One of the central features of the Nexus 5 is the 8MP camera that everyone hopes will erase the bad memories left by the cameras of earlier Nexus smartphones. While the first Nexus 5 impressions point to an inconsistent behavior (supposedly due to software, so potentially solvable), one thing’s for sure: the new Nexus 5 is way above the Nexus 4 in terms of image quality, especially in low-lighting conditions.
One of the reasons the Nexus 5 handles low-light photography so much better than the 2012 Nexus is the presence of optical image stabilization (OIS), a technology that cancels the small movements of the camera by slightly tilting the lens. Thanks to OIS, the camera’s shutter can stay open a little longer without suffering the effects of unwanted movement such as that caused by shaking hands, thus allowing more light to reach the sensor, and ultimately improving the quality of the image.
But how big is the difference between the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5 when it comes to low-light photography? Redditor zenith66 put the two devices through their paces, and the results speak for themselves.
The difference is clearly in favor of the new Nexus. However, even the new Nexus 5 is a far cry from the low-light performance of some other devices, like the Xperia Z1 or the HTC One. One of the most obvious issues is the purplish haze in some of the shots, which seems to be similar to the problem that some HTC One users have been having with low-light images. We’ll be keeping an eye on the problem as part of our upcoming review.