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14 August 2014

HTC One M8 Review - Is it a good mobile camera/smartphone??

HTC One M8 can captured good HDR photo
Here's another review post about HTC One M8. If you love to shoot macro and flowers, read this post first "Flower Macro Shot using HTC M8 Camera". This post will gonna share on using various photography mode on HTC One M8 including the pro and con using M8 as your daily mobile camera. If you haven't notice, there are two problems that you might encounter when you shoot something hot and bright.

I'm very satisfied with the fast shutter and slow-motion 120fps video recording feature. It just makes your mobile phone looks powerful to create something like this:



HTC One M8 120fps Slow-Motion Video
Here's a slow motion video taken using HTC M8 at Suria KLCC nearby the fountain. As you can see, there wasn't any flickering in the video and the slow-mo somehow added more drama in it. You can even count how many people doing selfie with their camera too haha

Acceptable bokeh to make object in focus standout using HTC M8
HTC One M8 Macro Mode
My favourite part of HTC One M8 camera is that it can focus very quickly and accurate in capturing photos. Been using the Macro Mode to capture flowers photo efficiently. Good that the bokeh (blurriness-in-background) that came out straight on the photo is cool enough to make your photo stand out. Of course, thanks to HTC M8 Dual-Camera you can give even further bokeh to your image as below:


[L] Background seems a bit blur straight out of the camera
[R] Using their built-in editing tool you can add in blurriness to your photo.
HTC One M8 UFocus PhotoEditing for further bokeh
Not only you can add in blurriness in your photo, by using "UFOCUS" you can also choose to refocus the photo either the foreground or background. There are other effects like Foregrounder (Sketch, Zoom Blur, Cartoon, Colorize), Seasons (to add in sakura, dandelion, maple leaf or even snow to your photo), Dimension Plus (some 3D like effect), Stickers and many more. I personally find that only UFOCUS is useful for me. It would be great if there is a better shortcut to edit photos as I find that quite a few steps to edit your photo using their built in features.  I still love Snapseed and VSCOCAM in my mobile photo editing. They are the best app-combo to make your photo looks different than other without using Lightroom/Photoshop. 

Now let's have a look at a series of photo taken using HTC One M8 at Singapore Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome and Singapore Orchid Garden:
Close-up photo made easy with HTC One M8
Captured at Singapore Gardens by the Bay's Flower Dome and Singapore Orchid Garden


HTC One M8 HDR mode good for sunny day cityscape

HTC One M8 HDR Camera Mode
Another mode that I like is of course the HDR Mode. Using that mode you will able to recover the black/shadow part of your image and it looks much better on scenery and landscape. Just like photo above, if I don't use the HDR mode I will have overblown sky or darken city in shadow.

Mee Mamak on AirAsia Flight
HTC One M8 Camera photos turn out a bit blueish
As far as I've noticed, the photo captured using my unit of HTC One M8 will be a bit blueish if compared with other phone camera. You can definitely notice it by just checking out the liveview. Yes, you can choose different White Balance but the Daylight/Fluorescent/Cloudy mode might not able to give you the color tone you want. Only in Manual Mode you will able to adjust the temperature in your camera. I hope that in the next HTC One they will include the "K Mode" (temperature self adjust function) into it's AWB selection. 



Chamang Waterfall in Bentong
When point focus on the rock, other area looks dark

Chamang Waterfall in Bentong
When point focus on the tourist, the rock is overcast
HTC One M8 might give unwanted highlight (f/2.0)
I am not sure if it is because of the f/2.0 lens that HTC One M8 have, it seems like sometimes you get unwanted highlight on your photo when there is a big brightness difference in your image. Just like the waterfall image above, when you point focus on the stone, it looks good on the stone but not the background and the rest of the area; When you focus on the tourist, the rocks become too bright instead. I've used the HRD mode but it doesn't work.

Korean BBQ @ Setiawalk
The Charcoal flames looks weirdly pink
HTC One M8 can't recognize certain color
Alright, this one I found it accidentally as I was capturing photo for some #foodporn. If you haven't notice, the flame and charcoal looks purplelish and pink instead of bright orange. I've use my another mobile phone to capture the photo but it seems normal with that. So yeah, if you are going to BBQ, you may try snap a photo of the burning charcoals using your HTC phone and see if the same thing happen to you ya. 

I hope not.

Vespa inside Macau Shopping Mall
HTC One M8 Function well in low-light condition
If there isn't much difference on the brightness, HTC One M8 camera can perform really well at night. I was quite surprised that it can capture well lit images even in a nightclub. (I was shooting photo of the new Heineken Bottles in a dark venue). Thanks to its f/2.0 camera lens then.



Is HTC One M8 the right camera for you??
My overall review on HTC One M8:
From the design, I can say that HTC One M8 fit perfectly on my palm. Even my girlfriend agree and love it. (She always say my GALAXY Note is too big) The overall performance of HTC M8 is consider really fast with no lag. However I am not sure if it is certain Apps compatibility that cause the app crash some time. I love the Dual-side Boombox speakers as it is always good to enjoy your YouTube video with maximum Audio quality. Best to bring along when you listen to Spotify. As for HTC M8 battery life, I was very surprised that it can last me one whole day using the Power Saving mode. Basically my phone will sync and update only when I choose to unlock the phone. This will definitely save a lot on batteries. The down side would be you won't able to change the battery easily like other phone. (Does it try to resemble iPhone??) As for the camera, I like its swift shutter and the Slow Motion video recording features. Now I start to worry that smartphone camera will become too smart and replace DSLR anyhow. Then photographer have no business in future hahaha. Maybe HTC should work with a camera brand to combine 2-in-1 creating something even more special for photographer like us!

HTC One M8 Price in Malaysia

HTC One M8 retail price is RM 2,100-RM2,200 but you can always get a bundle package from local telco. Maxis, DiGi, UMobile all offering phone deal for HTC One M8 with data-plan. You can easily check it from iMoney comparison site. Remember to choose the right Data Plan to pair with your phone. Basically 2GB quota data plan is good enough for most smartphone users (except your only way to surf the internet is by using mobile phone).

Us in Macau right outside Lisboa Macau
Alright, that's all for my review on HTC One M8. Hopefully it helps you to decide whether to get this phone or not especially on camera function. There are now waterproof smartphone out there and I am looking forward to see HTC include this waterproof feature too so I can just bring my phone snorkeling anytime I want =D Underwater footage would be awesome!! So far HTC One M8 has a good front AND wide camera for selfie with friends =)

PS: I still love my one-and-only-one selfie DSLR. No other selfie camera can flash at night like mine! Muahaha~

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