Video Mode

Video mode is very simple, you can start and stop recording, switch to photo mode and activate the video light.

Like on most smartphones video mode on the HTC 10 is pretty much an all-auto affair. You can switch to video mode either by hitting the video button in Photo mode or from selecting the mode in the mode tray. If you use the latter way you get the option to pick a video resolution and activate high-resolution audio but those are all the video settings you get.

As you would expect, control is limited during recording as well but you can refocus by tapping on the screen and apply exposure compensation which is more than you get on many smartphone cameras.  

During recording you get a small shutter button underneath the video button that allows you to snap a still image.

Video sample 1: 1080p video in bright light

The HTC 10 video is very similar to the still images in terms of tonal and color characteristics. As you can see in the samples below this includes the tendency to clip highlights in bright scenes. Luckily, there is the option to dial in some negative exposure compensation when required.

The combination of optical and digital image stabilization works very well and allows for smooth panning. On the downside, a slight jitter effect is noticeable around the edges when the camera is held still. 

Video sample 2: 1080p video in low light

This 1080p video was shot in low light, and handheld. Some fine luminance noise is becoming visible in the shadow areas but overall noise is very well under control and detail still very good. The autofocus is very stable as well in these light conditions. 

Video sample 3: 4K video

4K video offers noticeably increased detail over the Full-HD footage, with relatively few compression artifacts. Some luminance noise visible in the blue sky, especially towards the corners, but overall on the HTC 10 it's well worth shooting 4K if you are planning to play your clips on suitable output devices. The HTC's 4K video also makes for very decent video stills.

Video sample 4: Slow motion video

In Google Photos you can define which portions of your vidoe is played back at normal speed and in slow motion. 

The HTC 10 comes with a slow-motion mode that records 720p video mode at 120 frames per second. Detail is noticeably softer than in standard video, but the motion is very smooth and in editing you can, as usual, define to only play a portion of the clip in slow motion. Unfortunately there is no option for adjusting recording or playback speed.