Best camera apps for Windows Phone
19th Dec 2013 | 16:30
There's a world of photography fun just waiting for you
When you think back 13 years ago to the first cameraphone, the things we carry in our pockets now must seem like witchcraft.
Admittedly other Windows Phones aren't ignored, but with Nokia currently dominating the Windows Phone market, it is clear where a lot of the emphasis has been placed. Microsoft's purchase of the Finnish brand only furthers the point.
For those of you that are after a way of making the most out of your snapper, no matter what brand of Windows Phone you have purchased, you'll be pleased to find out that there are a wide variety of camera apps that populate the Windows Phone Store - although we'll warn you: a lot of them like to just put filters on your photos.
With a name like Super Camera, you'd hope that the app is something that will be able to help you make the most of the snapper you have available. Unfortunately, we have seen apps that fail to deliver on the promise that the name implies.
Fortunately, Super Camera provides a decent amount of features that mean it is worth at least a second look. It provides the one feature that nigh on every camera app does by filling itself to the brim with filters. These don't seem to be provided in real time, however, so a slug of post processing is needed.
Super Camera also provides basic image editing, along with speech bubbles and collages. More interestingly, it allows you to make GIF images from video and adding text. This is something that's a little more novel, and has been seen on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4.
You can also create GIF images with Turbo Camera, should you decide that you don't want to use Super Camera. The biggest feature that Turbo Camera offers is, unsurprisingly, the speed, with claims it can shoot photos at over 30fps.
The clue to what LazyLens is about is in the name. It provides an easy way to edit photos without having to spend forever going through varying photo editing techniques, with preset filters and frames.
In all, Lazy Lens is just like every other camera app that does the same, as there are so many different types of camera filter apps. LazyLens wraps this all up in a neat package, with a clean and friendly UI that is based heavily on the tiles of Windows Phone.
Alongside the filters is the ability to perform basic photo adjustments, so you can toggle contrast, brightness and saturation separate of filters.
You can crop and rotate images too. A set of frames are also included to make your images seem more professional.
If you're all about the filters, you could try out Camera Buddy. There is nothing else on offer with Camera Buddy, just some fun filters applied in real time, so you can preview the photo before you take it.
One of the things that is most appealing about buying a decent camera phone is the feeling that it will somehow make you into a great photographer, something that will make you stand out against all your friends.
Secretly we also all harbour the desire to be amazing artists, which is where Sketch Camera comes in. It takes your photographs and applies filters that make them seem hand drawn, on a similar level to the Van Gogh photo booths that you might have seen in amusement arcades.
There are a variety of different filters, (12 at the moment), although the developer has promised more to come in future versions.
If you're after some cool filters, but sketchy ones aren't high on your priorities list, you could try CamWow. It comes packed with real time filters that show you what you are photographing before you've hit the shutter button.
It seems that there is just no getting away from adding filters to your photographs, as Camera Effects is yet another app that adds filters and effects to your images.
As filters are an easy way to hide basic photographic mistakes whilst making them seem fun, we can see why they're so popular.
Camera Effects offers so many different effects that there is no way we could list them all, and whilst there are less, there is an impressive amount of frames that you can add to your photographs.
The app also comes wrapped in a rather attractive interface, with the look of an older camera to make things a little different to others.
In all, there is not much that can be said about Camera Effects, other than it applies some decent effects to your camera.
Awesome effects can also be gained through Lomogram. It too comes packed with many filters (47 at the time of writing), effects and borders to help turn your amateur photographs into something that you will want to share with your friends.
HDR Photo Camera
A lot of keen photographers will also want to be able to take HDR photos, in order to boost the quality of the images they have taken.
With there being a loss of colour associated with single images, HDR photography is one way of making photos seem more vibrant.
Step in HDR Photo Camera. As with every HDR camera, it combines three individually taken photos of different exposures in order to try and create a far more vibrant photograph. HDR Photo Camera also works on individual photographs, using a tone mapping algorithm.
Photo filters are also supported to a basic level. This means that you can take HDR photos with a different tone, such as Sepia or Black and White.
There are other HDR apps out there, so why not take a look at HDR Camera if this isn't the app for you. It works in a similar way, stitching 3 different photos together in order to create a better and more vibrant image.
While Instagram has hit the Windows Phone app store, users shouldn't necessarily jump straight there. There are plently of Instragram alternatives, and of these, 6Tag is widely regarded as the best.
It allows you to do all the things that official Instagram apps on other OS' can, and also adds a lovely design touch on top that makes it fun to use.
You can apply filters, create collages, as well as upload pictures and videos. Viewing, tagging and commenting is also built in, meaning that you can fully manage your Instagram account.
Should 6Tag not be to your liking, the official Instagram app is now here in Beta (as of 25 November) and does all the normal things you'll have seen wistfully on iPhone and Android devices.
Side mention: Strange Camera
If you want to turn your camera into something a little more different, then perhaps Strange Camera is for you. We've taken a look at a variety of different camera apps, yet we HAVE found none that seem to offer the same sort of functionality.
Strange Camera provides the ability to warp photographs, reflect photos down a centre line and make it look like you're looking at the main image through lots of little bubbles. In all, there is a lot that Strange Camera can do, and we have found no real equal in the sort of photos it can take.
We've mentioned it at the bottom as a bit of fun really, as those looking to take serious, or semi serious/artistic photographs will probably want to give it a miss, but you can have a lot of fun with it.