Nokia Lumia 1020: Photo samples

While the Nokia Lumia 1020 for AT&T is a stellar Windows Phone for checking your emails, posting to Twitter or listening to music, that’s not why you want to buy one, right? Nope, it’s for those 41MP images (and oversampled smaller ones).

As a preview to our review, here are some sample photos that we took today. The images posted here are the smaller 5MP photos with Nokia’s oversampling i.e. these are the ones you would share. They’re also resized to fit your computer display.

Fear not pixel peepers as we have the originals, in their full HD glory, right here for downloading (via SkyDrive). Warning though, it’s an 85 MB ZIP file.

All photos were taken using Auto for settings, except for the purple toy, where we used manual focus (it was getting dark).

Things to draw your attention to:

  1. Outstanding color
  2. Nice contrast
  3. Images looks sharp and clean
  4. Details

Impressed? Not Impressed? Sound off in comments! Missed our unboxing and first impressions of the Lumia 1020? Then head here to catch up!

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.

  • These are gorgeous! If this is what you can get I can't wait to see what I do with it :p
  • I want to compete, send me a 1020 plz :)
  • Hmm.. Should I give my 920 in for one? ATT is willing to swap for no charge... HM...
  • That would be what we call a "no-brainer".
  • + 1020
  • where did u hear att is swapping for no charge?
  • I have a problem with my 920(I'm on my 4th) where I don't get picture messages unless the sender sends it twice or more and since ATT doesn't know how to fix it, they said if I ever get tired of it I could swap it out free of charge for any phone I want.
  • i guess you must like windows phone for sticking around for the 4th time.
  • I love it, I can never go back to iPhone and that other ugly/buggy OS that starts with an A.
  • The irony of your comment is a little funny. You'd not go back to a buggy Android, yet you'll stay with a phone you've had to return 3 times... Oh, okay!
  • The phone isn't buggy, my first phone was swapped because I wanted a black instead of white, my second was swapped because a horse stepped on it and put a tiny but noticeable scratch on my screen, my third was swapped because a horse stepped on it again(I ride and work at a stable) and I did a hard reset with less than 20% battery so it got stuck in a loop of dying and trying to reset.
  •  Cat got your tongue Lawrence revolters? 
  • Been a looooong time but I literally LOL'ed at this post
    "because a horse stepped on it"
    "because a horse stepped on it again"
    Thnx, LC, that was hilarious :)
    FWIW, I would swap it out if AT&T is offering the option :)
  • +920
  • Is that the trick to getting the phone to brick with the hard reset? Thinking about doing it to get a refreshed model from AT&T at no charge
  • Note to self: start riding.
  • That's not irony a bad phone happens. A buggy OS is buggy no matter what phone its on.
  • Lol
  • This is happening to me, all of my troubleshooting point me into saying its an OS issue. I don't get any mms. The second I pop my sim into a different device/OS my mms start to appear.
  • This happens to me too!
  • I'm on my 6th 920, so I should get at least 2 1020's, fair trade I would say
  • Then what are you waiting for?! This phone beats the 920 in everything except for built in wireless charging! It's thinner, lighter, 1GB more of RAM, not to mention, the most advanced smartphone camera to date!
    As another said, no branier! Swap my good sirah, swap!
  • I was wondering the same thing.  I don't want to give up my 920, but I have a 900 I'd be willing to swap.  There have GOT to be some sort of strings attached to this "swap".
  • People think they can do the same but probably can't.. I've been with ATT for 7 years and have 8 lines with data on an unlimited plan, you can only guess ATT treats me good(apart from the arguing from time to time about my old iPhones, etc) and they do me a lot of favors like swap out phones that I clearly damaged without paying for a protection plan. The guy that said I can come swap my phone whenever I get sick of dealing with my picture MMS problem was a tech support guy, he tried everything in his power to fix the problem but couldn't.
  • i do wish i was born in america to have that kind of life...  *POOF* still not in america :|
  • Well...YES!
  • NOICE!!  I have the 1020 in house and haven't unboxed it yet. I'll post up some shots in the forums tomorrow.  Those are sweet.
  • Why is it unboxed????
  • +920??!? :)
  • It's a Christmas present!
  • So Nokia NDA is over?
  • Soon the Other Storage will catch up and make taking pics from this phone impossibel. 
  • This is my fear.
  • Funny part is, a couple of days ago, some images were shared over the forum, people said its bad :P now same image quality (but because its Dan) people are saying its amazing :P
    What people do not realize is how much they are zooming when the are inspecting the picson a PC, i think most of them are over zooming, remember when you zoom in the photo, try not to break the 5Mp barrier.
  • People weren't complaining about sharpness, they were complaining about grain and saturation. These are taken in brighter settings so the grain won't be as bad, but it's still there. It's still not a replacement for a true camera.
  • grain meaning an area with one solid color in a photo appear having a mix of different levels of that color that looks like small dots (as grain)?
  • Yes. For example, look at the Bar Boloud sign. In the upper left corner where it's darker, there's variation in color and brighness pixel to pixel. Also in the purple toy and side of the silver car, and even a little in the sky in the picture that looks up (which shouldn't be an issue with a well-lit photo.)
  • Yeah, I read those, too, but got the impression many of those people were the types of people that are impossible to please.
  • There were direct comparisons to the 920, and in some aspects the 920 pictures were better. Specifically, grain.
  • The grain is less apparent in these pics. But will Dan take comparison pics of the same shot take on the 920/925/928 and PureView 808? That is the true test.
  • And I thought that such pics can only be clicked using a DSLR!!
  • Nice ones 
  • I really wish I had the Camera Case with extra battery that I could mount this thing on a tripod. My pictures have been spectacular. Nice pics as well.
  • There are very few situations where you need the portability of a phone... But a tripod is no problem. The image stabilization features will compensate for oint and shoot scenarios. This is a great phone camera, but its still a phone camera.
  • OIS will never be as good as a perfectly mounted and steady camera.
  • But if you can carry a tripod, you can carry a P&S or better as well, which will still have its advantages over a 1020 (namely zoom. If you go to 3x zoom, you're now dealing with much smaller sensor than a 920, nevermind a P&S.)
    Personally, the 1020 isn't worth the cost, loss of wireless charging, or camera hump relative to the 920. The 920's camera is good enough for what I want it for, if I want something better I'll step up to a DSLR.
  • I disagree. Two of the things I -always- have with me are my phone and tripod. My phone on my person and my tripod on my motorcycle. My DSLR is a hefty thing, and I only pack it when I am purposefully heading out to take photos. However you cannot always plan for a photo and sometimes a spectacular scene comes up. Having a camera grip for the 1020 that possesses the standard 1/4" mount would be a life saver in such a situation. Alas, being on Verizon, I imagine I won't see the 1020 until next year. And by then the next "big thing" in Windows Phone will be right around the corner.
  • You disagree that if I want something better than a 920, I would step up to a DSLR?
    You have your use case, I have mine. I would argue that mine (not carring a tripod around everywhere) is closer to the general population's. Not that it would be bad to have the mount, but it might not sell enough extra mounts (especially considering the promos) to be worth including for Nokia. Someone else will probably make one, though.
  • I'm talking in regards to taking the best photos I could with the 1020. OIS is good but not as good as a stable tripod. I hear what your saying though.
  • The camera grip case shown above has a tripod mount.
  • Pictures look great
  • THESE ARE EXCELLENT DAN!  So jealous right now, I want mine!  I will be visting the fam in Boston in the next few weeks.  Hoping to get a few pics of the skyline from the 808, 1020, and the trusty D5100.  -Something I am so deprived of doing here in San Antonio.  -______-
  • I played with one at the AT&T store today, the camera was really cool, and the reframing feature was neat. For now I got a Lumia 920 instead (for off-contract price and the RGB screen), but my next WP will definitely be of the 41 MP variety. In the hand the 1020 feels smaller when you hold it from the bottom since it's thinner down there.
  • You actually prefer the 920 screen? AMOLED looks much better, did not like going back to IPS but looking forward to AMOLED on the 1020...especially on WP!
  • I don't get why amoled is so raved about. I have hated pretty much all amoled screens. The colours never look right, yeh they have a wow factor, but they just arnt the right colour. Yes the blacks are the best. But that's not a trade off I want to make for burning in images, off colour repoduction and fuzzy text on pentile screens. IPS / S-LCD are the best at the moment. The HTC One has the best screen I have seen on a phone by miles.
  • Hmm - I love my 920 screen but I still think the 4.1" AMOLED screen on the Dell Venue Pro was nicer. But you're probably right, I like vivid colors. I didn't think they looked "wrong" though. I never thought it was fuzzy either. Had it for ~20 months.
  • I prefer AMOLED, all else being equal, but PenTile looks like a checkerboard to me at anything under 1080p. It's like the image is on every other square and a black hole space is in between. No color except green looks solid, and you get vertical aliasing. I have to hold a 768p screen about 18 inches away from my face to not feel like the image is full of holes. I just have very picky eyes, I'm glad for you if it doesn't bother you.
  • So many first world problems.....
  • They look good! I dont know why I am torturing myself keeping up with this phone.... I'm not eligible for an upgrade until April :(
  • So what size is one full sized photo (MB wise) compared to a 5 MP one?
  • Between 9-15MB.
  • Where's the low light shots❔
  • I love to see some low light shots aswell
  • Found some!!!  and they are mindblowing!!!  My favorite is picture 13
  • That's not bad at all, most of my photos (not necessarily from my phone) are about 5 Mb. I was worried that these might be 25+ Mb.
  • How big are the 5MP photos?
  • They are 5MP
  • What size are they after using creative suite? After using that on my 920 some photos hit the 8mb mark! God knows what that will do to a 41mp image!!! Still wish it has microSD :(
  • Just in case someone missed it, if you click on the at&t locker app, you can upgrade to 50GB for free for a limited time. iOS app also gives you the free upgrade.
  • Thanks❕ it worked.. Now I have 50gb of storage..
  • Thanks!
  • ATT has your data, call habits, microphone accesses, location...yikes
  • I'm not a terrorist so IDGAF
  • HAHAHAHA +1 man +1!
  • The government actually watches the ones that try hard not be to watched. The more websites you have accounts for, the less suspicious you look to uncle Sam. Its reverse psychology.
  • LMAO +1 dude
  • Just think of your wife as the government, does she ask more or less questions based on how much you tell her about your day at work? My bet is, the more you tell her, the less you give her a reason to not trust you. That's my free marriage advise for the day. And no, I did not stay at a holiday inn last night.
  • I'm with this wife hasn't found out about my other wife yet going on 10 yrs :)
  • They don't care about helping to catch terrorists, they just want more profits.  They will profit from your personal data in any way they can, mainly by selling it to third parties.  So just keep in mind that everything you do is being shared with all those scrupulous folks responsible for the ads you see online.  Of course, they'll claim they respect your privacy and would never do that... yeah right.  Then why do they keep introducing new things that you have to find out about on your own and opt out of?
  • Thanks for the tip on the 50GB.  I just signed up and upgraded to the free 50GB plan.
  • But no windows phone app for the ATT
  • Yes there absolutely is a WP ATT Locker App.  Have been using it on my 920 for a couple of weeks now.
  • My 1020 seems to get hot right where it says Nokia on the camera. Anyone else that has one experience this?? Where I use the camera or not.
  • It's the cameras flux capacitor, ignore it.
  • Jigawatts!
  • Could you also do a comparison between 1020 and standard point n shoot/920/dslr?
  • Awesome idea! It would give us 920 owners an idea of exactly how dramatic of difference we could expect if we chose to upgrade.
  • @sam can you share the name of the calendar tile on your lumia 925 thx
  • Chronos calendar
  • Simple Calendar!
  • So in your opinion do you think taking both 38+mp and 5mp samples all the time will fill up the GB quickly or normally with apps and games and the such?
  • I think the pictures suck.  You need to send your defective 1020 to my house for me to discard of ;p
  • First I was like wtf...
    THEN I was like hahahahahaha...
    Good one, lol
  • hehe :-3
  • I'm stuck on my contract for another year. I hope they make another one by then. Lumia 1080 per chance?
  • how about indoor performance, does is still struggling with white balance? and can I request for you guys to take the photo side by side with 920 just for comparison?
  • I wonder if you zoom in before taking a picture, will it still be an over-sampled 5MP one?
  • Nope...thats what lossless zooming is....41 mpx can either be used for oversampling OR lossless zooming. But not to worry.... The 1020 can save both a 5mpx oversampled image and the full red image at the same time so you can use the 5mpx for least noise and the 38mpx for zooming and reframing
  • How would the same things apply to video? Would the video quality be better than the 920?
  • Yup same applies to video....but only one video is stored. In the video, if you do not zoom in, the frames are oversampled so same video taken at same resolution - say 1080p on 920 and 1020 should show you the effects of oversampling. Search for videos taken on 808 pureview....they're amazing. And of course if you do zoom in, it'll still be better than the 920 since there is no loss of pixels on 1020, whereas on the 920 zoom is achieved by copying the same pixel to the pixels surrounding it so you lose sharpness and detail. Of course replace 920 above with any other smartphones
  • Without a doubt. Nokia have said the video is oversampled just like the still pics, you just get more oversampling with video because it is only 2MP. That and you can zoom beautifully.
  • Then I'm definitely upgrading...the sole reason I bought my 920 outright.
  • What Calendar App is that Live Tile from?
  • Simple Calendar. it is free buy you need to pay for extra skin.
  • Looks like Chronos to me which is my favorite calendar app.
  • and not a single low light picture was shown that day ... :) 
  • I don't usually take pictures but when I do, I use a Lumia 1020. Great pictures my friend!!!!
  • As soon as this phone gets 4 things I'm buying it. Upgraded processor. 64 gb internal memory. 1080p screen. Also an SD card slot would be nice especially for pictures that detailed. Once all those are on board you would have to be an idiot to buy an iPhone or Android.
  • The processor handles 41mp pictures what in the world do you need a better one for, less battery life? I'll write "Octo-core" on the box, one of your problems solved!
  • This sounds like nitpicking, but some reviews have clearly proven that the saving speed of the photos are nearly 2-3 seconds long. This camera can't handle action shots, which could be due to the lack of faster processing speeds. A faster quadcore processor + improved imaging stack would certainly help.
    Agreed on more memory, especially the SD card slot. 
    I do not agree on a 1080p screen though. That's pointless unless Nokia does the phablets.
    I could use removable batteries too.
  • It can do action shots, just not with the pro cam app and at a lower resolution.
  • could use a better processer to enable higher quality action shots...
  • By going with the regular camera you bypass all the actual stuff this camera was made for.
  •   Yep, having more updated official photo apps like flicker, instagram, snapseed, 500x etc wouldn't hurt either. 
  • Particularly impressed with the market photo. High level of detail even in the background with the trees. Brilliant colour reproduction and contrast levels too.
  • Excellent images can't be better for a mobile camera
  • Amazing pictures. I can't wait to get this phone on Friday. 
  • i dont get it why they dont upload full res image
  • Just download them, the link is provided in the article! 
  • Very nice photos. Thanks also for zipped HD-samples. I am downloading it and watch photos in Retina laptop.
  • ...A Mac? Gross.
  • Blasphemy!! ;)
  • Speechless.... Just wow
  • THX for the samples .
  • I want one!!! Of course, I'm speaking about the goofy purple figurine with the crazy hair in the second to last photo. WTH is that? :) (Oh, and I want a Lumia 1020 too!)
  • Bad aliasing in the police horse photo, look on the edge of cars. 
  • "...ones you would share. They’re also resized to fit your computer display." I believe this is where the aliasing may have come from. Not from the Lumia itself. Could be wrong though.
  • Well if the aliasing pops up eahc time I make a photo out of a photo I'd be really dissapoined.
  • That could be as a result of the resizing itself (not caused by the camera).
  • DL the source photos...
  • On the side note, Dan, don't forget the "scheduled loan payment" or else...
    HAHAHA! :D
  • Simply amazing photos. I'll guess I'll have to wait for a 1028 on vzw...
  • My thoughts too...AT&T killed it for me...need big red.
  • Pretty decent images there. Wouldn't mind a little less grain, but Elop sounds like he's on top of it ( Now I just have to decide whether I can live with my 620 until the next flagship lumia, no doubt packing 1080P and GDR3/Blue. I actually don't care about the 1080P itself, but if it allows an extra row of icons, then I do care.
  • All the software in the world won't make the 1020's image sensor as large as the 808's.
  • Maybe, but a larger aperture=more light to the sensor, and BSI adds even more.  I would have liked the larger pixel size, don't get me wrong, but the pixel size comparison alone is pointless...
  • Bad. Very bad. Give me that one and i will say it's georgeus
  • don't read much WPCentral on the phone, I see you have 7 unread news on the app;)
  • this sucks.. have 920 (with issues), 925 just landed here and now want 1020 even more.. when will Australia get this phone!?
  • It occur to me that the second phot with flower, the green looks fake? Anyone thought so?
  • Still way too much depth of field in this type of camera to rival a real camera for many uses, like portraits. Even in the macro shots the background is distracting. I would say that this is fairly useless for any kind of semi serious photography. Fair enough it is better than other phones but to give it that many megapixels and a camera grip accessory is just silly.
  • Seriously?
  • accessory is mostly to give you more battery life. Well done Nokia.
  • A very tempting device and great photos! Just wondering what the Amber update would bring to L920. If it makes the picture sharper, maybe i'll be holding back the temptation to own this L1020
  • People with 920's should really wait for the amber update and pro camera software before buying this. See how the 920 goes against the 1020 with using the same software.
  • I agree with you. Really hope the update will bring sharper photos.
  • Pics look great but still not interested in the 1020, the only between the 1020 and 920 is the camera nothing else changed.
  • Gorilla glass 3,amoled,matte instead of glossy..
  • Black 920 ain't glossy but thank u for correcting me...
  • They also removed wireless charging and made it thicker.
  • Actually, they removed wireless charging, made it thinner and lighter.  Then they added a big honking camera.
  • The thickness of the phone excluding the hump doesn't matter when the hump is half the phone. At its thickest, it is thicker. That makes it harder to pocket, the only thing that really matters with thickness.
    I'm not anorexic. I can handle the weight ot the 920. No real value in making it lighter.
  • "They also removed wireless charging and made it thicker." I fully understand the phone is thicker.  I also understand that the increased thickness has nothing to do with them removing wireless charging...
  • You misread my statement. Read it as "They both removed wireless charging and made it thicker," not "They removed wireless charging, thereby making it thicker." I didn't imply the two were linked.
  • Hey Negative Nancy - you must mean thinner.  And lighter.
  • Last I checked, 14mm is thicker than 10.7mm. I don't care about weight.
  • Fantastic pics ! And the phone is made so nicely and very light according to Thurrott.
  • Alright...i have a gs4 added to my mobile share,claimed it lost now waiting for the 1020,att said I can get any phone I want just pay for the price of the phone with 2 years contract,but i ain't paying $299...for this phone,if it was 5 inch i will pay 299..
  • I just can't stop looking for low light samples!!! Forbes has great sample shots of lowlight by 1020.  Daniel's pictures are great but pictures look better when you have a pretty girl in them ;)
  • And THAT girl to :D 
  • I wonder why 920 has too many problems?? Damn btw no curve screen on the 1020?? im love with the curve screen but not with the complaints I heard from 920 owners..
  • Maybe it's my monitor, but the photos seems a little dark
  • I wish this had an option to shot in RAW format.  It would be a great alterative when I don't have my SLR on me.  I understand the size of the images would be outrageous, but from a photography perspective, nothing beat the potential power of a RAW photo.
  • +1020  
  • wow, you can practically read the time on the copper's watch!
  • Nokia shouldn't have released these accessories for 1020, now people are going to look at Lumia 1020 with these accessories & think that phone is bulky, sends wrong first impression. If i didnt see the phone without accessories i would think that it is bulky too. Wrong move by Nokia. they should have released accessories may be 3 months after releasing the phone.
  • Thanks for speaking for the people.
  • i do think that this is great phone, but it is setting wrong first impression.
  • they are just okay.. im not that impressed
  • Anyone else not convinced the photos show much of a jump from a Lumia 920?
  • Not enough to offset wireless charging, the additional storage consumption from saving 41mp images, or the camera hump. Even at the same price I'd stick with the 920.
  • They are ALOT better.  The camerahump is sexy and the wireless charging shell actually looks good.  Time to #switch when it arrives in Norway :D
  • On which corner do they sell 5 banana for $1?? :P
  • Guess I'll hold out till my upgrade is due in April. I'm sure they will have a better phone with a better camera. This one is just not good enough for me to jump to yet. Was hoping it would be better than the 808 in ALL aspects. But not a bad phone though
  • Dan,
    A couple of  these photos are ok.  Most of them.. have lots of operator error (I hope that is the  issue).. either that or there is a focal point issue.. for example the toy.. is OOF ..  the focal point appears to be front focused i.e. near the corner of the table it's sitting on..  Same for the dog (though this seems to be back focused)..  Would be interesting to see if like a Canon EOS it could show the focal point..    The IQ of photos themselves are ok.. probably close to a PAS type camera clearly not to the prosumer level .. but then carry it in your pocket !  try that with a prosumer SLR and a prime lens...   :)  Tempting..... 
  • Dog was in motion, running towards me. The toy I purposefully said I had to manually focus because it was getting dark. These were just random photos I took, not much thought went into 'em.
  • Fair deal.. understood :)
  • Ugh, won't be home today for it and have to wait till tomorrow!  The huge selling point for me is, android is getting flacky, too many minor updates, too many apps you have to read over, etc.  iOS, just bored of!  Windows is different, and I have always loved Nokia!!  But I love to take videos at concerts; small venues, small bands, etc.  and all phones today, except the HTC ONE have horrid disortion, when they added that one app where u can acess fb, instagram (not a huge deal, but fun!) and others, I was sold!!  They made this camera dummy proof!  To me it beats carrying around a little point and shoot! Also that new zoom feature is amazing!!!
  • I sure wish I could  know if Verizon is releasing a variant this year.  I was hoping to get a 928 next month, but this ... this is EXACTLY what I've been waiting for from a phone:  a replacement to my 10 year old Fujifilm beast. 
    Where are the good leaks when you need them ... ?
  • No doubt ATT has at least 6 months exclusive deal. I That would put a Verizon and other carrier similar device to late Jan early Feb at the earliest...
  • Why no doubt? I have read nothing stating that. It was rumored with the 920 and proved to be true but we don't know if those terms are the case again. The relative subsidized contract pricing would lead me to believe that they are not.
  • No doubt still implies some uncertainty and that what I said was not fact, just very likely. It is not a concidence that ATT is the only US carrier Nokia announced this phone for. I wouldnt expect there to be any big sign saying 6 month exclusive to ATT. That stuff is always hush hush, as was the exclusivity deal for the Xbox games for Nokia. I dont see any reason why this one would not be exclusive for the same time frame. Of course I am guessing, as is everyone that says anything, but I feel it is likely.
    As far as the subsidy, it is identicfal to the 920. $350. 920 was $100 subsidized or $450 off contract. 1020 is $300 subsidized or $650-700 off contract.
  • No T No Shade but I am a little over seeing Daniel rubinos "me tile" profile photo in EVERY windows phone photo of its start screen in EVERY article, change it up Rubino!
  • hahaha LOL
  • I can't download the SkyDrive hosted file. I get a HTTP 509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded (Apache bw/limited extension) error. :-(
  • Can't seem to download it. Nothing happens. Tried chrome and safari on mac os x 10.8.4. Should I sue apple?
  • Edit: Found a solution. Used a windows 8 pc.
  • There is too much sharpening going on. Grain and noise is also present. They have to turn off sharpening and that will probably fix both grain and noise.