Microsoft altered WP8 to accommodate the Lumia 1020's 41MP camera

Nokia Lumia 1020
Some Microsoft moves helped bring the 1020 to life

Given today's anticipated reveal of the Nokia Lumia 1020, both Microsoft and Nokia have plenty to say about the smartphone with the 41-megapixel camera.

For one thing, Microsoft made some changes to Windows Phone 8 to accommodate the extra-powerful snapper, Windows Phone Vice President Joe Belfiore and Nokia Vice President Kevin Shields said in a discussion posted on the Windows Blog.

Shields said that the OS "played a critical role" in the creation of the Lumia 1020.

"It's easy to get fixated on this one feature - this terrific 41-megapixel sensor that we're shipping - but there was a lot of unseen work on the Windows Phone side that went into it: plumbing and UI changes to bring out the best of that component and make the camera experience possible," he said. "Our collaboration with Microsoft was super important to making the Lumia 1020 the great product that it is."

Sharing is caring

"Our goal is to work with our partners as if we were a single organization, designing hardware and software together," Microsoft's Belfiore said.

"Nokia came to us with the idea for building this amazing camera, and we had to find the right ways to improve the platform so they could deliver the best imaging experience on any phone, anywhere," he added.

Microsoft improved the zoom capability in its photo viewer and made other changes that the two execs say are "under the covers" but nonetheless vital.

Belfiore also influenced the development of Nokia's Pro Camera app, which is meant to replicate features found on high-end cameras, and he said that he wrote more than 10 pages of feedback for Nokia during development.

But can it beat a DSLR?

Shields also addressed a burning question: how is the Lumia 1020 different from Nokia's 808 PureView, a Symbian phone with a 41-megapixel camera that launched in 2012?

He said the Lumia 1020 is a combination of Nokia's past successes; it combines the 808's large sensor with the image stabilization of the Lumia 920.

He added that high-quality DSLR digital cameras, while they may match or surpass the 1020 in some ways, lack the processing power of the Windows Phone.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.