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Updated HTC Gallery app offers adjustable UFocus feature

16
The new slider on the left side of the editing screen allows for manual adjustment of the level of background blur.

One of the most talked about new features of the HTC's latest flagship smartphone, the One M8, is the Duo Camera. Using the primary camera and a second sensor to create a shallow depth-of-field effect, the Duo Cam produced less-than-perfect results in our testing. Thanks to an update to the Gallery app, the intensity of the effect can now be adjusted.  

The M8 records image information on a 1/3-inch 4MP CMOS sensor but also comes with a secondary chip to capture depth information. This is meant to mimic the stereoscopic view of human eyes and allows the camera to distinguish between objects in the foreground and background of an image. The One M8's UFocus feature uses this information to apply blur to the background in an attempt to simulate the narrow depth-of-field of large sensor/fast lens combinations on digital SLRs and mirrorless system cameras. 

However, in our review of the One M8 we were not too impressed with the performance of Duo Cam and UFocus. The feature struggled to separate the subject from the background in a precise way and the backround blur went from 0 to 100 without any intermediate steps, giving the UFocus images a fake look. 

So it's good news that HTC has now published an update to its Gallery app that comes with an improved UFocus feature. You can now adjust the amount of blur that is being applied to the background via a slider on the left side of the screen. We've tried the new version of UFocus and while the ability to reduce the amount of blur helps the images it produces look a little more realistic, the feature's main problem remains: the foreground/background separation is simply not precise enough. Check our samples below and if you think the results are worth the upgrade, download it from the Google Play Store.

Original image
100% blur
50% blur
15% blur

Via: Android Central


Comments

Total comments: 16
magneto shot
By magneto shot (3 months ago)

i am sure its well and dandy....10 years from now, this technology might work

0 upvotes
ronniemac
By ronniemac (3 months ago)

prefer Nokia refocus

0 upvotes
deepakdbz
By deepakdbz (3 months ago)

Yikes!! Awful implementation by HTC....I think Google camera's blur feature is better than this...

0 upvotes
Sirandar
By Sirandar (3 months ago)

I can't really tell how good the effect is ..... but it will all come down the quality of the masking and edge detection .....

Actually at the resolution shown the effect isn't that bad ....

Still, this camera doesn't make all that much sense. The effect tweaked a little would be good for macro shooting to choose the best focused picture maybe.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (3 months ago)

click on the thumbnails to get the original images from the camera, that should give you a good idea.

1 upvote
rogalxxx
By rogalxxx (3 months ago)

eeeewwww

0 upvotes
HarrieD7000
By HarrieD7000 (3 months ago)

I thought this was a camera, but now it seems just a gadget.
And although my saying is, there is no bad picture, only a missed chance to make one (did not invent that myself) it will take much more before I replace my cameras for a thing like this.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (3 months ago)

well, you apply the focus effect in the editing app, so you still have to original image to use if you don't like UFocus.

0 upvotes
sbanawan
By sbanawan (3 months ago)

The camera on the HTC One is what drove me to buy my E-M1. It's a good phone otherwise but the camera is not good.

0 upvotes
XeroJay
By XeroJay (3 months ago)

Jeez, with results this awful, why bother? Looks like smartphones won't be replacing my 85L anytime soon.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (3 months ago)

Probably not but they don't weigh you down as much either ;)

1 upvote
Sonnik
By Sonnik (3 months ago)

That is such a lame reply!! How is getting an awful image justified by a lighter weight?

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (3 months ago)

easy, relax! Firstly my comment wasn't meant to be 100% serious, as clearly indicated by the use of a wink emoticon. Secondly comparing an 85L attached to whatever camera to a smartphone is comparing apples to oranges, I am sure we can all agree on that.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (3 months ago)

Really poor results - they look very unnatural. I don't see why anyone would bother. Now with the full manual features of iOS8, Apple will regain a lot of (during the last few years, lost) advantage WRT camera tech.

BTW, speaking of the full manual camera features of iOS8, I've just released a fully open source camera app for iOS8 devices. If you do want to shoot manual and you do have iOS8 beta on your iDevice, you can start shooting right away with my app(s):

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53824563

5 upvotes
sbanawan
By sbanawan (3 months ago)

Cool. I'll check it out.

0 upvotes
jwalker019
By jwalker019 (3 months ago)

Cool idea :) but really poor implementation - looks like what I used to do with Photoshop before I learned to use Photoshop :/

3 upvotes
Total comments: 16
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