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HTC explores optical zooming for cameras in 2015 smartphones

updated 06:36 am EDT, Fri April 18, 2014

Advances in phone optics expected by HTC within 12 to 18 months

HTC is looking towards adding optical zooming to its smartphones, the company's camera expert has revealed. Symon Whitehorn advised in an interview that the company expects to see "huge advances in phone optics" in relation to optical zooming within 12 to 18 months, and suggesting a smartphone could reach a DSLR level of imaging performance in 18 to 24 months.

Speaking to UK carrier Vodafone, Whitehorn claims "Everyone wants optical zooming, and that's on the horizon. We're trying to match the performance of dedicated cameras where one piece of glass inside it costs £3,000 ($5000) alone. We're never going to match that in the short term but we are getting towards those effects." Whitehorn believes that smartphones already outperform "a lot of compact point and shoot cameras," with the prosumer and professional cameras being the next target.

HTC One M8
HTC One M8

While the replacement of cameras by smartphones is an issue for some camera producers, Whitehorn believes they do not need to feel threatened. "What we'll see is these things working more harmoniously together. Camera companies will start to embrace the ecosystem we have in phones, and the two will start working in partnerships."

In the interview, Whitehorn touched upon the use of a 5-megapixel camera in the front of the HTC One M8. Though it is not an Ultrapixel camera like the rear-facing model, "the front camera is tuned to help you give the best selfies. It's no longer the afterthought camera that it's been for so long."

Whitehorn also talked about the HTC One M8's lack of 4K video, in part driven by the use of the 4MP UltraPixel camera. "We could be 4K ready now, but we're waiting until 4K can really fit into people's lives, and to make sure that the decision makes sense." While suggesting that 4K video could be done with an 8-megapixel sensor, Whitehorn suggests the company would be happy offering a camera of that resolution, "as long as we can maintain the large pixel model."

by MacNN Staff



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