Although I generally take most of my travel photos with a Nikon DSLR camera, I also like to carry a small compact camera that I can use in places where discretion is of the utmost importance – in other words, places where you can be robbed for being a flashy tourist. For the first month of my trip, I used a 12MP Olympus Tough which suddenly decided to stop working one day. For the next month I did not have a pocket-sized camera, since electronic gadgets in Mexico are ridiculously priced – double the prices in Canada. Fortunately a friend of mine who follows my adventures had taken the initiative to speak to some people he knows over at Nokia Canada and told them all about my trip across Central America. A few weeks later a representative from Ketchum Public Relations (on behalf of Nokia) reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in using the new Nokia N8 to capture some of my travel adventures. Naturally, I said yes since the phone is fully equipped with a 12MP camera and an HD video camera – exactly what I needed. To add, Nokia calls the N8 “The Best Camera Phone in the World”, so I had to give it a try.

The sleek Nokia N8

In the first two weeks after receiving the N8, I shot over 500 photos and 42 videos. The phone quickly became my new favourite gadget and I found myself conveniently “forgetting” my other camera in my hostel. I was really impressed by the quality of the photos and at times I forgot that I was actually using a phone-camera

Perfect Blue – West Beach, Roatan Honduras

Leon, Nicaragua – Plaza Principal

Why I recommend the Nokia N8 for travelers:

  • Do-it-all device: The N8 has a 12MP camera (with Carl Zeiss lense), HD video, sound recorder, music player, calculator and a whole lot of other great applications that I haven’t even tried – Not to mention the obvious fact that it can also send text messages and be used for that nearly obsolete function – making phone calls. This device will save a lot of valuable space and weight in your luggage by combining several electronic gadgets into one compact tool. Travel Tip: Get your N8 unlocked and buy SIM card for next to nothing while in a foreign country, you’ll save a lot of money on roaming charges and local calls.
  • Being Inconspicuous: The N8 is thin, lightweight, and fits perfectly into pockets without that annoying bulge. Depending on the country or region you are traveling through, showing a big flashy camera can be as blatant an invitation to be robbed as wearing a customized t-shirt saying – ” Go Ahead – Take My Money”
  • Good Memory: It has a 16GB internal memory which means that you can take tons of photos and videos without worrying about running out of memory at the worst possible moment. If the internal memory isn’t enough, you can always use a micro SD card and expand to up to 32GB of storage space.
  • Long battery life: Other than running out of memory, there is probably nothing more annoying than running out of battery while filming what could be the next YouTube hit or when you are only 2 hours into a 4-hr tour of a new city.
  • Personalize-able: I was able to customize the phone’s home screen with only the applications that I use most frequently, so I didn’t have to go searching through the phone to find the applications when I needed them quickly.
  • The camera takes great pictures and videos in low-light situations (evenings, dark rooms, etc)

    Golden sunset on Roatan Island, Honduras

  • WIFI: The convenience of connecting wirelessly while at hotels, hostels, cafes and airports is something that many travelers will agree can be as important as having a lifejacket when in the middle of the ocean. The exemplary browsing experience on the N8 is made simple with its large 3.5 inch touch screen and high resolution.

    Loen Nicaragua, Plaza Central in the evening

As you may have noticed, I have been writing about the N8 as if it were a thing of the past – that’s because it is. About 3 weeks after getting the phone I went on a little adventure to an island where I had to cross a river with thigh-high water. While crossing, the water level began to rise rapidly and I forget that the phone was in my back pocket. By the time I realized that the phone was in my pocket it must have drowned at least nine times. I was pretty upset that my new do-it-all gadget was damaged beyond repair and I wondered why Nokia didn’t go the extra mile to make it water-proof, shook-proof, loss-proof and well…Me-Proof.

The video below shows a local fisherman in Honduras catching a hammerhead shark (which is supposed to be protected by the way). I did not catch, keep or consume the fish caught in this video, I am just filming in amazement. It was the first time I went fishing in the deepsea and the first time that I had seen a real shark. The experince was definitely unforgettable since I really didn´t expect what I saw.

Video of a hammerhead shark being caught by a local fisherman in Utila, Honduras

All of the photos (except the N8 photo) and the video in this post were taken with the Nokia N8. For more on the N8, visit the official Nokia site here.
I am really thankful that the employees at a little telephone repair shop in Granada Nicaragua were able to magically revive the phone so that I could salvage the photographs and videos stored internally.