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13 Posts

02-10-2017

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Camera performance

2017-02-10, 5:11 AM

This camera performs flawlessly in moderate to bright light. When it's dim, the auto settings on this camera are terrible. Shutter speed way too slow- I guess in an effort to allow more light in, but causes too much blur especially with any motion. Not to mention autofocusing with the tap to focus feature is a complete fail in low light. Compared side by side with an S7 and Pixel and it's not even comparable. With some tweaking in pro mode, it becomes a joy to use in low light, but this should be done automatically in low light as with the S7 and Pixel. Shouldn't be necessary to change several settings in pro mode when camera software could easily take advantage of the great sensor in this phone. Such a waste. 

 

Any software updates we can expect in the future for the camera?

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19232 Posts

02-03-2016

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Re: Camera performance

2017-02-10, 14:47 PM

wrote:

This camera performs flawlessly in moderate to bright light. When it's dim, the auto settings on this camera are terrible. Shutter speed way too slow- I guess in an effort to allow more light in, but causes too much blur especially with any motion. Not to mention autofocusing with the tap to focus feature is a complete fail in low light. Compared side by side with an S7 and Pixel and it's not even comparable. With some tweaking in pro mode, it becomes a joy to use in low light, but this should be done automatically in low light as with the S7 and Pixel. Shouldn't be necessary to change several settings in pro mode when camera software could easily take advantage of the great sensor in this phone. Such a waste. 

 

Any software updates we can expect in the future for the camera?


Have you tried using the focus ring to raise the light? Like you, I use Pro Mode when I am not rushed, but the focus ring is quick and generally helps a lot.

 

Shutter speed automatically lowers in low light -- that is exactly how it adjusts to take better low-light photos. The trade-off is the potential for blur.

Please do not PM me - if you have issues, search the forums for threads on your topic and post there, or start a new thread. Thanks!
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Re: Camera performance

2017-02-10, 15:01 PM

I've tried using the focus ring to lower, not raise, the light, which helps a bit with focusing on objects. Increasing light on the focus ring with the shutter speed automatically enabled too slow would make it even more blurry, as you suggest. It's typically automatically set to 1/10 shutter as I've found by checking photo info, but 1/30 proves to be much better in low light, even 1/20 or 1/15, and is what most other flagships I've used adjust to. Sure, you will introduce a bit more noise in the photo with the faster shutter speed, but at least you don't have to basically have a tripod to take a picture.

 

Ironically, even if you just use the phone in auto mode while in pro mode, the phone acts better. Not sure why. I just wish Moto would take the time to implement simple camera software changes for its flagship devices, as so many other manufacturers do. This camera has so much potential to be a good "automatic" low light shooter, but it isn't as of now.

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19 Posts

08-12-2015

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Re: Camera performance

2017-03-01, 5:15 AM
mattsg430 is right - the camera is a high quality camera, but it seems like Moto just did a lousy job with the low-light photo calculations. Since we can get great low light photos out of Pro mode, we know the camera is capable, but we really battle when set to auto.

I've had phones that no amount of manual mode adjustments will make for a better low light picture, but that's not the case with the Z. It can take great low light pictures - sadly, it just can't figure it out on it's own.
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7 Posts

03-04-2015

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Re: Camera performance

2017-03-01, 15:18 PM
I also have the Moto X Force (Turbo 2)
And the X Force makes better photos.
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Re: Camera performance

2017-03-01, 17:23 PM

Thanks for the responses. I also had the Droid Turbo 2 for about a year, and agree with you that it performed on par or better as far as autofocus/low light. It could be an issue with Nougat - I've read reviews on the Play Store that the camera performed much better on Marshmallow.

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06-26-2015

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Re: Camera performance

2017-03-03, 16:28 PM

I agree that the camera worked much better on my Droid Turbo 2.  Not sure about my Z Force  Marshmallow, I only had that a few days before being updated to Nougat.

I also agree that the camera needs help, when flash is enabled.  The auto focus ring will correctly focus on the object you want it to however as soon as you tap the screen to take the pic, the camera turns on the flash and attempts to re-auto focus, the lense moves right past the sharpest point for the object then takes the pic in a very unfocused state.  It is not focusing on any other object either, the entire image is out of focus and I have made sure to have the camera at an angle that does not produce a reflective glare that would cause the phone to grab that instead (which is not the selected target of the focus ring anyway).  It is too dificult to tell at photos taken at distance unless you zoom in on that pic however at 6 to 12 inches this happens.  After the pic is taken, the flash shuts off and the lens re-aquires focus again. 

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  • Message 8 of 18

Re: Camera performance

2017-03-06, 16:56 PM

wrote:

I agree that the camera worked much better on my Droid Turbo 2.  Not sure about my Z Force  Marshmallow, I only had that a few days before being updated to Nougat.

I also agree that the camera needs help, when flash is enabled.  The auto focus ring will correctly focus on the object you want it to however as soon as you tap the screen to take the pic, the camera turns on the flash and attempts to re-auto focus, the lense moves right past the sharpest point for the object then takes the pic in a very unfocused state.  It is not focusing on any other object either, the entire image is out of focus and I have made sure to have the camera at an angle that does not produce a reflective glare that would cause the phone to grab that instead (which is not the selected target of the focus ring anyway).  It is too dificult to tell at photos taken at distance unless you zoom in on that pic however at 6 to 12 inches this happens.  After the pic is taken, the flash shuts off and the lens re-aquires focus again. 


Hi DG_XT912,

 

Thanks for your feedback and we appreciate everything you have observed. We'll pass this along to our Camera engineers and see what should be done.

 

Regards,
Jess
Motorola Support

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07-31-2010

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Re: Camera performance

2017-03-15, 19:34 PM

I'm not a pro at camera usage under any circumstances.  The photos in this camera are very pixilated.  For a 21 mega-pixel camera it has lousy photos.  My wife has a HTC phone which has a 21 MP camera and her photos are as good as any digital camera.  She can moderately zoom and the images are still clear.  I can't even zoom with this phone and the images are terrible.  Any suggestions other than get a new phone?

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19 Posts

08-12-2015

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Re: Camera performance

2017-03-15, 19:58 PM

A few thoughts...sorry if any of these are "duh" common knowledge but just covering a few basics, not trying to be insulting!

 

One thing to make sure of is that you're actually taking 21MP photos. I know that sounds like an obvious suggestion, but open your camera app and swipe from left to right to expand the options and make sure "Photo size (rear)" is set to 4:3 (21MP). If you're set to 16:9 (16.1MP) or lower, that may be part of the problem.

 

Any sort of "zoom" on a cell phone camera (with the exception of a handful of less common models) are using a digital zoom, which basically means the phone is using software to make the image larger. Generally, digital zoom is awful and not recommended. That's been a common thing since the early days of digital cameras. When you zoom digitally, the camera software is having to digitally enlarge the picture, while still trying to account for the other zillion things it's likely trying to calculate (proper lighting, shutter\exposure, countering user shakiness, etc). The typical school of thought is you're best off not using a digital zoom (on any camera). Instead, take your picture without zooming, then use software (either on your computer or even the image viewer on your phone) to crop and enlarge the picture. This will usually result in a higher quality image (and you have the added benefit of cropping it to capture the best elements of the picture).

 

That being said, I can't think of any HTC phones with a 21MP that should be far superior to the Moto Z Force. Software rendering of digital zoom aside, if they're both shooting at 21MP digitally zoomed to roughly the same amount, I wouldn't expect to see substantially different photos. If yours is consistently awful and unusable, even when you're not digitally zoomed, maybe it's a software or hardware issue?

 

Most of us aren't complaining about the capability of the phones camera - it's actually exceptionally capable (dxomark.com, who does indepth phone camera reviews ranks the Z Force only a point behind phones like the Galaxy S7 Edge or HTC10, a point ahead of the Galaxy S6 Edge or LG G5, and several points ahead of phones like the iPhone 6S Plus). The area it struggles tends to be slowing the shutter speed too much in auto mode, which would likely result in a more blurry image than anything else - so it's curious that yours are coming out way too pixilated.

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