DSLR quality smartphone cameras are only 18 months away

HTC's camera expert Symon Whitehorn claims HTC smartphones could be feature the same quality optical zoom as DSLR cameras in 18 months time.

In an interview published on the Vodafone blog, Symon Whitehorn states that smartphones have become the norm for point and shoot photography, and with every generation of HTC smartphone that is released they are steadily bridging the gap that exists between mobile phone cameras and DSLR cameras.

He said: "Smartphone cameras take the majority of our images now. We already outperform a lot of compact point and shoot cameras, but we want to approach the performance of regular cameras. Every generation of our cameras seems to close that gap."

HTC has only just released the latest iteration of their flagship smartphone, the HTC One M8, which looks certain to rival Samsung's Galaxy S5 and Apple's upcoming iPhone 6 for smartphone of the year. It sports many pioneering new features including a Duo Camera with UltraPixel technology. 

However the smartphone and tablet creators clearly aren't resting on their laurels as Whitehorn says HTC "is not far away at all" from including the only thing that makes smartphone cameras inferior to the mighty DSLR camera, an optical zoom.

"I can't give too much away, but within 12-18 months we'll see huge advances in phone optics. Everyone wants optical zooming, and that's on the horizon.

"We're trying to match the performance of dedicated cameras where one piece of glass inside it costs £3000 alone. We're never going to match that in the short term but we are getting towards those effects "

His comments suggest that HTC is trying to make it hard for casual photographers to justify purchasing a high quality point and shoot camera or DSLR. It remains to be seen how any smartphone company could integrate an optical zooming lens with the quality of a DSLR into a compact rectangular shell, but come late 2015 we might just see it happen in HTC smartphones.