Lumia Imaging SDK 1.2

Lumia Imaging SDK 1.2 – now graduated from beta - is ready for the converged Microsoft Windows platform, giving you access to a powerful library of exciting image-manipulation tools, which makes creating the next generation of imaging apps for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 devices quicker and easier. Designed from the ground up with performance and a low-memory footprint in mind, the library’s functions don’t put a strain on the user’s device, which makes editing high-resolution images swift and engaging.

The technology behind the Imaging SDK is well proven; in fact, we at Microsoft use the same SDK to create our own imaging applications, such as Creative Studio. Thousands of developers are also using the Lumia Imaging SDK to create great imaging experiences for Windows Phone users. Check out the apps Kids Story Builder, 4Blend HDR, Momento, Pikura and Smart Resize, winners of our developer competitions, and many other apps built with the SDK.

Download the Lumia Imaging SDK now

Features and capabilities

The following features are included in Imaging SDK 1.2:

  • Partial JPEG decoding
    For blazingly fast previews, application of effects, rotation, and cropping of high-resolution images, use Random Access JPEG (RAJPEG) technology to access image data without decoding a whole JPEG image.
  • Backward compatibility with Lumia Imaging SDK 1.0 and 1.1.
    This SDK update maintains API compatibility and enables a seamless upgrade path for developers using the earlier version of the SDK. The API is available from all Windows Runtime languages including Javascript, is easy to use, and comes with a range of intuitive classes and methods.
  • Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 support.
    Illustrating the potential of Windows platform convergence, the library is available on Windows 8.1 (x64, x86 and ARM) and on Windows Phone 8.1. It is derived from a single code base with no API breaks, making it possible for you to reuse a lot of your code when porting across the platform.
  • More than 50 filters, effects, and enhancements.
    The library is packed with effects, filters, and enhancements for you to use, from the simple (such as auto-enhance, frame, and brightness) to the more advanced (such as chromakey, adjusting RGB levels, hue, and saturation). The SDK also includes Interactive Foreground Segmentation, Lens Blur, and single-image HDR effect.
  • Roll-your-own filters.
    You can create entirely custom filters for your own unique effects.
  • Crop, resize, rotate, and undo.
    The SDK supports cropping, rotating, and resizing. You can crop and rotate in one step with the Reframing API. What’s more, you can take advantage of the built-in unlimited-undo functionality to encourage users try out different filters and combinations of filters without fear of losing any changes.
  • Support for moving pictures.
    With the 1.2 update, you can create shareable animated sequences similar to cinemagraphs using the Animated GIF API and the Image Aligner API, which helps stabilise the resulting image. With the Windows Phone 8.1 photo sequence mode, creating mini-movies is now very quick.
  • Selective editing.
    Local Blending and Custom-effect Block Processing make the SDK even more efficient by allowing selective processing of image regions instead of requiring full-image processing.
  • Use the camera as a source.
    Use the Camera Helper API for easier access to camera functionality.
  • Powerful on low-spec phones.
    Performance and memory are optimised, making it possible to create beautiful imaging experiences even on low-spec phones.
  • Full User Experience control.
    The Lumia Imaging SDK gives you full control of the UX delivered by the apps you’ve created with it.

Example apps

The Lumia Developer’s Library provides full-featured example apps, with full source code, through which you can discover some of the features and possibilities of the SDK.

  • Filter Effects
    This is a simple and easy-to-understand demonstration of filters, with real-time manipulation of filter properties. Processed images can be saved in JPEG format to the camera roll. This example app is also available as Universal app for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1.
    Get the app from Windows Phone store ›
    Get the app from Windows Store ›
    Get the sample code ›
  • Filter Explorer
    This demonstrates some of the image-editing capabilities and performance of the Lumia Imaging SDK, by enabling the user to apply a number of filter layers to photos. When a photo is taken or opened, it is shown with a random filter applied, then the app flips through versions of the photo with various filters applied. This example app is also available as Universal app for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1.
    Get the app from Windows Phone store ›
    Get the app from Windows Store ›
    Get the sample code ›
  • Real-time Filter Demo
    This demonstrates the use of the Lumia Imaging SDK for real-time image effects. Effects selected from the application bar are applied to the stream received from the camera and are shown in the viewfinder. This example app is also available as Universal app for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1.
    Get the app from Windows Phone store ›
    Get the sample code ›
  • Chroma Key Demo
    This demonstrates the Lumia Imaging SDK’s chromakey filter by making a colour transparent from the camera viewfinder and replacing it with either a video or transparency checkerboard pattern.
    Get the app from Windows Phone store ›
    Get the sample code ›
  • Real-time Blend Demo
    This demonstrates real-time use of the blend filter provided by the Lumia Imaging SDK. The selected texture, using the selected blend mode and blend-effect level, is applied to a stream received from the camera and is shown in the viewfinder. The user can explore the results using various textures, blend modes, and blend-effect levels. It also includes local blending of smaller images with drag, pinch-zoom and rotate gestures for exact positioning, size and orientation.
    Get the app from Windows Phone store ›
    Get the sample code ›
  • Lens Blur
    This demonstrates the usage of the Interactive Foreground Segmenter to create a mask (foreground/background). Then, Lens Blur Effect (also known as Bokeh) is applied to the areas that were marked as background, using the user-selectable blur kernel shape and size.
    Get the app from Windows Phone store ›
    Get the sample code ›
  • Image Sequencer sample
    This demonstrates the use of the Image Aligner and Gif Renderer APIs (new in the 1.2 SDK) for creating cinemagraph-style animations in animated GIF format. Version 2.0 added photo sequence capture using the device camera, besides which there are example image sequences to be used as basis for the alignment and animation. User can manipulate the animation by limiting the animated area to a small rectangular section, and by stabilizing the images in order to eliminate unwanted shaking.
    Get the sample code ›

See these and more sample projects here ›


Complete documentation of the Lumia Imaging SDK is provided in the Lumia Developer’s Library. A dedicated section contains a quick-start guide; an overview of core concepts; details on how to add libraries to a project, example projects, information about typical compilation errors, an API reference; and the Lumia Imaging SDK License Agreement.

Read the Lumia Imaging SDK documentation in the Lumia Developer’s Library ›
See the API reference ›


In addition to the information provided in the Lumia Developer’s Library, you’ll get a great introduction to the latest release of the Lumia Imaging SDK in this Lumia App Labs webinar: What’s new in Lumia Imaging SDK 1.2 (beta)

If you haven’t yet worked with the Lumia Imaging SDK, you may also find these earlier webinars helpful:

Lumia App Labs: Introducing the Lumia Imaging SDK 1.1, which covers some of the features that are new in this release, such as single-image HDR effect, lens blur effect, interactive foreground segmenter, and of course, using the SDK with Windows Phone 8, and Windows 8.1. Watch the video ›

Lumia App Labs: Introducing Lumia Imaging SDK 1.0, which gives an overview of the final release of the Lumia Imaging SDK 1.0, including some of the new functionality in this release, including the new architecture, the chromakey filter (“green screen”), and gradients, as well as changing filters dynamically. Watch the video ›

Lumia App Labs: Using the Lumia Imaging SDK (beta), which provides a good overview of the SDK’s core features. It shows how to download the SDK and set up your development environment. It also demonstrates practical ways to apply effects and filters in your imaging apps; shares tips and tricks to help you optimise app performance; and provides links to resources that you can use to make the most of your imaging-app projects. Watch the video ›

Lumia App Labs: Working with high-resolution images in Windows Phone 8, which provides details on working with high-resolution images captured with the Lumia 1020 smartphone. Watch the video ›


    The Lumia Imaging SDK and library are available free of charge. You can use the library for developing apps to be published in the Windows Store or the Windows Phone Store.

    For more details, see the Lumia Imaging SDK License Agreement.

Download the Lumia Imaging SDK now