Am I crazy or is the Nexus 6 camera not very good?

all_bran

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The couple pictures I have been taking come out pretty grainy. I understand it's a camera-phone and not a DSLR... but my Galaxy S3 took better pictures than I have so far. I have been reading how the camera is supposed to be really good (not the best mind you) but I would expect it should be better than my GS3?? Am I out in left field here? Or is it the Google camera app that sucks and I need a different camera app? The pictures just come out noisy and grainy.

Thanks!
 

jj14x

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Depends on the lighting. In dark(ish) areas, with poor lighting, and no flash, the Nexus 6 camera isn't that great. In well lit (or outdoors in day-time) environments, I find the N6 camera to be better than or comparable to all other cellphones out there (including the Note4 and the iphone)

Also, try out the "L Camera" app - not on play store yet - but it is on github. Significantly improves low light camera app
 
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Jeremy8000

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HDR+ will eliminate a lot of the graininess in low-light pictures. Iirc, it's not turned on by default, so you might want to try some shots with it enabled.
 

agentlossing

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No, you're right, it's pretty bad. My previous phone was a Nokia Lumia 1520, and the photos I got out of that spanked the Nexus 6 super easily. I do think a large part of it is the default app, though, and since Android 5.0 finally opened up the camera api, I'm hoping we'll get some apps that take advantage of the manual controls, etc.

Setting a low ISO manually and using the image stabilization to better effect would probably be enough to really improve the photo quality. There's a super janky open source app called L Camera out right now that offers some manual controls, but it's not fit to be used in real-world situations yet.
 

88 FLUX

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As others have said. It's subjective and the question of whether it is good or not will always result in different opinions. In general, Nexus devices have been plagued by cameras that aren't of top quality. However, there have been (and currently are) worse camera phones on the market even in high end devices. Also, don't forget that the best camera is the one that is always with you. :)
 

TraderGary

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That statement nails it. The best camera is the one you have with you. I have a good bit invested in professional gear that will, of course, blow any cell phone camera away. But some of my most cherished images were made with the camera that is always with me, my cell phone camera.
 

Mooem

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That statement nails it. The best camera is the one you have with you. I have a good bit invested in professional gear that will, of course, blow any cell phone camera away. But some of my most cherished images were made with the camera that is always with me, my cell phone camera.

How true. One of the best photos taken was with my cellphone. Incidentally now it's the centerpiece photo in my dining room. Granted it was heavily processed and stylized before I blew it up for printing.

At any rate, the photos I've taken with my N6 have been quite good for me but I came from a Nexus 5, which didn't fare well until later software updates. I've been pretty pleased so far.
 

all_bran

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Hoppin Horse Feathers. What a difference! That HDR+ mode really comes out clear! I just have to test it with my moving kids to see how it does with a moving target..

Thanks guys!
 

all_bran

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No, you're right, it's pretty bad. My previous phone was a Nokia Lumia 1520, and the photos I got out of that spanked the Nexus 6 super easily. I do think a large part of it is the default app, though, and since Android 5.0 finally opened up the camera api, I'm hoping we'll get some apps that take advantage of the manual controls, etc.

Setting a low ISO manually and using the image stabilization to better effect would probably be enough to really improve the photo quality. There's a super janky open source app called L Camera out right now that offers some manual controls, but it's not fit to be used in real-world situations yet.

Holy crop, I never even noticed the default app doesn't have image stab!!?? WTF? Isn't that a requirement now??
 

all_bran

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all_bran

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That statement nails it. The best camera is the one you have with you. I have a good bit invested in professional gear that will, of course, blow any cell phone camera away. But some of my most cherished images were made with the camera that is always with me, my cell phone camera.

LOL! You and 88 FLUX have given me a new perspective :) To stop being so picky, don't muck with settings, and just worry about grabbing the GD picture! So what if it's a little grainy? At least I got it!
 

Jeremy8000

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Yeah, lots of really good low light pics now that I know about HDR mode! But what about medium light situations with moving targes (ie - kids...). Even to tell them to stand there still and say CHEESE, they're always squirming around and moving a little bit. I still have to try that out a bit, we'll see :)

Thanks!

Generally speaking, unless there's a lot of motion, you'll want to use HDR+. If there is a lot, HDR+ processing will have a difficult time optimizing the elements in motion due to its nature.
 

all_bran

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You can kind of see what I'm talking about in these 2 pictures of my kids. The bottom one looks OK from a distance, but if you are looking at the original high(er) res picture and zoom into her face, it's all pixelated/smudgy.

Blurry, grainy, smudgy, etc... They were taken in the regular JPG mode auto exposure. (not many other options to change!). Image stabilization would help with the blurry part, but I don't think it would help with the grainy/smudgy...

IMG_20141130_170119.jpg

IMG_20141207_100247.jpg
 

Jeremy8000

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You can kind of see what I'm talking about in these 2 pictures of my kids. The bottom one looks OK from a distance, but if you are looking at the original high(er) res picture and zoom into her face, it's all pixelated/smudgy.

Blurry, grainy, smudgy, etc... They were taken in the regular JPG mode auto exposure. (not many other options to change!). Image stabilization would help with the blurry part, but I don't think it would help with the grainy/smudgy...

Not sure if you're already doing this, or the degree to which this will impact your result, but are you using 'tap to focus'? If you just open the app and shoot the picture, it may not set the focal point where you want it. If you tap on your daughter's face, you'll notice a ring will appear momentarily around it while the camera focuses to that point as foreground, and you should get noticeably better results.
 

jj14x

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Yeah, lots of really good low light pics now that I know about HDR mode! But what about medium light situations with moving targes (ie - kids...).

With the HDR+ mode in the Nexus devices, it is actually taking 3 separate photos (with different exposure settings) and merging them to get the HDR image. If the subject moves while those 3 photos are taken one after the other, there will be blurring - sorry, unavoidable.
 

CHILLYWILL_95831

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How true. One of the best photos taken was with my cellphone. Incidentally now it's the centerpiece photo in my dining room. Granted it was heavily processed and stylized before I blew it up for printing.

At any rate, the photos I've taken with my N6 have been quite good for me but I came from a Nexus 5, which didn't fare well until later software updates. I've been pretty pleased so far.

I've been comparing my nexus 6 to the HTC M8 and the iPhone 6 +and it out shoots the m8 and iPhone in low light no flash HDR on; however, it can't out flash the m8 and it's on par with the iPhone 6 plus. IMHO of course!
 

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