We've taken a look at the best free apps, the must have games, the must have apps and the best weather apps for your Windows Phone. We now turn our attention to the best photography apps for your Windows Phone.
Now that you have some insight on how your Windows Phone camera works, these apps will help you edit and add a creative touch to your photographs. Some of these apps will even have an in-house camera function to keep everything under one roof.
As with all our "best of" lists, this list contains the apps that stand out in our opinions. If we've missed an app that you think should be included, please sound off in the comments.
Best Windows Phone Photography Apps
Thumba Photo Editor ($.99/Free Trial): Thumba Photo Editor is described as the most complete photo editor for your Windows Phone over in the Marketplace. With over seventy adjustments and effects, it would be tough to dispute such a claim. Just to give you a feel for the range of adjustments and effects, with Thumba Photo Editor you can:
- Crop, resize, rotate, change aspect ratio of your photos
- Add a watermark
- Adjust brightness/contrast
- Apply a 3D filter
- Apply color filters
- Apply twenty different effects
- Map photos based on GPS data in EXIF file
Navigation is fairly straight forward giving you the ability to edit existing photos in your Pictures Hub or capture and edit a new photo. Another nice feature is the before/after button that will let you review the image before you have applied the edits.
There is a free trial version available for Thumba Photo Editor with the full version coming in at $.99. The trial version will not let you save and share the photos or edit the GPS data but it will give you a good feel for the app. You can find Thumba Photo Editor here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Sketch Camera ($1.49/No Trial): Sketch Camera is a special effects app for your Windows Phone that allows you to apply about a dozen sketch styled effects to your photos. You can capture and apply the effects to new photos directly from Sketch Camera or pull up existing photos from your Pictures Hub and apply the effects.
Effects include: Sketch, Pencil drawing, bathroom filter (tiles), Life on Mars (sepia effect), Parchment, Alien Skin, Chalk, Wall sprayer, Oil paint, Foil, Canvass, Industrializer
Navigation is simple and Sketch Camera gives you a decent range of creative filters. The only downside may be that you can't share images directly from the app. You'll have to go to your Pictures Hub, where the images are saved, to share them.
There isn't a free trail available for Sketch Camera and the full version is running $1.49. You can find Sketch Camera here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Fhotoroom (Free): While Thumba Photo Editor has a very admirable set of editing tools and effects, Fhotoroom can hold its own with respects to features. Here's what you get with the full version:
- 18 editing effects (brightness, saturation, sharpness, etc.)
- 25 style effects (tilt shift, textures, color tints, etc.)
- 33 frames and borders
Within all that you will find 25 light effects, 27 texture patterns, 9 vignettes, and 9 white balance options. In addition to editing existing photos, Fhotoroom has its own in-house camera app that allows you to take and edit photos.
There is also a social aspect to Fhotoroom with the ability to share pictures with Skydrive, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. As well as view photos from other Fhotoroom users (very similar to Instagram).
There is a trial version that limits you to only 30 filters and a basic camera app. But with Fhotoroom being free, why not take the plunge and try the full app? You can find Fhotoroom here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Autopanorama (Free): While the newer HTC Windows Phones (Radar, Titan, Titan II) and the Nokia Windows Phones (through the Creative Studio) have in-house panorama features other Windows Phones will have to rely on third party apps to create panorama images.
Autopanorama lets you capture your images (no set limit) and when you tap "stop", the app will stitch them together to create one panoramic image. Images are aligned with the previous photo through a preview windows on your Windows Phone screen.
Autopanorama saves the completed photo to your Pictures Hub where you can share your creations via Facebook, Twitter, email or text messaging.
Autopanorama is a free app for your Windows Phone that you can find here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Pictures Lab ($2.99/Trial Version): Pictures Lab is another feature rich photo editor for your Windows Phone. Pictures Lab allows you to edit existing photos or launch an in-house camera app and capture a new photo to edit.
The main editing pages cover effects and borders with button controls to crop/rotate the image. There are thirty effects that can be applied to your images ranging from black and white conversion to HDR filters to a comic effect. On the border page you will find thirteen borders for your photos that includes film strip, old paper, and a Polaroid border.
You can share your images directly from Pictures Lab to Twitter and Facebook as well as uploading them to your SkyDrive account. You also have the ability to add your name (artist name) to the image's EXIF file through Pictures Lab's settings.
There is a free trial available for Pictures Lab with the full version running $2.99. You can find Pictures Lab here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Apict ($.99/Free): If all you need is to give your photos a Polaroid or instant camera look, Apict might be just what you're looking for. The app is simple and can be applied to existing photos or to new images captured through your Windows Phone camera.
Once you capture or select the photo to edit, you can crop the image and add text to the picture frame. When you hit the check mark, Apict processes your image and cranks it out much like the old Polaroid cameras did (with matching sound effects as well.
Once generated you can save the image to your Pictures Hub and/or share the image through Facebook, Flickr, or Twitter. One nice feature on Apict is that you can choose the image quality/resolution through the app's settings.
There is a free trial version available for Apict with the full version running $.99. You can find Apict here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
CleverPhoto ($1.49/Trial): CleverPhoto is an interesting photo editor for your Windows Phone that will appeal to the beginner photographer to the more seasoned shutterbug. CleverPhoto has a very clean interface with the following tools.
- Edit: Here's where you crop, rotate, brighten, sharpen and make all the other basic adjustments to your photo.
- Effects: Here you will find filters to give your image a more custom look. The customizations include black and white, sepia, negative, and vintage filters as well as tilt shift, vignette, and lomo effects.
- Artistic: Here is a collection of five artistic filters that include Da Vinci, Neon, Zoom In, Sketch and Scratched.
- Frames: A collection of five frames or borders for your photos.
All totaled, CleverPhoto has forty edits that can be applied to your photographs. Once done, you can save your creation to your Pictures Hub as well as share them via Facebook or Flickr.
There is a trial version available for CleverPhoto with the full version running $1.49. You can find CleverPhoto here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.
In addition to these apps, you also have photo apps specific to certain Windows Phones.
HTC has the Photo Enhancer which is basically a set of filters and effects you can apply to your photos. Photo Enhancer isn't a bad app but it feels more as a supplement to the Windows Phone camera's in-house effects.
Nokia has the Creative Studio app that allows you to apply effects and filters to new photos and existing photos from your Pictures Hub. One neat feature with Creative Studio is the ability to apply special effects as you capture photos. You have warps that remind me of the carnival mirrors and Live Styles which are effects themes (sketch, night vision, cartoon, etc.) that transforms your images as you capture them.
You also have the ability to apply the basic editing adjustments such as crop, rotate, contrast, sharpness, etc. Last but not least, Creative Studio has a panorama feature that lets you stitch four images together to create a single panorama image.
Samsung has two photography apps native to their Windows Phones. There is Photo Studio that has modes or effects themes that can be applied to pictures as you take theme that includes Lomoshot, Beautyshot, Dreamshot and a panorama shot; a set of basic edit tools (brightness, cropping, rotate image); and sharing support for Facebook, Photobucket and Picasa.
You also have Photogram in the Samsung app store that eight effects themes that can be applied to existing photos from your Pictures Hub or photos captured by your Windows Phone camera. The effects include normal settings (no effects) with a border, HDR, vintage, black & white with glow, sepia, glow, black & white and a collage builder.
If your Windows Phone didn't come with these in-house photography apps pre-loaded, you can find them in your Marketplace app under the respective app store listing (Samsung Apps, HTC Apps, Nokia Apps, etc.).
So, which is the best? I find that photography applications are much like ringtones. Most are really good apps, it's just finding one that meets your photographic needs and tastes the best. Personally, I like Thumba Photo Editor for more detailed edits and Sketch Camera for when I want to have fun with effects. My advice, take advantage of the trial versions and free apps to try things out. Find the app you are comfortable, that meets your needs and run with it.
Again, this is just a small selection from all the photography apps available for your Windows Phone. These are the photography apps that stood out to us and if you think we've overlooked a photography app, feel free to recommend it in the comments.