HTC One M8 – Daily Blog – Review – Day 8 – Ultrapixels

Following on from yesterday’s explanation of the camera modes, and the day before that explaining some of the effects, today I am going to explain my thoughts behind the Ultrapixel arrangement on this phone. I previously had the original HTC One, which based on my experiences of that phone and the new M8, helped me create this article.

The M8 has a Ultrapixel lens and a depth sensor lens. At 4.1mp it is definitely not the best camera on the market. Make no illusion about this point. The depth enabled shots that create a bokeh effect either work well, not so well or simply fail. But I am hoping with software updates and developers on board the potential is huge.

However, the Ultrapixel optics is good at picking up subtle differences within a range of lighting but it is poor at dealing with situations where there is a very wide range of lighting in a photo. Sky shots are a nightmare where there is bright sunlight and grey clouds.In my experience. HTC took the decision that this would be more of a social camera and therefore calibrated it to pick up subtle detail when lighting situations have a low level of variance. Eg inside a room for a constant light reading and subtle variances in the shot. Look at my table shot of the mugs yesterday. Great shot.

So what does this mean for outdoor bright shot. Tap on the screen and use a point where the lighting is slightly darker than it needs to be, unless you can find a perfect spot. It is easier to lighten a photo as the information already exists, but impossible to adjust an over brightened shot in the same way.

The HDR mode of the HTC One is far too bright. I am trying third party apps that have an HDR mode and so far the results have been better than the inbuilt camera app. In fact the best app so far is “A Better Camera”. But it is a close call sometimes between using the stock app.

So I mentioned HTC made this a social camera with lots of funky effects to show off to your friends on social media, video highlights of the events all created for you, so in reality the photos where this camera shines are quick snaps to capture that moment that other phones will have missed and in slightly lower but not total darkness lighting eg in a bar, at home early evening. Pets, people and relatively close up shots, macro and such like all work really well.

So is everything else is just average? I don’t think so. In fact, the photos I have captured look wonderful. There is even in manual mode shutter control, so you can set a longer shutter time if required.

See for yourself at a selection of 16 shots and decide for yourself. Click here for Flickr set.

Hello Kitty - taken with the HTC One M8



3 thoughts on “HTC One M8 – Daily Blog – Review – Day 8 – Ultrapixels

  1. Gavin,
    You mention using ‘Manual’ mode you can pre select a shutter time.
    Could you amplify this please, as in does the camera software have a shutter speed selection and if so what range is offered?
    I thought Android OS does not allow shutter control beyond 1sec shooting.


      1. Interesting…. So it appears you can select up to a 4sec shot.
        I must find put how HTC got around the shutter limitation.
        My guess is it is using a group of thumbnails to compile a single shot.
        The author of Camera FV-5 and myself spend some time discussing the limitations Android OS imposes on camera speed.


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