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Nexus 5 camera samples appear (compared with iPhone 5s)

Nexus 5 camera samples appear (compared with iPhone 5s)
We have now also seen how the Nexus 5 camera compares against the Nokia Lumia 1020 and against the old Nexus 4.

After endless rumors, the Nexus 5 is finally here and the torture is over. You can buy one right now (if it’s still available on Google Play) and have it shipped in a few days, but some bloggers were luckier than other mortals and got to play with the Nexus 5 earlier. More specifically - with its camera which is the component Google touts to have improved significantly.

The Nexus 5 features an 8-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization and it uses the same OIS tech as in the LG G2. Needless to say, the camera has high ambitions, but can it live up to them?

Now, we have the first real camera samples from the Nexus 5 and you can explore them pixel by pixel. What do we learn from them? Well, first of all, they reveal that the handset comes with an aperture of f/2.5, not too wide for the Nexus 5’s ambitions to shoot good in low light (wider aperture equals to lower f/ number and results in improved low-light performance).

Judging by all visible clues and earlier leaks, it's safe to assume the Nexus 5 uses the Sony IMX179 CMOS sensor. This would mean that it features a quite average size of 1/3.2" (smaller than top cameraphones like the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Sony Xperia Z1) and individual pixels measure 1.4µm.

Second, we learn that the ISO can easily go from around 100 to nearly 800. Nothing surprising here. The level of detail seems okay at first sight and the images overall do not look bad at all, but definitely not breath-taking either. What do you think, do you like what you see below?

Update: We have added more camera samples to better illustrate how the Nexus 5 camera performs. Some of the images (those with borders) have obviously been post-processed.

Update #2: We have now added more samples from both the Nexus 5 and the iPhone 5s for clear comparison between the two 8-megeapixel shooters. It's hard to draw final conclusions from the images (there are only two comparison images) since the focus and metering differ, but given that most likely they were taken using automatic settings and without tapping to focus, we like the detail and sharpness on the first image better on the Nexus 5, and on the second image the iPhone 5s seems to capture a bit darker, but otherwise better balanced image with the background nicely visible while the Nexus 5 burns that background almost completely. Once again, we would not draw any final conclusions from this, but do take a look and let us know your thoughts.

Update #3: New sample images have surfaced comparing the Nexus 5 with the two-year-old Samsung Galaxy Nexus, a device featuring a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera. Take a look below.


source: GigaOm, Anirudh Devani, MobileSyrup, NikeAirJ

79 Comments
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posted on 31 Oct 2013, 14:21 54

1. ohiojosh78 (Posts: 24; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Looks just fine to me. I am not a professional photographer or a snob that thinks unless something is "the best" that it isn't good enough. I'm just an average user that likes to take and post pictures.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 14:24 5

2. avasponge (Posts: 40; Member since: 03 May 2012)


+1!!!!

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 10:23 1

57. Tommy1960i (Posts: 99; Member since: 11 Oct 2013)


Nexus 5 is better in low light condition but I am not sure with a lot of light.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 23:24

24. JC557 (Posts: 1038; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


It's quite good. Much better than my LG Spectrum 2. Maybe a bit better than my Droid Razr M and hopefully these are shots taken from a pre-optimized camera. Maybe an update will improve things some more.

Nexus phones never had the best camera but they did have an overall good product experience for the mainstream user.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 01:31

25. Kal-el (Posts: 91; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)


i'd wait for night shots b4 u make ur judgement....

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 06:09 1

29. cezarepc (Posts: 564; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


All phones are crap in night shots except xenon-wielding ones.

posted on 02 Nov 2013, 16:03

69. murphyt10 (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


Even xenon flashes on phones generally only work well at a pretty narrow range of distances...too close and flash overpowers, too far and not enough light

posted on 03 Nov 2013, 18:38 1

78. phonemirer (Posts: 111; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)


except nokias

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 05:03 2

26. zorglub76 (Posts: 2; Member since: 01 Nov 2013)


I am a snob, and I disaprove this camera. On the other hand, for a $350 phone I guess it's OK. I think I will give up waiting for a good Android phone with a good camera. I was thinking of getting Lumia 1020, but I'm also a OS snob, so I don't like the idea of getting Windows phone. Damn you companies! Why can't you create decent Android phone that is decent looking, with decent hardware and good camera ('good' as in p&s camera quality)....

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 07:16 3

34. Shatter (Posts: 2024; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Xperia Z1?

These samples are still much better than the nexus 4s, the nexus 4 has one of the worst 8mp phone cameras ever used. The screen is also fixed and you shouldn't have to calibrate it like you had to calibrate the nexus 4.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 07:40 1

40. timaustin2000 (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


I'm with Shatter: the Xperia Z1 is the phone you're looking for - it has an outstanding camera in all light. Personal samples:

flickr.com/photos/16762205@N04/sets/72157635983420​745/

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 09:20

47. zorglub76 (Posts: 2; Member since: 01 Nov 2013)


Hmm.. not bad at all..

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 13:41 1

65. _PHug_ (Posts: 380; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


Xperia?

Sony = traitors don't buy from them

heh

posted on 02 Nov 2013, 17:39

70. timaustin2000 (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


Care to elaborate? Traitors to whom? For what reason? Your comment makes no sense.

posted on 03 Nov 2013, 04:23

75. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 751; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


He's referring to the Rockstar taking Google and android phonebuilders to court over patents. Sony is part of the Rockstar consortium (as well as Apple, Microsoft, etc)

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 07:32 7

36. silencer271 (Posts: 166; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Sadly people with iphones think they are professional photographers its kind of funny sometimes.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 07:55 1

42. rawbow (Posts: 426; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


seems you are surrounded with lame people rather than iPhone users particularly :P

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 07:40 11

39. justwil_k (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Nov 2013)


Man, how times have changed. Just 8-10 years ago a phone WITH a camera was just cool feature to have-- and, didn't have a direct influence on whether or not someone would buy it. Now, though, that sh*t better shoot some Ansel Adams type sh*t or else it'll forever have that "meh" feel to it despite being considered a flagship device.

Fck that. I'm getting the N5 with or without a bad ass cam

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 13:51 1

66. LionStone (Posts: 447; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


But thankfully we have a winner with the N5! Shoots better in low light than the i5s, which has a larger f/stop! Ha, they knocked it out of the park with this camera, not to mention any action or movement by the user will be compensated by the OIS.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 08:00 1

43. Wiki_jaan (Posts: 702; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


nod bad .......... still a good camera for this high end phone at this price

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 14:28 3

3. mr.techdude (Posts: 543; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Pretty fine to me, I like a phone with a great camera, who dosn't. 1020 is great tried it myself but the colours are over saturated to the point where most pics are yellowish.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 15:08 4

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


The 5MP photos are incredible but the 41MP photos are simply awful.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 16:48 9

14. freebee269 (Posts: 521; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)


try the 1020 now. the 1020 just recieved a nokia update. no more yellow tint.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 14:32 5

4. marbovo (Posts: 643; Member since: 16 May 2013)


I have my sony qx-10 so whatever

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 14:38 18

5. mr.techdude (Posts: 543; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Step back everyone cause @marbovo has that Sony qx bla bla bla, I mean literally step back.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 05:49 2

27. krzysiek100 (Posts: 7; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


you mean.... it may be contagious?

posted on 03 Nov 2013, 09:45

76. marbovo (Posts: 643; Member since: 16 May 2013)


What can I say? these pics are jus like any other pic from a nexus device... and I think you know what I mean

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 20:49

67. Pancholo (Posts: 377; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Cool story, bro. Irrelevant, but cool story.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 14:44

6. cezarepc (Posts: 564; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


Uploadable.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 15:12 7

8. NexusX (Posts: 114; Member since: 16 May 2013)


underwhelming

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 15:20

9. kozza3 (Posts: 574; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)


omg omg omg omg

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 16:08 9

12. E.N. (Posts: 2281; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


that's pretty much what everyone is thinking, but no one wants to say. Lets hope these are just poorly taken pics

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 16:57 2

15. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1619; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


so you represent everyone do you? Troll

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 17:40 10

17. E.N. (Posts: 2281; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


- "level of detail seems okay"
- "images overall do not look bad at all, but definitely not breath-taking"
- "Looks just fine to me"
- "Pretty fine to me"
- "I have my sony qx-10 so whatever"
- "Uploadable"
- "this will be more than good enough"
- "The photos are good enough for me, not as good as a lot of the other phones out there but defiantly not bad"

I may be a troll, but you sound like an idiot. go away..

As I was saying, lets hope the picture quality is actually much better than this. If its using a similar camera to the G2 then its possible these are just poorly selected photos. Damn, I'm such a troll!

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 06:37 1

31. Whateverman (Posts: 3196; Member since: 17 May 2009)


EN, would you consider this device or is Android a deal breaker? And your right, I think if this were any other high end smart phone, most of us would be underwhelmed. But with the Nexus line's history of horrible cameras, this one on the N5 is more than what many of us expected.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 06:57

33. protozeloz (Posts: 5375; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I know I'm getting mine as soon as December

posted on 03 Nov 2013, 09:47

77. marbovo (Posts: 643; Member since: 16 May 2013)


I agree with you, these fandroids are getting anoying biased, almost like isheeps

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 15:31

79. Dinged (Posts: 12; Member since: 12 Jan 2012)


Underwhelming...agree. Phonearena posted the results from their blind photo comparison poll and the people ranked from best to worse: Nokia 1020, Galaxy S4, iphone 5s, than LG G2.

If the nexus 5 was put in the same poll...they most likely would come in after the G2 since they used cheaper hardware in it's design. With that in mind, I'm not upgrading to a new phone until something comes out that beats the S4 in a blind poll. Otherwise, I'd be wasting money on old camera technology. OIS means nothing in real world terms if the overall image is still not up to par against peers.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 15:23 6

10. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2441; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


I think most customers aren't professional photographers......so this will be more than good enough imo

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 15:27 1

11. siluro (Posts: 46; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


I love my Nexus 4, but of course the one thing that held it back for me was the camera. I'd love to jump on board with the Nexus 5, but waiting on the PA phone comparison for the camera shots, you guys always do a great job showing many scenarios and comparing it to the latest and greatest. If it holds up to the quality of a Samsung Galaxy S3 and would be a nice bonus to compare with the S4, I will probably buy it!

PA get those comparison shots fired up!

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 16:12

13. Kjayhawk (Posts: 287; Member since: 07 Oct 2010)


The photos are good enough for me, not as good as a lot of the other phones out there but defiantly not bad.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 17:37 7

16. splus (Posts: 28; Member since: 26 Nov 2011)


Come on guys, be honest and say it - the photos are NOT OK, they're mediocre at best. Maybe OK for a 2 year old phone but definitely not for a new one.
If you're even a bit into taking half decent photos then do yourself a favour and rather buy another phone.
A Gnex owner here who practically stopped taking photos when I bought my Gnex, so I'm saying this from personal experience...

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 21:42 2

19. grahaman27 (Posts: 347; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


the scenes are mediocre. any photo of a messy bed will look bad.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 23:20 2

22. techfirst101 (Posts: 9; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)


Those pictures were taken in seriously nasty lighting conditions, from the overcast outside to the dark indoors with overcast natural light. I think any smartphone cam would struggle under those conditions. Having said that its pretty much impossible to say pics are good/bad without a base comparison. Looking forward to a full camera comparison PA!

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 20:05

18. Beijendorf (Posts: 309; Member since: 27 Aug 2013)


Level of detail isn't too impressive and the noise level is through the roof on the lower-light image.

That OIS have better be worth the trade-off from the LG G2 camera.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 21:53

20. Cha7520 (Posts: 210; Member since: 31 Oct 2010)


My LG G2 13MP looks better :)

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 22:36 2

21. posthardcore29 (Posts: 20; Member since: 05 May 2013)


nokia n82 will be great.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 23:20 1

23. WakaFlakaD (Posts: 361; Member since: 30 Apr 2011)


No joke, I always use N82 to compare pictures with current smarphones camera! That thing from 5 years ago still beating many of these phones that are on the market now

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 06:05

28. shahrooz (Posts: 137; Member since: 17 Sep 2013)


good enough for me

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 06:24 1

30. saffant (Posts: 219; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)


Don't make excuses people; this is an average camera for 2013—especially this late.

The excuse that it's "good enough" well it's that kinda thinking that holds tech back.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 07:50 1

41. blingblingthing (Posts: 432; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


Average? Let's wait for the blind can comparison to compare. It's like some of you guys view night shots as the optimum conditions for picture taking.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 21:02

68. Pancholo (Posts: 377; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Of course. Because everybody believes they're photographers when they whip their phones out.

They want perfect pictures against the sun, perfect pictures in complete and utter darkness in concerts, perfect pictures in Starbucks' lighting, and perfect selfies in the car at night. You're gonna end up editing that "masterpiece" in Instagram or some other image-editing app anyway.

Just use what you like and what works for you now, fangirls. We won't have decent pictures unless phones get bulkier NOW (and it seems that some of you wear tight leather pants) or we wait a few more years.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 06:46 1

32. Quito92 (Posts: 6; Member since: 14 Oct 2013)


I dont see why people are complaining about the camera or battery or whatever it is...now a days there are so many different selections of phone..why not choose one that fits your needs. if you like the camera then why not get a phone that has a good camera. I agree with above comments..its good enough of a camera..other option is to buy a camera itself..i mean after all, that is what theyre for. People are just too jaded...nothing is ever good enough.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 07:19 1

35. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 1004; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


Looks very good so far for its 8mp job well done Google;)

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 07:37

37. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 1004; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


Update #2 comparison: iphone 5s is blown away,but still there are more flagships to compare with...wow.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 08:35 1

44. Shatter (Posts: 2024; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Everyone above calling its camera bad must be hiding now

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 07:37

38. SSyar (Posts: 14; Member since: 03 Jan 2012)


so where is that image.,., when Nexus 5 device was first found in the wild on event Google KitKat 4.4..,., taking a picture

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 08:51 8

45. Cellphonator12 (Posts: 27; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


$350 unlocked, no contract, top specs and some complain for the not so bloody awesome camera? Are you out of your tiny mind?
Go buy your double the price Samsung (or what ever else you like) for that slightly, arguable better camera which will allow you to take better pictures that in 99% of the cases nobody would notice.
Are you a photographer? Buy a Nikon or similar and stop trolling.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 09:00

46. wando77 (Posts: 283; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)


I'm not keen on the PA photo comparisons as they don't show the pics on screen at the same time. You have to flick backwards and forwards to compare which isn't ideal

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 09:36

48. Shatter (Posts: 2024; Member since: 29 May 2013)


If your on a computer you can open up 2 pages and compare them directly. I'm sure there's a browser that can do it on android/ios but it wouldn't look right since the small screen.

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