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01-03-2015 08:53 PM
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  1. nickname303's Avatar
    Yes, I know, who needs another thread about the camera quality?! But just to give my opinion. I researched this phone heavily before purchasing, so I knew that the camera in the moto x 2014 isn't the best that is available in current smart phones. But i was upgrading from an ancient iPhone 3gs, so I thought that even if the camera isn't great by today's standards its surely gonna be better than my old 3gs camera. Plus I don't exactly take loads of pictures anyway so its not as if its a deal breaker. I took the same view regarding the battery life too. Surely it would be better than my 3gs even if its not great by todays standards. Anyways. I've taken a few pictures over the last few days and I've got to say that it certainly is disappointing. Low light pictures are very poor quality. Pictures in daylight are quite acceptable. I get a lot of pictures that are blurred though (I'm assuming because of the lack of OIS). The camera seems to take an age to focus too. I honestly would say that I prefer the camera on my 3gs better! I tried using Google camera too. Not much difference. Maybe marginally better picture quality. Ive seen people say that you can get good pics if you know what youre doing. Im no photography expert. Maybe with a bit of tweaking you can. But i just want to point and shoot and get decent photos which isn't too much to ask. And as a phone with the twist for camera function, isn't that what Motorola is kind of aiming for? Quick and easy picture taking? Like I say, its certainly not a deal breaker for me, but if I was in any way interested in taking photos on a regular basis with this phone I would be very unhappy. Still, this issue is well documented so people shouldn't be surprised. And its still a great phone in most other respects

    Posted via the Android Central App
    12-27-2014 08:19 AM
  2. nickname303's Avatar
    Yes, of course you are in one respect correct. But I never had issues with my ancient 3gs. And that was all freehand too. So if it's me moving the camera slightly when I take a picture (which i agree is almost certainly what's causing the blur) then how did that phone cope with it OK and not this one? Its the same photographer (me) the only thing that's changed is the camera that I'm using. And that's my point. Of course if I jump through hoops and carry a tripod around everywhere with me to keep the camera steady when i take pictures then they wont be blurred. But obviously thats a ridiculous state of affairs. Its the camera that's deficient here, not me (sorry, that somehow makes it sound like I've taken offence to your comments, which I haven't) . Ive never had any issues taking pics with any other camera before. Like I say, its not really an issue for me. I just feel sorry for anybody who actually wanted to use the camera for taking decent shots easily. And its amazingly poor by today's standards. To me, its just the principle of an expensive flagship phone having such an unnecessarily poor (or difficult to use) camera. As mentioned earlier, I actually prefer my 3gs camera which is kind of embarrassing. Great phone otherwise.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    12-27-2014 08:45 AM
  3. Photo_Drew's Avatar
    I've noticed looking at the EXIF data that the rear camera is not as aggressive in using either a slower shutter speed or a higher ISO as it probably could get away with. In fact in the same lighting and composition, the front camera did a much better job with exposure.

    As such in low lighting it tends to underexpose. That wouldn't help so much for blur issues because you need a faster shutter to avoid blur. But if it bumped the ISO to 1600 and ran some noise reduction in processing, it probably could be better.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    TBolt likes this.
    12-27-2014 11:40 AM
  4. nickname303's Avatar
    No, it isn't: every serious and pro photographer does it. Are they 'ridiculous'? It certainly gets them razor sharp images while you don't!



    You "have never had any issues taking pics with any other camera before". So logic dictates that you have changed. That's perfectly normal. We all change all the time. We all get older. We all get less steady, want it or not. Face it. That's reality.

    Plus: the 3GS screen is waaay less in image quality than the Moto X's. I put it to you that you couldn't/can't see the sharpness deficiencies on the 3GS screen that you can see on the Moto X's screen.

    Oh, and there are many more ways to steady a camera during exposure than by using a tripod: stance, breathing, support. Take it from an ex-photographer and ex-sniper.
    Hahhah OK then, so if you don't think carrying a tripod around everywhere with you is a hassle then good luck to you. You must have some big pockets. And youre talking about professional photographers. I'm not a professional photographer, nor do I have any desire to be one. As ive stated previously, i just think its reasonable to expect to be able to take a decent picture easily and quickly. That isnt too much to ask is it? And as far as the 3gs, when i say I prefer the camera on the 3gs I simply mean that I can at least take pictures with it very easily that aren't blurred.

    Regarding your insistence that I'm some old man with a problem with my nervous system and that its all my fault for the shaky pictures, explain to me why I can still pick up my 3gs right now and take a good picture, and then pick up the moto x and take a picture thats blurred. Does my shakiness suddenly disappear when i put my moto x down or something? No, of course not. So like I say, its not my "stance" or my "breathing". Its the phone. Your " logic" is completely illogical. The only thing that's changed in the process is the equipment that I'm using. Therefore it must be the equipment. Unless you think that in the time it takes me to put down my 3gs and pick up my moto x my body miraculously loses its ability to function properly?!

    Like I say, I was never expecting a great camera anyway. As someone who doesnt take lots of pictures with my phone i didnt let it put me off buying it too much seeing as most other things about this phone are great. Lots of people, including people on review websites who review phones for a living and take pictures all the time with phones, say that they too have struggled to get decent photos and had problems with out of focus shots. I suppose all of those people have suddenly contracted this mystery illness that affects peoples ability to take photos with a moto x?

    In my original post (maybe you should read it again) I was merely giving my opinion. If you get good photos with this phone then good on you and everybody else that can. If you want to carry equipment everywhere with you just in case you need to take a photo with your phone, go right ahead.

    Its funny though. I thought this was 2014, not 1914, and we shouldn't have to be a professional photographer and carry around half a photographic studio with us to take a decent picture



    Posted via the Android Central App
    12-29-2014 07:38 AM
  5. raqball's Avatar
    Its funny though. I thought this was 2014, not 1914, and we shouldn't have to be a professional photographer and carry around half a photographic studio with us to take a decent picture
    I agree with you.. The camera on this phone is absolutely horrible!

    Sometimes I get a good photo and other times I get WTF photos.. I'd say it's maybe 50/50..

    The camera on this phone is complete garbage, no doubt..
    maverick96 likes this.
    12-29-2014 08:42 AM
  6. Photo_Drew's Avatar
    Op can you post an example photo and a screen shot of your image data? If you open it in the gallery>top right three dots>details so we can see exposure settings and the final outcome.

    Is HDR on? You will get blur with moving objects using it. Are you using the round exposure and focus control or just letting the camera do it?

    Posted via the Android Central App
    dmark44 likes this.
    12-29-2014 11:52 AM
  7. nickname303's Avatar
    Op can you post an example photo and a screen shot of your image data? If you open it in the gallery>top right three dots>details so we can see exposure settings and the final outcome.

    Is HDR on? You will get blur with moving objects using it. Are you using the round exposure and focus control or just letting the camera do it?

    Posted via the Android Central App
    Hi Drew. HDR is on auto. My subjects are stationary. I'm letting the camera focus itself most of the time. Don't get me wrong. I have had some shots that are in focus. I'm not saying every single one is dodgy. I dont think theres anything physically wrong with the camera or settings. Its just an inherently bad camera that is never gonna take a good picture every time. It seems to struggle to focus. As raqball has said, its probably around fifty percent of the time. But ive probably had more blurry photos with this phone in the 2 weeks that ive owned it than I ever did with my other phone in 5 or 6 years! In good light and taking great care i have had some perfectly adequate pictures on a couple of occasions. If I'm very careful and precise i will obviously get a better picture. My point is just that it seems alot harder to get a decent shot with this camera than it should be these days, but its certainly not impossible. And as I've mentioned before, this phone seems, in a way, to be promoting itself as a quick and easy point and shoot because of the fact its got the twist for camera function for accessing the camera quickly. But if you take a picture quickly without being very precise, you're not going to get a very good shot most of the time.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    12-29-2014 01:06 PM
  8. nickname303's Avatar
    Here's a picture I just took. The camera didn't focus properly in the first picture as you can see. I gave it some time to try to focus (cos it always takes a while), but it couldnt. I then manually focused and it took the second picture which is fine. Am I expecting too much? Should I expect to have to manually focus most of the time? Again, I didn't seem to have to on my other phone much. And I also get some really blurred shots which are obviously due to camera movement when taking the picture. But again, my point is that as far as I was concerned modern digital cameras (and even not so modern ones) are usually able to compensate for that and still provide you with a decent picture.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    Attached Thumbnails Camera quality-1860.jpg   Camera quality-1861.jpg  
    12-29-2014 01:21 PM
  9. nickname303's Avatar
    Here's the details for the out of focus picture

    Posted via the Android Central App
    Attached Thumbnails Camera quality-1862.jpg  
    12-29-2014 01:23 PM
  10. Photo_Drew's Avatar
    So it seems to be a focus issue more than anything. The way the focus on most digital cameras still works is by using contrast detection. In low contrast environments it simply can't figure out what to focus on and can't lock. In the case of the difference with phones, it could be the lower resolution sensor on the older phones vs the higher resolution phones, has more data to sort through to get focus so it takes a bit longer.

    With regular digital cameras to get the best focus you have to half press the shutter button for the camera to fully engage the autofocus system. Otherwise you can have to let it sit for a few seconds until the camera can resolve the focus. The same is basically true for phones. If you leave it up to the phone to get the focus it might not be lightning fast depending on the scene. With the manual focus control you are telling the camera what to focus on and it can be faster and more reliable. Usually why every tip I've read on using motorola software is to use the touch to focus. It just works better and more reliably.

    What comparing to other cameras inspired me to do was compare to my S3. What I noticed was that the moto camera doesn't appear to prioritize any particular focus point. It seems like it looks at the whole scene to determine focus. The S3, and I suspect, although can't say for sure because I've never used one, is that the iPhone prioritizes the center as the focus point. However just holding the cameras side by side as you'll see below, the X in this case had better focus, or the blur might have been because my left hand isn't as steady. That's really the problem is it's really really hard to say. I tried to do a quick as possible capture and yes it was blurry. Did the same thing with the manual focus, and it was crisp as can be given the lighting.

    Yeppie does make some valid points although confrontationally posted. I also noticed looking at my examples that on the screen I couldn't tell much of a difference. Once I got it on the computer and bigger, the differences in the resolution became very clear (8MP S3 vs 13MP MX). Supporting the camera, probably with both hands if possible is a good idea. At 1/15 of a second shutter speeds any little movement is going to cause an issue during exposure. So while sometimes it may come out okay when you have good focus, sometimes it may not.

    I had a job where I sold cameras, and I own a few, so I know a thing or two. I've had people come in and buy a different DSLR because the one they had takes blurry pictures. I think it's easy today to expect the technology to do a lot of the work and overcome poor technique, but to get the best experience, and best results, you really have to take your time. Even the pro's don't get the shot they want on the first snap. It can take a couple.

    Top S3, Bottom MX. Sorry Sideways

    Camera quality-exmp1s3.jpgCamera quality-exmp2mx.jpg
    nickname303 and jephanie like this.
    12-29-2014 02:35 PM
  11. nickname303's Avatar
    Thank you for your comments Drew. I will try to use manual focus from now on if that is generally better. And your point regarding people sometimes expecting technology to do things for them is a valid one. And to an extent i am guilty as charged! Certainly with regards to taking pictures anyway, because as I've stated, I'm no expert when it comes to cameras. So I do kind of expect a digital camera these days to be able to help me out with taking a decent picture to a certain degree. But while maybe thats somehow morally wrong, i dont think its an unrealistic expectation. And every other digital camera that I've used HAS been able to provide me with decent pictures. With all the technological advances that come our way these days I suppose a lot of us take things for granted. Maybe Motorola has proven to us that we shouldn't. And maybe that's not such a bad thing in one respect

    Posted via the Android Central App
    12-29-2014 03:37 PM
  12. Photo_Drew's Avatar
    Happy to provide some insight. I don't think your expectation is unreasonable concerning a dedicated camera. Bigger imaging sensors, more advanced focusing systems. It should be better. Seems we still have some time to go before phone cameras play catch up. A coworker was actually just complaining about the camera on his S5 which I as shocked as Samsung generally has very nice cameras.

    I would put money on the focusing system being the culprit. I wonder if Moto would be able to answer how theirs works. I think if it defaulted to the center frame it might be better. I think that's why I leave the manual focus/exposure on. It defaults to center, and when it's green it's ready to snap.
    sharkita likes this.
    12-29-2014 04:04 PM
  13. sharkita's Avatar
    Happy to provide some insight. I don't think your expectation is unreasonable concerning a dedicated camera. Bigger imaging sensors, more advanced focusing systems. It should be better. Seems we still have some time to go before phone cameras play catch up. A coworker was actually just complaining about the camera on his S5 which I as shocked as Samsung generally has very nice cameras.

    I would put money on the focusing system being the culprit. I wonder if Moto would be able to answer how theirs works. I think if it defaulted to the center frame it might be better. I think that's why I leave the manual focus/exposure on. It defaults to center, and when it's green it's ready to snap.
    I just took your suggestion to turn the manual focus & exposure on, and it does make a difference. I think it's becoming clear that using the Moto camera "as is" without adjusting the settings isn't always going to give the best results, and I'm grateful for any tips I can get. Thanks!
    12-29-2014 04:25 PM
  14. nickname303's Avatar
    No, I'm talking about serious photographers! That includes pros and dedicated amateur photogs! All other picture takers merely shoot snap shots. It is unrealistic to expect much from snap shots.



    It IS too much to ask if you expect the laws of physics to bend for your convenience.



    Thanks for your permission, but I'd rather schlepp around experience and knowledge, and apply it, than haul a half dozen pounds of equipment. But when I seriously do want to make a good photo with better than average image quality there is nothing that beats good camera support (which includes tripods). With any camera.



    Well, the laws of physics haven't changed since 1914 as far as I'm aware, so neither has the requirement for a steady camera.
    Hmmm. I tell you what. Maybe Steve Jobs (RIP) really was a genius. Cos he managed to make a phone that can "defy the laws of physics" years ago. I'm looking at it right now. Its called the 3gs and it has defied the laws of physics for the last 5 years I've owned it. Maybe it should be in a museum instead of gathering dust in my home? Most other phone manufacturers seem to have managed to pull off this act of witchcraft too.

    Oh and by the way. You should be a politician. Cos you're good at avoiding answering most of the questions that I've asked you. So I'll ask you one of them again. How come I can consistently take a good picture with any other digital camera EXCEPT the moto x? I've never had to use a tripod, or bolt myself into a harness to keep my body perfectly still to take pics on them. Other cameras have just worked.

    Having said that, your suggestions of propping up the camera on various objects to ensure complete stillness are indeed an option in some situations. Although when you want to take a picture of something that is happening that very moment its not possible to pause time so that you can prop up your moto x to take a picture.

    And just to reiterate to anybody who thinks I'm trying to bash the moto x, i think this phone is great apart from the camera. I'm not an apple fanboy or anything. I'm just using the 3gs as a comparison because that's what I've owned for the last 5 or so years (and taken pictures with it without any problems!)

    Posted via the Android Central App
    12-29-2014 07:10 PM
  15. nickname303's Avatar
    I'm honestly not normally a sarcastic person, but you bring it out in me for some reason. Can't imagine why?

    Posted via the Android Central App
    12-29-2014 07:31 PM
  16. Haalcyon's Avatar
    Well, I just got a Motorola X 2014 but I will not expect great photos by the camera itself. I'll have to play with it and will be comparing it's shots to my Note 4's.

    from the IV
    12-29-2014 07:41 PM
  17. Haalcyon's Avatar
    Further, I think it is generally accepted that if the same person takes the same photo with a Moto X and an S5 or an iPhone 4/5/6/6+ that the Moto X will rarely, if ever, offer the better photo, especially in lower light.

    This, obviously is the OP's point. Different OEMs (for lack of a better term) make different things a priority. For the Moto X the camera isn't their highest priority while things like phone customization/personalization and timely OS updates are.

    A little research allows us to know this before we make our purchase so we, as enthusiasts (well, we're here in this forum, right?) can make a more informed decision.

    I knew coming into the X that the camera was not it's strong point. Just like the M8's. My Note 4 has a good camera but it cost >$300. ...and I wonder which phone will see Lollipop first (hint: I won't be surprised if it's not the more expensive Note 4).

    from the IV
    sharkita likes this.
    12-29-2014 08:05 PM
  18. nickname303's Avatar
    Further, I think it is generally accepted that if the same person takes the same photo with a Moto X and an S5 or an iPhone 4/5/6/6+ that the Moto X will rarely, if ever, offer the better photo, especially in lower light.

    This, obviously is the OP's point.

    A little research allows us to know this before we make our purchase so we, as enthusiasts (well, we're here in this forum, right?) can make a more informed decision.

    I knew coming into the X that the camera was not it's strong point.
    Yes! You've echoed my original post. I wasn't expecting a great camera because I did my research before I bought this phone. But it is worse than I expected. And that disappointment stems from the fact that my phone from years ago gives me better results. Which it shouldn't.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    12-29-2014 08:14 PM
  19. Haalcyon's Avatar
    I'm not sure why Motorola couldn't use a Sony camera sensor like Samsung has done.

    from the IV
    12-29-2014 08:35 PM
  20. Photo_Drew's Avatar
    I'm not sure why Motorola couldn't use a Sony camera sensor like Samsung has done.

    from the IV
    The sensor in the 2014 X is a Sony sensor. Same one that's in the S4 and G3.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    12-29-2014 10:47 PM
  21. Photo_Drew's Avatar
    But the camera certainty isn't that bad. Took all of 5 seconds to take and a minute to do a quick edit, contrast adjustment, etc.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    Attached Thumbnails Camera quality-2526.jpg  
    12-29-2014 10:57 PM
  22. jephanie's Avatar
    Manual focus is definitely the preferred option. And Lollipop makes a marked improvement in quality. Since Lollipop came out, I can get good shots very easily. That wasn't the case with the initial release software (KitKat).
    12-29-2014 11:04 PM
  23. Haalcyon's Avatar
    The sensor in the 2014 X is a Sony sensor. Same one that's in the S4 and G3.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    Very interesting. I wonder why such a performance disparity.
    12-30-2014 12:26 AM
  24. sharkita's Avatar
    Yes! You've echoed my original post. I wasn't expecting a great camera because I did my research before I bought this phone. But it is worse than I expected. And that disappointment stems from the fact that my phone from years ago gives me better results. Which it shouldn't.
    Cameras are most definitely not Motorola's strong suit, as evidenced by comments in all of the Moto forums here on AC (take a look at the Turbo forum, for example - and that's a phone with impressive hardware). Getting good pictures in low light can be a challenge with the Moto X, but it can be done if you follow some of the suggestions offered here and in the "Post Pictures Taken" stickie. No one is arguing that Apple does a great job with cameras on the iPhone, but those of us who chose a Moto X chose it for all of its other strengths - which, for me, far outweigh anything an iPhone has to offer - including the 6 and 6+.
    12-30-2014 10:22 AM
  25. Photo_Drew's Avatar
    In some of the early reviews they said the turbo camera wasn't noticeably better than the X. Haven't checked the forum to see.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    12-30-2014 10:32 AM
47 12

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