While there are a plethora of useful camera apps for Android and iOS that perform a variety of different tasks, Windows Phone is still lagging behind on this front. This makes a fully-featured app such as Camera360Pro a very welcome addition to the market.
Time to focus
Camera360Pro has a similar interface to its Android counterpart and borrows the idea of having different lens for taking a photo, but it's executed in a different way. When you open the app you can either chose to take a picture with the default camera or chose one of nine different lens that provide a variety of different effects. This is quite a cool feature as it allows you to preview what your photo would look like with a filter before you take it, rather than applying a filter afterwards. Hopefully this is one area where Camera360Pro will develop, as the effects are limited at the moment. There are tons of other aspects you can adjust manually before taking the photo, including the focus, orientation and the composition (using a built-in grid). There is also an auto white balance option where you can make various adjustments, although I was never quite sure how much an impact these alterations had on the final photo.
But the fun doesn't stop once you've taken the photo, as there are loads of different editing options. This includes basic options, such as filters and rotation, as well as plenty of advanced preferences, including sharpness, hue, exposure, contrast, shadow and saturation. I can't think of any Windows Phone camera app can rival Camera360Pro in terms of its advanced editing options.
Additional features include the selfie cam, which has a timer of three, five and ten seconds and allows you to mirror the direction of the shot you are taking. There is also what is known as a synopsis where you can find all the information about the photo you've just taken, including aperture, shutter, white balance and resolution. This isn't entirely reliable and sometimes it just said 'unknown'.
Once you've played around with the editing options for a while you can either reset to the original photo, save as a new photo or save over the existing photo. And share on social media, of course.
No help available
While the Android version of Camera360 took me a while to get used to, Camera360Pro for Windows Phone is easy to use and understand. Choosing which 'lens' you want to take the photos with is straightforward, as all you have to do is tap the colored circles in the corner. Editing afterwards is a similarly simple process and it's extremely smooth with instant results.
The editing menus are well organized - crop, effect, adjust, and decorate (ok, that last one sounds a bit strange) while the minimalist design on the photo taking screen means you have plenty of room to see what you're shooting, rather than having a cluttered screen that obscures your subject.
That said, to get the most of the app, you need to play around with it for a bit. For example, you have to long press on the screen when you're taking a photo to adjust the focus, which isn't immediately obvious. Which brings me on to one thing that Camera360Pro sorely lacks: a tutorial. There are tons of great features in the app, but sometimes it takes a bit of digging to find them.
There is also what the developer describes as a 'Secret Tool Bar', which you can access by swiping down on the screen and allow you to manually adjust shot options before taking a picture. Here you can find more options that you can adjust prior to taking the photo. But why would you want these options to be secret - surely you would want to make them as easy to find for users as possible? It's also not entirely clear what all of these options do.
We have a winner
If you have a Windows Phone then Camera360Pro is a must have camera app that will help you not only take much better photos in a really easy way but also carry out advanced editing afterwards. When an app packs in advanced features that are genuinely useful and innovative and makes them accessible for casual users, you know you're on to a winner.