Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Photography Apps
There is no shortage of photography apps over in the Windows Phone Store. While some may argue there are too many, others welcome the variety and choices the photo app lineup offers.
Our Windows Phone camera hardware has improved phenomenally over the past few years providing us with extremely capable digital cameras. The software used by these cameras has also noticeably improved. Variety and choice is rarely a bad thing in these cases.
For this week’s roundup, we look at four of the top rated photography apps in the Windows Phone Store. The apps tapped for this week’s roundup all have at least a four-star rating and are titles we have not covered before. The apps range from a camera app alternative to an interesting note taking app that centers around the photos you take. You still have ProShot, 6tag, Camera360, Fhotoroom and other top notched photography apps over in the Windows Phone store but we wanted to shine the light on a few apps some may not know about.
Momento, as the name implies, is a Windows Phone 8 photo editor that lets you memorialize special events, milestones or any other moment in your life captured by the camera.
Momento will let you edit an existing photo in your Windows Phone Pictures Hub or launch the camera and snap a new photo to edit. In a manner of speaking Momento allows you to convert your photos into picture postcards that highlight an event.
Along the top of the main editing page you will find icons to launch the camera to take a picture, open up your image galleries to choose a picture to edit and an undo button to remove an unwanted edit.
Momento Effects, Moment Templates and Menu Options
Momento’s editing tools can be found lined up across the bottom of the screen, just below your photo. You can choose between four moments (place, food, baby and event) which will add text boxes to your image. You also have a collection of stickers, frames and effects to apply to your photo.
Control buttons line the very bottom of the screen to allow you to edit any text you are adding to your photo, edit your location information, access Momento’s settings, and save/share the image. Settings cover a wide range of topics that include:
- Visibility: Change the opacity or visibility of any photo captions.
- Calendar: Switch between Gregorian or Hijri calendars.
- Date: Change the date format.
- Time: Change the time format.
- Facebook/Twitter: Set up your social networks for sharing images.
Momento does have a tutorial that sits up under the three-dot menu that will walk you through the basics but the user interface is rather easy to pick up.
Images are cropped and resized to 1280 x 1280 pixels and while Momento lacks direct sharing with Instagram (or Instagram client app), you can choose to share your edited photo with the “Other” option and launch your Instagram app from Momento.
It is doubtful that Momento will become your main Windows Phone photo editor but if you need to dress up a photo to highlight an event or special moment in time, it is not a bad option to consider.
Momento is a free app, available for Windows Phone 8 devices that you can pick up here in the Windows Phone Store.
Creative Camera (free)
Creative Camera is a Windows Phone 8 camera app that offers you a healthy amount of controls along with a built-in photo editor. Creative Camera also taps into the Nokia Imaging SDK.
Creative Camera Viewfinder
The camera viewfinder has your settings controls lined up along the bottom and right side of the viewfinder. Tapping one of the settings buttons will pull up a flywheel where you can manually adjust your camera settings. Controls include:
- White Balance: Auto, cloudy, sunlight, flash, fluorescent light, tungsten light and candle light
- ISO: Auto, 100 – 3200
- Shutter Speed: Auto, 4s – 1/16000th
- Scenes: Auto, Macro, Sports, Night, Portrait, Indoors
- Focus: Auto, Macro, Normal, Full, Hyperfocal, Infinity
- Exposure Compensation: -3.0 to 3.0
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 or 4:3
- Flash: On, Off, Auto
- Camera Grid: Golden Ratio 1, Golden Ratio 2, Golden Ration 3, Golden Ration 4 and Rule of Thirds
- Voice Commands: On/Off (Say “Capture” to take a picture)
You also have control buttons to toggle between the front and rear cameras, view the last photo captured, and a settings button that will pull up all the settings at once.
Creative Camera Viewfinder, Settings Wheels and Golden Ratio 2 Grid
Creative Camera’s editor has options to apply enhancement and artistic filters to your image as well as a set of basic editing tools. Along the right side of the Effect Editor is four control buttons that will let you share the image, select an enhancement filter, select an artistic filter, or edit the image.
When you choose the edit the image option, Creative Camera will pull up a set of basic editing tools that include crop, resize, orientation, color fix, and adjustments for contrast, brightness, saturation, hue, and sharpness. You also have the option to add a text box to your image.
Creative Camera Editor
While Creative Camera made a nice impression, there is some room for improvement. For starters, edited images are automatically saved whether you like the edit or not. There needs to be a save button in the editor to let you save the edited image or scrap it and start over.
Next, there is not a means to use Creative Camera’s editor in stand-alone fashion. In other words, there is not a way to pull up an existing image and edit it through Creative Camera. You do have the option to edit an image with Creative Camera when viewing a photo in the Pictures Hub but when selected, you are sent to the camera view of Creative Camera not the editor.
Creative Camera has potential and, as is, it is a very capable Windows Phone camera app. With a little fine-tuning, it can shine a lot brighter.
Creative Camera is a free app available for Windows Phone 8 devices. You can find your copy of Creative Camera here in the Windows Phone Store. Please note that Creative Camera is currently not compatible with Samsung or Huawei devices due to a firmware issue.
Fancy Cam (free)
Fancy Cam is a lighthearted photo editor for Windows Phone 8 that lets you dress up your subjects with a wide assortment of clipart items.
Button controls line the bottom of Fancy Cam’s main page that will allow you to select an image from your Pictures Hub to edit, add items once you have a photo selected, toggle between the front and rear cameras, and capture a new image to edit. Up under the three-dot menu you will find options to access the app’s settings (sound on/off), view the about screen and view the developer’s change log.
Fancy Cam Editing Screen, Menu Options and Sticker Choices
When you go to add an item to your photo, a series of sticker sets will fill the screen. The free version includes one series of thirteen stickers with additional set available through in-app purchase ($.99 each). Tap on a sticker you would like to add to your photo and it will be placed center screen on the image.
From there you can position and re-size the sticker by touch. If you decide the sticker does not fit just right, tap the “X” button.
Once everything is in place, tap the capture button to transition to the save/share screen where you can save the image to your Pictures Hub, share the image or send it to 6tag for Instagram use (naturally you will need 6tag installed on your Windows Phone).
Fancy Cam's Settings and Add-on Sticker Sets
Even though the app lacks effects filters and other editing tools, Fancy Cam is not a bad photography app to have on your phone for the times you want to add a humorous touch to a photo. I would like to see the touch controls tweaked a little though. When you shrink an item to a certain point, it becomes rather difficult to manipulate.
Fancy Cam is a free Windows Phone 8 app that does have a few in-app purchase opportunities. You can find your copy of Fancy Cam here in the Windows Phone Store.
Measure Note (trial/$2.49)
Measure Note is an interesting Windows Phone 8 photo editor. The app will not adjust the exposure of a photo or add a creative filter to the image. What it will do is add measurements and notes to your photos for easy reference and sharing.
Measure Note’s main pages offer you options to edit an image from your Pictures Hub, snap a new image with your Windows Phone camera to edit or pull up HERE Maps and capture an aerial view to edit. You also have a Folders Page where you can sort your images and a Recent Page to easily pull up a recently edited image.
Measure Note's Main Pages
The editing page will have a series of control buttons to allow you to draw a measurement line, angles, polygon/areas and add text boxes to your image. As you create a measurement to your photo, you will be able to set the values, unit and color of the measurement graphic. As you touch the screen to set your measurement points a magnification bubble will appear to zoom into that area for more precise measurements.
Once you enter the first measurement, Measure Notes will use that information to generate measurements for other lines, angles or areas you mark on the image. While you can turn this feature off in the settings, the automatic calculation is fairly accurate and you can always edit those measurements if they need correcting.
Once you have gotten all your measurements noted on the image you can save the picture to one of the Measure Note image folders or export the image to your Windows Phone Pictures Hub. Exported images are read only and cannot be re-opened for further editing. Images in your Measure Note folders can be re-opened for further editing.
Measure Note Samples
Measure Note is a photography app that will not appeal to everyone. While I can see it being useful for the obvious crowd (carpenters, engineers, architects, etc.) I can also see it handy for the DIY home repair projects, charting out directions to a campsite, or for sketching out a room renovation.
Speaking of which, I would not mind seeing a sketch tool for free hand drawing added to the editing tools. It would be nice to have a tool that would let you draw landscaping items (bushes, trees, etc.) or construction renovation ideas.
Overall, Measure Note is a nicely laid out, drawn-up Windows Phone 8 photography app. There is a trial version available that does have some limited functionality (can only draw two measurements, cannot export images, etc.) with the full version running $2.49.
Measure Note is available for Windows Phone 8 and you can find it here in the Windows Phone Store.
Any Must Have Apps?
While some may feel that there are way too many photography apps in the Windows Phone Store, others may feel the more the merry. I fall in the latter category and appreciate the number of quality photography apps available for our Windows Phone. The four titles in this week’s roundup are all good app choices but two may not appeal to everyone.
Creative Camera is a nice mix between a camera app and photo editor. The app allows us to take more control over our cameras by providing access to a nice collection of camera settings and has a decent photo editor to polish up the photos you capture.
Momento and Fancy Cam are more creative photo editors. Momento is a nice way to edit your images to commemorate an event or memory a photograph represents. Fancy Cam is also a decent app that allows you to dress up your images to give them a more humorous tone. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but Fancy Cam does a nice job of things.
Measure Note is more of a productivity app than photo editor in that you can give up the scratch pad and adds measurements and notes to your photos. While Measure Note is well suited for those who deal with measurements on a daily basis, it can also come in handy for the occasional carpenter or handyman.
Again, we wanted to touch on a few Windows Phone photography apps that we haven’t given much (if any) coverage to in the past. As with all of our roundups, if we have overlooked your favorite photography app feel free to speak up in the comments below.