Nokia Lumia 1020 and 1520 to get Raw support; Windows Phone to finally get Instagram


posted Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 12:19 PM EDT


If you had any doubt of Nokia's commitment to photography with its smartphones, a flurry of announcements today should put and end to that. Alongside the announcement of a new Lumia phone comes word of a number of prominant apps finally making their way to Windows Phone, and the first true Raw image data out of a smartphone.

Today Nokia announced a new flagship smartphone, the Lumia 1520, which features an extremely large 1920x1080 6-inch display, and a 20-megapixel 1/2.5 inch PureView imaging sensor. While it's not an extremely exciting smartphone on its own, its announcement did mean that a number of other pieces of photographic news also came down from Nokia.

Perhaps the most exciting is the word that the new Lumia 1520, and the much discussed Lumia 1020, will both be getting Raw image support. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of other information to go from for that. We know that it will be DNG format, but there's no indication of when or how the update will roll out. But lack of Raw support has long been a sticking point for those trying to push smartphone photography to be taken more seriously — and it means that photographers will no longer be hampered by whatever the built-in JPEG conversion system is. Previous attempts to create Raw-like files from iPhones have been less than stellar.

But with that huge, 40-megapixel sensor on the Lumia 1020, you can bet those Raw files will be huge!

Nokia also announced a new app called Refocus, which allows for Lytro-like refocusing after the fact. Apparently it works by taking from two to eight photos of the scene, and combining them into one file that you can adjust the focal point on.

Windows Phone users can also take heart that a number of popular apps will also finally be available to them. Most prominantly, they'll finally get their hands on Instagram, which is set to launch in "coming weeks". Likewise, Vine and Flipboard are on their way.