HTC 8X's wide-angle front-facing camera sample gets posted


HTC testing the FF camera on the 8X

When we had our hands on with the HTC 8X a few weeks ago, we were able to test the camera and noted at the time that it was extremely quick (due to the dedicated image chip). Since then, some sample images of the rear 8MP shooter have come forth and they look really good for a modern smartphone.

Over on the official HTC Blog, they posted an interview with HTC product planner Anthony Rutter focusing on the HTC 8X and 8S. While most of the info in the interview is quite basic for our readers e.g. the new Live Tile system in Windows Phone 8, they did post a single image of the front-facing camera.

If you recall, the HTC 8X features a nicely sized 2.1MP front-facing camera with an F/2.0 aperture and dedicated HTC ImageChip for fast processing. But in addition, it's also very wide-angle--88 degree viewing, in fact. The reason for this was HTC claims most people use their FF camera for self pics and group shots when out with friends, so it made more sense to try and "show more".

And although the above photo is not the original size, so it's hard to see detail, we can tell you that indeed that sure is wide-angle, without any fisheye distortion. We have to agree here with HTC that this change makes front-facing cameras much more useful than their current non-wide angle design.

Source: HTC Blog


Reader comments

HTC 8X's wide-angle front-facing camera sample gets posted


Its always amazing that implementing a wide angle lens has taken this long. The simplest and most obvious ideas seem to take these companies forever to adopt.

Very cool, indeed... if you're the self-centered Instragram-loving chick type, lol. (No offense really intended... it's just a joke.)

But I am offended!  YMCMB
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[insert pic of me suggestively pouting, showing cleavage and of being very questionable age to have pictures like this  / parents would throw a mental]

In one of the recent Lumia 920 videos the rep told that with OIS you can take those one-handed self shots much easier (because of the improved stabilisation) than before.
Still, this is pretty neat feature to have and I presume FFC's will get more attention in the future. I'm a little surprised it was HTC that figured out to do this and not Apple (Facetime and so on).

Doesn't the Lumia 900 have a wide angle ffc?  I thought Kevin Shields from Nokia demoed it last Spring, but I only recall maybe two tech sites (MyNokiaBlog and Bwone.com) showing the Lumia 900 front camera in action with and without using the Tango app.
Hopefully, with the new WP8 devices hitting the shelves, tech sites will also demo the front facing camera's whether it be a Skype demo or otherwise.

Okay, thanks for the reply.  Not sure if Nokia referred to it as 'wide angle' but they did show the difference between standard ffc and the one on the Lumia 900; the difference was that the Lumia 900 was actually capturing more of the 'scene' than the typical ffc's at the time.

I would say it is seeing as this camera has a F/2.0 aperture lens with a wide angle lens whie the Lumia 920 uses a regular lens with a standard angle. Plus, the 8X has a higher resolution front camera and the front camera on the Lumia 920 doesn't benefit from any of the Pureview tech.

I wonder how efficient the 2.1 mp front camera work in the weak signal area.  When using video chat, you want to make sure it actually work in all conditions.  Showing off the wrinkles is not the top priority. :)  iPhone 5 chooses a 1.2 mp camera and L920 chooses a 1.3 mp are for technical reasons.

I think he's concerned about the bandwidth of transmitting higher-res video. I would think it will be down converted to lower res if necessary.

Your comment makes little to no sense but I would assume you're talking about signal weakness in during video chat?
The purpose of the high mp front facing camera is for taking photos of yourself (as stated in the OP). For video chat the application will obviously decide a proper resolution based on available data speed. If you've ever used skype on a laptop you must've noticed how the quality goes up and down in terms of video (and audio for that matter) even though your laptop camera hardware is 1,3mp during all this time :o

I have no issues to take a picture with front camera even at 1.3 mp.  But I do have issues to use front camera for video chat even at 1.3 mp.  It gets by on wifi but it usually performs poorly over the phone.  I'm more concerned about the video chat quality than taking group pictures. 

I love Nokia and will keep my l900 as a backup, but i think i will try the red HTC 8x if the price is right. Maybe I will get the next flagship nokia WP when it's time..

I find myself liking the 8x more and more as details of of all the WP8 phones come out. HTC did a good job with this phone. It will be a tough choice when the phones release.

+1 I was all over the 920 until i saw the 8x, I LIVE the 8x, hardest decision is which color? For now the yellow is winning