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Camera Zoom FX: Best Image Quality on Maxx
In a prior post, I asked whether different camera apps have different image qualities on the same phone, in this case, a Droid Maxx. Having now spent most of the last day experimenting, I'm posting here to offer some information rather than ask for information.
After dozens of comparison shots among the native Motorola camera, Camera Zoom FX, and Camera FV-5, I came to the following conclusions. After the camera upgrade for the Droid Maxx, the native Motorola Camera and Camera Zoom FX are brilliant, literally and figuratively: the images are full of contrast and saturation, punchy like iPhone images (which remind me of Canon point-and-shoot images). The problem with the native Moto camera is that it shoots only in widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. Camera Zoom offers aspect ratio (at a cropped sensor megapixel price, of course) and other options and except when I want to shoot 16:9, Camera Zoom is now the only camera I use on the phone.
This was something of a disappointment to me, because I love the FV-5 interface, which includes easily accessible controls for exposure compensation and metering mode, and generally has the look and feel of an enthusiast point-and-shoot camera (while Camera Zoom has the look and feel of a toy). The only problem with FV-5, and it's a significant one, is that both right out of the camera, and after Google+ Auto Enhance, the FV-5 images are flatter, with less contrast and less saturation. The difference is small, and the FV-5 images look great, but the difference is apparent viewing on a laptop screen even without pixel peeping (though I don't know whether there would be a difference in a printed image). The flatter appearance may be a choice, to reflect color more accurately, e.g., but for most camera phone shots, the native Moto and Camera Zoom algorithm are just generally more pleasing, and let's face it, no one is doing product photography (where color accuracy matters) or the like on a camera phone. So here's hoping that FV-5 offers a punchier algorithm at least as an alternative going forward.
Finally, I did try out a few images on other apps but quickly gave up because the image quality on those apps was far inferior to the FV-5, native Moto, or Camera Zoom image quality. I won't name those apps here because I did not have a chance to do a full and fair test. But I won't do such a test because I was satisfied the results would not change.