They say that the best camera is the one you have on you. Cliché as that sounds, it’s absolutely true, and it’s why more and more people are picking their next smartphone based on how good the camera is, often buying more expensive models that pack more megapixels and features such as optical image stabilization. Speaking about OIS, Google’s new Nexus 5 has it, but tests have shown it’s not all that great. Kind of ironic given the three new Nexus 5 commercials Google just published.
Now why does the camera on the Nexus 5 not deliver when the unit inside LG’s G2 does? LG’s camera has more megapixels, but it’s more complicated than that. LG has their own proprietary image processor, something that Google doesn’t, but probably will once the next version of the Android Camera API is released. When will that happen? Your guess is as good as mine, but 2014 is the safe answer.
Besides more megapixels and OIS, what else do you need to get a great shot? The lens counts, obviously, but again, it really is all about the software. If your drivers don’t allow things like instant start-up, if your drivers don’t allow zero shot to shot time, if your drivers don’t correctly measure things like white balance and colors, then what’s the point?
Google should and will start taking imaging seriously, maybe with the Nexus 6, but there’s definitely a reason why the iPhone continues to be one of the most popular devices when it comes to photos uploaded to Flickr.