Vodafone UK recently spoke with Symon Whitehorn of HTC. Whitehorn, who is dubbed HTC's "camera expert" offered some hints in terms of where the smartphone camera market is heading, and also managed to get a few jabs in at the competition. He also talked a bit about the megapixel war and selfies.
In terms of the future. While many have already ditched a point and shoot camera for their smartphone, they aren't able to do the same with fancier DSLR models just yet. Whitehorn mentioned that is a "boundary that everyone wants us [them] to crack." And it seems it may happen sooner than some would expect. According to Whitehorn, he feels we are "looking at about 18 months to two years." Of course, that does have some limits and some users, namely professionals, will likely stick with a dedicated camera.
“Optical zooming in a smartphone is not too far off at all for HTC. I can’t give too much away, but within 12-18 months we’ll see huge advances in phone optics."
There was also some talk about 4K video. Whitehorn addressed this topic rather clearly by saying they "could be 4K ready now." The jab came towards Sony when he said HTC is "waiting until 4K can really fit into people’s lives, and to make sure that that decision makes sense." It also looks like the HTC smartphone camera setup could go to 8MP at some point.
“If you look at 4K quality, it really is only about 8-megapixels. That’s a pretty good level to hold at, because over and above that we’re not sure what benefit you’d be getting. That kind of ballpark is where we’ll be very happy to be in the future, as long as we can maintain the large pixel model.”
Shifting to the front-facing camera and the selfies. Here we heard talk about how the front-facing camera will be improved above the current 5MP on the HTC One (M8). Whitehorn mentioned how "in some markets 90% of pictures taken are selfies." He then went on to say how HTC wants to "own the selfie market" and dropped a hint about how we may see an UltraPixel camera move to the front on future devices.