HTC One (A9) Review

March 29, 2016 | Amy Davies | |
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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 13 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4.5Mb.

In good light, the HTC One (A9) is capable of capturing some high quality images. Colours are vibrant and punchy at the lower end of the sensitivity scale. Although there is some instance of image smoothing, even at low ISOs, it’s not particularly unusual for a phone camera, and the overall impression of detail when looking at images at normal printing or viewing sizes is great.

As you move up the sensitivity scale, you’ll start to see a loss of detail becoming more noticeable in smaller printing sizes, but even at ISO 1600, the impression of detail is reasonably good and certainly useable in most circumstances. If the light is very low, images taken at high ISOs may suffer from even more image smoothing.

The camera’s general-purpose metering does a good job of producing accurate exposures in the majority of conditions, not becoming too confused by lots of bright areas or high contrast. Automatic white balance also does a similarly good job and isn’t too baffled by mixed or artificial light conditions. In Pro mode you can choose a specific white balance preset if the camera is struggling with something like artificial light.

As you can shoot in the universal raw format, it’s possible to extract a little more detail than you’ll find in the equivalent JPEG images. However this will come at the expense of introducing more noise into an image - getting that balance right between detail and noise is something you can experiment with in post production and is likely to be dependent on the subject.

The front facing camera can be used for selfies, and again, does a good job in bright light. You can apply image smoothing in various degrees up to quite extreme, or you can switch it off altogether.

Noise

There are 5 ISO settings available on the HTC One (A9). Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

 
iso1600.jpg  

Focal Length

The HTC One (A9)'s lens offers a wide-angle focal length of 28mm in 35mm camera terms, as illustrated by this example:

28mm

focal_range1.jpg
 
Digital Zoom
focal_range2.jpg

Macro

This image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case an SD memory card), with a minimum focusing distance of 8cms.

Macro

macro.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the HTC One (A9) are Auto, On and Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off

flash_off.jpg
 

Flash On

flash_on.jpg
 

Flash Off

flash_off1.jpg
 

Flash On

flash_on1.jpg
Flash Off
 

Night

The HTC One (A9)'s maximum shutter speed is 2 seconds in the Night scene mode. This shot was taken at 1/5th second at ISO 100.

Night

night.jpg

Sweep Panorama

The HTC One (A9) allows you to take panoramic images very easily by 'sweeping' with the camera. The camera does all the processing and stitching and even successfully compensates for moving subjects.

Panorama
panorama.jpg