaming to victory.  I can't imagine what the situation would be right now if not for Nokia.
  • Haha love the "kicking and screaming" analogy! But it's definitely the truth. "Lumia" is probably more recognizable to the average person than "Windows Phone 8" is, and that's why Nokia accounts for over 3/4 of WP sales.
  • Well - wonder who knows about TFSI or Android and not just Volkswagen/Audi and Samsung .. do you think an operation system concerns the masses? they buy a product 
  • Turbo Fuel Stratified Inyection, the name VW/Audi gives to the Force Induction (turbo or superchaged) engines with direct injection, but hey I own an Audi and before that had a Seat Leon MK II with the 2.0 TFSI Stage 3 +
  • If not Nokia, WP7 and WP8 would be where windows mobile is right now or going down like BB
  • your right. nokia is paving the way for windows phone. but you have to understand that microsoft collaborated with nokia in this pureview technology in terms of software collaboration, they are smart microsoft engineers just like nokia eginneers, so dont underestimate windows phone and microsoft.  ok they the ones payed nokia to use windows phone, they patnershipped with nokia. so please dont down microsoft. and microsoft is working very hard on their upcoming windows phone 8 software updates (windows phone 8 GDR 3 & Windows Phone 8.1) for late fall and early 2014. yes without nokia, windows phone would have been ignored and failed harder than blackberry if it wasnt for nokia. and without microsoft windows platform, nokia would have lost the smartphone market and wont have a powerful ecosystem like microsoft. so give some credit to microsoft, we know we should give nokia the most credit but give some credit to microsoft for improving nokia smartphones, without them nokia will have recycle their old dreadded symbian and vapourware meego. so nokia did a very good job boosting windows phone platform. kudos to nokia. nokia ftw. & microsoft ftw.
  • Nokia is working as hard as it is on WP because Elop went all in selecting WP as their exclusive platform. They have no choice to behave the way they do - this of course benefits the consumer. Other OEMs have their eggs spread across baskets, this means less time, money and effort to go around. As for Microsoft not promoting their platform, that's just ludicrous. They could run a million different commercials in hundreds of markets and the result would be people walking into the store, perhaps, and asking for a Microsoft phone. Worse yet, people might be instantly turned off once they heard it was Microsoft to begin with. With retailers being as ignorant as they were at launch, just read forums from customer experiences during that time, they'd simply be redirected. "Microsoft doesn't sell a phone," or "you don't that underdog, you want an iPhone or 'Droid'" even when they mean "Android device.". Microsoft has been working with its OEMs precisely because its their products people buy that have their OS platform. Its not just software that sells a phone, its oh and ahs of first impressions. OEM gets their attention, software needs to be functional to retain it.
  • Nokia is leading the way period lol
  • And they say apple innovates. I love the direction Nokia is taking. Always been a fan.
  • Ya but remember the inovater of apple is gone. so Nokia gets to lead the way from know Nokia always will.
  • The only thing Steve Jobs was good at was using a whip on his employees and mesmerize sheep. :)
  • This^
  • Amen to that.
  • Jobs was an innovator. As much as I dislike apple and their products, he did change the game for all phones. We wouldn't even have windows phone if it weren't for him. Now that Steve is gone its only a matter of time before apple falls apart again.
  • .
    What are you talking about man!? You have no idea what you are saying!!!
    Jobs was a glorified salesman, that's it!! All he did all his life was steal from others and take credit for other people's work.
    Windows Phones have been around long before the iPhone, get your facts straight man!!! If you don't know something, don't talk about it!!!
  • He also worked at an apple orchard hence the name apple now he pushes little daisies to make em come up
  • Wozniak did all the early innovation, and later jobs bought, hired or out sourced all other innovations... He just sold the products, he was a great salesman to sheep!
  • so was Paul Alan hehe... Bill Gates is Wazzy, and Paul Alan is Jobs (only a nice person)... kinda weird the opposite left for each of them... Paul and Wazzy should of got together and done somethin...
  • There are some pretty clever folks over at nokia, really setting the bar for other oems as far as hardware innovation goes, htc and samsung better be paying attention (i can already hear the photocopiers)
  • Samsung's photocopy is the loudest
  • Right. Actually Samsung became successful by pirating engineers from top technology companies by paying tons of money. Initially, they got the engineers from Japan when the latter's economy started falling apart. Part of their strategy also is to infringe technology patents and just settle in court if there will be cases filed against them.
    The most thick-faced move is to put-up an RND site this year just in front of Nokia's Espoo headquarters, home of Nokias RND, ready to gobble up and pirate Nokia's top engineers. They did the same in Silicon Valley in San Jose this year, setting up a new RND site right infront of Apple's headquarters.
    These people have no shame, they havent innovated anything. LG filed patent cases against them for stealing some of their works in OLED, Apple moving to other chips supplier because of the same concern. Same story for the "bendable screen" that Nokia was developing based on Graphene that Samsung introduced last year.
  • This will not be copyable. Nokia holds the patents and the expertise.
  • Everything is copyable.
  • Love the 1020! Just wish it was on T-Mobile, but the 925 will do. Dan, do you know if the official Snapchat app is still heading for Windows Phone anytime soon?
  • True.  Shame it is an AT&T exclusive.  But if the Lumia 925 is an indicator of Nokia's future plans for T-Mobile, then I am more than happy to wait out the next 6 months to get my hands on an improved (and likely definitive) version of EOS - ie. the Lumia 1025.  And this fits in perfectly with T-Mobile's new JUMP! upgrade and device protection program.  New Nokia Lumia every six months . . . 
    And did anyone happen to catch the statement Elop made while answering the final question in the Q&A?  He accidentally leaked the fact of a new Lumia product launch later this fall - an AT&T exclusive (at least at time of launch) by the context of his words.  I'm guessing Lumia phablet is headed for launch in a few months.  And hopefully a line of network agnostic Windows 8 tablets as well.
  • Yeah I noticed that he said a new Lumia would be announced this fall. Hopefully its a new 9xx series w/ 1080p & quad core, and the 102x variants for T-Mobile and Verizon. I wouldn't really be interested in any Windows Phone over a 5' screen.
  • Maybe it's that aluminum beast we saw leaked.
  • Link please?
  • A five foot screen would be large indeed :)
  • I like to compare this to a standard point & shoot.
  • Thought it was cool that fox news did a story on the lumia 1020 about 30 min ago...its definitely turning heads
  • ABC News did a positive review also, but you see skepticism at the end. I actually set the author straight in the comments, but she still made it skeptical.
  • Please Nokia do the marketing job good, really good, and not only in the important markets but please also in country's like Belgium ... Best regards!
  • All this work with the hardware and software exclusives makes it look like Nokia themselves are carrying WP8 rather than MS.
  • Foolish.
  • And people comparing this to galaxy zoom. Kudos to Nokia for inventing something that beyond our realm of possibilities instead of slapping the camera to the back of the phone and call it a day!
  • What is the policy at AT&T about unlocking a phone if you pay full price? I was planning on the 925 for my wife, but I could really see her liking this with the large shell for when she knows she'll want to take pictures and a normal shell for daily use.
    Personally I could see getting a yellow one and a black cover or perhaps a black one with a yellow cover.
  • If you are on T-Mobile right now, just wait six months, the Lumia 1025 is a very real likelihood in by Christmas/New Years.  And now that T-Mobile offers JUMP!, that just means your wife can get here Lumia 925 now, and still turn around and get the Lumia 1025 in six months.  That is what I am planning on doing.
  • Samsung wish they were the one who made this phone right now.
  • I've been a Nokia fan since day 1
  • He announced new Lumia lineup probably announcing on November so maybe the 1020 will be a 3 month exclusive.
  • Apple are pissing their panties.
  • Dear Nokia: thank you for all your hard work and commitment to very high quality!
  • I believe the xenon flash needed a flat *capacitor* which they invented.
  • Flat capacitors have been around well before Nokia was even founded. 
  • "they don’t just jam in technology, they invent it."
    Very well said.
  • I actually heard this phone mentioned on the radio when driving home from work tonight. It was great hearing a windows phone mentioned on the radio.
  • Just read Brian Klug's article about this phone and it looks like I was wrong. No dedicated image processor or custom, one off chipset, just Nokia being incredibly creative. I can't wait to try one out.
  • Well, Nokia does it again.. A job well done. I hope they do a good marketing job and Lumia 1020 will be a grand hit
  • Dat sensor! Must be a pricey part.
  • I wonder if HTC will steal this technology too... Hmm
  • Thanks for the coverage and all the articles leading up to the reveal a matte yellow or matte white hmm decisions decisions
  • During the press event yesterday Elop say's it loud and clear that a new high end device is coming later this year.. At the 1:05:20 mark he says "the next major launch later this year".... I wonder what that could be..
  • out of discussions. I hope the next thing need to  innovate is the battery life will last at least 2-3 days. please nokia pls do that ...
  • Here you'll find a fully & completely in-depth review of Nokia Lumia 1020 @   It's more than a 41 mp camera! just look @ this website to know about this amazing smartphone! Forget about big & heavy cameras on vacations!