The Nexus 6 Challenge continues with the Camera. 13 megapixels, OIS, and 4K video all sound great but how does it really perform? Check out our video taking a closer look at the Nexus 6 camera and seeing if its any good.
As part of its 30-day challenge, I’ve been using the Nexus 6 as my daily driver. On this video, I will discuss how good the camera is.
It is important to consider that the Moto X (2014)’s 13MP camera is able to take average photos and decent 4K videos. The Nexus 6 is a Moto X (2014) made bigger and with an added OIS feature to its camera. Basically, it comes with the same camera module, resolution, hardware, megapixel count, and almost the same sensor. OIS is the only difference between the two.
When I first got the Nexus 6, I was disappointed with the quality of its 13MP camera because it was exactly the same as the Moto X. Quite frankly, it should have been different and better because it’s a more expensive phone, has OIS, and it should have been made with a better camera. Strangely, as I was using the phone as a daily driver, I was taking more photos and more trips; it dawned on me at CES 2015 in Las Vegas that I had a pretty decent camera. Generally, the photos taken outside with lots of sunlight and nature always look good; no matter what camera is being used. With the outside photos taken with the Nexus 6’s 13MP camera, they were pretty good.
Compared to that that of the Galaxy Note 4 or iPhone 6, the dynamic range on the Nexus 6 is not very good and is at par with other phones. It does not have the best camera but definitely a lot better than what was initially expected.
Little light shots always define how good the camera is, with phones like the Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 that do low light rather well. The iPhone 6 does it a little bit better because of the software processing on the Galaxy Note 4. Usually phones don’t do too well on low-light because their sensors are too small. That’s why there are full-frame DSLRs that do phenomenally well in very low light situations because you can bump up their ISO and not have that much grain on your images.
Before my trip to CES, I had some pretty bad low-light shots—a lot of grain and not very many details on the photos that just looked really bad. At CES, I took some better low light shots. I was able to take a photo of sushi served at CES and it came out really well—it had good exposure. While the grain was still there, it was just not very bad. It still was a usable image that turned out to be a good photo.
As for 4K video, I didn’t mess around with it too much because I’ve seen 4K videos off the Moto X and it looked okay; from the Nexus 6, quality was fine. OIS didn’t really play a major role in making the video look good or bad. You can tell it’s there, a little robotic in terms of movement; very similar to Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus. Honestly, I didn’t see the need to talk about 4K video because it’s not the best—it still goes to the Galaxy Note 4 and S5 because they do 4K on a mobile phone a lot better than anyone else right now.
As a whole, the Nexus 6 camera is rather average—not tremendously disappointing as expected and it’s not mind-blowing as a step up between the Moto X and Nexus 6. Obviously, it’s an average camera on a non-average priced phone. As a flagship device, you’re usually expecting the best hardware because flagship means the best of what’s available. Quite frankly, the Nexus 6 does not have the best of what’s available in terms of camera department. It has the best hardware and software but not the best camera.