I am trying to use the awesome camera sensor in the Nokia Lumia 1020 for research purposes. Unfortunately, my screen is broken so the screen is completely black. I intend to disassemble the phone, extract the camera assembly out of the phone, and use the camera sensor severed from the phone itself.

Are there means to connect the camera assembly/sensor to my computer? If not, what would be the next easiest alternative in using the camera sensor remotely?

Here are the specifications: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/mobile/phone/lumia1020/specifications/#head_camera

And some pictures of the sensor/assembly itself: Camera assembly breakdown
(source: allaboutwindowsphone.com)

(From left: Complete camera sensor, the barrel shift OIS 'mechanism' around the lenses, the side view cutaway, and the sensor plane)

Alternate view of complete camera sensor

(Bottom most sensor is the Lumia 1020 sensor I'm looking at)

  • \$\begingroup\$ This would be easier if you could manage to obtain a datasheet of the sensor array. \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Jun 24, 2015 at 13:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can't seem to find it. :/ The best I can come across is the specifications of the camera itself: image-sensors-world.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Sheepnut
    Jun 24, 2015 at 13:37
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Although I'm not scared of 0402 resistors the connectors used on these type of devices are considerably smaller. I think even if you would find all the info you need, you might have a hard time simply connecting all the required wires. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 24, 2015 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ This module is probably built specifically for Nokia. I doubt highly you will find any technical information publicly available. \$\endgroup\$
    – DoxyLover
    Jun 24, 2015 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


I've never done this, but here's how I would start:

  • find the data sheet for the camera. If none available, I would find the most similar part with a datasheet available and start with that and learn all you can.

  • for this camera, make an interposing board with male and female of the camera connectors, and breakouts for a logic analyzer.

  • capture waveforms during a capture of a bright scene and dark scene

  • stare at waveforms for a long time.

You should then be able to blindly copy what the phone does to the camera. Then you can use French cafe techniques to figure out what the registers do.


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