Windows Phone 8: Photo and Lens Apps (build video)

I love the content that came out of the build conference last month. However, while I learn a lot from the videos, it feels like the information is trapped in a 40-50 minute video and, frankly, no one has that kind of time. So as I watch the videos, I’m taking notes to help me navigate to the parts I need when I come back to them later.

Notes for Windows Phone 8: Photo and Lens Apps (Eric Bennett)

0:00 – 1:00 – Lens apps are for creating “more than photos”. “Building a lens, new camera api, sharing and editing”

1:00 – 5:00– Demo 1 – opens the camera and opens Photosynth (which is about creating panoramas – must download). No code in this demo.

7:30– What makes a lens a lens. Lenses can be built with XAML with C# for UI (but have access to C++).

12:00 – There is a Photos_Rich_Media_Edit Extension as well (launches a “RichMediaEdit” in the URI and a file token for identification). There is the possibility of saving the raw image at the time of capture and then edit it in a different way later on. Look for “Lens Design Guidelines” on MSDN

19:00 – 23:00– Demo 1 – Coding a lens –


  • Adds Requirements for front and rear cameras
  • Adds Extension stuff (Camera_Capture_App and Photos_Rich_Media_Edit)

Shows the UriMapper in the App.xaml.cs

(back to presentation, doesn’t run the app at this point)

23:00 – showing the WP8 imaging apis (captureSequence) better access to preview and video streams (and C++ for existing imaging libraries). These are in Windows.Phone.Media.Capture

24:30 – the api stack as an image (native , sensors, as well as the capture apis)

26:00 – sensor changes – SetProperty(property, value)

GetSupportedPropertyRange(sensorLocation, property)

Can set

  • Exposure Compensation
  • Exposure Time
  • ISO (sensitivity)
  • White Balance (in Kelvin)
  • White Balance Preset
  • Scene Mode
  • Flash Mode
  • Flash Power

Really powerful for photo-focused applications.

28:00– Capture Sequences – can apply properties just at the time of capture

Open => create => specify => prepare => capture => process => save

30:00 – 39:00back into demo

MainPage.xaml.cs – Check to see that the camera exists, loads the camera

(uses PhotoCaptureDevice)

photoCam = await PhotoCaptureDevice.OpenAsync(CameraSensorLocation.Back, supportedResolution[0]);
photoCam.SetProperty([camera sound plays]);

	CameraCaptureSequence _capSequence = photoCam.CreateCaptureSequence();
	_capSequence.Frames[0].DesiredProperties[KnownCamerPhotoProperties.ExposureCompensation] = 12;
	//(also sets the mode)
	// need to check to see if these values are supported before we set them.
	MemoryStream imageStream = new MemoryStream();
	_capSequence.Frames[0[.CaptureStream = imageStream.AsOutputStream();
	await photocam.PrepareCaptureSequnceAsync(_capSequence);, SeekOrigin.Being);

There is a SampleLabs project(thank God)

39:30– Lots of other stuff in this slide, preview Audio/Video APIs, Live Preview Pixels, Photo/AudioVideoCaptureDevice

GetPreviewBufferY(), GetPreviewBufferArgb(), GetPreviewBufferYCbCr()

AudioVideoCaptureDevice Capture/Streaming

“VideoTorch” access ???

41:00– Sharing and Editing

43:25– auto upload background agents (in the background but only WiFi)

45:00– additional resources (documentation, Sample Code on MSDN


MediaViewerSample (can’t find on MSDN)

Trying to build a lens in the emulator (you can do some stuff, but not very much)

47:00– talk ends, questions begin

These are phone specific APIs

2 thoughts on “Windows Phone 8: Photo and Lens Apps (build video)

  1. Most camera phones are simpler than separate digital cameras. Their usual fixed focus lenses and smaller sensors limit their performance in poor lighting. Lacking a physical shutter, most have a long shutter lag. Flash, where present, is usually weak. ..

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