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Rumor: HTC M7 to Ditch Megapixels, Feature 'Ultrapixels'

HTC's rumored and all-but-confirmed high-end M7 smartphone, is said to be abandoning the standard camera sensor in favor of 'Ultrapixels.'

Despite speculation suggesting HTC's flagship device for 2013 will sport a 13-megapixel sensor, sources familiar with the device have told Pocket-lint that it will use Ultrapixels instead.

The device's camera will consist of three 4.3-megapixel sensor layers. Every pixel would be shot three times, the subsequent images being combined and processed in order to deliver the best image possible. This technology has striking similarities to Nokia's 43-megapixel PureView.

HTC's Ultrapixels would ultimately offer higher quality images in both color saturation and clarity. It'll also deliver a greater ability to digitally zoom into images.

While the HTC M7 has yet to be officially announced, the Taiwanese smartphone and tablet manufacturer recently chanted the device's name during a year-end company event, as seen below. The handset itself will be announced on February 20.

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  • outlw6669
    So.... They are using a Foveon sensor in the M7? Nice!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foveon_X3_sensor
    Reply
  • WithoutWeakness
    I wonder if the extra processing time needed per photo will affect how fast it can take photos in succession. I don't ever snap photos as fast as I can but if it takes it a half-second to process each photo it will definitely be noticeable to users. It sounds like it'll up the ante on what we come to expect quality-wise from cell phone cameras.
    Reply
  • guru_urug
    WithoutWeaknessI wonder if the extra processing time needed per photo will affect how fast it can take photos in succession. I don't ever snap photos as fast as I can but if it takes it a half-second to process each photo it will definitely be noticeable to users. It sounds like it'll up the ante on what we come to expect quality-wise from cell phone cameras.
    Even if the processing time between shots is noticible with the 3 sensors in tandem, Im pretty sure you'd get an option to utilize a single sensor for quicker shots.
    Reply
  • outlw6669
    guru_urugEven if the processing time between shots is noticible with the 3 sensors in tandem, Im pretty sure you'd get an option to utilize a single sensor for quicker shots.No, Foveon sensors are actually not three independent sensors.
    Instead, there are three distinct layers on a single sensor, each of which captures a different spectrum of light (Red, Blue or Green).

    In order to capture a color foto, you must utilize the data from all three layers of the sensor.
    The total data transferred from the sensor for each foto should be no more than a 'standard' 12.9MP Bayer Filter sensor (4.3MP x 3 sensor layers); not overly taxing for modern SOC's.
    Reply
  • warezme
    The bad thing if it is like foveon is foveon quality from what I have seen is only great in limited scenarios. Foveon is prone to noise and limited high ISO performance.
    Reply
  • Vorador2
    I was expecting a retarded marketing scheme, came positively surprised. I wonder what are the exact benefits of using this Foveon technology.
    Reply
  • aibenq
    sound really like foveon x3... or that phone is really use Foveon X3??? very good on bright light, but very prone to noise due the structure... but as many Sigma DSLR user get, beautiful color, dull yet realistic, and the staggering detail that captured...

    but maybe, for common user, they will say that phone is a crap, because they capture 4,7 megapixel JPEG... except that phone is upscale the image via RAW data, which generating a 14-10 megapixel JPEG from 4,7 x 3 megapixel... but for me and Foveon X3 lover, maybe we will happy to have that phone... ^w^

    well, if they put 15x3MP (46MP total, 30MP equivalent to BW Resolution Chart)... maybe that will be makes every people screaming (specially woman) because every complexion on they skin will be revealed on their photo shoot...
    Reply
  • guru_urug
    outlw6669No, Foveon sensors are actually not three independent sensors.Instead, there are three distinct layers on a single sensor, each of which captures a different spectrum of light (Red, Blue or Green).In order to capture a color foto, you must utilize the data from all three layers of the sensor.The total data transferred from the sensor for each foto should be no more than a 'standard' 12.9MP Bayer Filter sensor (4.3MP x 3 sensor layers); not overly taxing for modern SOC's.
    Oh, In that case I stand corrected. This Fovean sensor sounds more like a filter then, somewhat like the Bayers Filter
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    warezmeThe bad thing if it is like foveon is foveon quality from what I have seen is only great in limited scenarios. Foveon is prone to noise and limited high ISO performance.

    You're assuming the same small tired image sensor that all the cell phone manufacturers are using. I'm assuming this camera/lens will take up some more real estate on the back of the phone, which i'm fine with. A larger image sensor automatically means it's more sensitive to light which improves color, contrast, and low lighter performance as well as noise. The same holds true to point and shoot cameras moving up to full size SLR camera's.

    To be honest, i could care less about megapixels. 5MP for facebook, instagram and MMS is already overkill. All i wanted was a larger image sensor and lens. It's the colors and lighting that kills cell phone cameras.
    Reply