HTC promises a smartphone with optical zoom lens within 12-18 months

HTC One M8 camera

HTC has been thinking long and hard about how to improve mobile camera technology. From the focus on decreased shutter time in the HTC EVO 4G LTE and the One X, from the Ultrapixel innovation on the 2013 and 2014 HTC One, designed to capture more light, HTC is certainly trying to think outside the box.

HTC realizes that picture quality is more than just megapixels, and that 4k is the way of the future. Talking with Vodafone’s social media department in the UK, HTC executive Symon Whitehorn  says that point and shoot cameras are about to become obsolete, as optical zoom lenses could make their way to HTC devices within 12-18 months:

Optical zooming in a smartphone is not too far off at all for HTC. I can’t give too much away, but within 12-18 months we’ll see huge advances in phone optics. That’s why we don’t necessarily believe in doing a high-resolution, photo enlarging solution.

Currently, if you want to make a really good job of taking a photo that you blow up wall-size, use a real camera.

Everyone wants optical zooming, and that’s on the horizon. We’re trying to match the performance of dedicated cameras where one piece of glass inside it costs £3000 alone. We’re never going to match that in the short term but we are getting towards those effects.

Two years ago I would have said that phones will never replace DSLRs. Now I’m not so sure. I think there’ll always be a role for a dedicated camera, like for sports etc., but I think you’ll see the gap closing. Those cameras will become more specialised out of necessity – they can’t match the brain power that we can put into a phone.”

But I don’t think the camera industry needs to feel totally threatened. What we’ll see is these things working more harmoniously together. Camera companies will start to embrace the ecosystem we have in phones, and the two will start working in partnerships.

What do you think about these statements? Is HTC ready to make DSLRs a thing of the past?

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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