HTC smartphone cameras may have true optical zoom in the future

An HTC spokesperson says that their camera technology is advancing so rapidly that they will soon be up to par to "real" cameras. Symon Whitehorn has told Vodafone that "Optical zooming in a smartphone is not too far off at all for HTC" and adds that "within 12-18 months, we'll see huge advances in phone optics."

Many people hate digital zoom because it merely crops the photo, making it seem that it's zoomed in. Real optical zoom will be a welcomed feature for many smartphone users, and may be a compelling one for photography enthusiasts.

Whitehorn thinks that smartphones won't be able to replace traditional DSLR's for a while. He says that they haven't been able to match standalone cameras yet, but they're getting close. He believes that DSLRs will always have a niche for sports, TV shows, etc. He added that "Two years ago, I would have said that phones will never replace DSLRs. Now I'm not so sure."

In general, smartphone users will be satisfied with a brand new HTC One M8 as it is much cheaper than traditional DSLR cameras, and the images taken from a smartphone may seem comparable to professional level cameras.

The advancement of camera optics for smartphones is sure to please many users. Samsung has tried something similar recently with the Galaxy S4 Zoom smartphone, but it has not yet become mainstream. Only time will tell if DSLR quality cameras will become the norm for smartphones in the future.

Source: Vodafone via The Register | Image via Vodafone

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My Lumia 1020 has certainly replaced my old point and shoot.

DSLR is too much camera for me.

Would interesting to see what HTC has up its sleeve.

HTC just need to focus on a decent camera to go along with their brilliant HTC One M8. Ive been a HTC one user ever since the first Desire but I wont be moving to the next HTC One, it's going to be the Sony Z2 simply because the camera and lack of touchwiz.

I haven't tried the Galaxy S4 Zoom but only seen it in screenshots. Does the lens automatically come out when you turn it on? What if you have placed the phone with the lens facing down on some surface?

wouldn't optical zoom require a moving lens? seems awfully fragile for a phone.

or is there another way to do optical zooming?

As smartphone cameras advance in technology so will standalone cameras. This seems to me nothing but a cheap publicity stunt.

Im an HTC fan but this is a bit rich considering the HTC One camera is one of poorer of the bunch. They even ditched optical image stabilisation from last years M7!

They're not even on par with sub $200 point and shoot cameras, so they've a long way to go to even be close to DSLrs

I agree the technology may well start to rival a DSLR at a generic level but you won't be able to swap lens and do some of the things of the stand alone camera without compromising the design of the device to cater for that so there will continue to be the dslr market for consumers to cater for that.

All the while DSLR's themselves in general and at the entry level are continually improving and slowly coming down in price. As one poster above mentions you can get an entry level DSLR that would crap all over the M8 for less than the cost of the M8.

I think even in 2 years time camera improvements in phones will only be taking away from consumers who were on the fence, eg they weren't happy with the smart phone pix but they weren't really interested in photography.

brand new HTC One M8 as it is much cheaper than traditional DSLR cameras

LOL..How exactly is it cheaper? Pray explain!

Also, this seems more like an advertisement than an article considering smartphone photography is being talked about and there's not even a passing mention of Lumia 1020 or 1520.

Mohitster said,

LOL..How exactly is it cheaper? Pray explain!

Also, this seems more like an advertisement than an article considering smartphone photography is being talked about and there's not even a passing mention of Lumia 1020 or 1520.

A DSLR can cost more than a thousand dollars, and then you factor in the lenses, which are not cheap. Technically the M8 is cheaper than a (good) DSLR with a good lens. However, the M8 will not come close to matching image quality of the DSLR.

Only time will tell if DSLR quality cameras will become the norm for smartphones in the future.

I think it's going to take a bit more than just time.