Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Getting To Know Your HTC Duo Cam For Windows



When the HTC One (M8) for Windows was released, one of the biggest compromises that users were willing to make was the loss of a PureView camera in order to get the aluminum body of the One. I was lucky enough to get to do a test of the original UltraPixel camera found in the HTC One M7 against the PureView Nokia Lumia 925 and tell you all about it. The two part series featured a look at the interfaces, then a look at the actual performance of the cameras. Overall, there were pluses and minuses to both camera, but overall, the image quality of the HTC One M7 held its own. In fact, in color reproduction and dynamic range, it actually out performed the Lumia 925. So, how much more does the M8 bring to the table, and can it replace your PureView powered Lumia?

First off, you have to understand how the Duo Cam on the M8 works. The sensor of the primary 4UP (that’s short for UltraPixel) camera contains larger pixels than a typical “megapixel” sized sensor. This allows the sensor to capture more light per pixel, thus resulting in better – smaller images. The f/2.0 aperture and 28mm focal length really bring out the ultimate in macro and close up portrait photography. Unfortunately, the smaller image size does make zooming nearly impossible. The secondary lens is reportedly a 1MP depth sensor. Basically, the secondary camera records how far away things are, how much light there is and what angle the image is shot at.

Once you understand that the image is still coming from the primary UltraPixel camera, you can start to see why the secondary camera comes in handy. By having all the ‘image data’ stored with the second camera, you can physically alter the image data by changing it based on the information that the second camera captures. This includes changing focus, the background, adding effects or even using the camera for different augmented reality purposes. Here’s the built in software package effects and what they can do right now for your M8 for Windows.

The original image:


The first image uses the UFocus Duo Effect. As you can see, the first image has the front chair, pillow and fireplace completely in focus. With UFocus, I was able to blur the background of the image easily. Now the fireplace and the chair in the background of the image are completely lost and the chair becomes the focal point.


I then reversed the effect and used UFocus is used to blur the chair and pillow, making the fireplace more of a focal point. This also reestablished the background of the image using the secondary camera’s depth information, which drastically changed the other Duo Cam effects to come.

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The next image we take the same start and use the Foregrounder effect to black out the chair and take the focus again, back to the fireplace. This can be very useful when shooting portraits of people in colorful outfits. It really adds a color pop to them.

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Next, I used the Dimension Plus effect to actually change the view of the image. You can see the pillow and chair are much closer now and the image looks like it was shot from slightly higher up.

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Overall, the Duo Cam features are quite handy and are very powerful – if you play with them enough to use them. If you just point and shoot a ton, the HTC One (M8) for Windows is still a great choice for you as well. It is a super-fast shooting camera, which makes capturing things like the kiddos, pets or even racecars a pretty neat thing.


The HTC One (M8) for Windows is available on Verizon Wireless and ships unlocked for use on other carriers if purchased at full retail. Unfortunately, there is no way to edit the MMS APN at the moment so you will give up that feature if you pack your M8 to another carrier, but it’s a small price to pay for such a great device. For more information on the HTC One (M8) for Windows you can visit the link below.

More information: HTC One (M8) for Windows

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