The idea behind Living Images, last mentioned in the context of Nokia Camera beta here, is that images are constantly saved into RAM while focussing and taking a shot, and a short video is then composed and added before the final photo in the Photos gallery on Windows Phones. So, when flicking through photos, each comes to a life for a fraction of a second before settling on the eventual shot. It's a great idea.
The concept does depend on the image processing being practical though, and the Lumia 1020's slower processor and larger camera array means that there are clearly technical challenges to getting the Living Images working on this older (albeit with higher raw quality) hardware. Nokia seems to have tested Living Images in Photos on the 1020 and decreed that it's too marginal and unreliable for mass market rollout.
The Lumia Icon, 1520 and 930 all have much faster chipsets and smaller image pipelines, making features such as continuous auto-focus, ultra fast burst modes and, yes, Living Image support fully practical. I'll continue to monitor the progress of the technology on the editorial Lumia 1520 and will report back.
In the meantime, Lumia 1020 owners shouldn't feel too miffed. The whole point of the 1020 was to get photos with absolute quality, not to get lost in interactive 'gimmicks' (and I use the term here with affection!) like Living Images!
Of interest, from our earlier stories:
Live "Living Images" can be viewed in Windows Phone's standard camera roll, as shown in the embedded video, but can also be exported to Facebook and other social networking sites. Living images will also be created automatically when capturing photos using Nokia's Cinemagraph and Refocus will also appear as "Living Images", and will also be "bought to life" in the camera roll.