Windows Phone is quickly becoming the photography mobile platform of the world, or at least the non-selfie aspect of photography. That’s largely thanks to the innovations Nokia – and now Microsoft – has done with the cameras on its Lumia lineup of smartphones. iSight, Exmor, and Ultrapixels cannot match the imaging prowess of PureView and that doesn’t look like it’s about to change anytime soon.
PureView cameras also give us extensive control over various camera settings such ISO and shutter speed, providing us a means of fine tuning the camera for the perfect shot. While the Nokia Camera app is a prime example of an app that can take full advantage of these camera settings, there are other apps available in the Store that may have a little more, or at least something different to offer, regardless of whether you have a PureView camera or not.
Here is our list of the top camera apps on Windows Phone as of July 19th 2014.
Nokia Camera (free) – This one is likely your go-to camera app if you’ve got a Lumia. For those of you that aren’t avid photographers, then its probably got more features than you know what to do with. In addition to an easy auto-mode that lets the camera figure out the best setting for the shot, Nokia Camera provides an easy-to-use interface for full manual control over white balance, focus, ISO, shutter speed, and exposure. There are even more options for bracketing (manual HDR), timers, framing grids, and flash control.
Nokia Camera can also be used for video capture and Smart Sequence, which takes a number of photographs and combines them to produce cool effects. So there isn’t much more you could ask for from a mobile camera short of demanding for a full-fledged DSLR.
Camera360 (free) – One of the most popular camera apps on competing platforms, Camera360 hit the ground running when it landed on Windows Phone. With powerful controls draped in an elegant user interface, the app is just a joy to use. It comes with a built-in ‘photo diary’ to easy manage and share your captured images and introduces a Double Exposure feature that overlaps two images over each other to produce very interesting results.
The app also comes with basic photo editing functions and subtle filters that wont make your photos look like they’ve been put in a blender with paint. This is an app well worth having.
OneShot (free) – was one of the first apps to make use of the Nokia Imaging SDK. What that means is that the app offers the same powerful features you would come to expect from the Nokia Camera app, in addition to other features from the developer. In this case, the developer added real-time filter effects, so that you can see how your image would look with different filters before you take it, as well as voice commands, saturation, image straightening, temperature adjustments, sharpening/blur effects and much, much more.
No wonder the app has a 4.5 star rating based on over 700 reviews, and best of all, it’s free!
Photosynth (free) – is labeled as a panorama app, but it’s much more than your run-of-the-mill panorama app, considering it can take full 360 degree ‘sphere’ panoramas. The app has been available since its Windows Phone 7 days so it’s not exactly new to the Store, but new updates are still being pushed out so it hasn’t been abandoned.
Microsoft has been working on a Tech Preview update to Photosynth that lets you convert pictures taken while walking into a 3D sequence. Check it out below. But since this new feature is still in its preview development stages, it’s not available in the Photosynth app just yet, but it will when it’s ready.
Slowly (free) – is a very simple, yet useful app, so there isn’t much explaining to do. The app basically gives you the ability to add a slow motion effect to your videos. You can slow down specific parts if the video if you don’t want the entire thing in slow-mo, which makes it great for those action shots that you want to emphasize. It’s a useful tool to have in your collection.
Blink (free) – from Microsoft Research is a burst shot app that will capture multiple images simultaneously. What’s special about the app is that it also captures images “before you even press the shutter, and continues to capture pictures after you’ve taken your shot”, because human reaction speeds are terrible and unreliable, so the app takes precautions so we don’t miss that epic moment.
That’s our list, lets us know what your favorite photography apps are, and as always, stay tuned for next week’s Windows Phone Store highlight!