3: Camera OperationNext
HTC One M8 Camera Review
Lars Rehm | Published: May 27, 2014 at 18:14 UTC53
Unlike Nokia's Lumia devices or the Sony Xperia Z1/Z2 the One M8 does not have a physical shutter button for easy access to the camera app but you can get there via a short-cut from the lock screen. If you're in the camera app when the phone goes into sleep mode you'll get straight back to where you were after you press the power button to wake the device up.
Once in the camera app the main screen looks very simple, with flash mode being the only directly accessible parameter. The M8's camera app offers an abundance of options though, you just have to find them.
Below the prominent shutter button on the right you find the icon for the Camera selection screen. By default here you'll be able to pick from Camera, Video, Zoe Camera, Selfie, Dual Capture and 360 Degree Panorama. There are more shooting modes, such as HDR, Panorama or Night Mode, hidden under the three menu dots in the bottom left. This can appear a little inconsistent at first but the good news is that the Camera selection screen is configurable and you can save any conceivable combination of shooting mode and parameters as a new "camera" which will then appear in the selection screen. For example, if you want HDR mode in the selection screen, you activate HDR via the menu and then select "save as camera". You have to give your new "camera" a name and save it and it will then appear in the Camera screen.
Apart from a range of camera modes the camera app menu gives you access to ISO, exposure compensation, white balance, and a set of effect filters. For the most basic settings, such as aspect ratio, image parameters or the framing grid you have to dive one menu level deeper. For those who want even more manual control the One M8 also offers a M-mode which allows for manual adjustment of white balance, ISO, shutter speed and focus on a set of sliders. The slowest possible shutter speed is 4 sec, which won't allow for the capturing of star trails but the mode can be useful for freezing motion in lower light. Like most smartphone cameras the One M8 chooses very slow speeds in low light by default.
Capturing an image in the standard camera mode works in the same was as on the original HTC One. You can either tap the onscreen shutter button or you can enable the "touch-to-capture" option in the menu to shoot an image by tapping anywhere on the screen. In both cases the exposure is linked to the focus point which means that if you tap and focus on a bright part of your scene you'll get a darker exposure and the other way around.