A zoetrope is a device that produces the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures. The term zoetrope is from the Greek words ζωή zoe, “life” and τρόπος tropos, “turn”. It may be taken to mean “wheel of life”
and much like the spin of this old fashioned forerunner to cinema, it was only composed of a few frames, yet it breathed life into what were in essence static imagery. Much like this old victorian invention the HTC Ones Zoe function utilizes the same principle, yet with 21st century technology.
The new HTC One phone comes with a multitude of in camera features, you may have seen them on other models and makes enabling you to distort pictures with wave and whirlpool effects, give a variety of colored filters, from lovely desaturated
effects to sepia and black and white images, showing you how the photo will look ‘In-House’ so to speak. This is of course is not a new invention, similar features exist on many of the other top Android and Apple phones, but where HTC have cornered the market is the brilliant way you can change, alter, improve, tweak, poke, squeeze, remove and generally be a creative devil with the photos you take. It works like this…
The Phone’s Zoe function takes a 3 second film and within that has five still images, and it is from this selection that you can pick and choose, improve and alter your photo so you get that perfect shot every time as well as letting you do multiple exposures and HDR which up until now you could only Do with a high end computer running the latest Adobe Creative Suite software. Let the tinkering commence!
Grumpy subjects are the bane of my life… and no matter how many times you tell them to smile they won’t.. well., not when the camera is pointed their way.. however, this sneaky Zoe function starts its 3 second recording before you have even hit the capture button, GOTCHA!. so by simply selecting their face you can push the slider up and down until that illusive smile magically appears.
As you can see, my non plussed wife is now looking resplendent, however the old adage of never working with children is true as ever. I did swipe backwards and forwards to se if i had captured an illusive smile but it wasn’t to be. A really nice feature and i can see if you were out with friends and time was short or indeed you only had a few seconds to pose having this feature could help make your photos even more perfect and turn the most sullen faced of friends and make them smile with everyone else in the group.. providing they smile for a limited time so Zoe can capture it.
More powder please!
Shooting with celebrities or even regular boys and girls, one thing they all have in common is once they are put under hot studio lights, a bit of pressure to perform or even if you are shooting outside on a summers day, they will all sweat which leaves the face wet which can result in bleached out skin tones as the light bounces off the surface and leaves bleached out (photographic term for not nice looking skin). Ordinarily in an instance like this you would call the Make-Up artist over and after a few expertly applied strokes from the powder brush, the harmonious balance of light and dry skin would once again be restored.
This is not something most people have if they whip out their phone to take a quick snap of friends… and the cries from the females within the group the moment it goes on facebook or twitter is “ I look all sweaty, don’t you dare post that photo!!”
What the HTC does is give a little bit of professional make up artistry to your fingertips. Again, taking the example of my wife and child from the before and after you can see the change and really does do a great job in smoothing out those blown out skin tones and smoothing out the skin.
The results are surprisingly good. The skin does have a much better look, its more flattering and gives an impression that the face may have had a bit of powder applied (or a touch of photoshop work done), either way it takes mere seconds and the results are really effective.
Please stand still.. or not..
Multiple exposure function
Zoe has the ability to allow you to shoot multiple exposures. The same principal applies, you select the best frames and compress the shots to give that sense of motion and action.
This could work with anything, sporting fixtures like tennis, motor racing, golf.. basically any sport that involves relatively fast paced movement within the frame. This is probably my favorite feature as a photographer, when i was a student many years ago, multiple exposures on a film camera was always something i enjoyed but was quite tricky as you had to dive the exposure by the number of intended frames and hope the overall exposure worked compositionally. You have a choice of how many frames you want to use, so you can just use two or use all the frames given, which is five.
Taking out objects in shots is something that professional photographers like myself do day in and day out, from everything form landscapes, to beauty to portraits to still life. Using my son as an example of how this camera will be used in everyday life you can see by just a push of a button he is been removed from the scene. by using the 3 seconds of footage and the stills where he isn’t in that location it has seamlessly dropped the background over him and hey presto a tranquil scene is restored!
There are other cool Zoe functions like eye widening, (perfect for a sunny day if your subjects are squinting slightly. There is eye brightening, which is a great function, it allows you to lighten the eye which without flash or a bit of fill in light can sometimes have shadows and after all, the eyes are the gateway to the soul so you want to be able to see them.
The Camera on the HTC one produces images that are roughly 3.5mb compressed and once opened up in Photoshop you are looking at about 11mb files. For a phone this is ample quality! ti would allow you to get a pretty good A4 sized print, its not magazine quality by any stretch but for a phone it really isnt about the top line quality of the camera but more about the amazingly diverse and innovative functions it offers for keen photographers who may not want to bring their DSLR’s out and then spend hours in photoshop altering the images. Its a camera for the tech savvy generation, those who want to produce fun results quickly and effectively and allow them to upload it and share it with friends straight away.