If you recently picked up the HTC One (M8), or are just planning on getting one, you probably want to make sure you're going to be able to take the best pictures possible. Everyone has their own tips, but we've dug through all of the camera features on the HTC One (M8) and, combined with some other tips, we've compiled a list of ideas that we think will help you get the most out of your new phone. As always, if you have any ideas of your own, or have stumbled across any camera features you think might be hidden, be sure to let us know in the comments below.
1. Organize Your Albums Right Away For Better Highlight Reels
I recently moved all of my photos from the HTC One (M7) over to the HTC One (M8) and I finally did something I've been meaning to do for years: organize my photos. One of the most amazing camera features on the One and One (M8) is the highlight reel, but with the album layouts it's hard to actually manage that reel unless you organize your camera roll and put pictures into albums. I recommended creating albums every chance you get — like for an entire trip, or maybe a dinner you want to remember. Then, later, when it comes time to create a highlight reel, you'll be able to select the appropriate photos much, much easier than had you let all of your picture exist together in a massive album. I'm doing it right now on my trip to California, actually, and I move each batch over to a "SoCal April 2014" album so I can create my highlights later.
2. Create a Default HDR Mode
While it seems like more phones are putting an emphasis on HDR camera features, HTC didn't do that with the One (M8). It's an option, of course, but first you have to open the camera, then tap a button and select HDR as the shooting mode. That's kind of a roundabout way for doing things, and thankfully there's actually a much easier way to shoot in HDR. HTC's camera app has an amazing ability that lets you save custom camera settings into different profiles. To do so, simply turn on HDR and then click settings > "Save as camera" and save it under "HDR." Now, when you boot the camera app, you'll have a new setting that automatically loads up ready to take HDR photos. Also – keep in mind you can use this to create any sort of custom camera, whether it's with filters, exposure value settings, white balance — anything can be saved as a custom camera.
3. Try to Balance The Phone Before You Shoot
Unfortunately, while the HTC One (M8) has some stabilization software onboard, it doesn't have the same optical image stabilization that last year's HTC One (M7) offered. It's a weird sacrifice, but it was probably made to support the depth sensor instead. Either way, I've found that I'm able to take much, much better photos by slowing down and deliberately trying to balance the phone and staying still. Most of the time I'll look for a post, ledge or desk to prop the phone on, too, to alleviate any unnecessary blurring that can occur because of movement. You'll find your shots will look infinitely better if you just take a few seconds to balance the phone first.
4. Change the Exposure Value to Prevent Light Bleeding
The HTC One camera features a 4-Ultrapixel sensor because the company put more focus on the pixels — opting for larger ones that bring in more light instead of smaller ones — but that also creates a problem with the exposure. Shots taken in really bright conditions often get blown out and overexposed. To prevent this, make sure you change the exposure value manually by selecting the "EV" setting on the phone. It updates the exposure value in real-time so you'll be able to see just how clear the image will come out, and you'll find your shots look a lot more natural than on the default exposure value setting of EV+0.
5. Use Zoes!
HTC's going to make Highlight reels a lot cooler once it adds multi-user support, but in the meantime I can't stress this enough: you should absolutely take advantage of the Zoe camera mode. It's one of those smartphone camera features that really helps the One (M8) stand-out agains the competition. It allows you to take quick video clips that can then be combined with your photos to create a 30-second highlight reel that brings your memories back to life. I still look at Highlights that I made a year ago — like one of my brother's graduation from school, or another from a vacation in the Poconos. Oddly enough, I'm still trying to convince my wife to use this feature — too many users don't even know it exists!