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Who has the best Windows Phone camera app? Nokia, Microsoft or Proshot?

Choosing the best Windows Phone camera app may be as difficult as choosing the best weather app. We are fortunate to have plenty of quality choices in the Windows Phone Store that choosing the best app to satisfy our shutterbug needs can be tough.

Windows Phone Central reader bijak_riyandi has started a Forums discussion debating the merits of three camera app choices. He pits the Nokia Camera, Microsoft Camera and ProShot apps up against each other to see which of these photography apps stands out from the pack. He tested all three on his Nokia Lumia 1020 running Windows Phone 8.1 looking at the speed of the app and the quality of the photos.

As far as the speed tests were concerned, Microsoft was the fastest to startup, ProShot won the shot-to-shot test (autofocus), Nokia Camera won the shot-to-shot test (manual focus) and Microsoft won the start to snap test.

Bijak_riyandi recognizes the quality test is somewhat subjective and deferred to the readers on which took the better picture. His opinion is that the Nokia Camera produced the better colors with a slight yellow color cast present with the Microsoft Camera and ProShot.

Microsoft, Nokia and ProShot Viewfinders

His overall conclusions are as follows:

Microsoft Camera

  • Pros: Fast shooting time
  • Cons: No full-resolution shot, hard to use manual setting, slightly worse image quality

Nokia Camera

  • Pros: Reframe capability, shooting in RAW format, easy manual settings
  • Cons: Slow


  • Pros: More features (manual-focus assist, customized manual settings, HDR, etc.)
  • Cons: Cannot be launched with the camera shutter button, heats up the phone faster

The comments on this comparison seem to favor either ProShot or Nokia Camera. It would seem that the native Microsoft Camera is in need of work to compete with these (and other) feature rich camera apps.

I tend to agree with WPCentral Reader David Lohrentz in that deciding which is best is a hard question to answer with a simple answer. There are a lot of variables to consider in choosing your camera app and while all three are quality choices, I'm not sure one can cover it all.

Personally, I lean on the simplicity of Nokia Camera and its zoom later feature when I need a quick shot. When I want more control over the camera, I lean on ProShot and when my I want to tinker with filters I find myself drawn to Camera360.

So what say you? What is your favorite Windows Phone camera app? Of the three, Microsoft Camera, Nokia Camera or ProShot, which stands out and why? Feel free to hit the link below to join in on the Forums discussion or sound off below in the comments.

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

  • Nokia Camera is the best!
  • +925!
  • Can we please stop doing the whole +920/925/928/1020/1520 thing now? It's old. And lame.
  • lol
  • +822
  • +822
  • What is it supposed to mean?
  • It means "I have/want/lovemy 1520 and I approve this message." +1520
  • +1520
  • It's the same principle as +1 (or upvoting a comment) but on the WPCentral site users instead type whatever their model of phone is. 
  • +nokia
  • Until there is a Like button to agree in this forum, long live the +PhoneModel. Unless you got a better idea?
  • +822
  • +WPCentral
  • +1020
  • Ok
  • You're old and lame! -1020 for you!!
  • Haha, LOL.
  • +1020 for your comment :)
  • +2520
  • +1020 for your -1020 so... 0 on the comment! :D
  • How about a -3310?!.. :P
  • No.
  • No, saying 'first' is old and lame, saying +(whatever your model of phone is) is just a way to upvote a comment in a comment system without upvoting capabilities. Because you find it annoying people should stop liking what other people say?
  • -920
  • Whats the problem dude?
  • +620
  • 820 users need some love too +820
  • +820
  • +820
  • +820
  • +1020!
  • -925
  • -920
  • -1020
  • +Ativ S
  • +Ativ S Neo
  • +microsoft
  • +92092592810201520
  • This must be a very new model or you've been drinking:-D
  • No it's five different phone is however, unclear if myoujin currently owns all these phones or if this is his upgrade path from the 920 to the 1520...I myself went straight from the 920 to the 1520... As I only buy my new phones November to November, whatever is the best Windows phone at the time
  • His keys got stuck.
  • IT'S OVER 9000!!!!
  • +520
  • +928
  • That and "seems faster". Both are incredibly dumb. Most of the time i just ignore them.
  • I wish there was a filter for these kind of totally meaningless comments. They're just plain annoying.
  • Plus bracket five multiplied hundred bracket closed plus bracket two multiplied ten bracket closed plus five.
  • Dude!
  • Can you please stop doing the whole commenting thing now? You're old. and lame.
  • -920
  • +6600
  • +SP3
  • Seems older
  • -925. No. People like it and it's a nice and fun way to show off your device. Felt good when I upgraded from +620 to +925. So my advice is to stop caring about it too much.
  • +Intel Core i3 550
  • -Haswel i7 4500u
  • Icon
  • ++920++
  • +SurfacePhoneOne
  • I agree.
  • +SP2
  • -8X
  • Really?
  • +1520
  • +1520
  • +925
  • +420-69
  • +520
  • Plus fifteen twenty!
  • Lol, I see what you did there ;).
  • Really??lol
  • plus : nine hundred and twenty
  • Plus thirteen twenty
  • +920 points for Gryffindor X'D
  • :D
  • No doubt about Nokia camera is best
  • Thanks. I almost forgot what this thread was about. +920/Nokia Camera Beta
  • I'm sorry . Off topic question . How to play mkv video from OneDrive ? I used Moliplayer but when it reached about 1 minute , it finished . How to fix this ?
  • Off topic
    It's still +1020
  • +ninehundredtwenty :D
  • +1325
  • +1100
  • +720
  • +3540 (I have a 1020 & a 2520)
  • +920
  • Proshot is better
  • -720
  • Nokia camera for me is the best, just needs to be faster when startup
  • 1020 camera is way too slow.
  • +420-69 .
  • +930
  • +1520 +1020
  • +3310
  • After the latest update, I stop using Nokia Camera as my default camera app due to reasons below;
    1)It force me to edit using Creative Studio. This is quite important since most of the indoor shot will have green tint and washed out colour so I always use Fantasia Painter to fix both white and colour balance
    2)launch time is pretty slow in comparison to Microsoft Camera on my 920. I keep getting loading screen on top of mandatory 2s blank screen when lauching the app.
  • L920 owner here and yes, those reasons are why I switched back to the default camera app. In addition, I also noticed that the low-light pictures in Nokia Camera tend to be more noisy compared to the default camera app. Dunno about the others but I always felt that Nokia Camera benefit both the L1020 and the L1520 more than the L92x series.
  • Nokia Camera(beta) for sure..
    Microsoft's photosynth and blink is also a must have!!
  • Blink?for burst shots?
  • Yup!!
  • Nokia camera definetly
  • Considering the fabulous Proshot is made by a (single?) indie developer, my vote goes to him for his huge work :)
  • Yeah I also would like to compliment the indie developer of Movie Maker 8.1 cause he also did a fabulous job of making a smooth and an awesome app..I even sent him a personal message on WPC mail but sadly he didn't reply!!
  • LOL Aman thank you :)
    I though I missed it, sorry.... Write me an mail when you want :)
  • You read that mail or missed it completely?? And where shall I send it to..WPC mail or a personal one?? And a lil' suggestion..The icon of the 'Clapboard' in the main page looks a little blurry or of low resolution!! It makes a sort of bad impression as many people judge an app just by its appearance..Like my friends who are new to this OS!! And its important for a indie dev to attract as many folks as possible before the same type of apps start appearing in the Marketplace!! Competition is everywhere sir!!
  • Awesome
  • I've the best windows phone camera app. :P Nokia camera it is. :D
  • Nokia camera THE BEST !!,
  • May be proshot for pros and Nokia camera for newbies.. I love both the apps..
  • Nokia Camera. they just need to bring back the 4s Shutter speed.
  • It does have 4s shutter speed
  • It had 4sec for long time but an update not too long ago reduced that time to only 1sec.
  • Which Lumia are you using cause I have a 1520 and I have 4s.
  • It depends on the brightness, if you set the iso and other settings at low, you'll get 4s exposure.
  • I tried to set everything to low and still only 1s. btw I have L520. And 4s worked great before... and they just removed it ._.
  • Even if i adjust the iso and exposure, i only get the maximum of 1s in my 720.
  • but i don't have it on my 720 :(
  • just checked it, y they hell did they remove this
  • +520*99999999999*infinitive
  • I have 4s on my 1020
  • Its only on 1020,,1520,,930 and ICON!!
  • I have 4s in my 810.
  • Its not available on lower models.. I have 520.. Min speed 1 sec..
  • Not even on my 820,,520,,525!!
  • Got 4s on my 810. Seems like I have things other, better phones dont. Its a shame t mobile no longer supports it.
  • Nokia Cameria no questions asked
  • nokia camera . no need to ask  
  • Nokia camera &amp by the way please bring back 4s exposure
  • Pro Cam
  • Nokia camera beta is better
  • I like Nokia Camera the best but the native Camera from Microsoft I like wery much too, so these two, have tested proshot a few Times,but its To complicated to me....
  • I actually love Microsoft Camera simply because of the speed
  • +1320
  • Nokia Camera :D
  • same, if you're using 520 -_-
  • Somebody has to vote for Microsoft! I donate my vote to you MS.
  • somehow I can take full res shots only on 4:3 aspect ratio on my 720.
  • You have only 16/9 aspect ratio because the 720 has a native 16/9 sensor. When taking a 16/9 picture you are already taking it at full res. The only way to have a 4:3 picture it to manually crop it later.
  • I get that. But when I take 16:9 photos on my 720 which has 6.* MP camera, the result is saved at 5mp. This has been after Amber or Black. During Portico it was pretty fine
  • I saw that =/
  • Nokia camera
  • I like them all
  • Proshot
  • For Nokia users: Nokia Camera For non Nokia users (Yes we do exist even though the WP Central community hate us with a passion): ProShot Not too worried about the quality of images from my phone as I use a proper camera, a DSLR!!!
  • MS need to allow users to be able set third party camera apps launchable from the camera button. Never the less Nokia Camera's amazing UI, it always draws people in... That moment is unfortunately ruined by the question "is that a Samsung?", T_T lol.
  • You have to remember most of those people asking that question are lagdroid users who can't tell the difference even when the name is plastered over the from of the device!!!
  • Haha true and not to mention the most newbies to smartphones also do this...which I found most surprising...
  • You can launch other camera apps from the camera button?
  • Microsoft Mobile are the only ones that have access to that function at the moment, not sure when that will change though.
  • Oh :-o
  • I like nokia in imaging.. Though i use default camera but it comes beat in images zone.... Like. Microsoft can take over nokia, but cant be like nokia. Nokia is forever.
  • Atari forever!
  • No way, my C64 pwns your 800XL.
  • proshot
  • Nokia Camera is great but Pro Shot is absolutely on par with it and I use it more just because of the developer and his user interaction. RiseUpGames is the best! And this is coming from a Lumia 920 user.
  • Built in camera is good enough. All others too fiddly and for cam bois.
  • I like how easy it is to get to the lenses in the Microsoft app but Nokia Camera takes wayyy better pictures, especially with manual controls.
  • I want to say Nokia Camera, but I'm seeing a ton of noise in my shots from my 1520. I'll reset the camera and try again. 1520, developer edition Nokia camera beta (that could be the problem as I dont remember it being this bad).
  • Ain't used Proshot but Nokia Camera for me. Just wish shutter speed was quicker. Maybe I just ain't adjusted it right.
  • Try ProShot, it's definitely worth the money.
  • Will give it a bash. Choices are show healthy growth in platform.
  • I really like all the options, depending on mood, although I just discovered ProShot with latest update. I find Nokia Camera to be an excellent default overall. Last night I used it for fireworks photos, and they turned out really well on a 920 (my 1020 died on Wednesday). If Nokia was faster on a 1020, I'd never use anything else. For speed, I definitely chose Microsoft, but I'm generally more interested in quality than performance. I'm interested as well to see how ProShot fits into my routine, although heating up drains battery, so that scares me a bit.
  • I use Nokia camera, but don't know why it takes so long to boot up, and takes 5 seconds to focus before it takes the photo. No excuses, as it isn't the 1020. Even the 2011 iPhone 4S can snap it faster. Other than being annoying like that, I love it. Wish it was easier to get to the FFC mode, and able to use it when the phone has a pass code.
  • Have you seen the pictures of a iPhone 4S? I own one and they are not that great, I tested out a 5S and still wasn't impressed (I thought my 920 was still better even though it is 2 years older). Though the iPhones take faster pictures. And also, when I had a passcode on, it let me use the shutter button to go to the camera app, and take pictures, Just not edit them or view other pictures.
  • I know I can use the camera app with the pass code on, but not able to use the FFC is stupid. Also, there should be an option for taking faster pictures. And smart cam isn't the same thing. And with slow taking photos, if the target is moving, I may not get it, or it will be very blurry.
  • Ok. I do agree with that. They really should work on highly optimizing the app for startup and overall, and offer a burst mode in Nokia Camera.
  • Yes, thanks. Burst mode, as in snapping pics quickly, not to be confused with smart cam (built into NC now).
  • I prefer the Microsoft Camera app ... Launches Instantly & Snaps pictures fast. However I wish the burst mode took higher Res shots. I tried the Nokia App on 1020 display units & it was really slow to start & take pictures ... You can launch Microsoft app & take pictures before the Nokia app even starts. Also, a special shout to BLINK, its must have.
  • The Proshot app is better than Blink! It takes full res burst mode photos... Many might not have tried the new update and or tested its features, but I just used it on my vacation and completely fell in love with this app... It offers cool features like full resolution burst, her, histogram and clipping... It makes taking good pics effortless
  • Cool, I'll check it out when I get a chance.
    Can you make GIFs with it like BLINK ?
  • full res burst photos? So if I use a Lumia 1020, what size MP photos will I see? And also, does ProShot support the bigger MP camera of the 1020 (ie the 41MPs) or does it cap at 8MP or something.
  • Since no one said it... George it seems you forgot to put "ProShot" bold tittle after Nokia Camera Cons.
  • Hey MaxyBley I was gonna say that too...just a few seconds late
  • I'm with you dude. I'm surprised no one said anything until you did. Come on George add the title.
  • Nokia Camera for me! BTW George , you forgot to add ProShot on top of its conclusions
  • Nokia camera and yes hope they can bring back 4s exposure for low end lumia.
  • I am very honored that WPCentral noticed my observation and made an article about it :) thanks WPC
  • The topic was so interesting. How could anyone miss it.;)
  • I'm honored to have my app included in your test :)
  • Nokia Camera!!!!!!
  • if only proshot has a dng support. I would probably use it more often :))
  • ProShot by a long mile.
  • ProShot of course. I dislike the Nokia camera controls. Also the default MS camera for simplicity.
  • I like the native camera app in Wp8.1
  • Just need to see who says Microsoft camera. As It's an obvious answer that Nokia camera is best.