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4 ways to improve your photos with Nokia Creative Studio 6.0

Earlier last week, the Nokia Creative Studio 6.0 update has become available for download at the Windows Phone Store. It has a completely redesigned interface with some new features. The bad news, as some of you have discovered, is that the update is missing Color Pop and Red-eye reduction. Nevertheless, we've spent some time with the updated Creative Studio. Read along to see how you can improve your images using the app.

Before the update, Creative Studio launched straight into the filters. Now it shows various editing options in a menu bar with your image. This includes reframe, filters, enhance, and blur. Blur background and Color Pop are listed under the menu.


Choose the reframing option if you want to rotate, straighten and change the aspect ratio of any image. You can change this over and over again, without losing quality. Click the rectangle button to cycle around the aspect ratios. If you're planning to share it to Instagram, select the 1:1 square ratio.


If you like adding filters to your photo, you can select:

  • Warm Copper
  • Retro Fade
  • Retro Cool
  • Vivid
  • B&W Fade
  • B&W Strong
  • B&W Antique
  • Pure
  • Nightlife
  • Warm Horizon

Unfortunately, you cannot change the strengths of each filter. It's all or nothing. Hopefully, that option gets added in an update.


If you want more control with the edits, select the enhance option from the menu. This gives you options to change the vibrance, shadows, brightness, clarity, and the temperature. Play with the siders until you are happy with your photo. If you're impatient, select the auto-enhance button to let Creative Studio automatically make your photo look better.

Other image editing tools such as Fhotoroom and Adobe Photoshop Express provide more editing options like sharpening, fade, tint, and noise reduction, but we're happy with the choices provided by Creative Studio.


There are several ways to add blur or bokeh with Creative Studio 6.0. In the blur menu, you can add a circular blur or simulate the effect of a tilt-shift lens. You move and pinch to adjust the sharp area. You can also manually adjust the amount of blur.

The blur background option is available when you click the ellipsis at the lower right corner. This asks you draw on the subject that needs to stay sharp and then draw on the background that you want to go blurry. If done well, this creates a photo that looks like it was taken with a dSLR. The edit tool lets you adjust the blurred areas. Everything masked in red appears blurry while everything else stays sharp. Use the eraser or paintbrush tool to make adjustments. You also adjust the amount of blur to apply.

Is this your favorite image editing app?

What's great about editing with Creative Studio 6.0 is that it provides non-destructive editing. You can keep adding or removing edits on the fly. If you get overwhelmed and want to start all over again, you can do that, too. Click the ellipsis at the lower right corner and then tap 'revert to original.'

Nokia Creative Studio 6.0 is a free download from the Windows Phone Store exclusively for Lumia devices. It's missing a couple of features from the previous version, but it's understandable since it is a complete redesign. That will be remedied in an update.

Is this going to be your main image editing app? Let us know in the comments!

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

  • Great app
  • It isn't great without color pop
  • At times it feels like MS has a unique gift of crippling their products when they introduce a more modern version of them. No color pop? Really?
  • I thought this was a Nokia product. Don't think Microsoft owns this one but I could be wrong
  • It was Nokia product before now it's Microsoft mobile oy's. You can see it when go to the store and search the app and the releaser is not Nokia anymore
  • They said it's gonna come back in the next update. But yeah, Microsoft is the only company that takes some feature(s) away after an update...
  • Will be available soon.
  • The menu option is there, and if I tap on it, it says "soon..." and it shows an example image with the feature... So it will be reimplemented in future.
  • Color pop up still there, is just hide.
  • Color pop is just weird. In 95% of all photos taken out looks plain stupid.
  • In my opinion, color pop was a gimmick/barely functional at best. Do not miss understand me, it worked (functional) if your picture fell under certain conditions, I personally have a couple of photos taken while I was golfing that just look amazing thanks to the color pop feature, but again certain conditions were met. I will wager that this feature when available again will function under a wider spectrum of conditions.
  • I've made some stunning photos with colour pop. It's no gimmick. I look for photos that will stand out if colour popped.
  • +930
  • The app does have color pop!! Will take some time I guess
  • I reformatted/reimaged my Icon just to get my color pop back, and flat refuse to update Creative Studio.
  • Reformatted/Reimage...Wha!? Can you do that??? If so, could you tell me how? When the damn app upgraded to 6.0, it removed EVERYTHING I loved about 5.5! So I uninstalled the fudging app and was looking for something as good as 5.5. (I especially loved the Ivory filter, so.) Would you help? Is there any hope, Doctor?
  • It will come
    "coming soon"
  • yeah, I miss color pop too
  • gentlemen, the color pop is still there.
  • Try an app called 'sense the colour' in the meantime
  • I frequently use this app to blur my favorite photos for the start background purposes
  • I use color pop alot so I'm still holding on to the older version.
  • that's good to know we have different preferences..
  • Wish I hadn't updated too... I miss the older UI
  • I don't see one way this app is better than the original creative studio, damn it Microsoft.
  • It isn't great app without colour pop & background blur with zooming
  • Great app. This is my favorite along with Adobe
  • I also like Adobe because it has noise reduction.
  • I find Adobe doing a better job in 'fixing' white balance issues in my photos.
  • Adobe has the best adjustments. IMHO
  • The previous creative studio was better, the current one just sucks. I could edit my 16mpx photos then print them but the current one brings incompatibility issues with printing lovely cropping style was replaced with a shit one. Filters are never the same I don't even use them nowadays
  • Good app, but Fotoroom is still the best
  • I too prefer Fhotoroom for its greater control over colour balance. I find that the Nokia camera auto white balance is far too blue to the point where even warm tones like reds and oranges are effected so I need to fix them.
  • Photoshop, creative studio and photoroom are the ones I use. I also wish one of those would have a good collage making tool, as It is the only reason I have to keep hold of 6tag
  • Try Phototastic for collages.
  • No. Fantasia Painter is still far superior imo.
  • That's also my go to photo editing app, certainly my favourite of the ones I've come across on the WP store.
  • The one by Microkia?
  • Nop. The one by Nokola. Better than what's been released by that abortion called "Microkia" (did you know the latest? The updated display app is f*cking Clear Black on the 930 and the updated Camera app ruins the square frame grid. What a wonderful work "Microkia" is doing! =P)
  • So, you're saying this update was made by a MS new team, and not by the same team that did Black????... Sounds like you're being unnecessarily critical because you hate MS... I don't really care for those kind of opinions... Now, you know I always stand up for you, but listen to yourself⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆⬆
  • Yeah, Fantasia Painter is the most feature rich.  I was really surprised at how many it has.
  • True.. very extensive editing options. One of my fave app
  • Yep, I love it and use it all the time
  • Great app, but I prefer Fotor
  • +920
  • +620
  • +1320
  • Why did they remove the red eyes feature? That's something I used a lot
  • I'm guessing they started this app again from scratch. That would be why. Haven't got around to reprogramming those features they aren't working well enough yet.
  • They shouldn't have released it. I also miss the filters from the old one...
  • +520
  • Adobe has red eye.
  • I miss the ability to highlight a color and turn the rest grayscale. It'll return I'm sure!
  • Color Pop
  • Nice app but Fantasia painter is the real deal when it's about fixing a photo. For editing, Fhotoroom is my favorite!
  • Really Great app
    But unfortunately I only use PicsArt, because I use these apps rearly
  • It seems like I'm getting a workflow with all of these apps. :) I will likely use this one for reframing/cropping since I think it resamples and leaves full res. For other editing, is a combo of Fhotoroom, Fantasia and Adobe. Is great to have a full toolset right in the phone.
  • Good 'How To' article with pros/cons, and nice cross product comparison for reference. The Creative Studio redesign is well-done, and I appreciate the non-destructive editing option. Overall an outstanding app!
  • Fantasia painter is the best
  • I forget to use it most of the time. Good edit features though...
  • Creative studio was the first editing app I used in windows phone...i liked the color pop feature very much. The one thing i use this app is for color pop.hope it arrive soon.
  • This really is my main image editing app... Has been for a long time...
  • I imagine you get a lot of practice correcting those butt ass ugly selfies.
  • How rude✖✖✖✖✖✖✖✖✖✖✖✖✖✖✖✖✖
  • Thank you. I'm here all week. Try the roast beef and don't forget to tip your hostess.
  • So, you like roast beef..... Figures :-o:-o:-o:-o:-o
  • I've been using PhotoShop since it came out and I really like Thumba Photo Editor (paid version) but if I want something done quickly I use Nokia's offerings
  • Was way better designed before. Now it's just ugly.
  • Agreed.
  • They ruined a a once perfect app and it was unique in how it applied filters IMO had the best filters out there. Thank you very much Microsoft for pulling an Xbox music on us.
  • What happened to the collage feature that is missing as well? Used that all the time.
  • That was the worst collage maker I've ever used!
  • Color pop was my favorite feature :'(
  • Complete redesign or not, but to me this is most definitely not understandable to leave out those 2 crucial features from previous version, but yet this is a major update to the app. Yes, yes I know color pop and red eye are coming back in future update, but again how long will that be. It would've have been nice if they would've included said features being stripped in the changelog to update to Creative Studio 6.0, I would have chosen to not update and wait it out until they were once again part of Creative Studio.
  • Favorite editing app? No. But it is a solid app that has gotten better and I have used it often. The filters and controls are nicely done.
  • The blur option feels laggy whenever select it, earlier it wasn't the case.
  • Superb app. Colour pop is missing:(
  • Fantasia Painter is Best.
  • At this time, I using Fantasia Painter to color-pop, its under different name there but has better functionality too...  
  • Doesn't actually work for me. I run it and it shows Latest and the top and Photos text at the bottom, but with no images. Menu just shows About which does show the version number. Odd.
  • What device?
  • Nice!
  • Why undo the previous filters which were way better & more useful. It doesn't make sense.
  • Not my favorite editing app any longer. I've been using Nokia Creative Studio, exclusively, since it was first released, but I hate the new user interface and have switched to Adobe Photoshop Express. Let me know when they fix what they've just bollocked up.
  • giving
  • My favorite editing app. But I use Adobe PhotoShop express sometimes too. However most of the times I edit my photos on my laptop, and there the default Photos app is enough for me.
  • Is there any app to highlight something or make custom lines or circles? And what if I want to combine two photos ?
  • I pretty much use it for red eye reduction and that's about it.
  • The most annoying thing happens when you blur the background and add some options to the photo like sharpening, temperature etc. When you save it the photo comes out blurry as fuck! You have to blur the background first, save it, then edit again. Needs a hell of an update!
  • Glad to see in not the only one having this issue, thought I was kidding the plot
  • Needs an undo option too, my God.
  • That's a good idea. I like that we can revert to original photo, but yes, an Undo button would be nice.
  • Why has your dog no life in him/her? He/She is always sleeping! Lol
  • Polor Cop
  • Is it released just for some region? Cauz i can't see any update for the app. (l920)
  • Return color pop
  • Creative studio 6.0 is the worse.. previous version was much much better.. 1) no color pop 2) blur background option litreally sucks. this was much better in previous version at least we can zoom the picture and draw the lines prefectly.. no such option in the new version. 3) picture quality gets bad after editing...  I was a real real fan of the creative studio..but now i dnt even like to open it..  
  • My favorite is Nokia creative studio and PhotoShop express....
  • Why not build this into the native app for lumias or am I thinking to much lol. Overall I like the features
  • So I will skip this update, I think. Dont want to mess with the (already low) quality of images as 1320 has such a basic camera.
  • Wish it could do away with the WPCentral apps annoying I-want-to-be-an-amber-alert tone
  • I would just be happy if they could decide on an interface and quite moving things around so much.
  • After last update in my 520 touch not responding some waiting for update :'(
  • +520. Actually it is bit slow, the earlier app was better.
  • I think there is a bug in 6.0...when i use manual blur then save it...The whole pic gets blurry :( this update sucks
  • Missing collage too.
  • Just like Microsoft.... Another update that removes something. Damnitall!! Why can't they just enhance and improve something?! Enough with REMOVING things for an UPDATE. Sheesh!!!
  • I like cs6
  • It is a good app, no doubt, but I prefer Adobe PS and Fhotoroom for most of my editing needs.
  • The worst ever version of creative studio. I'm hating it more than ever. I want my old creative studio back
  • Missing the color pop.. :(
  • Nope, this is not my main image editing app. It was a great app before(creative studio 5.5). I don't like the new ui or the filters which are quite mainstream.
  • Pics Art is the best by far
  • Its was my favourite and it will be only if we get colour pop
  • Not that much useful...
  • Is Ms serious? We need parental controls for them.
  • Lol, comment of the week!^^^^
  • ROFL
  • Screenshots are not editable with this version at all. Hopefully it comes back in the next update.
  • App was much better and simple before
  • I liked the filters before the update. I can't use any of the filters, seriously. But the layout is quite functional
  • i think fantasia painter is a much better editor........
    try it yourself
  • Kicking myself as I knew about colour pop, then accidently updated .
    My go to editor is Fotor, it has a beautiful clean design and is easy to use. Adobe is also good. Fantasia can be a bit overwhelming, but has loads of features.
    Also love Phoster for making collages and adding text.
  • They gotta add the old filters!!
  • The best is fantasia painter for pro photographers using a phone.
  • Yeah that is my favourite one. Bit for readymade filters and blurring effects Creative studio is best.
  • Cool features. Especially the circle and rectangle.
  • I like this and adobe
  • I miss the possibility to group several pictures in a group :(
  • They fucked it badly
  • I like fantasia painter more
  • For me, it's not the best. I really think that we need a Camera+ and Camera360 (this one, better) for Windows Phone.
  • +1520 for Camera+
  • This app is just a retarded version of the original. Why? Cause the original is way more efficient and way better designed. This one looks like a crappy ios app trying to become something for windows. I just cant understand why whatt i lovrd about wp is fading. The crazy ininterface.
  • "more efficient" how?
  • One of my favourite apps before the doesn't feel as "modern" as before....why mess with a great app???
  • It is normal, people can't cope up with change. It is the same as people can't let go of "START" button. I only got lost for few seconds when I saw the new app, but find it more better and useful than the old one after few use. Color Pop is removed, but it is not the end of the world to me. I have tons of photo editing tools, that I used depending on needs and wants.
  • People can cope with change and even embrace it, but there's good change and then there is bad change, this is the latter.
  • Can we do a poll to see who likes the new design and who thinks they effed it up???!!!
  • I honestly don't like the new design. All they had to do it add more filters on the older version and change a bit the blur feature.
  • Very good!
  • Colorpop please!!!
  • Its amazing better than photo shop
  • And yes please it will ne superb woth colorpop
  • I used to do clarity on clarity, the photos turned out really nice but I can't do it anymore. Now I have to save a copy of the image, and then do it again on that saved copy. ☹
  • 5. Way - Do not update to 6 .... I dont know why this "TEST BETA" app they dont release as another app. Creative Studio 6 BETA. And who wants fully functional and with better fillters and UI (as like I ) can had 5.5 without problems. Or support downgrade... But do not force people use "beta" when older version is better. SHAME ON YOU MS !
  • Does anyone know an app to auto enhance a batch a photos?
  • I love this universal articles, where we can install app on every phone
  • Adobe PhotoShop Express.
  • Thanks for the heads up, just downloaded and tried it, this is my new app anything photo wise going forward.
  • Everyone is bitchin about the colour pop but dit anyone see what they did with the blur background... It worked MUCH better before the update plus go mess around with enough settings and try and save your perfect blurred background pic and you end up saving a picture that looks NOTHING like the preview the app showes.. Anyway I have this issue on my Lumia 1020 running 8.1DP ... I used NCS every day and now they FU"CKED it up for me completely! Hope they keep this up so that I can just give up on Microsoft and jump ship....
  • Great app
  • After the Nokia acquisition, I feel that MS is pushing me more and more away from WP with their decisions and delays. Its just sad that they do one step ahead and two backwards every time. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • The app has the potential to become one of the best editing app in Windows Phone Store. While the old UI was more beautiful, this new one is more simple and not half bad. But I need these features to replace all other photo editing app in my phone.
    • Color Pop (I don't even know why they removed it in the first place).
    • Res-Eye fix (Again Stupid Idea to remove it).
    • Noise Reduction (Like in PhotoShop Express).
    • Better Filters (Really need more and better Filters, like in Lomogram+ and few HDR filters).
    • Collage.
    • Lightning Effects.
    • Ability to edit DNG images.
    • Ability to change strength of Filters.
  • Like you, I think this app has a lot of potential.
    The one feature I really think is missing and a lot of people have forgotten about is customized cropping. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • My favorite
  • I'd like to see the old filters back in some future update. I really loved them.
  • I like Google as your model.
  • Nokia would really rock on Android with their talents.. And I'm super Windows Phone fan, but I'm getting tired of this non working apps/half feature apps/BETAs, now seeing all your complaints, even the look of the apps is getting tired, every thing is black and white with no effects, where is that nice panorama in the photos, all this removing of the features, and now Android getting a lot more awesome Material design over all apps and the whole OS in this year.. Please Microsoft start making something inspiring.. I really love the idea of the livetiles, that's the main reason I went to Windows Phone, and hearing how this OS has no lag and how butter smooth it is.. And then all you see is "loading, loading, loading, loading, loading". And seriously where is the background wallpaper everyone was asking for.. I like the livetiles background, but we need options. We all have our own preferences. And in this case there could be something on the left side of the start screen so the wallpaper could be in the wider aspect ratio.
    I really want MS to succeed and make something special. +Even MS products rocks on Android, I use them all the time.
  • Old version was better
  • Feeling bad after update ..
  • Needs red-eye removal. Thats usually the first edit i make for people pictures.
  • Not the best...but a good app..
  • Yea why colour pop coming soon?
  • The older version was better.
  • I wish I havent upgraded from the previous version. This one doesn't have color-pop the rest of the filters are junk.  
  • Plz get the previous version back
  • I think Adobe PhotoShop express is way much better
  • It's one of my favourite editing app and one of my favourite Nokia app...
  • Very nice app
  • I mostly use PhotoShop express in a combination with fhotoroom...
  • Was my favourite app prior to the upgrade....or should i say downgrade, how could they get it so wrong, as they say, if it's not broke, don't fix it. The IU was much better before, looked really modern, this has gone a few steps backwards and in the wrong direction. Also why change the Filters, i really miss 'seashell', couldn't they have just added more Filters rather than changing them all. Also it's missing more features, yeah i know some are coming soon but seriously, why release something that isn't finished and doesn't look half as good as before. The only thing that is keeping me from going to an Android phone now is the fact that my Nokia 1020 has 41 megapixels. Microsoft/Nokia please do a poll, and then once you've listened to the majoiry please go back to the previous version or at least give us the option, this new interface SUCKS!!!
  •  Miss the old clarity of the older app
  • Once you have trimmed your photo you no longer open the original on Nokia camera,you are stacked with the version of creative studio photo.That happens even if you just didn't changed anything even if you haven't saved the image,the original that opens on Nokia camera with the full resolution is gone forever!This application ruins my photos messing up with the originals so I will never use it again.Good job Microsoft..
  • Expletive! I didn't even notice that change.
    What was wrong with the old way where it just made a new file with the edits applied but still you have your original 35mp jpg or DNG?
    Maybe the are strongly encouraging us to get photo shop and pay for the enhanced features in it?
  • To me this went from a five star app with a unique interface that worked great too a 2 star app with worse filters, a boring instagram clone interface, and a loss of my fav features. I can work around the less intuitive interface but please bring back the old features and filters.
  • I can't fathom why anyone would "update" an app by removing features, but this is the new Nokia, I suppose. "Coming Soon...". I think anyone who owns a Windows Phone has learned to hate those two words. Was this some sort of semi-passive aggressiveness in lieue of all the layoffs coming down the pipe? I really can't wrap my head around why anyone would think it was a good idea to release an update before it was actually finished.   I litterally reset my phone just so I could move back to the previous version of Creative Studio. There are, quite literally, a gazillion apps that do filters. Why remove the relatively unique functions of an app just to release more filters? /sigh  
  • I only just read the actual article, no red eye reduction? G granted I haven't taken any low light pooh hotrod with the 1520, but the 920 was notoriously bad for red eye. To remove that function seems I'll conceived, unless the problem is now fixed.
  • Hello guys, im buying a new Lumia 525, but will I get the old version of creative studio or this new one? I tried this new one in a friend's 520 and it really sucked, so please tell me
  • Down grade, down grade everywhere. The new ugly creative studio is an ugly threat in the future wp. Bring back the old nokia creative studio. The update is so disappointed. I think my lumia 920 is the last wp im gonna use. Gonna switch sony,lg or iphone in the near future if things got worsen
  • I hate this new version!!.....can anyone tell me how to revert back to creative studio 5.0.....
  • Creative studio 5.0 was always my forever image editing app! I just love it! But I have updated my mistake!! Now I have to migrate to Adobe Photoshop ........ This creative studio 6.0 sucks big Time shame on you Microsoft for ruining the greatest asset of Nokia!
  • College tool and color pop missing?!?!?!