It’s one thing when a company presents carefully curated (and possibly edited) photo samples to show off their latest phone’s camera capabilities. It’s another when a representative of the same company posts a few casual shots to a social network. Which, we might ask, is the more accurate representation of the camera’s true nature? If you believe the latter, see Matias Duarte’s recent Google+ post in which he showcases his pumpkin carving skills and, simultaneously, the Nexus 6 camera.
Making these photos even more telling is the fact that they are night shots — the bane of many a smartphone photographer. While plenty of Android devices boast perfectly capable daytime shooting modes, it is when we transition into the dim lighting of the night that we really get a sense of the limits of any particular camera sensor. While it is important to note that Duarte is not presenting these photos in order to directly show off the Nexus 6 camera (and therefore they may not be representative of the best the phone is capable of), one could argue that this example of “real world” use says more about the latest Google phone’s photo capabilities than any set of PR-selected photos could.
We have mixed feelings about the results. As far as nighttime photos captured with a smartphone are concerned, these are pretty good. You can see plenty of detail out of the darkness, but there is a good deal of graininess. The resolution is there but it’s fuzzy around the edges. The colors don’t exactly pop, but the sensor is obviously sensitive enough to capture subtle differences in shadow and light. Needless to say, the Nexus 6 isn’t blowing us away here, but it seems perfectly capable of grabbing some decent photos in darker lighting conditions (anyone who wants amazing nighttime photos will need a more powerful camera setup than what’s available on the smartphone market, in any case).
What says the peanut gallery? Do these photos get you excited about the Nexus 6 camera, or do they leave you wanting more?