Nokia Pro Camera: DSLR controls in a smartphone

Nokia has announced the new Lumia 1020 in New York and with it a new Pro Camera app that will allow photographers more control over the way they shoot pictures on the camera.

Trying to give more SLR-like controls, the camera will let people control all levels of the camera for stills and videos, including exposure time. 

Introducing a new software interface, the new Pro Camera app works with a number of radials that show instantly what effect the setting will have on the picture. So to focus a picture manually, you drag your thumb around this partial circle. It seems, at least from where we're sitting, like a really intuitive way of controlling photos. 

Users will be able to change ISO, white balance, exposure, focus and much more. On stage at the launch event, Nokia demonstrated how the slow exposure mode can be used to capture images that would previously have needed a "real" camera, which highlights how it sees the phone camera within the photographic world. 

The Lumia 1020 will also add all the usual camera apps found on the Nokia range within Windows Phone 8. You'll be able to share via email, Twitter and Facebook and keep images safe on Skydrive. 

That camera also gets a boost to video, and the firm was keen to point out that it has included much better sound quality, essentially getting rid of that distortion that's all to common on smartphone videos. 

Nokia has also released a software developers kit especially for the new Lumia 1020 camera. Developers already involved include Foursquare, Vyclone, Yelp, and Path coming to Windows Phone 8 for the first time. Other developers include Flipboard, and a David Hockney inspired app. 

The software developer kit is available straight away.