PureView

In an ongoing Q&A from Nokia's camera gurus, Juha Alakarhu and Eero Salmelin, who are now with Microsoft, information regarding what users should expect from the Lumia Cyan update has been revealed. The question answered dealt with photography, and specifically Nokia's latest high end Windows Phones, including the Verizon Lumia Icon, Lumia 930 and Lumia 1520.

Juha Alakarhu took to the query and revealed precisely what would be improved with the forthcoming firmware refresh, bundled with the Windows Phone 8.1 update.

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Though Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s Devices and Services division was announced late last year and completed in April, the fate of Nokia’s trademark technology brands has still been unknown. Brand names like Lumia smartphones, ClearBlack displays and PureView camera technology have become synonymous with innovation and quality, much like the Nokia name itself.

And though the Nokia name will eventually be disappearing from the faces of Windows phones, it looks like some of the those mainstay Nokia brand names, along with a few surprising ones, will continue on with Microsoft.

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Nokia's Living Images is a new feature coming to Windows Phone 8.1 and their Lumia Cyan firmware update for the high-end PureView devices, like the Lumia 1020, Lumia 1520, Icon and so forth. Living Images captures a few seconds before you snap a photo, so that when you're browsing through your Camera Roll or StoryTeller, your photos come alive. It's like Cinemagraph, but without having to think, as it just works automatically.

A Nokia Camera Beta update a few weeks ago introduced Living Images, but no one could use it without the Cyan firmware. Even those with a Lumia 630 can't use it as that device is not PureView. But I started getting tips from people who had Living Images enabled, though they didn't know how it happened. Finally, Jason in our comments explained a simple trick to get it working, at least mostly.

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Tornados are no joke, especially for a lot of people in the US this time of year. This video, posted yesterday to YouTube, already has 40K views, and it’s easy to see why. The footage shows the formation of a tornado at very close range. While the video quality is outstanding, it’s the filename that caught the attention of our tipster: WP 20140526 001.

Anyone with a Windows Phone knows that’s how videos are labeled. Combined with the high quality of the video (including superb audio and video stabilization) and it doesn’t take a prodigy to figure out this is probably a high-end Lumia of some sort.

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Nokia is out of the smartphone race as a company, though Microsoft is picking up the baton with its newly acquired mobile hardware division. That said, competitor companies acknowledge the talent at Nokia, notably Apple who has snipped camera expert Ari Partinen. According to Partinen's Twitter feed, today marks his last day working on the Lumia family of devices.

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Stabilize your Lumia videos with LUUV

You already have some of the best onboard stabilization for your photos if you’re rocking a phone like the Nokia Lumia Icon or Lumia 1020. Nokia debuted optical image stabilization (OIS) technology in the Lumia 920 back in 2012. This piece of technology helps you achieve sharp images and better photos in low-light situations. You can now find it in all high end PureView phones. However, even Nokia’s onboard OIS tech has its limitations for stabilized photos and videos. Check out this stabilizer from LUUV if you find yourself shooting a lot of video with your phone.

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The Nokia Lumia 1020 and Lumia and 1520 have incredible cameras that let you zoom in to your subjects while maintaining high image quality. You can thank the 41 and 20 megapixel sensors respectively in these Nokia PureView cameraphones. One app that does an excellent job of showing off the zoom power on these two devices is Sozoom for Windows Phone. If you already have the app, you should know that it has just received an update.

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Windows Phone Central Camera Showdown: AT&T Nokia Lumia 1520 vs. Lumia 1020

Nokia has released two eye-catching Lumia Windows Phones this year.  The Nokia Lumia 1020 turns heads with its 41 MP PureView camera and the Nokia Lumia 1520 turns heads with its massive six-inch screen.  The Lumia 1520 also sports a respectable 20 MP PureView camera.

While the six-inch screen of the Lumia 1520 dwarfs the Lumia 1020’s 4.5” screen, but how does the Lumia 1520’s 20 MP camera stack up?  The Lumia 1020 is easily one of (if not the) best smartphone cameras on the market.  If camera performance is key, are you sacrificing too much with the Lumia 1520 for the sake of a larger screen?

We took the two Lumia Windows Phones out this past weekend to see how well they compared.

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Sozoom by Volevi is an exclusive app for the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520 that lets you add “zoom balloons” to your photos. It shows off how much you can really zoom with the special Pureview cameras featured in these two devices. It’s a very simple app, but it’s not perfect.

Head past the break to watch our walkthrough video.

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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.

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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).

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One of the trickiest things Nokia has had to cope with when bringing such a high end camera is the addition of advanced controls. For hobbyist and pro shooters, adjusting your white balance, ISO and other aspects are run of the mill. But not everyone who buys the Lumia 1020 will be at that level, so how do you ease them into those manual settings?

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Nokia's next Windows Phone with the 41MP shooter will be called the Lumia 1020, according to sample photos published on flicker. Microsoft's Joe Belfiore posted a series of shots from various Nokia Windows Phones, but two from the collection stood out as they appear to have been taken using a "Nokia Lumia 1020." One of the photos is listed at 2947 x 1658 (noted to be almost 5MP), while the other is 1352 x 1568 (hitting 3.7MP). These images suggest that Nokia's upcoming Lumia PureView Windows Phone will likely shoot at multiple resolutions.

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Nokia will release the upcoming EOS (or just "Lumia 1020") Windows Phone in the UK, according to a report over on CNET. The website notes that a telecoms industry insider has confirmed as much and the handset will not be an exclusive product for the US. We're expecting to see some EOS action on July 11th. Images of the EOS have also been leaked online.

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Recently we saw the upcoming 41MP Nokia Lumia ‘EOS’ (don’t worry, that’s just its codename) appear in black, metal and even white. We of course revealed that the phone would also come in yellow, especially for AT&T where the device goes by the codename ‘Elvis’.

Earlier yesterday, Nokia teased the monster camera-phone on their Conversations blog by noting there are “41 million reasons” to tune in on July 11th, when the phone is expected to be revealed in New York City for the press.

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Looks like Nokia is finally letting the cat out of the bag, if only slightly, on their latest Conversations post from their official blog.

The post, entitled “41 million reasons to zoom in to Nokia Conversations on July 11th”, simply recapitulates the media invite news we reported on last week—namely that Nokia will be holding a press conference in NYC to announce new hardware.

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