Windows Phone photography apps for the shutterbug in all of us

Windows Phone Central Roundup: Photography Apps

We've focused on photography apps in previous Windows Phone Central roundups and with the release of the Nokia Lumia 1020 with its 41MP PureView camera, we thought it was fitting to roundup a few more photo apps.

And there are plenty photo apps in the Windows Phone Store. You have alternatives for the native Windows Phone camera app, editing apps, apps to let you share your photos and apps to let you discover photos. The selection is so rich, it's hard to just install one on your Windows Phone or narrow the field for a round up.  This week we highlight two older photography apps that have undergone major updates and two new kids on the block. Some are editors, some are camera app alternatives and some are a little bit of everything.

But all are worth trying.

Fotor (free): We've mentioned Fotor before and choose to add it to the roundup because it was recently updated with a major overhaul.

Fotor is a feature rich photo editor and collage maker for your Windows Phone 8 device. The app can fine tune existing photos in your Pictures Hub or you can launch the native Windows Phone camera app and edit a newly captured image.

Editing tools include your basics such as cropping, rotating, as well as adjustments for brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness. Along with the basic editing tools you can add borders, add effects filters from nine categories such as lomo, retro, art and more. You also have a tilt shift tool for added effect.  If you're in a rush or just need an easy way to fine-tune your photos, there is a one touch enhance button that has three levels of automatic adjustments.

On the collage end of things you have templates ranging from 2-9 photos and three aspect ratios to build your collages from. You can edit the border color and styles (shadow, rounded corners, etc.) of the collages as well.

Images and collages can be shared directly from Fotor by your typical Windows Phone methods (sms, email, tap/send, etc.) as well as any third party app that supports sharing.

Overall, we find Fotor to be a very appealing photo editor for your Windows Phone 8 device. Fotor is a free app and you can find it here (opens in new tab) in the Windows Phone Store.

OneShot (trial/$1.99): OneShot is a relatively new photography app for our Windows Phone 8 devices. It's primarily a camera app alternative but includes a few real-time filters to help jazz up your photos. OneShot is also taps into Nokia's Imaging SDK.

Camera controls line the side of the viewfinder and covers flash controls, ISO, focus (manual/auto), shutter speed, scenes, and white balance. You also have processing controls for contrast, brightness, and saturation.

OneShot also has a virtual horizon indicator (to help you keep the photo level), a viewfinder grid (rule of thirds), and a steady detection mode. The steady detection mode places an indicator bar at the top of your viewfinder that will shift in color between green, yellow and red. If you have a steady hold of your camera, the indicator will be green. Depending how unsteady you are, the indicator will be yellow or red.

OneShot isn't a bad option to consider if you want more control over your Windows Phone camera. While OneShot is compatible with all Windows Phone 8 devices, by tapping into the Nokia Imaging SDK makes it a nice fit for the Lumia line of phones.

There is a free trial version for OneShot that gives you full access to the controls but you can't save images. The full version of OneShot is currently running $1.99 and you can find it here (opens in new tab) at the Windows Phone Store.

Fhotoroom (free): Fhotoroom has been around for a while and has been updated a lot. Updates to improve things, not so much to fix things. The latest series of updates have delivered a new user interface for Fhotoroom along with new editing tools. As with Fotor, we've covered Fhotoroom before but felt with the improvements this photography app has received, it deserved another round in the spotlight.

In a nutshell, Fhotoroom is a photo editor, camera app and social network for sharing photos. While you can sign up to share your images with other Fhotoroom members, it's not required to enjoy the editing tools and camera app.

As far as editing capabilities are concerned, Fhotoroom has the basic editing tools such as cropping, rotation, exposure adjustments (sharpness, saturation, white balance, contrast, etc.), and resize. You also have over fifty effects filters, a tilt shift tool, and frames.

As far as the camera application is concerned you have a burst mode, self timer, exposure compensation, flash controls, time lapse settings and three scenes (macro, scenic, and portrait).

Edited images can be saved to your Windows Phone or Skydrive as well as shared on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (via Instagraph).

Fhotoroom may be the oldest app in this week's roundup but it is still definitely a goodie. Fhotoroom is a free app and is compatible with both Windows Phone 8 and 7.x devices. You can find Fhotoroom here in the (opens in new tab) Windows Phone Store.

Hipstamatic Oggl Pro (free): Hipstamatic Oggl Pro is a Windows Phone 8 photography app that is an exclusive to the Nokia Lumia 1020. For the non-Lumia 1020 Windows Phone, you have Hipstamatic Oggl. The non-Pro version is essentially the same, with Oggl Pro tapping into the Nokia camera SDK giving it full access to the camera controls on the Lumia 1020's camera.

So what is Oggl? Described as a "Community for creative people to capture and curate their lives through photography" Oggl is a camera application that allows you to capture, edit and share your photographs through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (with Instagram's blessings by the way).

The camera app can be set for pre-set scenes (landscape, portrait, night, food and sunset) as well as manual overrides for exposure compensation, white balance, ISO and shutter speed.

Creative filters sum up the editing aspect of Oggl with a small selection of gears available with the free version. Gears include different lens effects and film effects. You can subscribe to Oggl's services for $2.99 a quarter or $9.99 annually and have access to a ton of gears. Gears can only be applied to newly captured images and not existing images in your Pictures Hub.

Again, captured images can be shared through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or within the Oggl network. It's an interesting Windows Phone 8 photography app that will appeal to many. Not sure how well the annual or quarterly fee to access the full catalog of lens and film effects will go over but it's a rather extensive catalog.

Hipstamatic Oggl is a fee app for Windows Phone 8 devices that you can find here in (opens in new tab) the Windows Phone Store. Oggl Pro is an exclusive free app for the Nokia Lumia 1020 and you can find it here (opens in new tab) in the Nokia Collection of the Store.

Being someone who has spent a lot of time behind a camera, it is nice to see the development of Windows Phone photography apps and cameras progress so nicely. The Windows Phone Store has such a selection of quality photography apps that it is truly hard to just have one photography app on your Windows Phone.

We've only scratched the surface on what photography apps are available for our Windows Phone. You have HDR Photo, Nokia's Pro Cam and Creative Studio, Fantasia Painter, Photosynth, ProShot and Instance  just to name a few. We try to limit these roundups to four, maybe five titles otherwise we'd be writing for weeks on all the quality photo apps out there. You can also grab that all at once through Nokia's App Social. 

If you have a "can't live without it" Windows Phone photography app that we missed, sound off in the comments below.

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.

  • Both Fantasia Painter ( and Lomogram ( are photo editing apps that I use frequently.
  • Fantasia painter MUST be included in the list.
  • Fantasia painter is a must
  • Thanks for Fantasia Painter link! I would have never thought that this would be such an awesome app with a name like that. I tried the free version and in 5 mins, I bought the paid version - only to support the developer. I'm usually fine with ads but with such an awesome app, I figured I'll throw a couple bucks to the devs. Thanks again!
    Everybody should have this - at least the free version (with all features but with ads), on their phones.
  • I can't understand how anyone could recommend Hipstamatic. Not only does it require a subscription model if you want to use more than just the hand full of basic filters, it's also slow and sluggish.
  • And I don't need to "curate my life", thank you very much.
  • +1
    Hate subscription based purchases; I prefer one lump sum (which is why I jumped at the chance to grap the Feedly Pro lifetime offer when it was available).
  • Does anyone know if any of the image editing apps exist for Windows8? Would be nice to have a companion app on a tablet for post processing and sharing as well as on the phone.
  • Fotor is available on W8
  • Fhotogram is available too.
  • Theres also adobe photoshop express which is easy to use and has a good interface (win8 only)
  • Fhotoroom
  • Will any of these allow me to use my high red pic that the 1020 produces?
  • Not at the moment.. but it's our understanding a few third party apps are working on being capable of handline the 38MP photos the 1020 captures.
  • It's a shame Oggl received such lukewarm welcome from the community. Despite some MINOR bugs and being slow to start of, I find this beautifully designed app absolutely fantastic. Gorgeous filters, and possibilities to completely change the picture with the extra gear.
    A bit expensive though.
  • Can someone tell me the main advantage of using something other the the app that is originally installed? In image quality I mean.
    If I want to shoot with no additions whatsoever is it still recommended to get any of these apps?
  • All of them give the same basic functions as does the native app - when it comes to quality - with some slight nuances.  For example, no app can increase the number of pixels your phone takes, but certain apps can help adjust lighting, focal point, and balancing - which in turn can help make the photo look better.
    I like, for example, Refocus because it allows me to choose which depth of field to focus on.  You know how your phone kind of focuses in and out just before it takes the picture?  Well, Refocus basically takes a picture it each segmented interval as it focuses from foreground to background - and then lets you choose which one you want to keep.  So, while it doesn't enhance pixels or balance, it lets you keep the foreground focused and background blurred.  So that *could* be consider better quality I suppose.
    So if you're looking for ease of usability of your built-in functions of the native camera that you wouldn't normally know about - a thirdparty app is for you.  If you're merely looking to snap a quick picture and don't care about focal length, filters, etc...then no, another app is not going to increase the quality of the photo per se.
    Make sense?
  • First of all thanks for the time you shared, and yes makes alot of sense, I'm a fan of the native app, I think other apps are slower, and its the worst thing to make people wait while you snap that pic, you know what I mean right? Last question, is there a difference if you, for example, increase the exposure while shooting the pic and editing the picture later by lets say increasing brightness? Technically I mean they are the same thing, its all software enhancements, no hardware is doing anything here.
  • As far as I know, Fantasia painter and proshot are the best in editing and camera app sections respectively..
  • Hi.
    You can find good photo application here :
    Personnaly i like monstercam (but its my application ^^). Like OneShot is use Nokia Imaging SDK.

  • Totally off topic but The Verge is reporting that some new features like rotation lock is in development . I find it interesting that WPCentral is late bringing the news compared to other news outlets since WPCentral are the ones that are specifically reporting about WP. Rant over.
  • They have been quite behind lately...on the other hand, it's August. People are on holidays. So let us cut them some slack ;)
  • Yes, that might be it. Although, I would rather like The Verge or Engadget quote WPCentral instead of the opposite.
  • What about camera360? Does anyone use that?
  • Yes I started with camera360, now jumped over to Oneshot
  • Do you think its better? I downloaded the trial of proshot and oneshot and they both seemed better. Worth the purchase?
  • I like the real-time filters of Oneshot, so its currently my first choice. All of them are worth the price :)
  • Yes camera360 is widely used and i am surprised to see they chose oneshot over proshot...
  • SophieLens Pro. Oggl is a joke.
  • Proshot anhone?
  • August 9th, still no Amber and no GDR2. Counting the days
  • Cine on! This is the second 'Roundup' in two weeks that has ignored Thumba Photo Editor. Its editing abilities exceed all the Apps you've reported on, are easy to use and five fantastic results. I cannot imagine why you keep passing it over while praising App after App that focus on filters, like we all want to ruin out photos so we can get people on Instagram to like them :P
  • And as Camera Apps go, HDR Camera will improve the results of any phone camera with static subjects. While HDR was designed to expand photography in general, properly done it overcomes many if the inherent limitations of phone cameras, with stunning results on my L920.
  • Hey guys , anyone having problems with Hipstamatic Oggl (regular version) ?
    Everytime I open the app , it restarts my 8X & if I managed to take a picture, I get a blue square in a white frame .
  • Is Oggl available only for phones with 1GB of memory? Can't find it with L620
  • I really like proshot for advanced shooting but tbh this Is a phone so I rarely use it. I just finished my second WP app "snapshot" built for WP7 (so no real time unfortunately. C# is slow!) but feel free to try it out!
  • Fantasia Painter and Fhotoroom are my two go to apps and they are both awesome each in their own way but one that's never mentioned is Photoplay. For some reason its not in the photo hub but its has its good points if you want instagram like results. Its like Fhotoroom in that it has its own social sharing (with more young ladies posting selfies than other social sharing apps for some reason) and it has more basic editing than Fhotoroom but it has 'vignetting' and 'tilt shift' options that are quick, easy, and have very good results. Don't know its a fact but It also seems to work with my 1020 pics in hi-rez because It lets me zoom down and crop much more than on my 920. Its also like Fotor in its simplicity but it has the vignette option that the otherwise good Fotor doesn't.
  • PhotoCropper for learning how to compose an image.
  • I think it would be interesting an article about other "easy" photo apps. I mean, easy to use photo apps, with no super fantastic options that most people dont use. For example EasyPhoto (, but there are more like this one in the store (and probably better ones) (Disclaimer, i'm the developer of this app. But I think this is not offtopic)