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Motorola Moto X 2014 Camera Review, Capture Samples

By Chetan Bhawani on Thursday 2nd of Oct 2014

One of the major upgrades apart from the screen size and the processor, is the camera in the new Moto X, as it comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera with the Ring Flash. The new flash comprises of two LED flashlights on the left and right of the camera lens. But has the upgrade in the camera made much difference in the capture quality? It indeed did, in a great way. On the first few captures, I was convinced that the Moto X will impress will the camera. And it did, with both the photo captures as well as with video recording. Though, that isn’t the case in all the conditions, as low light captures showed too much noise.

For a quick comparison, the camera on Moto X is quite better than the 13MP shooter on HTC One E, especially in the low light conditions. But we aren’t happy with the captures from both the cameras in low light.

To start off with the camera app in the new Moto X, it doesn’t give a lot of options to choose from while capturing. The limited options could be a problem for those who keep changing stuff, trying to come up with creative captures. Nevertheless, there’s the Google Camera app in the Play Store to download and use for such options. The Camera app does one thing very well – gives the user a large screen real estate for preview. The options and settings don’t show up on the screen directly, unless you want to swipe and open them.

Moto X 2014 Camera Interface

Camera Capture Samples

Normal vs HDR vs Flash Captures

The best thing about the flash, especially under little natural light, is that it gets distributed equally with the two LED lights. But, HDR is a clear winner here, because there are little details where the HDR mode makes it darker or lighter to bring out more natural look to the final capture. Another good thing, is that it takes no much time to take a picture in HDR mode.

Camera Zoom Captures (1x to 2x to 4x)

There was some unnecessary brightening on zooming in, and that is very noticeable in the capture below where the 2x zoom made it too bright, and the clarity is not appreciable on the highest zoom, i.e. 4x zoom.

Natural Light Capture Non-HDR vs HDR Capture

Again, HDR does quite a great job. The changes one can see on first look – clouds were shown with clear demarcation, the green gets brighter (trees towards the bottom left), and the overall picture was made brighter with no unnecessary extra light.

Low Light Capture Samples

Low light captures are not really decent, and has too much noise. Note that these are some very low light conditions, but a single light source was set to check how much does the phone take advantage of it, with its own Automatic settings. There was noise in every picture, but the colors were well reproduced.

Using Flash on Low Light

The two LED flash lights didn’t do a satisfactory job in low light, because it is the same case where you get to see a lot of bright light on the nearest object, and because it is not the Dual tone flash, it is just bright and there is no levelling as such.

The video capturing options are: 2160p, 1080p and 1080p Slo-mo video capturing at 120 fps. With the video recording, the Moto X doesn’t fail to impress, and the Slow motion video recording was very good with no actual loss in detail with little shakes we did while testing it. The video recording samples will be added here soon.

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