In an effort to wrestle market share back in the highly competitive smartphone market, Nokia has announced the Lumia 1020 with a built-in 41MP camera.

Nokia’s flagship Windows cameraphone features an iteration of the camera/sensor technology that we first saw from the company’s 808 PureView phone last year.

There have been numerous improvements though over the 808 PureView which includes an updated HD 1280 x 768 AMOLED display and 1.5GHz dual-core processor.

The clever bit is the sensor, and the thing to understand is that the Lumia 1020 won’t output that kind of resolution all the time. Instead, for most shooting conditions the 1/1.2in sensor (larger than most enthusiast compact sensors) will group pixels together as if they were a single pixel, producing an 8MP image overall, which should deliver much better output with reduced noise compared to a more typical 8MP cameraphone.

Rather than loads of pixels, why not just produce a sensor with larger pixels? Well, the high-resolution of the chip adds the flexibility of non-optical zooming. So rather than just cropping the image with a digital zoom, the way the sensor is designed will still see the sensor produce an image from multiple pixels until fully zoomed in. The other benefit of this is the lens can be optimized for a single focal length, as well as reducing size and weight.

When we tested the PureView 808 it set a new standard in cameraphone image quality and the Lumia 1020 looks set to continue that trend.

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