Although I had brought a “proper” camera on my last trip to Japan, it was woefully underused. Instead, my Lumia 820 saw most of the action, save in the Osaka Aquarium. Perhaps a 920 or 925 might have removed the need for the camera completely!
Smartphone cameras these days are powerful enough to replace most compacts. After all, all you really want is the memories; and as they say, the photographer is more important than the equipment. So… what apps are great for travel photography?
1. Camera 360
This is a gorgeous camera app with a really neat “compass” UI, that presents tons of functionality in an easily accessible manner. It’s the first WP8 camera app I’ve seen with a manual focus function (as of v1.0)! As a China-made app, the devs have chosen to focus on Chinese social networks. So if you’re not on Weibo or Renren, sharing will have to be through other means. [update: I’ve been told that Facebook and other networks will be making an appearance soon]
Download Camera360 here.
2. Camera Roll Sync
Although you can automatically sync photos to SkyDrive on WP8, I still like to keep this app for the following reasons: (1) I usually won’t have data roaming, (2) Uploading seems to increase the time taken to save a photo. With this app, you can backup your vacation photos back at the hostel, or wherever there’s free WiFi.
Download Camera Roll Sync here.
3. Timelapse Pro
Timelapse Pro is a neat app that helps you take, well, timelapses. You can set intervals and file sizes, and if you upgrade, it can even create a mp4 video hosted on their server. Otherwise, you could always save the photos and use your own software to create the timelapse. I had fun taking a timelapse of the train journey on my Japan trip.
Download Timelapse Pro here.
If you didn’t get the effect you wanted from Camera360, or you don’t have Nokia’s decent Creative Studio, Fotor is a good app to turn to. Quick loading with a wide array of effects and editing capabilities.
Download Fotor here.
Instagrammers (or should I say “Instance-rs“) will like PlaceCam. It’s a pretty simple concept – add a frame, place name and/or hashtag to your picture before you upload it. #nuffsaid.
Download PlaceCam here.
I just ordered my first photo, so I can’t fully comment on the service yet – but this is a cool concept. Basically, you can send your photos for printing, and they’ll deliver the prints to you! In Singapore, it costs S$1.00 postal, and S$0.45 – S$0.65 depending on the quantity. You can also ship to South-East Asia, Australia, Canada and the United States – where I presume shipping will be more costly.
Download Pixaroll here.
I can’t wait for Nokia’s rumoured EOS phone to appear – that would help me ditch the “proper” camera once and for all. Apps make a huge difference to photos, plus the convenience of the phone trumps the photo quality for the casual photographer. It’s not just Android and iOS that get all the love – there are some awesome photography apps for WP8!
Let me know if you have any other apps to recommend in the comments below. Or you could always find me on Twitter @wasabigeek. Also, check out my Travel category for more tips on making the most out of your Windows Phone overseas, plus some blog posts from my travels!