It was on Monday we caught another glimpse of the Nexus 5 after the device was once again, pictured in the wild. In one of our clearest looks at the device yet, many of you noticed one very… unique design feature that appeared to stand out more than ever. Amid the conservative soft touch backing, a huge metallic camera areola is prominent. Ever present. Always watching.
We’ll admit, this doesn’t have anything to do with the actual lens or sensor and doesn’t give us any indication what-so-ever as to the Nexus 5′s image capabilities. But when the camera could have easily been hidden underneath the plastic back, we couldn’t help but wonder if Google could be planning something big for the Nexus 5′s camera?
The most obvious area for improvement would be in general picture quality, where previous Nexus devices have all fallen short. When it comes to Google, they typically take the no-nonsense approach when it comes to mobile photography. We’ve seen this in Google Glass’ always-on, auto HDR 5MP camera (which only records a maximum 720p video). Some of you might also remember when the Galaxy Nexus was first unveiled, Google focused on the speed of taking rapid shots in succession, rather than image quality.
Today, some newly leaked info on the Nexus 5′s image capabilities have surfaced and hints that Google and LG might be once again focusing on improving camera experience, not necessarily image quality. The boys at AndroidWorld did a little digging around the Nexus 5′s recently leaked log files and found that the 8MP camera (model number imx179) is manufactured by none other than DigitalOptics, makers of the MEMS camera, a new kind of tech for mobile devices.
Back during Mobile World Congress 2013, DigitalOptics got a chance to show off exactly how their new MEMS camera works. Besides being able to focus in on images in half the time of current mobile cameras, MEMS can snap pics so quickly, it is able to combine 7 images with different focus points. Using special software (perhaps in KitKat’s rumored new Gallery app?), allow users can then go back and focus anywhere in the scene just like with the Lytro camera.
Unfortunately lack of rumored OIS and a sensor size that is typical to current devices like the iPhone 5 (1/3.2”) means overall image quality wont best the 5s or Lumia 1020. But with MEMS at the helm, Google and LG could have a nifty killer feature up their sleeves and one unlike any other mobile device to date. We can’t wait.