Professional Photographer Challenges HTC One X

Can you really take a professional-quality photo with a camera phone?  To answer this question, Chuck Jackson created his own “Camera Phone Challenge”, utilizing only an HTC One X to complete an entire fashion shoot. Like other professional photographers, Jackson typically uses high-end camera equipment to capture the fine details and subtle lighting in his shoots. If the quality of the original photos aren’t good enough, not even his artistic photo-editing could hide the deficiencies of a camera phone.

“My objective was to show that you don’t need a $2000 DSLR [Digital Single-lens Reflex] camera to shoot professional looking photographs,” said Jackson. “If you are creative enough, and have the drive, you can shoot with anything. I wanted to shoot close-up photos that would really show off the quality of the image”.

While his photos seem to speak for themselves, we recently caught up with Chuck to get more details about his experience with his HTC.

LM: As a professional photographer you have access to top-end photography gear, why did you want to try this using a camera phone?
I’m an artist and photographer.  I wanted to challenge myself and see how far I could go using only a camera phone.  I’m always striving to improve at my craft and see where I can rank amongst the other photographers in the world.  I figured, why not try to match their look and quality while only using the cellphone I carry around in my pocket.

I also thought this might be an inspiration for anyone who doesn’t have the funding to buy an expensive camera. I guess you could say the project was for my confidence and for the young photographers as well.

LM:What was the hardest shot to take with a One X and why?
Well, I don’t want to make this sound too easy, but every shot was extremely easy to take. There were times when the camera was very sensitive to light, which gave me some overexposed areas. But, there are easy-to-use settings under the menu.  It was easy to make a few adjustments and bring the shots back to normal. During the whole shoot, the only thing I had to wory about was my model. The camera was fast and the shot quality was accurate. All I had to do was compose the shot and take the photo. Everything was that easy.  I pushed the One X to its limit and it never blinked.

LM: How much editing did you do to the photos?  Did you edit photos on the smartphone or did you use other software?
I didn’t use the in-camera software to edit. Because I shot at my studio, which has a very large green-screen, I needed Photoshop to be able to select that background and change it to what I needed. The editing process was very extensive and there aren’t any phone apps that can handle this type of professional editing at this time.

Before & After – Photo Taken with HTC One X

LM: What are the most important elements to getting a great shot?
The initial set up is the most important part.  Make sure you create the best base-image before any editing software touches the photo.  And lighting is very important.  Lighting gives the image character.  You can change pretty much anything in Photoshop, but, you can’t change the way the light hits the face, how shadows roll across the lines of the body. Make sure you get the lighting right, this is the most important part of a shoot.

LM:What is your favorite type of photography?
Fashion and Editorial are my favorite types of photography. I love people and I love mood setting. Sometimes I’m in the mood to go out and shoot something for the front cover of a magazine.  Sometimes I want to go out and have this dramatic and emotional storytelling type of shoot.   Fashion and Editorial give me plenty of opportunities truly explore my creative side.

LM: What are some tricks you learned to get the best shot with the HTC One X?
First off, I made sure to set the ISO to 100 in order to get the cleanest shot possible in my well-lit studio.  In fact, I didn’t leave any of the image adjustments set on “auto.”  I took advantage of all the image settings and manually adjusted thesettings to ensure the settings were ideal for the environment.  When I am using my DSLR I always shoot using manual settings as well.  The ability to do this with the One X was a big help and increased my comfort level with the photoshoot.

LM: Anything else you’d like to share?
Well, some people will say my opinion doesn’t matter, but this is what I do for a living.  And to me, the HTC One is better than the IPhone 4/s for photography.  I recently took part in a shoot where everyone took photos behind the scenes using their cellphones. Once everything was sent back to me and I could review all the images that were shot that day, the HTC One X and S took significantly better images. I’m not saying this was a scientific test; it was simply an ordinary, every day use in the same location, with the same subjects and lighting.  In my opinion, the HTC One X and S blew the iPhones away.

Chuck Jackson is based in Orlando, Florida. See more of his work on his Facebook page.

  • Siem de Nijs

    Well the quality isn’t even that good just zoom in-to the picture and you will see.. it’s rather bad 🙁

    • VaxMask

      I agree .. A fun project of course, but could never be used in high resolution commercials or commercial projects.

    • http://www.vinstagram.com/ Vinny

      It’s possible they just used lower res versions for the blog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zach.parry Zach Parry

    It has nothing to do with quality. zooming in on photos requires a higher pixel count. An 8 mega pixel camera will never be good for zooming in.

    • http://www.jasondunn.com/ Jason Dunn

      With fixed-focus lenses on a camera – any camera, from a DSLR to a phone – you “zoom” with your feet. You walk.

    • http://www.vinstagram.com/ Vinny

      Zooming compresses the DOF. As Jason notes, the “sneaker zoom” is always better if you’re trying to separate your subject from your background.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kresli Eduard Kresli Jacko

    this phone have no image stabilizer..so how can be use for profi? 😀

    • http://www.jasondunn.com/ Jason Dunn

      By a photographer with steady hands of course. My Nikon DSLR with a prime lens has no image stabilization either….

    • http://www.vinstagram.com/ Vinny

      Image Stabilizer? I don’t know a single pro photographer who cares about stabilization, not to mention a large number of professional shots are done on tripods anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=747639082 Tom Kelsall

    All the people commenting before me are forgetting the most important detail. This guy is a professional photographer and he rates the camera on the phone – end of.

    He never ONCE mentions zooming in, either. Any photographer worth anything at all knows without even thinking, you NEVER, EVER, EVER use digital zoom. Not EVER. Just don’t do it. It wrecks the photo. Crop the image later and the effect is FAR better.

    • Håvard Legernæs

      Hey! HTC is doing bad, Samsung has taken over :/

      • Alejandro Cedillo

        sales mean nothing at all, I even kinda like the fact that the hoi polloi is always digging samsung and apple ’cause that leaves htc as a sort of exclusive club.. I always say that htc and especially sense is not for just anyone but for people with a keen sense of style and elegance, and we are few indeed.. absolutely love the exclusive htc club and hope it continues being so, cheers!

        • http://www.facebook.com/rdjakhangirov Rustam Djakhangirov

          Sales mean too much nowadays.
          HTC has it’s idea (plan) in phonemaking. They are not going to make cheap phone and then sell it for much just because of the brand name.
          Any inovation in big corporations requires financial funds. I’m not talking about the idea that comes to life by a talanted engineer. I’m talking about the production. You need a lot of money just to plan the production process. Even more to run it. If such fall will continue, you will have no sense and no exclusive devices. Possibly HTC will become one of the out-sourcing company, the one it was before.

          And I don’t like Sense. Prefer launchers with less design atributes. Physical design is important, and HTC handles with it better than any other manufacturer. It’s the opinion of 308 people among which I provided my tiny survey. The launcher should be more optionally configurable.

  • Lars Müller

    I have shot with the One x a few great shots .

  • http://www.facebook.com/jere.ta.7 JeR’e Ta

    Hey.. HTC, just got my new hTC phone!! and i LOVe it. keep it goin.. htc!! 5stars baby.. XD

  • Nicholas Gray

    Nice to see how a pro would use the One X. People don’t realize how hard it is to capture a great shot. just because you have a good camera, that doesn’t mean that the average user is going to come away with a great shot.

    That being said, the burst mode on the One X and One S is amazing for capturing images of children. Great job HTC!

    • http://blog.htc.com/ Larry Meadows

      Thanks Nick! I’ve been using the continuous shot feature on a number of things I hope share soon. It’s also nice to get tips like this a pro. Of course, I always welcome tips on new and unique ways people are using the HTC smartphones 🙂

  • http://www.facebook.com/lennesama Sandra Monteiro

    Wow…amazing! Being a photography lover, and an amateur photographer myself i just loved this! Go Go HTC and Chuck!

    • http://blog.htc.com/ Larry Meadows

      Thanks Sandra. As an amateur photographer, what are your favorite types of shots? Hope you share some with the community!

  • DisqsNF

    htc One X has much worse camera than Samsung Galaxy S3, you can check rest of the comparison pictures on gsmarena. Couple that with limited space and no microSD slot you have to carry additional camera with one x and you don’t with SGS3

    • http://www.facebook.com/rdjakhangirov Rustam Djakhangirov

      What a Samsung fan is doing in here.
      And what zoomed pictures are these.
      Maybe I’m wrong and these pics actually show the difference.
      But by now I’ve seen so much comparsions with a big bunch of different results. I can’t trust you just because you placed them here.
      Noone actually can.
      If you’ve personally made these shots than maybe we here could’ve think about the difference.

  • Sittz Ramawat

    have send lots of pic for htc contest of photography

    bt no respose by HTC INDIA on fb no pics of mine are uploaded der

    plzz must check the photos
    sent by mail address satyamramawat@gmail.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/rdjakhangirov Rustam Djakhangirov

    HTC you need advertisment, a lot of it.
    No, I mean that you’re suffering without it
    Your current financial status may not be explanation for lack of advs application. Look what people think of HTC. Ask the public, not the developers. You’ve got Tegra 3 on One X. Why don’t you show that this component will allow to run super graphics games on your phones. Galaxy SIII will not have that much support from the games developers.
    Why i’m writing this.
    Just because I see a very good device on a shelf in stores and not many are buying it.
    Technically Ones are just fine but your competitors are stating the low charged battery, no sd and other problems that makes people not to choose One X. One S is amazing, can’t say anything about it.
    Anyway I like good devices and such marketing as yours annoys me. Ain’t you got money or creative staff.

  • http://twitter.com/kazuyen Edsar Bondoc

    Nice photos!

  • http://twitter.com/Cornellrpd Cornell Robertson

    The comment being made could be true, if you don’t need photos for a large production with your rep on the line. Don’t be taking by the new phone tech stuff so fast, remember that the light is the key to your photography. The size of the digital sensor is everything people. There is no real comparison, period. This is like comparing a handmade paper plane to The Concorde Jet, just don’t do it folks. If you attend or attended a good art school, you would have a great understanding about sensor size and light. Limit the cellphone photos to FB and mom & pops shots at home, but not the professional line of work. If I showed up to your wedding and was charging you $2500 and up with a cellphone in hand, would you trust my work? The $500 and up DSLR have the ability to focus faster, add many attachments, tilt and shift lens opts, and a host of image sensor size, etc. Hey, I have the HTC One X and love it, but I will not earn my living with it my friend. Need I add more….

  • http://twitter.com/LmtdSlip Christopher Mallardi

    I think the real point being missed here is not that a camera phone can replace a pro level DSLR but rather is more than good enough to replace your old point & shoot digital. I can tell you lots of people are still carrying around two devices because most camera phones can’t take a good picture for anything more than a Facebook post.

    Now HTC has a camera that legitamtly has me leaving my p&s at home more than I tote it along.

    I haven’t seen a phone that shoots better pics than the One.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rikky.shah Rikky Shah

    the camera when you zoom in is S**T, feels like super mario on the atari, soo pixelated and extremely poor quality, embarrassing when trying to compare my phone to the iphone. HTC have lost alot of credit from me for their so called flagship phone

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