The Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X were released just two short years ago, but have seemingly fallen out of favor with Google. Despite packing the required hardware, the phones weren’t given the Zero Shutter Lag feature in its camera that the Pixel and Pixel XL had. Google instead decided to keep that as a Pixel-only feature frustrating Nexus owners. Luckily, the Nexus and Pixel development community doesn’t easily let things like that pass and an unofficial camera app called Google Camera NX was released. This camera app packed in all the goodies from the Pixel devices so Nexus owners weren’t left behind.
Zero Shutter Lag is a pretty important feature because it fixes one of the major problems of using HDR+. Without the modification, using HDR+ can lock up the viewfinder for a second or two after a picture is taken. This can cost you the to the opportunity to pictures in rapid succession. This is especially important when you’re trying to capture fast-moving objects or are in constant action situations.
Up until now, the updates to the Google Camera NX mod has pretty much kept it in line with the Pixel camera app. With the impending release of the Pixel 2, we’re seeing more features added to the modified camera app. The most recent update is based off the official Google Camera 5.1 app and brings most of the features to Nexus devices.
Included in the app are the Motion Photos and Face Retouching features. Motion Photos senses motion in the viewfinder and takes a few seconds of video on either side of you pressing the shutter button. Face Retouching is Google’s take on the popular beauty mode feature that smooths out imperfections to make you look a little bit better in pictures.
The developer of the camera app, XDA Senior Member Charles_l, had uploaded two versions, one with Zero Shutter Lag and one without. The non-Zero Shutter Lag version should be identical to the official Google Camera app on the Nexus 5X and 6P but add in the Motion Photos feature. The version with Zero Shutter Lag should behave exactly how the app does on first-gen Pixel devices. You’ll still be missing Portrait mode and AR mode in the apps because first-gen Pixel and Nexus devices lack the proper hardware.