Interesting information regarding the camera on the Evo...
I've been doing a LOT of digging around about the camera on the Evo trying to see if it just has a crappy camera or if there was something else going on.. Well I've just about confirmed my original theory... htc is simply CLUELESS on how to write a camera app. BUT, it's a little deeper than that. I found out a few days ago, much to my surprise, the Evo and the iPhone 4 basically have the same camera The Evo uses the Omnivision OV8810 where as the iPhone uses the Omnivision OV5642. Both are a part of Omnivisions OmniBSI™ 1.75 m and 1.4 m family line. The ONLY difference between the camera on the iPhone 4 and the Evo is the iPhone 4 has the 5mp version and the Evo uses the 8mp version.
"OmniVision Offers the Industry's Widest Product Portfolio
As the mobile camera phone market has grown to over one billion units a year, it has also become widely segmented, ranging from high-end camera phones, which are more like a camera with a phone, to phones offering extremely low resolution cameras. To be a complete supplier, OmniVision offers a wide portfolio of sensors dedicated for mobile phones that spans from CIF to 9-megapixels in a variety of optical formats from 1/13" to 1/2.3".
OmniBSI™ 1.75 m and 1.4 m family
OV14810 - 14.6-megapixel RAW sensor for DSC and very high-end mobile phones
OV8810 - 8-megapixel RAW sensor for high-performance mobile phone and DSC (Evo's camera)
OV5650 - 5-megapixel RAW sensor for high-performance mobile phones and DSC
OV5642 - 5-megapixel RAW sensor for mass market mobile phones (iPhone 4's camera)
OV2665 - 2-megapixel SoC sensor for mass market mobile phone"
So how the HELL is there such a HUGE difference in video and picture quality between the Evo and iPhone 4? Well I found an very interesting thread in XDA which lead me to a bunch of threads regarding the camera in the Evo and Incredible, both of which have the same camera. Here's something that caught my eye, and honestly, I think is THE culprit on why the quality of the Evo is worse than the iPhone 4's quality despite them basically having the same camera:
"The DINC uses the same Ominvision sensor as the EVO (http://www.ovt.com/download_document...or&sensorid=69).
Omnivision's spec state it can do 1080p. 720p is doable with the right camera app, the right bitrate, the right codec, and the right write-speed.
When I plugged my DINC into the debugger, all I see are API calls to a Qualcomm camera drivers when the camera is on.
This explains why the video/photos are horrible on both the DINC and EVO.
HTC's Droid Incredible/Evo doesn't use a Qualcomm sensor. They use a Omnivision sensor.
So what does that tell me? They didn't write an optimized camera app for the sensor. They're using a generic driver for their camera app.
When I plug in a Motorola Droid or any other Android phone, I see the right drivers being loaded up within their respective camera apps."
This completely makes Sense. Not only is the camera app just complete ****, it's not even using the driver it's SUPPOSED to be using. They're just using some whatever driver that they probably use for every other htc phone. I've been searching for almost 30 minutes and for the life of me I can't find the damn post, but someone made a post saying that the driver and camera app is basically based off the Hero. I haven't been able to find anything else about that to confirm if that's true or not. But at this point, I have to say that I would be more surprised if that wasn't the case. This actually really bummed me out. I haven't been able to reach out to any experts about this, but I think we're pretty limited here. And it's not because of hardware either. The camera on the Evo is actually REALLY REALLY good. What bums me out is is seems that not even a properly written camera app will fix this because it's still going to use the same driver. This is when the experts come in.... Would it be possible to change the driver being used for the camera? It's a LONG shot but I'm going to email Omnivision and see if there's any way to get a hold of the correct driver for the camera. Maybe I can pass it along to the many developers on XDA that are trying to fix this issue... I love this phone. And while a camera on a phone will never be a deal breaker, it's still pretty disappointing knowing how much potential it has but it's being limited by htc's stupidity....
...now to figure out wtf is going on with my HDMI...
- 09-15-2010, 12:46 AM #2
Wow interesting information. I guess that's one advantage a company like Apple has. They only make one smartphone, for one carrier (at least in the states) so they have more time to optimize the experience on that one device.
I hope that someone can come up with a solution and give us all a better experience with the camera. It would be interesting to see if just changing the driver to the "right" one would automatically improve the picture quality.
- 09-15-2010, 12:49 AM #3
Yeah... that's true. Apple has that as a 1up... one product, so that's all they tend to.
As for HTC, they need to stop releasing more and more phones and start optimizing their software for each individual phone.
Lastly, this is the reason I went to CM6. Running stock Froyo has been benefiting me so much.
The camera app is so much better that I don't even use Vignette.
Anyway, if you're on sense... I would suggest buying Vignette.
- 09-15-2010, 12:52 AM #4
there's an Omnivision driver in the system, but it's disabled and the camera just uses whatever garbage its set to.
- 09-15-2010, 02:13 AM #6
- 306 Posts
Good write up.. and interesting to read. Since android is basically a flavor of linux.. I would have to say that it is 100% possible to make the camera use a different driver. It would just take someone who understands that kind of development within android. Obviously HTC made the camera work with this Qualcom driver, so either HTC can make it work with the correct driver (good luck) or one of the xda guys should be able to figure it out.
Atleast thats just my opinion.. so, if you are right.. and we are able to get the correct driver.. then i think we might have some good things in store for our Evo's
- 09-15-2010, 03:05 AM #7
- 09-15-2010, 08:07 AM #8
- 09-15-2010, 09:03 AM #9
- 09-15-2010, 10:43 AM #10
- 09-15-2010, 10:47 AM #11
The DINC is still running 2.1 still, correct?
The evo has been updated to 2.2 and HTC said this update has improved video and picture quality. So perhaps they implemented the correct driver? Which would be unfortunate because the quality is still subpar. I did a test earlier today and my new ipod touch's HD video quality is better. Very sad.
- 09-15-2010, 10:49 AM #12
- 09-15-2010, 11:33 AM #13
They HAVE to have generic drivers for that because otherwise it would be impossible to boot a computer using commodity hardware. A camera is not such an integral part of a device.
- 09-15-2010, 12:17 PM #15
- 57 Posts
This should definitely go front page on android central. (BTW I am still on 2.0 vaelpak which is awesome, whats the benefits/differences of 2.1, maybe you could message me to not disturb the thread here, or just post in paranthesis if you get a chance, I don't see where to see differences in versions)
But it would make sense to use a different driver. I mean for gods sake we can root, and change roms, I am sure changing the driver for a camera is not impossible.
- 09-15-2010, 12:23 PM #16
Personally, I'd say it's a driver issue. I'd like to hear what Omnivision has to say on this, but chances are it's in HTC's ball park to fix. Being that HTC released a new device every other month, I'd say they are long past optimizing the camera in the EVO and have focused on another phone by now. But if Omnivision can release the source code for their own driver set, maybe someone on XDA can modify it to work better on our phones. Unfortunately unless HTC does the same thing, we'll have to build from scratch.
- 09-15-2010, 12:39 PM #17
- 09-15-2010, 12:56 PM #19
- 09-15-2010, 01:10 PM #20
Omnivision probably releases their own driver I'm assuming in Linux. Chances are Apple and Omnivision worked pretty close together to make sure the driver would work well when it was ported to iOS 4. Since the Iphone 4 will use the same camera for the next couple of years (means lots of profit for 1 camera model), it only makes sense.
HTC probably isn't hard pressed to work so hard on 1 phone. In any case, I've sent am email to Omnivisions technical department to try and get some demo pictures in low light conditions, and 1080/720p video so we can see what the sensor is REALLY capable of. Hopefully they can provide a demonstration... I also requested any driver set they may have for it.
- 09-15-2010, 01:31 PM #21
- 09-15-2010, 03:49 PM #22
- 09-15-2010, 04:09 PM #23
- 09-15-2010, 06:57 PM #25
- 1,205 Posts
It's likely that the phone doesn't have a dedicated image process (ie Canon's DIGIC line) and it's all done in software which mean that it would be a Qualcomm call in the case of the Evo since it's heart is made by Qualcomm.
Not saying you're not on to something, just that you're jumping to a conclusion without enough info.