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  • JaPeL - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    Well, I don't care about mpx, or the buzzwords, as long as they deliever what they promise, anyway, by looking at the samples so far, I'm a little dissapointed, I was hoping something better than the lumia, but it doesn't seem to be the case so far. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    No kidding. I've used a tablet before with a camera that was totally useless. MP aren't everything, and I think that as long as people give the One a chance while shopping, actual use will make all the difference. I'm sure the sales folk will be asked to promote it as well. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    For a while it was believed that high number of pixels were destroying image quality and if someone produced a low resolution sensor it would produce far better image quality. However since then there's been several very high resolution sensors which have pretty much put that to bed as they've been able to surpass their predecessors. The most obvious example is the D800 which uses a 36MP Sony sensor and is the highest resolution full frame sensor there is currently offering triple the resolution of the older 12MP D700. Despite the much smaller pixels though the D800 surpasses the D700 for high iso and dynamic range plus of course obliterates it in resolution putting it at the top of DxO's chart, ahead of the lower resolution Canon 5D mk III.

    Nokia then went several steps further and packed 41MP into the Pureview 808, admittedly its sensor was far larger than phone cameras and in fact larger than most compact cameras but still despite the huge resolution it offered image quality that it looks like other camera phones won't be able to match for a long time.

    So I'm not convinced about HTC's approach now, we'll need to see how it fares against new high resolution sensors in upcoming smartphones.

  • UpSpin - Saturday, February 23, 2013 - link

    If you take a picture with a smartphone and
    - you share it online, the software will reduce the image size drastically. So a 8MP or even 12MP does make no sense, because you never make a use of it.
    - you keep it for yourself or print it as a photo and take a closer look, zooming to 100% in a 12MP smartphone image, shows that the 12MP don't add any information, except noise, over a 8MP image.

    You mentioned it already with the Pureview, it's not just the MP count, you have to consider the full package. If you reduce MP count but also reduce sensor size, you gained nothing. But HTC reduced MP size and slightly increased sensor size. HTC also added an OIS.
    If you increase the pixel count to maybe 12MP but don't improve the optics, you gain nothing, because physical limitations occur which don't allow the sensor to capture 12MP at all.
    The Pureview sensor is huge and so is the whole smartphone, because you need larger optics if you use a larger sensor. Thus, this camera will always be better, but it's not practical (too huge body and too expensive).

    12MP just does make no sense in a smartphone, because you never use those 12MP.
    A 4MP image is, in print quality (300DPI) 22cmx12cm large. So why do you need a higher resolution out of a smartphone right now?

    I like the idea of integrating a same sized 4MP sensor with an OIS.
  • ydoucare - Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - link

    You have no idea what you're talking about if you think there's no difference in print quality between 4 MP and 12 MP. No sensor in existence outputs a sharp image at full native resolution. The downsizing of the 12 MP image to 4 MP would result in a much sharper image than the native 4 MP image. At 4 MP, you'd be printing a blurry 6"x8". A 12 MP image would print tack-sharp downsized to 6"x8". Reply
  • eugk - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - link

    You're assuming the 12MP image has 12MP of actual detail rather than NR'ed watercolor-effect detail. Reply
  • Wieland - Saturday, February 23, 2013 - link

    The key arguement that HTC is making is that the pixels on high end smartphones are too small, and that a lower density sensor will produce better pictures. That isn't the same as saying that higher resolution sensors are necessarily bad. Neither the D800 nor the Pureview 808 are evidence to the contrary because both have sensors with much larger pixels than even the HTC One. Reply
  • Manabu - Saturday, February 23, 2013 - link

    You should compare the D800 with the 16MP D4, that have the same sensor technology, differing only on mega pixel count. Or the NEX-7 vs NEX-5N:

    That said, the main factors in camera performance are the sensor size, sensor technology, and optics quality. But pixel density also plays a role:

    Quote: "Major factors in limiting the maximum number electrons captured in a semiconductor image sensor are

    1) Absorption length and electron densities -

    It ranges from about 1 micron for blue light to over 7 microns for red light. RX100 has pixel size of 2.4 microns. The absorption length will also limit the image detail, especially toward red colors, and it also can contribute to photons several pixels away from the target pixel. Dense sensors with small areas per pixel, no matter how many MP they have, are at disadvantage.

    2) Fill factor -

    The trend is down with smaller pixel size because the non-sensitive portion between pixels becomes a greater part of the pixel area. Even with gapless microlenses, light will be lost at the gap due to scattering. Dense sensors with small areas per pixel will gather less light with increase in MP count.

    3) Another factor that affects low light IQ is Read noise (electronics noise) -

    Read noise per pixel has little dependence on pixel size. Because all sensors have finite read noise, when one adds pixels together, the total read noise increases. In low light conditions read noise will play much bigger role than photon noise and will degrade the IQ in the sensors that have smaller pixel size."
  • Yojimbo - Saturday, February 23, 2013 - link

    Just an aside, I think you mean all pixels have positive read noise, not finite read noise. Negative numbers and zero are still finite numbers, so a finite value could be added to another finite value such that the sum is not bigger than the latter value. Reply
  • Randomoneh - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    "The most obvious example is the D800 which uses a 36MP Sony sensor and is the highest resolution full frame sensor there is currently offering triple the resolution of the older 12MP D700."
    36MP image has pixel count that is 300% larger than 12MP image but resolution (in the spirit of the word) difference is only up to 73% (sqrt(36/12)).
  • Stoli89 - Saturday, February 23, 2013 - link

    You did not mention the N8, Nokia's flagship phone shooter from a couple of years ago, which already had 1.75 micron pixels on a 12MP sensor.

    As well, the Nokia 808 Pureview delivers 4.01 Micron virtual pixels at the 5MP setting and 3.2 micron virtual pixels at the 8MP setting.
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, February 23, 2013 - link

    Quote: "but what I have seen has gotten me excited about the HTC One in a way that only a few other devices (PureView 808, N8, HTC One X) have so far. " Reply
  • alexvoda - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    Those 2 Nokias are just insane! We need more of that insanity. Reply
  • Simon42 - Saturday, February 23, 2013 - link

    Sony's camera performance is usually one of their selling points. The comparisons involving their latest Xperia Z seem to indicate it's a leader, or at least a solid contender. And of course Apple uses cameras from Sony - my 2 year-old Xperia shares the same 8 megapixel resolution as the current iPhone; impressive for what's still the smallest smartphone ever.

    In fact this website seems to be unaware of the Sony Xperia line's existence; I can't remember any review here when all other big brands get plenty of them...
  • Strulf - Saturday, February 23, 2013 - link

    Wow, this is neat! Really excited about this, finally someone was brave enough to go down this road. Hopefully, other manufacturers will jump on the bandwagon. Reply
  • Diagrafeas - Saturday, February 23, 2013 - link

    So the HTC One has one sensor, two or three 4,3MP each? Reply
  • Randomoneh - Sunday, February 24, 2013 - link

    One sensor. 4MP. Bayer arrangement. Looks like garbage at 100% view. Reply
  • evonitzer - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    A bold statement, since we haven't seen any photos at 100%. Reply
  • Chloiber - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    @Brian (or anyone else) :

    So I have a question. If less+larger pixels are better than more+smaller pixels, how is the 4MP camera of the One better than 4 year old smartphone cameras which already had similar pixel counts & sizes?

    I mean - I understand that pixel count + size is not everything. What I would rather like to hear is not only the difference between a modern 13MP camera vs. a modern 4MP camera, but also a modern 4MP camera vs. an older 4MP camera. How did it improve?
  • blanarahul - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    I can't say for sure. But I guess the sensor size, Quality of ISP, F number are higher which results in better image quality.

    "What I would rather like to hear is not only the difference between a modern 13MP camera vs. a modern 4MP camera, but also a modern 4MP camera vs. an older 4MP camera. How did it improve?"

    Same here.

    But IMHO they should have offered a choice because it's going to be extremely difficult to convince people who blindly believe that "more is better." A choice b/w either a 13 MP sensor or a 4.0 MP sensor (for people like me and you who understand it's importance).
  • evonitzer - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - link

    There are a lot of good questions in this thread, but to use a cliche, "The proof is in the pudding." Wait until it comes out and then let's evaluate (and meet up again in the comments to argue about which photos look better). Reply
  • Stoli89 - Thursday, February 28, 2013 - link

    There's already a couple of test videos on Youtube showing the HTC One against both the Lumia 920 (8.7 MP, 1/3 BSI sensor, OIS across full camera module, F.2.0, Carl Zeiss optics) and the Lumia 720 (6.7MP, 1/3.6 BSI sensor, F1.9, Carl Zeiss optics).

    From the video it's clear that the HTC ONE produced very noisy, grainy images compared to BOTH Lumias. I was particularly impressed with the 720's performance, considering this non-OIS camera was able to deliver pretty decent low light shots as a mid-priced phone! The 720 may not have "ultra' pixels, but it does seem to make the most out of a very large aperture, excellent optics, and stellar algorithms.

    To note, the comparisons were conducted inside HTC's dark room, at its stand at MWC 2013.

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