HTC One X Camera Review
Like its peers, the HTC One X can capture true HD video resolution of 1920 X 1080p30. And building on the flexibility offered with still images, video capture will honor custom image adjustments like exposure, contrast, saturation and sharpness as well as white balance presets.
While the ability to capture either stills or video from a single screen of the app is convenient, the problem is that you cannot accurately preview the 16:9 video crop before recording. The camera does have a 16:9 still image format (the default capture aspect ratio, in fact), but sadly this crop does not match the one used for video capture. The video crop is tighter, meaning you can easily crop something at the very beginning of your clip that you thought you had included in the field of view. In addition, there is a two second lag between pressing the record button and actually capturing video. The screen unhelpfully goes black during this brief period.
Six of the camera's 15 total pre-capture Effects can be used in video capture. (Still-image only Effects are indicated by a small camera icon.)
While recording video you can simultaneously capture 16:9 still images at 2992 X 1680 pixels by pressing the shutter button. Image quality is on par with full resolution images. The lack of a physical shutter button though, means that in order to grab a still image, you must tap the screen, which of course can cause unwanted camera movement during the video.
Fortunately, you can also save individual video frames as still images after the clip has been recorded. You do this in the Gallery app during video playback, where a shutter button appears atop the video image (see below). The resulting 1920 X 1080 pixel still images are, as you'd expect, softer and show less detail than the still images captured during video recording. Yet for most intended uses, like sharing via social media, image quality is sufficient. Indeed we suspect that many will find this a more useful and practical (if less discoverable) option compared to tapping the shutter button while the camera is recording video and risking inadvertent camera movement.
Video sample 1
The HTC One X's video output is definitely geared towards punchy colors. As you can see in the clip below, even on a dull gray day, the camera produces vibrant colors and a relatively high amount of contrast. The camera automatically adjusts exposure during video capture. Towards the end of the pan you can see the exposure darken in order to retain detail in the fruit.
The camera offers no user-controlled wind noise option, but the oddly muffled, slightly unnatural audio would suggest that some form of digital noise filtering is active.
Video sample 2
In this low light scenario the One X performs admirably. Colors are vibrant and white balance is reasonably neutral. Viewed at full size you can of course see that the video is a bit soft, with visible noise and artifacts. And the camera does reacquire focus during the pan. Nevertheless, the clip is certainly good enough for web viewing.
This video was shot in a light rain. Because the camera's lens protrudes so prominently from the phone, raindrops will land on the lens cover much more often under these conditions than on a phone where the lens sits flush against the body.
Video sample 3
This video clip highlights the audio capabilities of the camera's stereo microphones. While you can hear muffled crowd noise from behind the microphones, the banjo and vocals are comfortably present in the recording, if a bit tinny.
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