Developer releases flashable camera app for Nexus 5, aims to improve device’s photo-taking abilities

November 8, 2013

    Google Nexus 5 drop test aa

    With a low-price tag, a powerful Snapdragon 800 CPU, and a Full HD 4.96-inch display — there’s a lot to love about the Nexus 5. Of course, there are also going to be a few sacrifices when buying a handset that’s about half the price of a typical flagship.

    According to most early reports, the Nexus 5 suffers from some of the same issues as the Nexus 4: namely weaker battery life and a camera that isn’t as good as other high-end Android devices. The good news is that some of the Nexus 5’s camera issues might have to do more with the stock camera app, and are not just shortcomings with the 8MP shooter.

    Hoping to take the Nexus 5 camera experience to the next level, developer Jishnu Sur has now released a flashable .zip that replaces the stock camera with an app that has quite a few special features including faster focusing, the ability to record 720p @ 20Mb/S on the front cam, an adjusted focus range, and enhanced smooth zoom.

    In order to get the new 3rd-party camera app up and running, you’ll need to have an unlocked bootloader with root access. You will also need to flash the file via some form of custom recovery. In other words, this mod isn’t for those who are unfamiliar with the Android modding scene. Then again, if you own a Nexus device, this probably isn’t a problem for you.

    So how much better do things look with the new camera app? Most posters over at the XDA forum say that the camera is noticeably sharper in most types of shots, though the difference isn’t exactly night and day.

    While we haven’t had the opportunity to test it out for ourselves, we have posted one side-by-side photo, originally from XDA forum member krazyAttack. The image on the left was taken with the stock camera app.

    before-after-n5-camera

    For those wishing to try out Sur’s camera app for themselves, you can learn more about the project by heading over to the XDA Developers forum.

    Has anyone flashed this yet — if so, what do you think? Is there a noticeable difference based on your experience with it?

    Comments

    • Nick V

      Did they change the focal length of the lens?

      • Peter

        Yes, there are a bunch of different ones with different features. At least one has shorter focus time

        • Cao Meo

          focal length is a physical attribute of the lens, so how can you change it?

          • marycontrary

            He means focus length, the time taken for it to focus. It’s software based.

            • Millimetre

              No he doesn’t mean focus time: the pics show a change in subject size/perspective before and after the mod. It’s a software change, doesn’t affect focal length——looks like sarcasm: there is no basis for comparison because the procedure is sloppy.

    • Bobby Wright

      I’ll wait to see what Google has in store for its rumored nexus 5 update before I start messing with this camera fix. I don’t hate the camera enough yet anyways..

    • Tony T.

      The pictures in the example here don’t show that much of a difference. Honestly, it just looks like they took the same photo and used contrast settings to lighten the values.

    • Nadeem Ansari

      Yolo guys!! The Android 4.2.2 update for your Xperia Z is right here!! http://goo.gl/cNGUuZ

    • Ryster1

      Honestly, you can’t expect camera perfection from a phone that’s almost half the price of the other flagships. That being said, I think that the camera update from Google will fix many of the issues with the camera and make it much better :)

      • On a Clear Day

        If you want great pictures, don’t rely on a phone. No matter how “nice” they may be they are still a bundled function that is there as a convenience – and convenient they are – but as far as archival quality images? Ain’t gonna happen. Regardless of what efforts – hardware or software – are put into them they will always be mediocre when compared to a high quality, dedicated real camera.

        I don’t buy a phone predicated on whether it can take pictures. I buy it for the quality of the screen; the quickness of the processor; its voice quality and its ability to stand the test of time because it is both well constructed and has enough get up and go to keep it going for a few years without my having to bother with it.

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