mobile photography technology, culture and community

A history of smartphone cameras, from the Nokia 7650 to Lumia 1020

With all of the current bickering about megapixels, zooming, and software, it's easy to forget how far mobile photography has come in the past decade. The folks at Know Your Mobile want to help put it all in context. In an article titled "Nokia 7650 to Lumia 1020: A history of camera phones," Dean Quinn puts the new 41-megapixel Lumia 1020 camera phone in context.

Nokia reigned supreme thanks in part to its 3210, released in 1999 and the first device aimed squarely at young folks. A targeted marketing campaign saw the handset shift a staggering 160 million units and firmly cemented the Finnish manufacturer at the heart of the mobile game, turning what was once the preserve of the wealthy into a lifestyle choice that everyone could chose to make. Basically, in 1999, if you didn't have a Nokia, you certainly wanted one.

Just three years later though, Nokia would do something that would shift the mobile space in another direction entirely. Enter the Nokia 7650 - the first widely available camera phone. While there had been other mobile phones that featured cameras prior to this - Sharp had developed the J-SH04 for Japanese firm J-Phone two years previously - this device was the one that rocketed mobile photography into the mainstream.

Read the rest of the history lesson at Know Your Mobile. 


Total comments: 2

that article incorrectly attributes the first 3x optical zoom camera on a phone to the samsung g800. the first optical zoom phone belongs to sharp v602sh in 2004. the first 3x optical zoom is the nokia n93 in 2006. the samsung g800 was released in 2007


Good read. I also wrote a short blog post on the history of video capture on a mobile phone and when we should expect 4K capture. Please see


Total comments: 2
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