Windows Phone: The Photographer’s Toolkit

Photography never really went hand-in-hand with mobile phones until a couple of years back when smartphones started featuring lenses worthy of shooting in lieu of a dedicated cameras. In 2012, we’ve got phones that are even powerful enough to compete with DSLRs for the average consumer and, on Windows Phone exclusively, we’ve been promised to the HTC Titan II, a phone with a 16-megapixel shooter on the back.

In this roundup, we’re going to take a look at a handful of photography-focused apps on Windows Phone. In the first section, we’ll take a look at those for capturing and editing and, in the second section, we’ll look at some bonus ones for sharing and viewing.

Ztitch

Ztitch

Ztitch stitches together multiple images to create 360-degree panoramic images that are put inside a 3D space to give off the effect of physical movement. Once made, you can export panoramic images to your phone’s photo gallery and/or Flickr and explore the surroundings in Bing Maps.

Price: Free
Developer: MrAndrewAu

PhotoTimer

PhotoTimer

PhotoTimer is a simple, nifty utility for your Windows Phone, allowing you add a delay before capturing photos. Just as the name suggests, you can define an amount of time between 0 and 30 seconds before a photo is captured. Plus, you can choose to have up to five photos taken when the timer reaches zero.

According to the screenshot on the app’s Marketplace page, you can even get a spoken countdown until your photo is captured.

Price: Free
Developer: I&T Apps

PhotoFunia

PhotoFunia

PhotoFunia is a photo editing tool that, as the name suggests, tries to inject a little bit more fun into your shots. With PhotoFunia, you can take any photo on your Windows Phone device and add various filters and/or effects. PhotoFunia says it uses proprietary face detection technology to automatically apply the various filters to the images.

PhotoFunia is a free app and has an overall four star rating in the Windows Phone Marketplace, although there’s a few recent reviews that suggest the app’s stability is questionable.

Price: Free
Developer: PhotoFunia

Colorify

Colorify

You’ve probably already seen a grayscale photo that has just a few features in their original colour. This gives off a really nice effect and uses the natural technique of visual hierarchy to really emphasise a specific part of the photo.

Colorify makes this process easy, allowing you to grab images on your device and selectively filter parts of the image from colour to grayscale. If you get the right shot, Colorify can provide some pretty stunning images. With the built-in tools, you can easily share your creations on social networks Facebook and Twitter too!

Price: Free
Developer: Asleroid

Pictomaphone

Pictomaphone

Pictomaphone is a simple photo editing app allowing you to make a variety of adjustments to your shots, right on your phone.

Available adjustments include brightness/contrast, channel mixing, hue/saturation/lightness and colorisation (including easy conversion to grayscale and sepia). Adjustments are made in very simple ways, such as simple sliders and radio fields.

It seems to work pretty well, with a full five-star rating.

Price: Free
Developer: Jermismo

Face Mask

Face Mask

There’s many reasons why you might need (or want) to mask a face in a photograph on your device. As the app’s description suggests, maybe you want to distort it slightly for privacy reasons? or perhaps you just want to inject a bit more humour into your images by adding overlays onto your subject? Microsoft’s own Face Mask app might be the one for you.

Microsoft Research’s Face Mask includes face detection which you can use to distort or apply more than 20 stickers and masks available in the app’s library. By shaking your phone, you can also generate random effects onto your subjects, possible through the app’s multiple face detection tools.

Price: Free
Developer: Microsoft Research

Face Swap

Face Swap

Face Swap is another fun little app that, like Face Mask, is designed by Microsoft’s Research team. Face Swap is a very simple concept; the app detects multiple faces in an image which swap when your device is shaking. Once you’re done, photos can be saved into your library or shared on social networks including Facebook and Twitter.

Price: Free
Developer: Microsoft Research

Measure Note

Measure Note

Measure Note is a tool for annotating photos with lines, text and measurements. The application is positioned for measurements and annotating lengths and angles onto photos of, say, a room or a building. Lines, arrowed lines, angles and captions can all be added, with support for both the imperial and international metric systems.

Photos can be organised into folders, so you can collect together annotated images into projects with ease.

Price: Free
Developer: Pascal Fresnay

MyComic

MyComic

PACE Design’s MyComic is a bit of a different photo editing app. Instead of applying filters or manipulating colour, MyComic allows users to apply comic-style effects through speech bubbles and marker-style text.

Price: Free
Developer: PACE Design

SteadyCam

SteadyCam

Stabilisation can always be an annoying issue when you try and take a photo when holding the capture device with your hands. We’re not still beings, and there’ll be an inevitable chance of blur or distortion even if your phone moves only slightly.

Fortunately, there’s an app to help. SteadyCam allows you to take photos, but with a catch: you need to be still before it is taken. Once held still, the app will capture your scene.

Price: Free
Developer: icydog

There’s a handful of stand-out photography apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace. Now, let’s take a look at a couple of apps for discovering photos, since inspiration can always be a good thing, especially when you’re out and about.

Flickr

Flickr

To kick off this brief section on photo discovery apps we start with everyone’s favourite photo sharing network, Flickr.

Flickr by Yahoo! is a highly popular service for uploading, sharing, viewing and commenting on images and this app allows you to do much the same, especially useful when looking for inspiration when out-and-about.

Price: Free
Developer: Yahoo! Inc

InstaCam

InstaCam

While it isn’t possible to download Instagram itself onto Windows Phone 7 for capture, the availability of it’s APIs mean that third-party clients can at least open and show photos taken and uploaded to the service. It’s basically Instagram, just without the capturing element.

Don’t judge an app by it’s lurid icon; the application itself looks alright.

Price: Free
Developer: Life Ideas

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket is like Flickr in that it’s a popular photo sharing network. While Photobucket attracts a more diverse range of images, it’s still a viable host for your images and a great location to discover someone else’s.

This official app allows you to search Photobucket’s library, download images to your phone and upload and manage your own media.

Price: Free
Developer: Photobucket Corporation

That ends our roundup of photography apps on Windows Phone 7. They’re all free, so there’s no reason for you not to try them out. Hopefully, you’ll find at least one that you like.

If you have a favourite app which we haven’t featured in this roundup, be sure to share it in the comments!