HTC One camera utility beats out Nokia Smart Camera app (Gallery)

HTC One camera utility beats out Nokia Smart Camera app (Gallery)

Summary: There is a lot of anticipation for Nokia new Lumia devices with the Smart Camera app, but you can find the same functionality and much more in the current HTC One smartphone as well.


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  • HTC One camera

    I am excited to see what what Nokia reveals with the EOS next week and like what I see in the Smart Camera app on the T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 925. However, after diving into my HTC One camera software I see I can do almost the same thing, and even a bit more, with my HTC One than can be done with these new Lumias and advanced camera applications.

    The Nokia Lumia 925, and upcoming Amber update for other Lumias, includes a new camera utility called Smart Camera. The Lumia EOS may have an even better utility called Nokia Pro Cam, but we won't know for sure until 11 July.

    The Smart Camera app is available in the Windows Phone Store, but requires a Lumia with the Amber update. As you can see in the Store, there are options to perform the following:

    • Best Shot: Saves the best photo out of series of 10 captured in burst mode.
    • Motion Focus: Add blur to emphasize motion
    • Action Shot: Add a strobe effect to show action
    • Remove Moving Objects: Remove unwanted objects
    • Change Faces: Choose the best faces for great group shots

    Advanced smartphones, such as the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, BlackBerry Z10/Q10, and Sony Xperia Z line have utilities that can perform many of these same functions. Unfortunately, the Apple iPhone takes great photos, but doesn't have this kind of functionality to perform these types of advanced editing functions. You can edit photos after they have been captured, but some of these advanced effects require burst mode or short video capture of images to obtain the desired effect.

    Since I have the HTC One as my primary smartphone, I spent some time with it on the 4th to see how it compares to the latest Nokia Lumia Smart Camera application and have screenshots and details in this gallery showing my results.

    I found the HTC One can perform four of the five effects with the included HTC software. I couldn't find any ability to get the same Motion Focus effect on the HTC One. There are some 3rd party apps in the Google Play Store that look to provide this capability, but I have to spend more time testing them out. Here is how the HTC One handles the five functions seen in Nokia Smart Camera:

    • Best Shot: Also called Best Shot on the HTC One. You can shoot in burst mode/continuous shooting with the only limit being your available memory. There is also an option to limit this to 20 images. The HTC One, like the Lumia, then uses algorithms to select the best photo and deletes the rest.
    • Motion Focus: The HTC One doesn't have this utility. One 3rd party app that looks to do this is called AfterFocus, but I need to test it more.
    • Action Shot: The HTC One calls this Sequence Shot. After shooting a 3-second Zoe you can then select from up to five images to put into this image. It helps if the object is moving across the scene or else the five objects can be overlaid and appear strange. You can also move along the Zoe timeline to capture different Sequence Shots from the same Zoe. A Zoe captures 20 still images in the 3-second capture. I created an HTC Share with some images and Zoes of how it works on the HTC One.
    • Remove Moving Objects: This is called Object Removal on the HTC One and lets you select to remove objects that are moving in the Zoe you captured.
    • Change Faces: This utility is called Always Smile on the HTC One and lets you tap a face and then slide through the different stages of Zoe capture to select the best image.

    As you can see in my gallery, the HTC One also has several additional editing tools not seen in Smart Camera on the Lumia. I covered these utilities in my image editing software post and they include skin smoothing, lighting adjustments, face contour changes, eye enhancer, red eye removal, eye brightener, and anti-shine (great for my receding hairline). Nokia also has apps like Creative Studio that offers more advanced editing functions.

    Related ZDNet HTC One articles

    The HTC One with Sense 5 also includes the ability to capture 3-second Zoes and make fantastic Highlight Videos. I used the Zoe functionality to capture fireworks and the still images taken from the Zoe looked great. One is included in this gallery for your review.

    I did not cover video effects or capabilities in this post, but that is one area that is seriously lacking in Windows Phone. You can capture great video, but there are no editing tools onboard. With my HTC One, I can choose clips of videos to share with folks rather than having to share a full captured video session and I want some video editing capability in Windows Phone soon.

  • Best Shot

    After taking a series of images captured in Burst Mode you can then have the HTC software figure out which is the best and remove all the remaining pictures.

  • Sequence Shot on the swing

    You can select up to five images from a captured Zoe to put together into one Sequence Shot.

Topics: Mobility, Android, HTC, Smartphones

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  • Smells like payed Article.

    Seems both camera's can do the same. Makes you wonders why to choose a headline like this, may be a sponsored HTC One given to ZDNet.
    Herman Van Der Blom
  • So..

    The HTC does almost same effects as the Nokia... And some others that the Nokia app does not have but you state other Nokia apps already do... But the real question is how the photo's turned out. If the photo's are not as good as the Nokia, your entire article is a waste. But we will never know as you did not post comparisons.
  • You have no idea about function in Lumia smartphones...

    HTC didn't use Nokia microphones only. HTC took inspiration from Nokia photo and video editing apps. Most of this functions are in WP7.8 a WP8(before amber update) devices.
    Zoe is heavy inspired by Cinematograph. So, your conclusion about video editing capabilities of Lumias is totally wrong.
    List of photo and video editing apps (for WP7.8 also, no amber update):
    Cinematograph: you can create short videos with possibility to still or remove some part. Zoe is copy.
    SmartShoot: there are 3 of 5 functions of amber's Pro Cam - Best Shot, Remove Moving Objects, Change Faces.
    Creative Studio: photo post editor.

    In WP phones is very nice function - Photo lens. You have learn something about it.

    HTC One is try to bring Lumia 920 to Android world (don't forget about OIS and low light pictures and videos)
  • Huh?

    Your title is comparative, but nowhere do you actually compare anything other than the existence of functionality. A BMW and a Mercedes both have 4 wheels, an engine, sound system, etc. Is that alone a valid basis for a comparison? Would have liked your feedback on the implementation of these features. Is one easier than the other? How does the quality of the images compare? I usually enjoy your articles, but this one seemed kind of "mailed in."
  • This article shows that HTC beats out nothing...

    You might want to change the name of the article ("HTC One camera utility beats out Nokia Smart Camera app"). tdogg is right - normally when you compare two products, you actually compare *two* products.
  • Bragging...

    This is a strange and somewhat childish article about a guy trying to justify something about his phone.

    Is it because your device has poor image stabilisation, because you won't be update to the latest OS version anymore or because the low-light performance is way below the Nokia offering? We just don't get it.
  • Windows Phone "Lenses"

    No matter what functionality is packaged with the phone, Windows Phone features "Lenses" that allow any functionality that developers can dream up. Nokia itself has several, and there are several third-party lenses on the Windows Phone Store.

    The nice thing is that even more will be available over time. No need to wait for the manufacturer to release new functionality, although I suspect Nokia will be doing just that with regularity.

    What's the expandability of the HTC platform look like?
  • Best Shot

    So, how good is it at actually selecting the best shot. Does it come up with the same selection you would?
  • HTC One camera functions

    The HTC One is a smart looking phone, but I really don't understand how one can try to compare the 4mp camera to an 8 or 13mp camera on the iPhone 5 or the Samsung S4. Yes, that gives it an advantage in low light, but the loss of resolution means that the lack of optical zoom in smartphone cameras is even more severe, and I rarely try to take low light pictures. Put an 8mp camera in it, and then talk to me about fancy software features.
  • Tech News

    Take a Look at this :--