When your camera is a computer instead of a dumb lens and light sensor, you can do all sorts of tricks. That’s the idea behind HTC’s new One M8, a camera which matches its two names with two lenses.
The second lens is there not to take photos, but to gather additional depth information about the scene in front of it. This can then be used to do neat tricks like identify the subject of there picture, and blur the background.
It’s a great way to compensate for the inability of small cameras to give a shallow depth-of-field.
It also makes autofocus way faster. After all, if you know how far away something is, you can dial the focus in without all that tedious computer work of determining what’s sharp and what isn’t. The One M8 focusses in a crazy-fast 300ms
This actually seems like something Apple could put in the next iPhone. After all, it already leverages the powerful A7 processor to improve photos with burst mode and fixing the exposure in panoramas.
I’d love to see the iPhone camera augmented with some of these great features. And those front-facing stereo speakers are pretty sweet too.
- 4MP 1/3-inch CMOS sensor, 2.0 um pixel pitch
- F2.0 aperture
- 28mm equivalent focal length
- 1080p video
- Slow-motion video
- 5MP, F2.0 front camera
- Via DP Review