HTC One (M8) Review

April 2, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 4 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 1.5Mb.

The HTC One (M8) produced images of very good quality during the review period. This camera handled noise well, not becoming too obvious until the ISO 800, with even the fastest setting of of ISO 1600 being usable, a great performance for a small image sensor with such a high pixel count.

Chromatic aberrations were in evidence but were well-controlled, with some limited purple fringing effects appearing in high contrast situations. The images were sharp enough out of the camera and don't really require any further sharpening. Macro performance is respectable enough at 8cms, while the built-in flash is fine for fill-in use. The optical image stabilization system works well when hand-holding the camera at slower shutter speeds.

The camera can capture just enough light for some after-dark situations, without having to resort to using the flash, while the HDR mode successfully captures more detail in the highlight and shadow areas of both stills and video, albeit at the expense of fine detail in the image. The Sweep Panorama mode is easy to use and produces well-stitched results, while the wide range of creative effects are designed to appeal to the Instagram generation.

Noise

There are 5 ISO settings available on the HTC One (M8). Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

 
iso1600.jpg  

Focal Length

The HTC One (M8)'s lens offers a wide-angle focal length of 28mm in 35mm camera terms, as illustrated by this example:

28mm

focal_range1.jpg

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are already quite processed and don't really benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The HTC One (M8) handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with some purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card), with a minimum focusing distance of 8cms. The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the HTC One (M8) are Auto, On and Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off

Flash On

flash_off.jpg flash_on.jpg

Night

The HTC One (M8)'s maximum shutter speed is 0.7 seconds in the Night scene mode. This shot was taken at 1/11th second at ISO 1250.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

HDR

High Dynamic Range Optimiser (HDR) is HTC's solution for capturing more contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining two exposures into one image.

Off

On

hdr_off.jpg hdr_on.jpg

Sweep Panorama

The HTC One (M8) 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.

panorama1.jpg

Special Effects

The HTC One (M8) offers an extensive range of 15 creative effects.

1

2

effects_01.jpg effects_02.jpg
   

3

4

effects_03.jpg effects_04.jpg
   

5

6

effects_05.jpg effects_06.jpg
   

7

8

effects_07.jpg effects_08.jpg
   

9

10

effects_09.jpg effects_10.jpg
   

11

12

effects_11.jpg effects_12.jpg
   

13

14

effects_13.jpg effects_14.jpg
   

15

 
effects_15.jpg  

UFocus

UFocus allows you to shoot first and focus later, as the HTC One (M8) has two independent lenses that allow it to detect and calculate the relative distance of subjects in the image. This allows the user to select the object or area of focus after the photo is taken. Additionally, UFocus uses the depth data collected by the dual lens system to allow for professional-looking portraits. With just a tap, a user can easily add an artistic blur effect known as “bokeh”. Note that UFocus only works when shooting in 16:9 crop mode, not 4:3, and it also doesn't work if one of the subjects is too close to the camera.

ufocus_01.jpg

Normal Shot

 
ufocus_03.jpg
Focus on Near Subject
 
ufocus_02.jpg
Focus on Middle Subject
 
ufocus_04.jpg
Focus on Far Subject

Foregrounder

The Foregrounder tool allows you to alter the background with four different creative effects.

ufocus_05.jpg

Sketch

 
ufocus_06.jpg
Zoom Blur
 
ufocus_07.jpg
Cartoon
 
ufocus_08.jpg
Colorize

Dimension Plus

Dimension Plus allows you to view and save your image from a different angle by simply tilting the screen.

ufocus_09.jpg

Dimension Plus

Cut and Paste

Cut and Paaste allows you to place your family and friends in a different photo entirely.

ufocus_10.jpg

Cut and Paste