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

Related phones

Nexus 5
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2260 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 2300 mAh(17h talk time)



1. ohiojosh78

Posts: 32; Member since: Oct 17, 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.

2. avasponge

Posts: 44; Member since: May 03, 2012


57. Tommy1960i

Posts: 144; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

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

24. JC557

Posts: 1919; Member since: Dec 07, 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.

25. Kal-el

Posts: 96; Member since: Dec 14, 2012

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

29. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

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

69. murphyt10

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 02, 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

78. phonemirer

Posts: 111; Member since: Dec 07, 2012

except nokias

26. zorglub76

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 01, 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)....

34. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 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.

40. timaustin2000

Posts: 42; Member since: Feb 15, 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:​745/

47. zorglub76

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 01, 2013

Hmm.. not bad at all..

65. _PHug_

Posts: 482; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

Xperia? Sony = traitors don't buy from them heh

70. timaustin2000

Posts: 42; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

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

75. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

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)

36. silencer271

Posts: 254; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

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

42. rawbow

Posts: 428; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

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

39. justwil_k

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 01, 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

66. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 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.

43. Wiki_jaan

Posts: 704; Member since: Jun 24, 2012

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

3. mr.techdude

Posts: 571; Member since: Nov 19, 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.

7. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

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

14. freebee269

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 10, 2012

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

4. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

I have my sony qx-10 so whatever

5. mr.techdude

Posts: 571; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

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

27. krzysiek100

Posts: 8; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

you mean.... it may be contagious?

76. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 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

67. Pancholo

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Cool story, bro. Irrelevant, but cool story.

6. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012


8. NexusX

Posts: 613; Member since: May 16, 2013


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