The whitepaper is free to download, but Honor has products its own report on how smartphone photography will advance in the coming years.
What might come as a surprise to some, but not all, is that the megapixel race is finally showing signs of slowing down (not that this will prevent some manufacturers hitting the 200-megapixel barrier this year) and bigger pixels are favoured by manufacturers of flagship phones.
Dedicated image processing chips will also become the norm at the high end, with software playing a massive role in improving the quality of smartphone camera images. These processors will also work for better integration of multiple image sensors, allowing smoother zooms and more consistency when changing from one camera to another.
You can read the Counterpoint Whitepaper for yourself, as well as view the Honor presentation and press release below.
HONOR Discusses Future of Mobile Imaging at Counterpoint Research Webinar
Elevating smartphone camera imaging quality to levels that can even rival what some DSLR cameras offer
[London, UK – June 8, 2022] – HONOR, a global technology brand, today shared insights from the perspective of an industry leader at a Counterpoint Research event. Titled “Smartphone Imaging Trends: New Directions Capturing Magic Moments”, the webinar invited HONOR to discuss its leading role in delivering cutting-edge smartphone imaging solutions and the prevailing trends that are directing the future of smartphone cameras.
“Smartphone photography is not just about hardware or software. At HONOR, we excel in leveraging fusion computational photography and multiple cameras to achieve what we call ‘all for one and one for all’ synergy, elevating smartphone camera imaging quality to levels that can even rival what some DSLR cameras offer,” said Dr. Weilong Hou, Technical Expert, HONOR Imaging. “The HONOR Magic4 Series exemplifies the work of our R&D team, featuring the HONOR Image Engine that not only enables users to harness the full capabilities every camera equipped on an HONOR smartphone, but also makes incredible image quality accessible to everyday users.”
The webinar was moderated by Peter Ricardson, Vice President of Research, Counterpoint Research, with a panel of industry veterans and subject experts in attendance, including Dr. Hou; Hervé Macudzinski, Image Science Director, DXOMARK; Judd Heape, Vice President of Product Management, Qualcomm and Eugenio Recuenco, renowned professional photographer, film director and two-time Cannes Lion Award winner, who has also recently shot a film entirely on the HONOR Magic4 Pro. The event complements a Counterpoint Research whitepaper that is publishing today.
HONOR Image Engine: The Core of HONOR Smartphone Cameras
In his presentation, Dr. Hou introduced the HONOR Image Engine, HONOR’s cutting edge camera solution that enables the hardware to work in unison with AI and algorithms to generate high quality visuals. Underpinning the camera experience, the solution helps users elevate simple camera captures to artistic renditions of their creative vision. As the latest HONOR flagship smartphones, HONOR Magic4 Pro and HONOR Magic4 Ultimate are a testament to the efficacy of the solution, with the latter scoring 146 on DXOMARK Overall Camera Score – the highest score ever given by the authoritative product evaluation organization.
Addressing user pain points around mobile photography and video capture, the two smartphones debuted with a wide range of cutting-edge features, including the ability to take high quality photos while capturing a video. Going forward, according to Dr. Hou, HONOR will continue striving to empower consumers to take great images anytime, anywhere through R&D, with a focus on achieving performance parity between mobile and dedicated cameras, improving image quality, and harnessing a wider array of sensors with more advanced software to comprehensively improve imaging outcomes.
Currently, all HONOR Magic Series and HONOR N Series smartphones are equipped with HONOR Image Engine, which works in the background to ensure better photo and video capturing results.
Evaluating Smartphone Cameras
From the perspective of a trusted product evaluation expert, Macudzinski shared his views on the requirements for a great photograph – a photographer’s skill to identify and frame the scene, the occurrence of a decisive moment to be captured with clarity, and the camera’s capabilities to understand user’s intention and modify images accordingly. For a smartphone camera to be regarded as exceptional, according to Macudzinski, it needs to support these features in the camera’s default shooting mode. The expert illustrated his viewpoints with HONOR Magic4 Ultimate, which has remained the top of DXOMARK’s smartphone camera rankings since its test report was published in March. Commending the HONOR flagship smartphone for its exceptional user experience, capture capability and AI processing, Macudzinski discussed key highlights from DXOMARK’s report, focusing on HONOR Magic4 Ultimate zoom performance across various focal lengths and the fusion between hardware and software allowing the various camera lenses to work together and produce objectively better image quality.
Smartphone Photography from a Professional’s Perspective
Renowned for his works as a photographer and film director, Recuenco recently shot his film Kaleidoscope entirely on HONOR Magic4 Pro. Recounting his experience during the presentation, Recuenco said filming with the HONOR smartphone felt familiar, as the array of professional features such as the powerful camera system and Magic-Log provided him with the creative freedom he enjoys with professional gear, but in a much more pocketable form factor. Recuenco, as one of the judges for the HONOR Magic Moments competition, also selected a few submissions from the year’s contest and commented on the myriad possibilities today’s smartphone cameras have enabled for people to be more expressive on their captures than ever before.
Representing Qualcomm, Heape shared insights into the collaboration that brought the HONOR Image Engine to life. The HONOR Magic4 Series took full advantage of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Mobile Platform and the latest Qualcomm AI Engine for Ultra Fusion Photography, allowing images taken by different lenses and processed by multiple ISP to complement each other to achieve an improvement in image quality. The innovative algorithm HONOR developed fully released the RAW domain computational photography capabilities. With HONOR Image Engine’s flexible frame work, while Qualcomm‘s ISP can support the high throughput of multi-threading and parallel processing, which leads to innovative functions and user experiences like “Advanced Photoshoot While Video Recording”.
Complementary Counterpoint Research Whitepaper
The webinar is a complement to a new Counterpoint Research whitepaper which offers a holistic view on the wider industry trends with contributions from webinar panelists. The whitepaper is available for download on Counterpoint Research’s website.Honor Press Release, June 8th 2022