Windows Phone App Review: Tilt Shift

Tilt shift lenses have been around for some time and now the effect is available for your Windows Phone camera via the app Tilt Shift. The tilt shift effect can trick your eyes into viewing a photo as a miniature scene but for the most part it gives your images a narrower focal point.

So what is a tilt shift lens? In a nutshell it manipulates plane of focus to change the image's depth of field into a wedge or circular shape. The wedge shape does give landscapes and scenic shots a bit of a miniature look while the circular shape reminds me of looking through a Coke bottle bottom.

Tilt Shift, the app, is laid out nicely. When you first launch the application you'll see buttons to access the camera, your image folders and the help section. You can apply the tilt shift effect to existing photos or take a new picture and apply the tilt shift.

Once you capture or load an image into the app, blur controls are present to select between radial (or circular) and linear tilt and the size of the area. The radial/linear area can be moved around your image by touch. The linear option can be rotated vertically by touch as well.

You also have controls to make saturation, brightness and contrast adjustments; adjust the vignette (darkness around the corners of the image); and process all the adjustments you've applied (the arrow button). From the three-dot menu you can create a new project, reset all your adjustments and read the about screen.

Once you've processed the adjustments, you'll launch a preview of the changes and have the option to save the image to your Pictures Hub.  Tilt Shift definitely gives you more creative control over your images. The only downside to Tilt Shift is that the processing can take a while. With the amount of adjustments being applied I don't know if this can be sped up but don't be surprised if it takes up to a minute to process the image.  Another issue, and it's more along the lines of something to get used to than a downside, is vertically oriented images are turned horizontal for editing.  It would have been nice to maintain the vertical orientation to make editing a little easier.

Also, be careful with the vignette settings.  The Don Corleone sample photo had only about 30% vignette applied.  The corners can get dark really quick.

All in all, Tilt Shift is a nifty little accessory app for your Windows Phone camera. You can create some unique looking images by shifting the depth of field around. Tilt Shift is a mango app and has a free trial version. The full version will run you $1.99 and you can find Tilt Shift here (opens in new tab) at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Tilt Shift Tag

George Ponder

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.

  • I'm sorry to say, but I don't think you really got the meaning of that App when I'm looking at the sample shots. The main use of TiltShift effects is to make big things look small, for example cities, trains, cars, whatevers. Stuff that is "huge" should look like figures. It's not a good idea to photograph figures, especially the tank. Those pics look just, well.. like they would look like if you take them with a decent camera...
    Take this example of a good photo using this technique.
  • Actually that is not at all what the main use of a TiltShift lens is for, the main use is perspective correction (i.e. Making vertical lines actually vertical). It just happens that this minituarization trick can also be pulled off.
    Look here for an example:
  • You're right of course. I don't know how that slipped from me, I was somehow confusing this with a lensbaby (which is a bit different)
  • You are not actually changing the depth of field with this app, you are merely defocusing areas of the image, not the same thing at all. If it did indeed change the depth of field the letters in the back drop would be uniformaly blurry, they are clearly not (pun intended)
  • Although they said that about the tilt shift lenses, and they actually do that. The app of course, does not. It just generates an effect that looks like it.
  • It doesn't even really do that,  at least not in regards to depth of field. It is true that with a real tilt shift lens one can adjust the dept of field, not just the out of focus area (assuming a fast enough aperture and large enough sensor) But the sensor on a WP7 is far too small to ever give you a narrow DOF and the app cannot change that.
  • The app applies an effect that can appear to change the depth of field by defocusing or blurring portions of the image.  All of which can change an images perspective that at times makes large items seem miniature.   Maybe a landscape would have been better but it seems here lately, Alabama's weather has been more like Seattle's with rain just about every day I have available to take pictures.  I'll try to find a good outdoor shot to see if I can match Elysium and Mehranmo's examples and add them to the post. Thanks for the feedback.
  • Hmm, so technically this is a ½ Tilt simulator app. The shift function is used to control perspective, making converging lines parallel or, vice versa, exaggerate the viewing angle. Tilt alters the focal plane either increasing or decreasing (the miniturization effect) what can be in focus within the image. As it is, it's a strategic blurring app…but good fun, nonetheless.
    And only because I'm also from Birmingham: it's vin-yet (vignette).