Motorola Moto X camera details: 13-megapixel Sony IMX135 sensor and more daytime samples


The new Motorola Moto X has officially broken cover, and it’s an impressive overhaul over the original in both looks and performance power. It adds a metal frame, a larger and sharper, 5.2” 1080 x 1920-pixel display, and a powerful Snapdragon 801 system chip. One particularly interesting change in the new Moto X, however, is the camera.

Motorola has traditionally had a healthy partnership with OmniVision using the company’s camera sensors for the camera in the Moto X. The sensor in last year’s Moto X was the 10-megapixel OV10820, a 1/2.6” CMOS sensor, one of the largest on Android, falling back only to the Xperia Z sensors at the time. The original Moto X camera also used the new RGBC ‘Clear Pixel’ color filter that came with the promise of improving the low-light shooting performance. The difference with the standard Bayer RGBG filter is that instead of having two green pixels, it only had one green and the fourth one in the array was a clear one that would capture more light information. Problem is, the camera did not really perform as well as expected - it was plagued with severe issues at launch, and only about a month after the launch, Motorola pushed an update to fix the situation.

This might have been one of the reasons why the new Moto X ditches the OmniVision sensor and goes with a Sony-made one. It uses the 13-megapixel 1/3.06” Sony IMX135, one of the most popular sensors out there that is also used on devices like the LG G3, LG G2, and the Samsung Galaxy S4. It is noticeably smaller than the previously used OmniVision one, but has a higher resolution. Naturally, this translates into tinier, 1.1µ pixels, smaller than the 1.4µ on last year’s Moto X. Is this a worthy trade-off? We have already seen that pixels of such a small scale are not the ideal solution for night shots where images often pick up more noise, but we’re yet to analyze the new Moto X camera samples in our detailed review that’s coming up.

Turning to the optics side of things, we had an f/2.4 lens with a 30mm (in 35mm equivalent terms) lens. The new Moto X moves to a wider aperture of f/2.25, and as you probably know, a wider aperture allows for more light to pass to the sensor and results in lighter images. Focal length remains nearly the same at 29.4mm on the new Moto flagship.

It's also worth paying more attention to the dual LED flash that is hiding behind a ring-shaped diffusing glass, which makes for a softer, more pleasing light. This is an intentional touch of course: when the two LED torches fire, the light it dispersed alongside the ring and it comes out more even, softer. We're yet to give it a more detailed test and see whether it brings any tangible difference, so stay tuned.

With all those technicalities aside, it’s time to take a look at the actual performance of the camera of the new Moto X. Take a look at some new daytime camera samples from different sources in the first slideshow, and in the second one, you can also compare with our own night time samples. How do you like what you see?

Daytime camera samples courtesy of Android Authority.

reference: AnandTech, TheVerge

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13 Comments

1. supa_dupa

Posts: 80; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

I hope they will fix their camera...low light shots are pretty bad... and we need day-light pics at full res.

7. rantao333

Posts: 345; Member since: May 21, 2013

i dont think so, i think its fairly good. at least better than samsung s5

10. engineer-1701d unregistered

not close the low light is bad fuzz the daylight is ok the s5 is way better

12. SayMobile

Posts: 157; Member since: Jan 29, 2014

are u fu***ng crazyyy, better than the S5 ! have u ever seen samples or pictures clicked from d S5 ,its argaubly the best smartphone camera out their

13. pulkit1

Posts: 354; Member since: Jul 03, 2014

its great in day light but isocell tech is not perfected for low light.

2. ishan.heru

Posts: 69; Member since: Aug 31, 2014

daylight good enough however low light is really bad doesn't look like 13mp.

3. Af1rPA

Posts: 712; Member since: Jun 12, 2014

The day light pics are in 1600x1200. I think its been taken at a 9mpx setting.

4. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1246; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

So as usual bad camera from Moto... Thats OK, but the 2300mAh battery for 5.2" FHD screen + 2.5GHz Quadcore processor is the major fault, imho... Why GOOGLE ignores battery in smartphone??? (I know OG Moto always takes battery life seriously)

5. Tomfromsouth

Posts: 86; Member since: Apr 02, 2012

And day light imo look a little drab.Maybe its just the test cases I suppose the saturation can be turned up but its not evident in the auto setting (I assume it's what they took it in)

6. Malhar

Posts: 49; Member since: Dec 29, 2012

Poor in Low-light...

8. PryvateiDz

Posts: 443; Member since: Jul 31, 2011

Camera shots look pretty amazing to me, I'm sold.

9. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Low-light is meh. But in standard Daylight, the camera performs really well! Good thing they followed up and actually went with Sony sensors this time. Waaay better than the original. I may need a photo comparison tool to just see how this is different than the Moto X 2013!

11. Af1rPA

Posts: 712; Member since: Jun 12, 2014

Im really disliking that logo in the back >.

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