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

Posted: , by Luis D.

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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".

"We’re trying to match the performance of dedicated cameras where one piece of glass inside it costs £3000 alone."

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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posted on 18 Apr 2014, 05:08 60

1. Planterz (Posts: 2110; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

Something more than 4MP would be a good start.

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 05:21 3

7. nlbates66 (Posts: 328; Member since: 15 Aug 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...

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 09:51

32. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 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.

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 21:45

41. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 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?

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 21:01 2

40. phones522 (Posts: 94; Member since: 27 Jan 2010)

Hows 5?

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 22:59

42. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3117; Member since: 12 Jan 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.

posted on 19 Apr 2014, 10:29

47. TGreg104 (Posts: 38; Member since: 14 Jun 2011)

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

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 05:13 11

2. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

Expect Huge camera gimmick advances following

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 06:53 10

16. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 1122; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

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

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 10:29 2

33. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 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

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 14:26 2

37. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 1122; Member since: 05 Jul 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.

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 07:48

22. refillable (Posts: 1070; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)

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

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 09:22

25. terabyteRouser (Posts: 457; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

lol this grammar

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 09:30

27. true1984 (Posts: 830; Member since: 23 May 2012)

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

posted on 19 Apr 2014, 14:38

48. riginal (Posts: 9; Member since: 15 Apr 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

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 05:15 9

3. Anshulonweb (Posts: 437; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)

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

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 13:59

36. babyk (Posts: 323; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)

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

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 05:16 3

4. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

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

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 05:17 20

5. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 474; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)

Three cameras?

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 05:41 9

10. express77 (unregistered)

But still 4 mp.

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 05:19 32

6. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3806; Member since: 16 Apr 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.

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 05:37 6

8. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)

lol good one :D

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 05:44 4

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.

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 09:41

31. a22matic (Posts: 17; Member since: 17 Oct 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.

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 05:51 5

12. Beijendorf (Posts: 403; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)

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.

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 08:33

23. drazwy (Posts: 234; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)

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

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 09:32 2

28. true1984 (Posts: 830; Member since: 23 May 2012)

thats what he said...

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 09:34

30. Beijendorf (Posts: 403; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)

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.

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 13:01

35. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)

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

posted on 18 Apr 2014, 14:30

38. Beijendorf (Posts: 403; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)

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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