Nexus 5 Camera – Android 4.4 vs. 4.4.1

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Today has been a gloomy, rainy day here in Southern California, and so I don’t have any nicely light images to present. However, here are a few casual shots taken with my Nexus 5 before and after updating it to Android 4.4.1.

The differences in quality are subtle, but overall significant. In particular, I’m finding images to be sharper due to better/faster focusing, and color saturation, noise, etc., improved in less-than-optimal lighting conditions (again, today). I’ll be doing more testing, but so far I’m finding the Nexus 5 camera to take perfectly acceptable, even good, images—if not yet quite as good as the best smartphone cameras.

Performance is also improved. The camera app opens more quickly, both from the home screen and the lock screen. Focus is faster and more accurate, and I find myself able to take consecutive photos faster and with consistent focus. It’s not a true burst mode, of course, but hopefully Google will be providing that in a future update. Finally, HDR+ is also faster, and there’s a nice progress indicator to let you know when it’s okay to move the phone away from the shot.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the 4.4.1 update in terms of camera performance and quality. Here’s a quick gallery of before and after shots–note that where there are significant color discrepancies between 4.4 and 4.4.1 (particularly in HDR+ mode), 4.4.1 is far more accurate in every case.

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