When business types instruct their marketing team to "go the extra mile", they're usually figuratively referring to a lateral mile - not a 2-mile vertical freefall. But in HTC's case, the latter is more appropriate: to demonstrate the fidelity and speed of the 8-megapixel f/2.0 camera on the HTC One X (which we noted ourselves in the review), they set up a skydiving fashion shoot, complete with photographer, model and lighting crew. The results are interesting to say the least.
Here's the setup: student fashion photographer and skydiving rookie Nick Jojola was instructed to capture a photo (while taking video) of model and expert skydiver Roberta Mancino with the HTC One X. He's joined by a safety diver (the guy who's tethered to him) two divers streaming smoke and two with a pair of high-powered lights. Roberta is wearing a high-fashion skydiving suit created especially for the shoot - that's the thing that looks like a buzzard after it's gone though a Cessna windshield.
The team had only 50 seconds of operating time before they had to deploy their parachutes. They arranged themselves in a formation of three vertical rows: the two streamers on the bottom, Nick and his safety diver in the middle with the HTC One X, and the lighting team and Roberta on top. When Nick was in position Roberta assumed a head-first position and dived for the shot. It took two goes, but the results speak for themselves:
Publicity stunt? Certainly. Cool? Absolutely. While you're not likely to need split-second shutter speed in your everyday travels (most of which are somewhat closer to sea level) the shoot illustrates the fast response of the One series camera rather well. HTC hasn't posted the full commercial yet, but it'll probably be showing up on European TV sets in the next few weeks. Here's a making-of just for fun: