With the introduction of the new HTC One, we’ve made a bold decision to drop out of the megapixel arms race, in which manufacturers continue to cram pointless megapixels into their cameras, instead of focusing on what is important: creating the best quality pictures for consumers. To do just that, we’ve introduced the UltraPixel, a truer measurement of quality photos.
The idea of the megapixel being the most important measurement is a “big fat lie.”
First let me explain what the megapixel is and why it isn’t the end-all be-all of camera quality measurement; if I may quote David Pogue, reviewer for the New York Times, the idea of the megapixel being the most important measurement is a “big fat lie.”
The megapixel speaks to the number of pixels a camera’s sensor can capture when it’s exposed to light, so in theory the more megapixels the better. However that’s really only half the equation. The other half is the size of the sensor, which determines how much light the camera can bring in. The dimensions of the smartphone dictate a finite size for the camera lens, the only way to increase the number of megapixels on this sensor is to decrease the size of the pixels, which can be extremely detrimental to image quality.
The smaller the pixel, the less light each one collects. This results in more image distortions and other photo defects. As Sam Biddle over at Gizmodo once said, “Small pixels suck. Like a crowded fraternity basement, a small, high-megapixel phone sensor creates images mired by discoloration and noise.” So if you’re buying a nice DSLR and planning on printing large photos, then more megapixels may be beneficial. It’s still not the primary factor in any scenario, but in smartphones it’s become a truly misleading statistic.
Small pixels suck. Like a crowded fraternity basement, a small, high-megapixel phone sensor creates images mired by discoloration and noise.”
So how is the UltraPixel different? We took a fresh look at how a smartphone camera should work. Our UltraPixel Sensor has the largest individual pixel size available in a smartphone, which enables each pixel to capture up to 300% more light*. This means you can take better pictures in real-world situations, such taking those foodie shots in your favorite dimly-lit restaurant. We’ve made other improvements too, which we believe makes the HTC One camera far and away the best smartphone camera out there, without compromising HTC’s renowned design style.
If you want to learn more about what HTC is doing, you can read the whitepaper we put together outlining all the improvements to our camera.
*More light than the current crop of 13MP smartphones and 200% more than 8MP models.