HTC teases huge mobile photography advances in the next 12-18 months

HTC teases huge mobile photography advances in the next 12-18 months
HTC is thinking big in terms of smartphone cameras. In an interview with Vodafone UK, HTC's cam-expert Symon Whitehor reassures us that we'll witness "huge advances in phone optics" in the next 12 to 18 months.” "We’re trying to match the performance of dedicated cameras where one piece of glass inside it costs £3000 alone," explains Whitehor, admitting that HTC won’t match that “in the short term, but we are getting towards those effects."

More specifically, Whitehor and HTC recognize that smartphone cameras have rendered point and shoot cameras effectively obsolete when it comes down to performance and portability. Now, they want to "approach the performance of regular cameras" until it becomes “much harder to justify buying a dedicated camera outside of specialist or nostalgia reasons.” The expert also points out at optical zooming as a "big feature", a deciding factor for smartphone cameras reaching "fully-fledged camera" level. According to him, optical zooming is "not too far off at all for HTC", but "the tech needs to be refined".


It’s good to know that HTC isn’t being overly ambitious with this (although the highlight above does speak otherwise), because the thought of smartphones doing to DLSR cameras the same they did to point-and-shooters seems rather unrealistic at this point.

It looks like HTC is already raising hype for its next year's fagship smartphone and affiliated camera. Some of our readers are a bit weary of HTC hyping its camera technology, as they consider that the UltraPixel imaging in the HTC One and One (M8) didn't live up to its promises. 

While the UltraPixel camera is definitely more impressive on paper than it is in performance, we have to point out that, when it comes to its flagship products, HTC delivers impeccable Android smartphones, all while experimenting with new technology and pursuing innovation - on a strict budget. We are keeping our fingers crossed that HTC's next camera effort will reflect the quality of the rest of its products.

source: Vodafone

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48 Comments

1. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Something more than 4MP would be a good start.

7. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

... I used to like HTC devices and really want them to recover from their current situation... but this is so relevant right now haha, hopefully their advances are somewhat better thought out than the current dual camera silliness...

32. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

The next step in smartphone camera function evolution will be OIS. Lumias have it. Some Android models have it as well. However, the biggest hurdle between DSLRs and smartphone cameras is the image señor size - high-end DSLRs are at the 35mm diagonal measurement, while even to L1020 is a fraction of that measurement. And then there is the image processing of the DSLR. Lastly, there is the matter of optical zoom - kind of hard to match that with a smartphone form factor. Nice for HTC to dream high, though.

41. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Yes and no at the same time. What needs to be done is the phone aspect put on a back burner. With win8 playing so friendly with low end specs a meezly 1.5ghz could pull it off. Then pair it with a dedicated image processor. The backplate that would function just like a dslr's using magnets/half rotation lock, and a battery built into the lens so it doesn't drain the battery. It would have a dual battery system, the original lens (look below) would have a 500mah battery while the device could chug a 1500 near the base and take up the entire base if need be. The stock lens would be a simply flat one that would look like a normal camera, the next would be taking that off to reveal a DSLR like sensor preferably 25-30mm. This would leave a good 2/3rd's of the phone dedicated to a camera/parts. Since the back is a 5in-6in screen, there is no need what so ever for physical buttons. It would look like a thinner version of a Mirrorless DSLR. It can be done, but at what cost and who would buy it?

40. phones522

Posts: 94; Member since: Jan 27, 2010

Hows 5?

42. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

hahahaha seriously. I remember back in the HTC EVO days, the EVO was pretty much unmatched. The display was huge and responsive and the camera was 8mp which back then was amazing. Samsung's camera's weren't horrible but they couldn't compete, Motorola and LG....mehh...and Sony had zero devices so they weren't even in the game at all at that point. The HTC One was/is an amazing phone, their new Sense UI is very modern and responsive, their build quality is excellent and looks like a true flag ship device should be. There just was one problem(same problem the M8 has) the "ultra" 4 megapixel camera. The front facing camera was good(loved the wide lense on it, great for taking photos with someone else) but the "ultra" camera was very disappointing. Sure on facebook mobile, the photos were decent, but try zooming in and it's a mess. They really screwed themselves over by doing it once again, I really hope they just go back to the basics and put out a great 13/16mp camera like Samsung and LG has.

47. TGreg104

Posts: 38; Member since: Jun 14, 2011

Megapixels do not matter unless you are printing the photos on anything larger than standard picture sizes (4x6). Educate yourself

2. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Expect Huge camera gimmick advances following

16. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Did you read the actual news? Since when is "optical zoom" a gimmick?

33. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The problem is that people are fine with iPhone level cameras with no optical zoom. If HTC wants to not be garbage, they need to give the consumers what they want. And the LAST thing I want is some huge ass multi lens camera module making my phone fatter, more expensive, etc when I am fine with no zoom. If you can add optical zoom with no compromises, that is just gravy. But let's not fool ourselves. HTC is the king of compromises like they showed with the 4 ultra pixel camera that makes your day time photos look like s**t in favour of better night time ones. And this dual lens garbage that adds like 7mm of height to your phone. Lol

37. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

See if you spent more time researching possible solutions to what you are dissing instead of dissing HTC maybe you knew about CorePhotonics, they were able to do a dual sensor module which should occupy the same space as the current dual sensor, dual 5 MP sensors with 13 MP upscaling and 3x optical zoom.

22. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

Probably not. I am sure that these folks at Htc are real educated persons. Perhaps m8 are just an experiment.

25. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

lol this grammar

27. true1984

Posts: 865; Member since: May 23, 2012

so we got trolled into being beta testers? weak....

48. riginal

Posts: 9; Member since: Apr 15, 2014

commenting the same crap on every htc article really shows your ignorance M8's camera & its ultrapixel has its advantages over other smartphone's cameras Go educate yourself or check some samples from an unbiased place like Techradar & XDA not hilariously ridiculous reviews & camera tests done by phonearena & gsmarena

3. Anshulonweb

Posts: 468; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

in next 1.5 years I guess Nokia and sony will have something better than this.....

36. babyk

Posts: 379; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

yes but i guess during HTC time you would have spent your money on it

4. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Not again htc, focus on the underlying image quality and resolution, not everybody use those bokeh effects.

5. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

Three cameras?

10. express77 unregistered

But still 4 mp.

6. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

HTC announces "huge mobile photography advances" for next generation flagship: HTC One M9 -- "TripleAxis HyperVision", with three 4MP cameras. (12 months later) HTC One M10 -- "QuadSynergy UltraVision" with four 4MP cameras.

8. zuckerboy

Posts: 898; Member since: Dec 22, 2011

lol good one :D

11. express77 unregistered

HTC will die if they keep putting 4mp camera in flagships. If they refuse to put bigger sensor, costumers will refuse to buy their flagships.

31. a22matic

Posts: 17; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

Like me! I've had HTC phones or the last 4+ years, but have refused to get the One 2013 and One 2014 due to the 4 MP camera. Looks like Sony is my next phone. Hopefully HTC does something different with the camera (bump up in MP) next year.

12. Beijendorf unregistered

Actually, the Toshiba dual-sensor setup gives you high quality 13 MP images using two 5 MP sensors. It's called computational photography, and it's awesome! In a similar style, Pelican Imaging has 16 lenses each capturing a 0.75 MP image. The merged end-result is a high-quality 8 MP image. So if HTC did a dual or triple-sensor setup, each having 4 MP, the end result could be amazing. Instead they have a gimmicky depth-sensing thing that won't work close to objects or in dark areas. I wept a bit inside when they announced that.

23. drazwy

Posts: 355; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

But that's not what HTC has done with their dual cameras.

28. true1984

Posts: 865; Member since: May 23, 2012

thats what he said...

30. Beijendorf unregistered

No, not yet. That's not to say that they won't use such an approach in the future. What they went with instead offers vastly improved autofocus when shooting video compared to the traditional setups. It also uses less battery compared to a computational imagery setup, which may ultimately be why they chose this route.

35. AppleHateBoy unregistered

According to Anand (Anandtech), Galaxy S5 matches the HTC M8 in Autofocus Speed, with a single camera.

38. Beijendorf unregistered

Unlike the S5, the M8's secondary camera determines the focus depth and sets the main camera to it directly. On the S5 you have to go through the whole "focusing" endeavour where you go from minimum to maximum focusing distance so the camera can determine which is most in-focus. It doesn't matter when taking photos, but it makes a world of difference when recording video since the constant refocusing can ruin an otherwise good video.

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