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  • 1 Post By Vance14
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    Default A few thoughts on the camera and HDR Plus

    I have had the Nexus since launch and have taken a LOT of pictures in various situations, and here are my conclusions. I am just a point-and-shoot type and don't usually mess with the pictures very much, so not an expert photographer by any means.

    1. The fast shutter speed is more of a negative than a positive. Yes, it is nice, but almost always results in worse pictures. Tapping the screen and waiting for it to focus (or just holding down the shutter until it focuses and shoots) is really the only way to get decent photos. The problem is that most people don't know this, so they take bad pictures and then blame the phone.

    2. Low light is still a problem no matter what you do.

    3. HDR Plus really helps with bright light pictures, creates a very solid focus and nice details and color. BUT, in low-light situations you are better off with the stock camera since you will get a lot of noise in the areas that are supposed to be dark.

    4. The in-app editing tools are pretty decent, and I have felt no need to go get something like Picplz, etc.

    5. Pano is not just a gimmick, but pretty nice to have on vacation.
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  2. #2  

    Default Re: A few thoughts on the camera and HDR Plus

    Thanks for that short review. I'll keep the focus before you shoot idea. I like HDR Plus pretty well, I agree that it results in nice colors in light. I almost never print cellphone pix anyway, just store them and send them to people. I've not used this camera much at all since I've had the GN so it's nice to hear from someone who has.
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    Default Re: A few thoughts on the camera and HDR Plus

    I agree with this. Low light is going to be a problem with any phone (even my iP4s)

    The camera takes decent enough photos when you hold the phone still, which is hard to do obviously. I have found using Camera Zoom FX has helped somewhat with stability.
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    Default Re: A few thoughts on the camera and HDR Plus

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance View Post
    I have had the Nexus since launch and have taken a LOT of pictures in various situations, and here are my conclusions. I am just a point-and-shoot type and don't usually mess with the pictures very much, so not an expert photographer by any means.

    1. The fast shutter speed is more of a negative than a positive. Yes, it is nice, but almost always results in worse pictures. Tapping the screen and waiting for it to focus (or just holding down the shutter until it focuses and shoots) is really the only way to get decent photos. The problem is that most people don't know this, so they take bad pictures and then blame the phone.

    2. Low light is still a problem no matter what you do.

    3. HDR Plus really helps with bright light pictures, creates a very solid focus and nice details and color. BUT, in low-light situations you are better off with the stock camera since you will get a lot of noise in the areas that are supposed to be dark.

    4. The in-app editing tools are pretty decent, and I have felt no need to go get something like Picplz, etc.

    5. Pano is not just a gimmick, but pretty nice to have on vacation.
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    Default Re: A few thoughts on the camera and HDR Plus

    (or just holding down the shutter until it focuses and shoots)

    How do you do that? If you hold down the shoot key it does nothing.
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    Default Re: A few thoughts on the camera and HDR Plus

    Quote Originally Posted by SSHGuru View Post
    (or just holding down the shutter until it focuses and shoots)

    How do you do that? If you hold down the shoot key it does nothing.
    Yes, I am sorry, poorly worded. hold it down until it focuses, then release, which takes the shot.
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    Default Re: A few thoughts on the camera and HDR Plus

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance View Post
    Yes, I am sorry, poorly worded. hold it down until it focuses, then release, which takes the shot.
    Holding it down never gets the box green. I think you have to tap where you want it to focus and then it turns green to get the best picture.

    I also find that it focuses on more than one point.
  8. #8  

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    If there's enough light you can take multiple pictures quickly. Also if you focus the first picture you can quickly take consecutive ones quickly.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: A few thoughts on the camera and HDR Plus

    I too have found that if you tap to focus the first pic, you can get mutiple pics that are crystal clear.
    Also agree that HDR works better in bright light, although I don't necessarily think it takes sharper outdoors, just seems to make the colors pop more, sort of like the GSII.
    And yes, any phone camera is a compromise in low light and indoors, but my wife's DINC2 blows away anything I have been able to do in a poorly lit room...
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    Default Re: A few thoughts on the camera and HDR Plus

    Quote Originally Posted by md308 View Post
    I too have found that if you tap to focus the first pic, you can get mutiple pics that are crystal clear.
    Also agree that HDR works better in bright light, although I don't necessarily think it takes sharper outdoors, just seems to make the colors pop more, sort of like the GSII.
    And yes, any phone camera is a compromise in low light and indoors, but my wife's DINC2 blows away anything I have been able to do in a poorly lit room...
    What I have been doing randomly over the last week is taking identical shots with the stock camera and HDR Plus, usually with subjects that have fine detail, such as the leaves on a tree, the letters on a piece of paper, etc. In every case, when I zoomed in even just a bit, the fine details would get blurry much faster than the HDR photo. Sometimes, it is actually too sharp and loses some smoothness that might look better using the stock camera.

    But, that is very interesting about using the rapid shutter AFTER getting a good focus on the first shot. I will have to try that.

    Oh, and SSHGuru, you are absolutely right, holding it doesn't seem to create any better focus than just letting it sit there untouched for a bit. Tapping the screen is always the best way.
  11. #11  

    Default Re: A few thoughts on the camera and HDR Plus

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance View Post
    What I have been doing randomly over the last week is taking identical shots with the stock camera and HDR Plus, usually with subjects that have fine detail, such as the leaves on a tree, the letters on a piece of paper, etc. In every case, when I zoomed in even just a bit, the fine details would get blurry much faster than the HDR photo. Sometimes, it is actually too sharp and loses some smoothness that might look better using the stock camera.

    But, that is very interesting about using the rapid shutter AFTER getting a good focus on the first shot. I will have to try that.

    Oh, and SSHGuru, you are absolutely right, holding it doesn't seem to create any better focus than just letting it sit there untouched for a bit. Tapping the screen is always the best way.
    I guess saying HDR didn't make it any "sharper" was a bad choice of words on my part. I have been doing the same camparisons as you, and in good light I think the stock camera performs very well in terms of acceptable quality. Yes, if you zoom in, HDR will be sharper, but like you said, that doesn't always mean better. It does give more color saturation, for when that is what I am looking for.
    In comparision, going from stock to HDR on my old OG Droid was like using two completely different cameras. The fact that I don't see as dramatic of an improvement using HDR on my Nexus makes my pretty pleased with its stock camera app. (in good lighting that is!)
    Last edited by md308; 02-02-2012 at 03:26 PM.
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    Default Re: A few thoughts on the camera and HDR Plus

    md308, agree with that entirely.
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  13. #13  

    Default Re: A few thoughts on the camera and HDR Plus

    HDR is usefull in a high contrast situation. It combines the three shots at different light values so that blown out areas in a normal shot can be seen. The colors can be controlled. Personally I like the popping colors but YMMV.

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