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

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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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 7 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

HTC One camera

I am excited to see what and like what I see in the Smart Camera app on the . However, after diving into my 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 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 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.

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2 of 7 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

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.

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3 of 7 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Sequence Shot on the swing

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

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4 of 7 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Sequence Shot of running

This Sequence Shot shows the full five images you can capture in one picture.

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5 of 7 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Object Removal

You can remove objects from your image that the software figures are moving. This helps reduce photo bombing.

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6 of 7 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Always Smile... or not

The Always Smile function lets you scroll through the series of images captured in a Zoe to try to get the best face on the person in the image. You can also use it for goofy faces.

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7 of 7 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Still captured from a Zoe

A slick feature on the HTC One is the 3-second Zoe capture. With this function you can then capture and save the still image from the 20 frames that are captured. Here is a cool photo showing red, white, and blue in my fireworks.

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