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HTC 10 - A closer look at the camera
HTC’s prowess when it comes to design, build quality, software, and audio experience are well known, but one of the reasons for the company’s poor run in the flagship game in recent years has had to do with the camera. The camera experience had fallen well short of the competition over the last couple of years, but with their latest offering, the HTC 10, they are hoping to get back on the right track once again.
- HTC 10 Review
- HTC 10 vs iPhone 6S Plus, Galaxy S7, Huawei P9, LG G5, Nexus 6p & Lumia 950 XL Camera Shootout
- HTC 10 Accessories Review
Has HTC managed to address the camera issues with their latest flagship offering and how does it compare to the competition? We find out, in this HTC 10 camera feature focus!
You will be seeing some selfie video captures throughout the video above, to demonstrate the optical image stabilization that is now also built into the front-facing camera of the device, which is a first for pretty much any front-facing smartphone camera out there.
Apart from OIS and the fact that you can use the front-facing camera to record Full HD video, another great addition is the ability to record high-res 24-bit audio, possible with both the front and rear cameras. As you can see in the video above, the audio capture is excellent, and perfect for users who vlog.
The extra features available with the camera application include panorama and hyperlapse. The camera does a good job with stitching together the multiple images to create a nice looking panorama shot. The same is true for hyperlapse videos, that allows for a long video to be sped up and stabilized. There is also Zoe video, that takes quick 3 second videos on top of the photo that you are already taking, for some nice effects.
HDR mode with the HTC 10 does a pretty good job, especially in the right situations. In most bright conditions, the main thing HDR mode will do is bring down the highlights. While it will also bring up the shadows a little bit, but where it does fall short is when it comes to adding in the color to the shot, which is something that is missing from the overall processing of this photos.
The speed of launching the camera has also been quite impressive, so it is easy to quickly take a shot if you want to. The 10 comes with a useful camera shortcut, that requires a double swipe down on the display when it is turned off, to to quickly launch the camera and take a photo.
Moving onto the image quality, we will be taking a look at a few 100% crops to see how much detail the camera is able to capture. The HTC 10 comes with a 12MP Ultrapixel camera, as HTC still calls it, which uses larger pixel sizes for better low light shots. The lower pixel count does result in a lower amount of detail, as is also seen with something like the Samsung Galaxy S7 camera, which took a similar approach.
As you can see in the photos above, there is a decent amount of detail in the shot, until you crop in, which isn’t an ideal thing to do unless the device features at least a 16 MP camera, as was available with flagship smartphones in 2015. When cropping in, some noise and loss of detail is seen, more than what we would like.
While the loss of sharpness is expected, something that is worth nothing is the inconsistency when it comes to the color reproduction. The HTC 10 is capable of taking some great shots, with a high amount of contrast and a lot of saturation, as seen in the photo of flowers above. However, in plenty of situations, the HTC 10 camera can get overwhelmed by the highlights of a scene, making them blown out, and really skewing the look of a picture.
Even then, it will go for a warmer color temperature, while also lowering the color saturation of the overall photo. That’s not to say that any of the photos look particularly dull, but they do lack the kind of saturation we’ve seen with other current generation flagship smartphone cameras.
As is customary in a camera feature focus, you will see a lot of foodie pictures in the gallery below, so those of you who are Instagram foodies can see what the HTC 10 will be like if you want to take a picture of the dish that is in front of you. We’ve already mentioned the decrease in sharpness in a number of photos, but it’s really not that bad overall. What is worse is the inconsistent color processing, so when it comes to some of these images of food, you may not get the vibrancy that you’re looking for.
That said, the decrease in saturation tends to happen in lower-light conditions, as you can see in the examples above. Looking at these low-light shots, the highlights are being blown out, and almost look like flares in the background, making for a very inconsistent scene. As is the case with most other smartphone cameras in low-light situations, this camera tends to go for a much warmer color temperature, and coupled with the lower saturation that the HTC 10 is already guilty of, these photos lack the punch that we would have liked to see.
So there you have it for this closer look at the HTC 10 camera! Overall, the HTC 10 camera is the best that the company has put out in a while, and it suffers from the pitfalls that any other current generation smartphone camera faces. However, HTC still has a problem with post-processing, with a lack of saturation seen with a number of photos.
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We do have to give credit where it’s due, and the HTC 10 does an above average job with recording audio regardless of which camera you are using, making it an ideal candidate for vlogs and similar videos. While the OIS available with the front-facing camera can’t necessarily compensate for too much, given how small the unit is, it adds enough to make front-facing camera shooting that much more enjoyable.
The HTC 10 camera may not be the best out there, but you could certainly do a lot worse. What do you think of the HTC 10 camera and is it as good as the competition? Head over to our 7 phone camera shootout to vote for your favourite and let us know your views in the comments below!