Taking a walk in the park with Bentley and my T-Mobile HTC One S
HTC has really been making a big deal about the new and improved cameras in the HTC One series. So, because I just picked up a T-Mobile HTC One S, and since it was gorgeous outside today, I decided to take my beagle Bentley for a walk – with my One S in hand, of course!
I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to test out the camera and its new ImageSense technology: I was especially interested in the Video Pic feature that allows you to take photos while recording in full 1080p HD, the Instant Capture feature that powers up the camera and allows you to take pictures almost immediately with little lag, the Continuous Shooting feature that allows you to take rapid shots in quick succession after one another, and the Always Focus feature that claims to always keep everything in focus.
To make a long story short, I'm impressed. This is by far the best camera experience I've had on a smartphone. It's not perfect, and it won't replace a professional photographer's camera. But to a normal, everyday guy like me who just wants crisp, clear pictures, this is amazing.
I've included some pictures and video below, all shot exclusively with my One S, during my afternoon walk with Bentley. Just to be clear, I don't really know anything about ISO settings, and I kept everything else at their defaults (white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation, sharpness, etc.).
Here's the very first shoot I took on my walk, at the entrance to the park. (You can click each picture to see the unaltered, original image.)
This looks pretty good. The colors seem all right to my untrained eye, and you can pretty much make out the text on the sign that gives the park hours, although it's a little blurry. This is OK, but it's not making me gasp in awe yet.
Here's a nice view of the Cincinnati skyline. This one is pretty cool.
And look at the magnificent greens here:
Here are a couple shots of Bentley on the leash. What's notable about these is that I was walking while shooting, so my hands were extremely unsteady. In spite of that, these turned out fairly clear.
Next, I wanted to try out the video recording capabilities of my One S, so I made sure it was set to 1080p, and I hit record. (You should note that 1080p is not the default, in case you're going to use this a lot for HD recording.) If you easily get motion sickness, beware: because I was recording as I was walking, it's a fairly bumpy ride. At the end of this video, I also briefly tested the zoom.
I also wanted to test out the Video Pic feature that I mentioned above, and I knew that my very unsteady and shaking hand would really push the limits of the camera. The pictures below were all taken at the same time I recorded the video above.
Look at those blues and greens! And when you consider how shakey the video above was, the clarity of these images is striking.
Here is another test video that's not quite so shakey:
And here are some additional pictures that I snapped while taking the video:
I should also note that it's possible to snap photos from videos that you've already taken after the fact. That's pretty neat.
Another feature I wanted to try out was the panorama mode. Again, HTC blew my expectations out of the water, as it stitched the multiple images together almost flawlessly. Here's a horizontal panoramic photo overlooking a highway and rail tracks. You'll definitely want to view the full size to appreciate it.
And here's a vertical panorama:
The vertical panorama was by far more difficult to take, as I couldn't seem to get everything lined up properly. This photo would have been much taller, but I eventually gave up. However, I should note that this very well could have been user error, rather than an issue with the phone itself.
As is to be expected, zooming wasn't stellar, but it was still decent. I tried zooming in on the skyline, and on a church in the distance, and while neither shot blew me away, I can't really complain, either.
Needless to say, for a phone camera, these shots are still impressive. I'm more than satisfied, and hope to soon try the camera out with flash in darker settings. In any case, the walk certainly wore out little Bentley, who is now resting peacefully in the papasan chair next to me.