App: Photosynth 1.5 for Windows Phone 8
Category: Photo
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation
Price: FREE

Previously featured here as an app pick for Windows Phone 7.5, Microsoft’s stunning Photosynth app is now available in a native Windows Phone 8 version that adds new features and full support for Microsoft’s latest mobile platform. Photosynth 1.5 is a must-have app for Windows Phone 8.

Put simply, Photosynth is like a panorama creation app on steroids. Instead of just supporting a simple left-to-right capture, in which the taken photos are combined, or stitched, into a very wide finished image, Photosynth lets you capture in the vertical as well. The resulting images are impressive, as you might imagine. But you can also upload your Photosynth creation to the Photosynth service as an interactive panoramic experience, or synth. These need to be seen to be believed. (And yes, you can easily share these creations with others.)

Here’s an example (not mine):

Photosynth 1.5 works much like the earlier version but includes some important updates:

Camera lens integration. In Windows Phone 8, Microsoft supports a new category of “lens” apps that can be launched directly from within the device’s camera experience. Photosynth is such an app, so instead of having to remember the name and location of the app when you want to make a panorama, just use the camera normally, select Lenses, and then pick Photosynth. Yet another way in which the integrated experiences design of Windows Phone is a win for users.

(Note: You may only need to run the Photosynth app manually once, to connect to the accounts through which you’d like to share your synths. It supports Microsoft account, Facebook, and Twitter, and you can share static images or panoramic experiences.)

View shared panoramas – Now you can view the panoramas others have shared with you via email, Facebook, or Twitter directly in the app.

More camera controls. New exposure and white balance locking options help you adjust for various lighting conditions.

Other fixes. Microsoft says it’s also made various bug and stability fixes to the app. Additionally, while a gyroscope is not required, Photosynth will use your device’s gyro if present to enhance the capture experience.

Combined with a good camera, such as that in the Nokia Lumia 920, this app can create some truly stunning imagery. It’s a gray, dank day today here in Dedham, but once it’s sunny again I’ll get outside and make a few myself.

You can download Photosynth 1.5 for Windows Phone 8 from the Windows Phone Store.