Updated: More HTC Perfume camera rumors: super-fast hybrid autofocus?


Update: Additional information regarding OIS can be found at the bottom of the article

A couple of weeks ago, we heard the first rumors about the camera in HTC’s next flagship. The phone, as you may know by now, is codenamed Perfume and some rumors claim that it will not be called One M10 when it comes out — allegedly, HTC will be discontinuing the One M(number) flagship line in favor of a new naming scheme.

The report back then claimed that the new smartphone will come with a 12 MP UltraPixel main camera, assisted by laser autofocus capable of achieving some really fast focus times. Today, leakster @LlabTooFeR has posted some more info on what we could see used in the Perfume’s camera department.

According to the tweet, the main camera of HTC’s upcoming flagship will be the 12 MP Sony IMX377 sensor. It’s the same sensor, which one can find in Google’s Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P devices. Praised for its extra-large pixel sizes, measuring at 1.55μm (usually, top-tier smartphone cameras have around 1.12μm pixels in their sensors), the IMX377 is capable of collecting more light from a scene, making it much faster in daylight scenarios, and much better at taking snaps when the lighting is dim (check out our camera review of the Nexus 6P).

The front snapper of the Perfume will, allegedly, be equipped with a Samsung “s5k4e6” 5 MP sensor. This one has a 1.34μm pixel size and utilizes Samsung’s ISOCELL technology. The latter is something that Sammy first introduced with the camera of the Galaxy S5 and is basically a tech that isolates various pixels better, limiting cross talk and making details in a shot sharper.

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It seems both cameras will be marketed as being UltraPixel. That’s a term HTC first used a couple of years ago to brand its cameras with extra-large pixels. The UltraPixel snappers in the HTC One and One (M8) had 2μm pixels, but a very low resolution – 4 MP. As a result, image details were sub-par when compared to other top-shelf devices, so HTC ultimately chose to only use UltraPixel sensors for its front-facing cameras. Apparently, with the Perfume, the UltraPixel name may be making a return, albeit with slightly smaller pixels (probably for the better).

The tweet also mentions that HTC’s next flagship will be using laser-assisted autofocus, combined with phase detection autofocus. This somewhat reminds us of the latest Xperias, where Sony chose to combine phase detection with contrast detection to achieve ultra-fast focus times – as low as 0.03 seconds. Whether the Perfume will be capable of such speeds remains to be seen.

So, the only thing one may be asking themselves now is – are we going to see OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) on the Perfume? Google’s Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P lack any type of hardware stabilization, Google claiming that the IMX377’s large pixels are so good at taking a quick snap that it would be redundant. We’ll see if HTC shares that opinion.

Update: @LlabTooFeR has posted another tweet, claiming that OIS is, in fact, present on the Perfume's camera sensor. This would be great indeed, as optical image stabilization would help for nice smooth videos, dealing with the "shaky hand" effect on hardware level, and it would further assist the camera in night time situations, when shutter speeds are a bit slower and it's very easy to end up with blurry shots. If all of this information is correct, it seems HTC's new flagship may pack a heavy punch in the camera department. The only thing that's left is for HTC to get the software side of it right — both in terms of UI and post-processing — and from what we've seen in the HTC One A9, we are hopeful that it just might.

source: @LlabTooFeR

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