pictures

Instagram is a popular photo sharing application/service found on other smartphone platforms. For the most part, Windows Phone users have been eager to see Instagram app made available in the Windows Phone Store. But a change in Instagram's Terms of Service may change the level of excitement an Instagram Windows Phone app may have.

Effective January 16, 2013 Instagram will claim worldwide license to any content posted to the service. That means Instagram could use your photos for advertisement or sell them to third parties without any compensation headed your way.

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Photo Maps is a Windows Phone 8 photography app that mixes your images with a map detailing the location of the photo. Photo Maps isn't like Image Map where your photos are mapped out based on where they were taken. Instead, Photo Maps lets you take a photo and adds small Bing map of your location to the image.

Maps choices can be set from within Photo Maps' settings and you can choose between road, aerial, hybrid and terrain map views. Camera controls are rather limited in that you can only turn on/off the flash and toggle between the rear/front cameras from within the app.

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While some Windows Phone photography apps have a sharing feature native to the application some, such as Cinemagraph (here's our review), don't. In these cases you rely on your Windows Phone Pictures Hub options to share these images.

You've just created a fantastic animated GIF through Cinemagraph and are eager to share it with friends or family. Once the image is saved to your Windows Phone, head over to your Pictures Hub and go into the Camera Roll gallery. Find the Cinemagraph image you want to share, pull it up to full view and tap the three dot menu.

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Cinemagraph is an exclusive app for the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices such as the Lumia 920 that lets you create animated GIF files.  The app captures a series of photos and then presents it in a still picture style that brings any animation within the picture to life.  Cinemagraph also allows you to adjust the amount of animation present on the image and once you get things just right, save it to your Pictures Hub.

Cinemagraph files are a bit on the huge side and we found image quality wasn't always consistent.  Still, Cinemagraph is a nice photographic tool to have on your Lumia 920 or 820 Windows Phone.

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deviantART: Windows Phone App Review

deviantART is a popular photography/art website and the deviantART app brings it all to your Windows Phone. It not only pulls in the 240 million plus photos and pieces of art from deviantART but also allow you manage your deviantART inbox, favorites, gallery and other deviantART account features from your Windows Phone.

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We know that the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone captures impressive night photos. The optically stabilized camera with BSI sensor sheds light on some of the darkest scenes.

But how does it compare with a stand alone digital camera? Windows Phone Central Reader, Keng Chang, took the issue to task and compared his Canon 1DX DSLR to the Lumia 920. The results aren't all that surprising but does speak highly of the Lumia 920's low light performance.

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The past two generations of Windows Phones have produced two innovative cameras. The 16mp camera on the HTC Titan II and the 8.7MP camera on the Nokia Lumia 920.

Both cameras are similar in that they use a back lighted sensor (BSI) that gives both cameras an edge with low light photography. The Titan II has the greater resolution and digital stabilization. The Lumia 920 has a faster lens (f2.0 vs the Titan's f2.6) and optical stabilization.

But does one of these Windows Phone camera giants have an edge as far as image quality is concerned?

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The Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X Windows Phones are fitted with some really nice cameras.  While it may be a topic for discussion on which camera is the better of the two, we've got two WPCentral Forums discussions going on that nicely shows off the capabilities of these two Windows Phone cameras.

We have some fantastic shots being shared over in the forums like the one above was taken by Sahkolihaa with the Lumia 920 of a sunrise in England.  You can find the Nokia Lumia 920 photo sharing discussion here and the HTC 8X photo sharing discussion here.  If you have a favorite photo taken with your new Lumia 920 or 8X, head on over to the forums and show them off.  We've got a few more pics after the break.

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One of the key focal points of the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone is the 8.7 megapixel camera with Pureview technology. Nokia ventured into uncharted territory with the 41 megapixel Pureview camera on the Nokia 808 and we waited with much anticipation to get our hands on the lower resolution camera that was fitted to the Lumia 920.

We saw plenty of post production samples of how this camera shines from the optical stabilization handling a ride on a remote control car to low-light demo we witnessed at the New York launch event. The Lumia 920 has the potential to take our Windows Phone cameras where they've never been before.  While the pre-release demos and samples were impressive, we needed to get our hands on the Lumia 920 and see for ourselves how well the 920 performed.  

After taking the Lumia 920's camera out for a test drive over the past few days it is an impressive camera.  Low-light performance is remarkable but the camera is hindered by a few in-camera settings.  Settings that leave images slightly soft. Nothing to make you scream and the softness is easily corrected with post-processing software.  We feel that this softness can easily be fixed with a firmware update to allow the Lumia 920 to reach its full potential.  

While there is room for improvement, the Lumia 920's camera is still impressive and it remains a key attraction for the Windows Phone.

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Fhotoroom: Windows App Review

There a plenty of photo editing options available for your Windows Phone. One such option is Fhotoroom. Fhotoroom is a nicely featured photo editor that has recently migrated from our Windows Phone Store to the Windows Store on your Microsoft Surface and Windows 8 PC.

We took the Windows RT version of Fhotoroom out for a test drive recently and found Fhotoroom to be a capable photo editor with potential but with some room for improvement.

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Microsoft has wrapped up its second monthly photo contest. The October contest theme was your favorite places and there were some really nice shots chosen as the winner.  Such as the photo above submitted by Geoffrey Gelb of the Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland.  Geoffrey shot the photo with his Samsung Focus.

There is no word on what the contest theme will be for next month but once we hear, we'll pass it on. In the meantime, if you're sharing photos via Twitter, use the hashtag #WPPhoto and Microsoft may highlight them on their official handle.

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Windows Phone App Review: Tola

deviantART is a website dedicated to entertain, inspire, and empower the artist in all of us. Tola is a Windows Phone app that taps into all that artistic greatness and delivers it to your Windows Phone.

While not an "official" deviantART app, Tola is a nice app to surf around the photography and paintings that deviantART has to offer. You can browse through the various categories of art or take a gander at the daily Deviations which is a random collection of pieces from deviantART.

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Windows Phone App Review: MagicPhotos

There's not much to the Windows Phone photo editing app MagicPhotos but that's not necessarily a bad thing. MagicPhotos is a simple app that allows you to apply four editing effects to your photos. Going a step further, MagicPhotos allows you to deselect these effects to give your images a unique appearance.

MagicPhotos is a nice photo editing app for your Windows Phone if your looking for a small collection of straight forward editing tools or just looking to expand your editing app library.  It's not as feature rich as... say... Thumba, but it does a nice job of things.

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Windows Phone App Review: Pickr

Pickr is a photography app for your Windows Phone that lets you browse and search for images that are posted to Flickr. It's from the same developers that brought us Video Diaries and isn't a bad image surfing app.

Pickr offers pages to view images uploaded to Flickr for the past seven days, which keywords are hot for today, and a favorites page to pin your favorite images to. At the bottom of the Pickr's pages is a magnifying glass button to let you search for images by keyword or by photographer.

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Windows Phone App Review: CamVintagizer

CamVintagizer is a photo effects app for your Windows Phone that allows you to apply some interesting special effects to your photos. If my count is correct, CamVintagizer has thirty eight effects spread across nine categories. Effects can be stacked and edited images can be shared on Facebook or saved to your Windows Phone.

CamVintagizer is a nice photo effects app for your Windows Phone and nice addition to your photo editing library.

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Windows Phone App Review: Picture Info

Here's a short take on a simple, straight forward photo app for your Windows Phone. Picture Info is an EXIF reader that not only displays the details of your photos but it will also map out where the image was taken if GPS information is present.

For those not familiar, digital image files have an embedded EXIF file (short for Exchangeable Image File format) that contains all the technical data on that particular photo. Data can include camera settings, date and time of the photo, image size, GPS coordinates, any copyright information, etc. The amount of data in the EXIF file varies from camera to camera.

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SoMee is a photo editing app for your Windows Phone that was recently updated to version 1.3 and it appears the $1.99 paid version is now free for a limited time.

SoMee lets you crop and apply various filters, effects and frames to your pictures. SoMee will also let you share your photos on Facebook, Twitter or simply save them to your Pictures Hub.

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Microsoft's Windows Phone Monthly Photo Contest - Pets

While there have been a few hits and misses, for the most part our Windows Phone cameras have helped many capture some fantastic photos. In recognition of our Windows Phone photographic talent, Microsoft has launched a monthly photo contest.

Winning photos will be featured on the Windows Phone Blog and across Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest channels. Each month a photo theme will be tapped with the first month asking for pet photo submissions.

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Fhotoroom v2 brings a new look to the photo editing app

Fhotoroom is a popular photo editing app for your Windows Phone that includes a Photo Sharing Network that throws a social networking twist into the pot. We mentioned over the weekend that the app was recently updated to version 2 which brings a new menu and user interface layout to table.

It's not as if the old layout of Fhotoroom sucked wind but the new version moves away from the multiple page editor to a single page layout. The results is a larger preview image and one stop editing.  The Photo Sharing Network may not appeal to everyone but if you're looking for a straight forward photo editor with plenty of filters, Fhotoroom is worth consideration.

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