The best camera is the one you have with you – that was the sage advice a photographer friend of mine gave me two years ago when I bought my first real camera. And it’s true what she said – although it can be a bit of a dilemma. Do I take great pictures with my regular camera and suffer the consequences of walking around with half a kilo of technology in a deeply uncool backpack? Or do I use the sub-par camera on the phone I always have with me anyway and accept that the pictures probably won’t look too great? If you’re into photography as much as I am, you can imagine that it can be a pretty tough choice on occasion. Now, I was already aware of the new Nokia Lumia 1020 phone which not only looks great (especially in yellow) but also has by far the best built-in camera on the market. And so my heart jumped a little when I got the opportunity to play around with it during last month’s Microsoft’s #connectnow event in Amsterdam. Was the camera really as good as I hoped it would be? And what would it be like to use a Windows phone? After a month of trying the 1020, I have the answers for you.
First, the camera. I could bore you with the specifications , like the 41 megapixel sensor, the PureView technology, the optical image stabilizer or the high resolution zoom function. Except I won’t. Instead, let me show you some of the pictures I took with the Lumia 1020 during last week’s trip to Paris. Pretty impressive, if I say so myself! What made things even better was that it weighed only a fraction of my regular camera and allowed me to take good photo’s without looking like a tourist with a big camera around his neck. Moreover, all pictures were uploaded automatically to Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage whenever I had wifi. Very handy! The 1020 came in especially handy during the Dries Van Noten exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. No camera’s were allowed but the guards did allow visitors to use their smartphone camera’s, falsely assuming that you can only take casual snapshots with a phone. It was then and there that I fell in love with the discreet powerhouse that is the 1020.
And then there’s Windows. I have to admit I never looked back when I switched to Mac in 2006. But those new Windows tiles are definitely a huge improvement over the teal wallpaper and that annoying Clippy I remembered Windows by. The new layout not only looks beautiful, it is also highly customizable and blazing fast on the 1020. One extremely handy feature in Paris was the Here offline map which I had downloaded at home. It was complete, it was accurate and best of all, it allowed me to walk around without worrying about roaming costs.
All good things must come to an end. And so I’m returning my Nokia Lumia 1020 tonight after a one month trial. My current phone contract is ending soon and I for one can’t wait to get my own 1020 the moment I can.