Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

September 16, 2013 • Travel

The Nokia Lumia 1020 Is the Only Camera You’ll Need When Traveling

I use an HTC One, but its camera is subpar, and I take a lot of pictures. When the Nokia Lumia 1020 was released, who wasn’t intrigued by its camera? I sure was, and so I bought one. But could the 1020 function as my only camera while on a dream vacation in Paris and Dubrovnik? I would soon find out.


From the moment we arrived in Paris, I started snapping pictures predominantly with the Lumia’s Pro Cam app set to 5 megapixels, which is oversampled for lossless zoom. About midway through the trip (or about the time we moved on to Dubrovnik), I changed the settings so that the camera would take a 5 megapixel plus a 34 megapixel picture at the same time.


I took over a thousand photos on that trip — many of them in extremely poor lighting conditions. As would have happened no matter which camera I was using, there were some photos that were much better than others; I had blurry shots, I have under or overexposed shots … and I had some photos that took my breath away.


Take  a look at the following galleries, and tell me if you can honestly tell that these photos were taken with a smartphone camera rather than a DSLR. Each picture is a thumbnail, and clicking it should open up a larger gallery.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 Is the Only Camera You'll Need When Traveling

Notre Dame Cathedral & Treasury

Along the Seine River

Napoleon’s Tomb in the Dôme des Invalides

The Musée de l’Armée

Les Catacombes

Seen Around Paris

In and Around Old Town Dubrovnik (Read my separate King’s Landing / Dubrovnik post)

The Medieval Foundry in Old Town Dubrovnik

My conclusion? After traveling with the Nokia Lumia 1020 as my only camera, I can safely say that it is absolutely the best smartphone camera available, and it is easily powerful enough to function as my only camera when I travel. The phone’s operating system isn’t that bad, either. 😉

What do you think? Would you be willing to travel with no better camera than the one on your smartphone? I have no regrets.


11 Responses to " The Nokia Lumia 1020 Is the Only Camera You’ll Need When Traveling "

  1. It’s funny – our older son was around Europe with American Music Abroad, so some of the Paris pics are very familiar. But the difference between yours and the ones he took with his Fuji P&S and my iPod Touch is just amazing. Amazing how far smartphone pictures have come!

  2. loopyduck says:

    Did you carry just the Lumia 1020 or did you have another phone with you as well? If the latter, I’d probably carry a Sony RX100 instead, or maybe the QX100 when it comes out. As good as the Lumia is, there’s no substituting for a large 1″ sensor. I guess the convenience of being able to share directly from the phone (if you’re willing to pay for local/roaming cell service to track down an open hotspot), but camera-embedded Wi-Fi is good enough!

  3. First off – those are some of the most fantastic pictures! And Secondly, did you stop taking pictures at some point and enjoy the trip? 😉

  4. Zooming in on the Nokia Lumia 1020 Smartphone – The 41 Megapixel Camera Phone - Mobile Jaw says:

    […] want to see this camera put to the test, there are 2 resources you need to check out. The first is Gear Diary’s Judie Stanford. She took the 1020 as her only camera on a trip to Paris and managed to take an insane amount of […]

  5. […] about the Sony Xperia Z2, the camera really sealed the deal. I made no secret of my love for the Nokia Lumia 1020′s camera, and I feel that the Z2′s camera is going to prove itself to be just as good. There are […]

  6. […] 5S, and I’ve used it off and on for about 5 months. Before this phone I alternated between the Nokia 1020, the iPhone 5, and the HTC One for about 6 months. I tend to keep my personally purchased phones for […]

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