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Trafalgar Square

The critics have spoken and it was a near unanimous verdict that the Nokia Lumia 1020 has the greatest camera ever put into a smartphone.

However, even though I’ve read all the reviews, I was still unprepared for just how good the camera on the Lumia 1020 really is. I’ve been using one for just over a month and it’s been a complete revelation.

I should stress that I’m not a photography aficionado; I use a camera phone purely to capture fun events and to take photos of friends. I’m strictly of the point-and-click school of (very) amateur photography.

In my novice hands and to my untrained eyes, the photos taken with a Lumia 1020 are quantum leaps ahead of any previous camera phone I’ve ever used. It’s even better than my mid-market digital compact camera.

The breath-taking quality of the photos aside, I have loved using the Nokia Lumia 1020 for several other reasons. Here’s just the top 4, or 4.1, if you will so indulge me.

The City of London

1. It will astonish your friends

When you eat, sleep and breathe for the latest gadgets, it’s easy to forget that not everyone will be even aware of most new products. Or they might have heard about it, but don’t really know any details.

One of the most gratifying things about using the Lumia 1020 has been showing how it works to my friends and family, explaining the benefits, the technology and giving them demonstrations.

Universally, the reaction has been one of amazement and ‘Wow!’ Eyes light up and everyone smiles. It’s great when technology still has that capacity to surprise and astonish people.


2. You will take more photos

Previously, when it’s too dark or the subject is too far away, I didn’t even bother trying to take a photo.

Now, I know that the Lumia 1020 can produce great shots in all lighting conditions and, of course, the zoom is extraordinary.

You end up taking more photos because you’re confident that the results will be great and the Lumia 1020 will do justice to your memories.

3. You will become more creative

There’s a fair argument to be made that the most revolutionary aspect about the Lumia 1020 lies not in the 41-megapixel sensor, but the Nokia Pro Camera user interface.

Borough Market

My very first Lumia 1020 picture (taken in the wild) was an attempt at the ‘Bokeh’ effect in London’s Borough Market. I’m not going to claim that it’s the best example of its type, but I wouldn’t have a clue how to do it with a digital SLR.

On another occasion, I played with the exposure settings and did some ‘light painting.’ Again, it’s not the greatest image but it’s something I couldn’t have imagined doing before.

Pro Camera is such a delight to use that you can’t help experimenting and exploring its various settings. It’s a real creative catalyst. 

Light painting

4. Two for the price of one

The dual-capture and reframing feature of Nokia Pro Camera changes the way you think about your photos. While many people edit or add filters to their photos, this is even better. You create new pictures altogether.

After the image is taken you can zoom in and rotate around to search for other ‘photos’ within your photos. It’s even better than two for the price of one – you can discover as many new images as you like out of your original.

Cock of Trafalgar Square

Cock of Trafalgar Square  

4.1 The camera grip is genius

OK, the camera grip is an accessory and not an essential part of the Lumia 1020 as such.

However, it’s a fantastic addition. Holding the Lumia 1020 ensconced within the grip is just like holding a proper, real camera. It’s almost magical how that transformation occurs. Simple, but super effective.

The other big win with the grip is that you can use it to charge up or increase the battery life of your Lumia 1020. For serious photographers, there’s also a proper shutter button and it can be attached to any standard tripod.

Lumia 1020 camera grip