HTC One X Camera Review
Performance and Image Quality
The HTC One X is a nimble performer by any measure. From the home screen the camera app launches and is ready to shoot roughly one second after you tap its icon. Autofocus is very brisk even in lower light levels for subjects that have good contrast. With repeated tapping you can shoot consecutive images as fast as .3 seconds apart, although enabling a processor-intensive Effect like vignetting slows this rate down to about 1.5 seconds between shots. Simply put, in weeks of real-world use, we rarely found ourselves waiting on the camera to take a photo.
The One X has a continuous shooting option. Once enabled, the camera will take successive pictures in a single burst when you tap and hold the shutter button. Frame rates can vary from shot to shot, but in our tests the camera averages roughly 4 fps in a single burst. You have the option to limit this burst to 20 frames. While this feature is well suited to shooting moving subjects in well-lit conditions (as shown below), in lower light the lack of any shutter speed indication means that you can unknowingly end up with motion blur caused by a shutter speed that is too slow to freeze your subject.
In the sequence below, to ensure a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the subject, we manually set the camera to ISO 400 even though the bright daylight conditions would have easily allowed shooting a more static subject at ISO 100.
Overall, the feature works as advertised. Image quality is indistinguishable from single shot images. Something to watch out for though, if you're shooting moving subjects we recommend manually setting a higher ISO to ensure a shutter speed fast enough to keep everythign sharp. Focussing isn't an issue - because of the small camera sensor's extreme depth of field, everything from a few inches away to infinity will be in focus. Note that the continuous shooting option is disabled when using any of the camera's Effects, which place heavy demands of their own on the processor.
In bright sunlit conditions, the HTC One X is quick to focus and delivers generally pleasing, if not exceedingly accurate color. The camera's autoexposure system consistently delivers well-balanced exposures although the default processing is a bit contrasty, which can obscure some highlight and shadow detail.
As we've seen with other smartphones though, noise is present even at low ISO sensitivities. This is especially noticeable in areas of plain tone. Where the camera disappoints is in the amount of artifacts such as stair-stepping and haloing found along edges. Viewed at 100%, the files appear noticeably oversharpened.
Low light, High ISO
As you'd expect, low light levels present a challenge for the One X. The overly crunchy output we see at base ISO is compounded by fairly aggressive noise reduction, which smears detail. The camera will automatically boost ISO to try and provide a hand-holdable shutter speed.
Image quality suffers as the ISO sensitivity increases, however, with increased noise and smearing of fine details. To be fair though, these flaws only really become obvious at view magnifications approaching 100%, as in the crops you see below. At the sizes most people will be sharing these images for online viewing, the results even at the maximum ISO are eminently usable.
With the disappointingly 'crunchy' results at the camera's default sharpness setting, we thought it would be useful to compare the results with the camera's less aggressive settings. The images below were all shot with the camera manually set to ISO 400.
As you can see in the 100% crops, edge halos are significantly reduced at a -1 sharpness setting. At the minimum setting of -2, the file appears soft by comparison. If your imaging workflow includes any post-capture editing, however, this may indeed present the best starting place. For most users though, we see the -1 setting as the best compromise between perceived detail and image quality. Practically speaking though, the default setting is perfectly suitable for web viewing and social photo sharing.
Oct 13, 2015
Oct 20, 2015
Oct 20, 2015
Oct 16, 2015
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.
A month and a half after revealing the finalists of the 2017 EyeEm Awards, the photo sharing community and licensing marketplace has finally revealed the winners.