APP OF THE DAY: Nokia Creative Studio review (Windows Phone 7)
Nokia has released a dedicated camera app for its Lumia smartphones, bringing several new features to its Windows Phone range beyond beyond those that come with the phone's camera app.
- Windows Phone 7
- Free (but available only for Nokia users)
Bringing the Lumia up to speed with the HTC Titan and Radar offerings already available, the Creative Studio app, which is free, can be quickly downloaded and ready to roll with little effort.
Once you load it you are presented with the opportunity to edit an image you've already taken, to take a new picture, or to take a panoramic shot that automatically merges four shots into one.
The addition of a Panorama mode is welcomed. Up until now, although HTC Windows Phone owners have had Panorama mode built into the camera for some time, Nokia Windows Phone users have had to use third-party paid-for apps like Pano to create the same effect.
The new app, which works separately from the camera, lets users save the created image and share it via Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr.
A quick play in London on our Nokia Lumia 800 and the results are great, with the camera automatically lining up the next shot. All you have to do is move the phone. We did find however that doing a vertical panoramic shot - where you take four shots vertically rather than horizontally - is a lot trickier because the app seems to work in connection with the accelerometer to get the best results.
But it isn't just about taking panoramic shots. You can add special effects to your photos too, and Nokia offers plenty of options here.
On the after-effects side of things you can add dreamy, freaky, back to '76, summer evening, flawless skin, auto enhance, silkscreen, watercolour, cartoon and sketch, with the app changing the image accordingly.
Applying effects is easy and you get a slider to let you see how the effect alters the picture before committing to it.
Live effects include sketch, night vision, dreamy, cartoon, colour and silkscreen.
If that all sounds too "photographer" and you want something a little more fun, the app has that too - allowing you to apply silly face warp effects to your mates as if you were in the Hall of Mirrors at the fairground.
Here you get mega mouth, pinocchio, super chin, dweeb, alien and twister. All will make you look stupid, all are great fun to catch people with to blackmail people later.
As for adjustments you get crop, rotate, contrast, sharpness, colour, exposure, and colour boost.
Simple and effective, it's a shame that Nokia hasn't been able to "bake" this new features into the camera app, but then we suspect that will come when Microsoft launch Windows Phone 8. Until then, if you are a Nokia user, this will make your photos a lot more fun.