hi everyone, so i think i spent enough time with the htc one m8 camera now to kind of offer you some thoughts on what i’m really seeing here. now overall it is a very good camera and it’s incredibly versatile. but there’s a few decisions that htc made here which confuse me slightly. they don’t seem to have been made forwhat i would sort of describe as a clear consumer business case. so you know, for instance, the htc one m8 does not feature optical image stabilisation unlike its sibling the m7
which does. now this is a really puzzlingthing because high-end smartphones, you know, theflagship smartphone these days you will not find one without optical image stabilisation. so the question is why on earth did htc decide to remove one of the most important features from modern cameras an ability to automatically stabilise the image using hardware not a software process and take it out? there doesn’t really seem to be any logical reason other than a supplyconstraint. they simply couldn’t get hold of the optics. not enough. apple apparently is taking all of them at
the moment and supplliers simply will not give htc the products that they’re looking for to put into their smartphones. now ultimately what thatmeans is htc had a decision to make. if they’d have launched the 4 ultrapixel camera without optical image stabilisation they’d have been laughed at by everybody and some people are laughing at them. i’m mildly amused they would do this but ultimately moving to a duo camera system acted as a little bit of a kind of smoke and mirrors. well with one hand we
take this way but with the other hand we give you this. oh look 3d effects. but ultimately that loss of optical image stabilisation you can feel it in the images. certainly when i’ve compared to old shots taken on the m7 in very similar conditions. and what i found was the lack of sharpness on the m8 is slightly disturbing and ultimately that does come down to the fact that those small little micro vibrations from your hand when you’re taking the image just allow for a small amount of additional blur if you don’t have the optical image stabilisation there. if you
do then you tend to get what we class as pin sharp images as long as you’re not massively shaking your hands anyway. and again we can also see this in videofootage as well. a chap on youtube has done a really excellent test where he took the m7, he took the m8 and he ran through an airport whilst obviously filming and you can seequite clearly that the m7 provides far superior video because it’s not massively shaky. obviously he’s walking or running throughthis airport. there is a small amount of shake
on the m7. you can see some movement: but not like the m8 where it’s just a juddery mess. ultimately, if you love video don’t buy the m8. it’s as simple is that. because for anyopportunity where you’re recording video you have to have optical image stabilisation if you want anything like a decent image. this especially comes into play with any fast panning shots you might do as well. ultimately i like what the m8 is doing from a camera point of view
in some areas. but, that’s only really downto the features that come from the duo camera. they’re cool, they’re kind of quirky. they don’thave any value beyond the smartphone at the moment which is a real shame. what i don’t like about the htc one m8 camera is the general lack of sharpness in theimages. you have to go in and add that back in through a digital process. so you can go in and tweak that in the advanced settings but i believe that is basically
applied after the image is taken. it’s digital sharpening. likewise the colour and saturation are awful out of the box. again you need to go in and you need to notch those up a few to get something that actually feels like it has any life at all. now in part htc may very well have done this to make their camera filters appear more wowy and zingy. it’s well known within photography circles that if you shoot your image as flat as possible ie. knocking out as much of the colour and saturation as possible at the timewhen you shoot the image
you can then add that back in later and you have a lot more control. likewise any filters you might apply will generally have an easier time becausethey’re not having to deal with, you know, loads of saturation in one area particularly and you know you get a much more even effect from the filters. so it could very well be that that’s what htc decided to do here. now the problem with that is if you’re the kind of person who likes to snap and share, the images that you’re quickly snapping and sharing to facebook look awful,plus the fact that facebook then mangles your images anyway.
so ultimately you need to go in there andyou do need to tweak those settings to make sure that you’re getting really the best point-and-shoot quality possible. if you’re the sort of person who just likes to apply filters later, fair enough, leave it flat and you’ll get overall better results. now let’s talk about that low light performance because this is an area where htc always has excelled, certainly over the one range of devices. and the same is true here. this still offers the best low light performance that
you will find on any smartphone. period.full stop. end of story. if you like low light photography or if you’re looking for a camera that provides the greatest sort of dynamic range of photography opportunities, you know, shooting in good light, shooting in low-lightthen the htc one m8 has it in spades. that loss of the optical image stabilisation though does compromise slightly its abilitiesunder low light conditions unfortunately allowing for just a little bit more kind of shaky fuzz unfortunately. this becomes evenmore important as obviously when you’re trying
to focus in low light conditions you kind of need to be metering really well. that’s difficult if it’s not quite able to focus properly because there’s justa little bit of extra shake there. the aperture and the lens has been opened up fully to i think it’s the f2.8 for this particular one. you’re going to endup getting just a little bit more perceivable shake in there and that does have a slight impact on the quality of the images. images appear softer in low light than they did on the htc one 7 in my opinion. but overall the fact that this camera is evencapable of taking pictures in low light
when if we were to put something like the samsung galaxy s4 nexus 5, lg’s phones, sony’s phones in a similar kind of test all we would generally see is a smudge. that’s if it even took the picture. becausein most cases it would just say too dark, turn the flash on. so this well, i can think of only one occasion so far where i turned the flash on, simple as that. only one occasion where i needed to turn the flash on to take a picture in low light conditions. that is a remarkable thing.
for my mind while htc have delivered a somewhat compromised camera system here. it isn’t a material impact necessarily on the quality of the images you’re going to get in most scenarios. my kind of testing tendsto be in the little bit more of the extremes. i tend to be looking for those opportunities to show where the camera has some limitations. but ultimately if you’re looking for an all-round shooter the htc one m8 is a very fine option, especially because of that low light performance. it does suffer now from having only 4 ultrapixels which only gives you an image
resolution of something around 2,000 pixels, whichultimately these days is starting to look a little old school. i actually remember buying my firstdigital camera digital point-and-shoot and it had 3.4 megapixels on it. now fair enough. we’re dealing with ultrapixels here but that lens was also a f2.8, so you can see that that was nearly15-years-ago. we have a very similar optical arrangement in some respects – a high end point-and-shoot camera from 15-years-ago that was digital.
very very similar resolution, same amount of light coming in etcetera, so it’s quite an interesting one that, that htc might be saying that these sensors are better in a camera, in a smartphone but ultimately if you were actually to putthat same optics into a camera today you would get laughed at. so it’s a very interesting issue for htc really. four ultrapixels, the resolution they’re working with will not hold htc in good stead in 2015. it may not hold them in good stead by the mid part of this year if samsung’s iso cell technology turns out to be
quite a hit. iso cell technology again, itrearranges the way the optics and sensors work so that more light is able to actually reach the sensor. nowwe don’t know yet, whether that is going to make a massivedifference in low-light performance for samsung but certainly an increase of even five to ten per cent additional light may very well bring the s5 within range of low light performance, similar but not identical to the htc one. now just speaking again about the htc one’s kind of
image quality, one of the things that wefound slightly disturbing really is the amount of noise that has found its way into the images this time. personally i think this is going to be something that htc want to look at and maybe patch post release because ultimatelythese images are noisy. even in good light these images are noisy and there is a certain amount of detectablepurple fringing going on as well. something that we’ve seenunfortunately as an overheating issue around the camera.
i’ve only seen it in very, very minute amounts and in part it could be caused by a diffusion of light hitting whatever the actual lens cover is over the top of the optics but ultimately there is just a small fraction ofpurple fringing. if that annoyed you last time, still there but not as bad. so we’ve been sprinkling some of the images that we’ve taken on the htc one m8 throughout this video so that youcan get a bit of a sense for how they look. now obviously youtube, we have to reduce the images to 1080p so they have to be compressed, then they’ve been mangled through the fact that they’ve gone through the video process and youtube. so if you look in the description you’ll be able to find a set of links
those are pointed to where all of the imagesare on our google+ page and we’ve turned off autoawesome on all ofthose images as well so what you’re seeing is as close aspossible to what i’m seeing on my device. however do bear in mind that the way that processing images online works you may see some additional noise and so on that wasn’t there in the original image. but i can assure you the original images do feature a certain amount of noise and futsiness i would say within the pixels thatis just not
too pleasing. normally if we had that kind of situation we would reduce the resolution of the image thus compacting the pixels a bit and helping to sharpen everything up and remove some of that noise but ultimately here we don’t have that kind ofresolution with the htc one m8 you have very little cropping room unfortunately with this camera. and so unfortunately you also have very littleresizing room as well to try and improve the density of those images. but ultimately i like what htc have donehere. i question why they removed optical image stabilisation
because for my mind if you’re a flagship phone and you don’t have that well you’re not a flagship phone, sorry but you’re not. it’s kind of a benchmark in the ground now, a line in the sand as to what we consider to be acceptable optics. now ultimatelyhtc have managed to kind of work their way round that with that some software processing, the addition of the duo camera, but you can feel it and especially in videofootage. it is not nice the loss of that optical image stabilisation i’m afraid. we hope you enjoyed this video. do pleaseremember to like and comment
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