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Motorola Moto X first camera samples showdown

Posted: , by John V.

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Motorola Moto X first camera samples showdown
Being the newcomer and all, we’re all curious to see how the Moto X fares when it comes to snapping quality photos with its 10-megapixel Clear Pixel camera. Who knows if the technology behind it actually all come together to produce those crisp photos we saw during Moto’s briefing on the handset in New York City, so we decided to take it out for a quick spin. However, we decided to also bring along a few other of its notable competitors – the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4, and Nokia Lumia 1020.

Needless to say, all those aforementioned smartphones all hover around the top of the mountain when it comes to picture quality, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Moto X quickly fares against them. So what do you think about its quality? We’ll be testing out the fancy termed camera more in-depth over the next few days to really get a sense of what it’s able to produce.


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posted on 01 Aug 2013, 15:54 13

1. fouadqr (Posts: 280; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)


Nokia Lumia 1020....is the best

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 17:11 5

14. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


naturally, all we can decide with that beast around is what is the second best.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 17:42 8

18. Birds (Posts: 961; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


As far as details go, I'm a bit impressed by the Moto X...it edges out the iPhone though only barely. It has some agressive oversharpening which in turn makes noise levels a bit high. The iPhone has balanced sharpness and overall modest noise levels. The Galaxy S4 does have slightly superior detail but just looking at it, it suffers from some oversharpening and wandering focus. The Nokia Lumia 1020 does have the best detail capture but I'm still disapointed with it.

White balance and color reproduction goes to the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and iPhone. I'll give it tot he iPhone because it is nicely saturated why the Galaxy S 4 tends to over saturate, contributing to slight grain. The Nokia Lumia 1020 wasn't bad at all, I just was a tad bit to unrealistic with its greens and yellows. The Moto X though... Too cold a color reproduction and it is not the most adept at picking white balance.

As far as exposure, all seemed to do decent except the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Not bad but just a tad bit over exposed. the Lumia 1020 seemed to underexpose but it still captures decent shadow detail so I'm not complaining either way.

The Moto X seems like it can pull its own, but it needs some serious software tweekage because the camera is a slight dissapointment. I just wonder how PhoneArena is going to review the camera becuase when they have different reviewers things turn out quite contradictory.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 22:51 2

27. MartyK (Posts: 691; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)


I agree 100% with what you saw... That's how I felt looking through the photo, as much as I gave to say it, the iPhone did a dam good job especially on the shot of the tree.

My question is this, why did each camera change the background color?.. Lol.. we need to find out what color the fence and wall was.. Lol

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 07:00 1

33. belovedson (Posts: 830; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


not sure what your seeing but the iphones color reproduction is not realistic starting with the first two pics. i am not even going to waste time reviewing your review

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 23:40

28. cam-whore (Posts: 164; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


you mad?

posted on 03 Aug 2013, 08:44

42. androidfanboy (Posts: 162; Member since: 24 Jun 2013)


Troll

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 14:31 1

38. datapicard (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 Aug 2013)


Most of these comments are revealing a lack of knowledge in digtal photography. let me point out a few things people are overlooking. Resolution asside, the most important aspect of a digital camera is its dynamic range, which is the tonal variation between absolute black and absolute white. If you look at the moto x's compared to the other cameras you will see that in the shadows as well as in the bright parts of the image, there is a significantly more detail compared to the other phones. Look at the street picture with the car in the shot, this is by far the best lighting scenario to test dynamic range. The sky is not blown out to complete white (like the other cameras), it is showing some subtle detail in the blue sky. Now look at the shadows under the tree behind the car, its full of detail and not crushed to black like the other cameras. Looking for detail in bright parts of the image, and shadows will reveal the superior dynamic range in the moto x. This asside the moto x is lacking the overly saturated images the other cameras have, which in my opion look plain wrong, to the untrained eye it probably looks good, buts its not, sorry. To be clear, i'm a filmmaker and visual effects artist so its my job to understand digiatl imaging. also btw, no one seems to care that the moto x has a proper aspect ratio, while the others are close to 4by 3

posted on 31 Aug 2013, 19:42

46. PeterJ (Posts: 1; Member since: 31 Aug 2013)


Thanks for your review. As a non-professional when it comes to photography or digital imaging, I was disappointed in reading the bad reviews about the quality of the Moto X's digital images. I was sold on all the other aspects of the phone. Although I did notice the differences in picture characteristics that everyone was pointing out, I felt that the Moto X's photos looked more realistic. I know it's not the BEST phone for taking pictures, but I feel more confident now in my choice.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:04 12

2. PhoneCritic (Posts: 355; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


The S4 and iPhone are the best with the S4 edging out the iPhone. Surprised that the 1020 seems a bit blurry and soften and not as crisp.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:11 7

5. ABDULGHAFOOR (Posts: 73; Member since: 04 May 2012)


Go home you are drunked

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:45 8

9. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7416; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Drunk*

posted on 03 Aug 2013, 08:45

43. androidfanboy (Posts: 162; Member since: 24 Jun 2013)


Says the blind fanboy

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 09:23

35. faune (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 Aug 2013)


Bokeh, it is called Bokeh.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:05

3. ebubekir26 (Posts: 307; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


well not but bad not great either, I actually expected better pictures

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 21:40 1

26. ebubekir26 (Posts: 307; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


wtf? I hate it when I accidentaly write a mistake, and I can't edit it after a short amount of time -_-

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:09 3

4. glentomas123 (Posts: 70; Member since: 01 Jun 2011)


Moto X is a complete photographic failure! Is this for what we've been waiting?? Next! This is what you get I guess for a phone priced cheap off contract.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 18:35 1

20. Shatter (Posts: 1970; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Still better than the Nexus 4 by a longshot.

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 18:46

39. krysis (Posts: 76; Member since: 14 Dec 2009)


cheap off contract? what you smoking

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:12 4

6. Saamic (Posts: 119; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)


The pictures are clear, but the colors don't have much saturation.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:42 8

8. Pedro0x (Posts: 271; Member since: 19 Oct 2012)


The pictures are great actually. And it is not undersaturated, it is the other phones that are oversaturated.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 18:36 8

21. Shatter (Posts: 1970; Member since: 29 May 2013)


This is why every camera comparison needs to have a high end DLSR for references to what the pictures color should actually look like.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:28 5

7. flynfree (Posts: 374; Member since: 09 Jun 2013)


Moto and Apple, ha ha ha. .. this league are between SGS4 vs nokia, and it looks S4 is edging N1020.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:46 1

10. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7416; Member since: 14 May 2012)


S4 and Lumia wins once again.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:54 4

11. Ronny666 (Posts: 108; Member since: 08 Jun 2013)


Well, the Motorola Clearpixel's pictures are exactly how I predicted. Replacing the Green in conventional RGBG to RGBC colour filters will only result washed out green with less accurate colours. All the smartphones above performed better than Moto X. Suprisingly it did not have significant difference in low-light condition. Perhaps the firmware may have not been finalised yet and too soon to judge now.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 18:04

19. Birds (Posts: 961; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


So that expains why everything is so cold.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 16:58

12. dinzle (Posts: 21; Member since: 03 Dec 2011)


I'd say on par with the rest except the lumia. No beating that. The S4 images look all blown out though.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 17:11 1

13. f1r3z0r (Posts: 78; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


This phone sucks...i think s3 way better...and i still like my s4 zoom...please motorola keep making bluetooth headphone because you are good at it now like s11

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 17:12 2

15. sprockkets (Posts: 1086; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


First set of photos I give to the Moto X, last set to the Lumia 1020. First set the flash on it ruined the photo for the Lumia. Last set MotoX is washed out, while the Lumia is over saturated (their default).

Of course I'd have to see the original with my eye to see who really is on target.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 17:22 2

16. Eonnaydra (Posts: 197; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


S4 is edging out 1020.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 17:30 4

17. bigstrudel (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)


People that are saying the S4 had the best shots are plain crazy.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 18:38

22. Shatter (Posts: 1970; Member since: 29 May 2013)


All those people are probably viewing it on a standard TN 1080p monitor. Look at these on a big boy monitor 1440p IPS and it is clear the S4 is not the best.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 20:01

24. Edmund (Posts: 654; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


not only that, but the environment has been manipulated by the photographer in the s4 samples : closer to the subject, artificial lighting

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 18:39

23. roscuthiii (Posts: 1785; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


Well, the phone is touted for it's low-light and action shot capabilities... guess we'll have to wait until the real camera review/comparison is conducted.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 20:28 1

25. Ninetysix (Posts: 1377; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Do another blind test and lets see who wins :)

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 01:01

30. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2365; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Moto X is capturing very good as compared to all best phones over here in camera dept.

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 05:12

31. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 890; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


ip5 and 1020 great ppics.

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 06:26

32. hipnotika (Posts: 283; Member since: 06 Mar 2013)


iphone 5 still is the best...

posted on 03 Aug 2013, 08:46

44. androidfanboy (Posts: 162; Member since: 24 Jun 2013)


Troll

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 07:14 1

34. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 628; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


It is comparison, not a contest...

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 10:58

36. lauremar (Posts: 181; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)


Most comments here are more biased to phone preference, not the quality of the pictures. PA should have posted the photos without the phones that took them and have people decide which ones are best.

I like them all... Smartphones are going to put point-and-shoot cameras out of business very soon.

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 13:18

37. datapicard (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 Aug 2013)


Most of these comments are revealing a lack of knowledge in digtal photography. let me point out a few things people are overlooking. Resolution asside, the most important aspect of a digital camera is its dynamic range, which is the tonal variation between absolute black and absolute white. If you look at the moto x's compared to the other cameras you will see that in the shadows as well as in the bright parts of the image, there is a significantly more detail compared to the other phones. Look at the street picture with the car in the shot, this is by far the best lighting scenario to test dynamic range. The sky is not blown out to complete white (like the other cameras), it is showing some subtle detail in the blue sky. Now look at the shadows under the tree behind the car, its full of detail and not crushed to black like the other cameras. Looking for detail in bright parts of the image, and shadows will reveal the superior dynamic range in the moto x. This asside the moto x is lacking the overly saturated images the other cameras have, which in my opion look plain wrong, to the untrained eye it probably looks good, buts its not, sorry. To be clear, i'm a filmmaker and visual effects artist so its my job to understand digiatl imaging. also btw, no one seems to care that the moto x has a proper aspect ratio, while the others are close to 4by 3

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 18:47

40. krysis (Posts: 76; Member since: 14 Dec 2009)


The last photo sample, notice the moto x is the only one to actually get a good image of the flower behind the center one? All others are a bit blurry, but the x actually has good detail on it. Interesting, if nothing else.

posted on 03 Aug 2013, 02:52

41. proto (Posts: 48; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


questionable level of details and washed out colors... i am not impressed Moto X. Result isn't that bad.. but it is definately not revolutionary and not even evolutionary.. worst camera of this devices. :/ (but still capable)

posted on 05 Aug 2013, 05:49

45. stilles_wasser (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Aug 2013)


Imho the comparison doesn't clearly show the capabilities of the Moto X's camera. Looking at the image-properties (just save the zoomed-in images and check the properties with your favorite image-browser e.g. fastone-Image-viewer) you will notice that the moto always has higher ISO-values because it always used a much shorter exposure time.
E.g. for the first image the iphone used 1/15s with iso800 but the moto used 1/48s with iso1600. That's a huge difference (moto used just 1/3 of the light compared to the iphone) and that's also why the image looks worse than that of the iphone.
These shorter exposure-times are usefull to avoid blurry images e.g. when the subject is moving, but on this stationary subject the difference in the exposure time makes the quality of the cameras uncomparable.
I think the moto x camera will make better pictures at the same iso-setting and exposure-times, but the color-reproduction needs to get better. It is definitely to cold. It also has a very good dynamic range, but this leads to "flat" images. Maybe some postprocessing can improve this...

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