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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.


About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford

I’ve had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother – which I promptly “relieved him of” in 1973. I’m a self-confessed gadget magpie. I can’t tell you how everything works, but I’m known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area … or not.

  • 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!

  • loopyduck

    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!

    • dancohen

      I’m with you. In fact I ordered the QX100. Were that not on the way the 1020 would be in the cards for me.

    • Just the Lumia 1020 most of the time!

      I’m interested in the new Sony QX100, but I am nervous it would be one more thing to drop or one more thing to forget. We’ll see, though. =)

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

    • Thank you, and of course! There are so many things i *wish* I had thought to get photos of … but alas. =)

      • so… many… pictures… I’m still working through them all. So far, the catacombs are my favorite.

        • Yeah, I tool around 1500 total, which is why I freaked out about having no space left on my Lumia 1020. 😉

          The catacombs were an amazing experience. Kev was using an iPhone 4S, and the only pics he could get were the ones next to a light. =P

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