Htc one (m8) review: one and only: camera


HTC One M8 Camera: Image unique and Performance

The điện thoại htc One M8 main image camera is very similar to lớn that of last year’s htc One. They mô tả the same UltraPixel sensor, but the M8 uses the image processor hardware of the Snapdragon 801 – và at present the two have different software (although the htc One is to lớn get an upgrade to lớn Sense 6 later this year).

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The idea of the UltraPixel sensor is that while it’s lower-res than the competition, it uses larger sensor pixels for better low-light performance. Its sensor pixels are two microns across, where, for example, the Galaxy S5’s are 1.1 microns.

Shooting performance is great. Focusing is extremely fast, and shot-to-shot speeds are excellent. You can shoot multiple ‘normal’ photos in a second, without even using a burst mode. Things get a lot slower when you use the Night mode in very low light conditions, but otherwise it’s about as fast as an iPhone 5S. điện thoại htc claims 0.3-second focusing speeds, which is the same claim Samsung makes of the Galaxy S5 – và that phone has a phase detection focus layer, missing from the điện thoại htc One M8.

The only thing that really slows you down here is how awkward it can be to switch between shooting modes.

Moving to lớn image quality. Here’s how the htc One M8 compares to last year’s đứng top phone in our classic detail test.


As you can see, the 4-megapixel sensor provides a similar cấp độ of detail to lớn first điện thoại htc One. No surprise there. However, looking at the fine details, the new phone is clearly a bit better at rendering the finer bits.

The thin lines on the front building are more faithful, where they’re oddly expanded in parts on the old model. Part of this may be down to lớn the significantly different lighting conditions, although the new image signal processor of the One M8 should – in theory – improve performance a bit.

Still, we see the same limited detail capture, & some of the old image problems are back. There are two serious ones. The first is exposure metering – the smartphone htc One M8 is all over the place.

It will often hugely overexpose the sky – especially if it’s cloudy. The phone seems khổng lồ take a far more direct approach to exposure judgement than most other phones. Lớn explain – with an iPhone 5S, if you tap on an object the phone will focus on it and judge its metering based on the brightness of that particular area, relative lớn the rest of the scene. The điện thoại htc One M8 will focus on the object too easily enough, but appears to lớn base its metering solely on that spot, rather than taking the rest of the image properly into account.

High light contrast areas are also absolutely riddled with purple fringing/chroma noise. We saw this a fair bit in the smartphone htc One, but it seems to lớn have gotten worse if anything. If the limited resolution alone wasn’t enough khổng lồ put you off blowing these images up, this chromatic aberration should push you over the edge. Here are a couple of images khổng lồ demonstrate:



This purple fringing is the sort of thing we might expect to lớn see towards the edge of a fairly poor ‘normal’ camera lens. But here it affects pictures throughout the shot.

Also note that the colours are rather de-saturated in these images, và that contrast is pretty poor. Reds in particularly suffer very badly. The result is pretty glum-looking images when there’s anything approaching a strong light source in, or just out of, shot.

HDR photographyOne way to lớn solve issues with light sources is to lớn use HDR, which combines multiple shots with different exposure levels. As already noted in the camera app section, the smartphone htc One M8 rather sidelines its HDR mode, and it doesn’t seem lớn be something htc has put a lot of work into.

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It’s decent, but not as effective as the super-smart HDR modes seen in the latest Samsung phones & the Nexus 5.

Low-light photographyIt’s not often you see a camera that has more issues shooting in daylight than dusk/night, but that’s roughly what the smartphone htc One M8 camera is. At night, colour saturation is better – relative khổng lồ what we expect from a thiết bị di động phone. There’s some further loss of detail, but it’s much less than you’d experience from a higher-resolution, smaller px pitch phone.

This approach khổng lồ the camera also helps indoors photography. The điện thoại htc One M8’s shots will be a little less noisy than some of the higher-resolution competition. However, phones lượt thích the Sony Xperia Z2 sidestep the sensor pixel kích cỡ issue by offering a super-processed mode that wipes out virtually all noise from its super-low-light shots.


Are UltraPixels any good?Here’s where we hit a tricky issue. The htc One M8 camera can produce good shots. But it never really rides that high in the way điện thoại htc sells it as doing. In daylight, you’ll get more reliable, ready-to-go results with an iPhone. & in good lighting, we expect the Galaxy S5 to lớn wipe the floor with the smartphone htc One M8 in terms of detail capture.

Our issue is that while the premise of UltraPixels is sound – larger sensor pixels are better – the way điện thoại htc sells them is well off the mark. Here’s how htc sees things, comparing sensor px sizes:


This is closer to lớn the truth:


We should clarify that the largest block here is of an ‘out of date’ camera that is often derided in photo circles for having a sensor too small lớn provide pictures that can compete in its class. If we included your average DSLR, the điện thoại htc One M8 sensor pixel graphic would look tiny.

This isn’t an ‘emperor has no clothes’ case. But those robes aren’t quite as resplendent as the brochure may suggest, folks.


Some of the most satisfying pictures we took with the điện thoại htc One M8 were macro ones. The good f/2.0 lens is capable of focusing at about 10cm distance, which is about standard for a good điện thoại phone.

Other than being able to lớn render a good amount of close-up detail, it was the manual focusing mode that came khổng lồ the fore here. Like so many mobiles, the điện thoại htc One M8’s autofocus system will often fail lớn lock onto small, close-up targets – even in macro mode. The manual focus mode guarantees a nice, close focus. & the phone’s screen is easily sharp & bright enough khổng lồ let you identify focus by eye (focus peaking would be nice, but we’re yet to lớn see that in a mobile).

Macro-style thử nghiệm #1:


A 1:1 pixel crop from the above photo:


Macro-style thử nghiệm #2


A 1:1 pixel crop from the above photo:


Filters và Post-Editing

We’ve already looked at the Foregrounder và Ufocus post-shooting effects, but there’a a lot more on offer too. The filters section offers a bunch of Insagram-style presets, and you can also make your own. It’s pretty comprehensive too, with the following customisable settings:

White balanceLevelsContrastExposureBrightnessSaturationSharpnessGrainVignette

When the issues with many of the phone’s daylight photos can be fixed with a few seconds’ fiddle with these knobs, it seems a shame that the phone’s own image processing engine isn’t able to vì the job itself. You can save your own filter presets – which comes in handy when fixing the common, basic contrast & saturation issues – but it’s hardly ideal.

Here’s a thử nghiệm of what you can vày when adding UFocus và filters lớn a basic portrait:

Step 1: raw image


Step 2: UFocus applied


Step 3: Filters applied

Front-facing camera In an unusual twist, the front camera of the smartphone htc One M8 is higher-resolution than its rear one. It has a 5-megapixel sensor. Of course, it’s of the ‘normal’ type, without the UltraPixel style of the main sensor.

Selfies and such are much higher-quality than the 1-2-megapixel shots you get from other front cameras. There’s more noise than the rear camera shots, but they’re still great. It’s selfie-tastic etc.

Here are a few more main camera shots for good measure. Scroll down for the link to the next page, where we giảm giá with battery life.

Chuyên mục: Tin Tức