Nexus 5 Camera Fix on the Way (Android 4.4.1)

Google has been focusing on an assortment of fixes for the Nexus 5 camera which will be bundled into an Android 4.4.1 release.

Two problems with the Nexus 5 camera: (1) it takes crappy photos; and (2) it protrudes from the ear of the Nexus 5 making for a wobbly desktop experience.
Two problems with the Nexus 5 camera: (1) it takes crappy photos; and (2) it protrudes from the ear of the Nexus 5 making for a wobbly desktop experience.
Two problems with the Nexus 5 camera: (1) it takes crappy photos; and (2) it protrudes from the ear of the Nexus 5 making for a wobbly desktop experience.

Google is reportedly moving rapidly to fix the poor–horrible, terrible, woeful–camera performance on the Nexus 5. The team has been focusing on an assortment of fixes which will be bundled into an Android 4.4.1 release. According to The Verge, the camera update will roll out over the coming days. Expect better autofocus, speed, and contrast. Sample photos taken with the upgrade show marked improvement.

Though it’s extremely disappointing that Google would allow their flagship handset to hit the market with a substandard camera, you have to give them kudos for responding quickly. Competition has something to do with that. The iPhone runs circles just about every other smartphone out there (save perhaps for some of the Nokia Lumia models). And given the price reductions in size and price in the DSLR market, we’ve become accustomed to getting high quality results, all the time.

I’ve been on the Nexus bandwagon for the past three releases.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus, LG Nexus 4 and now the LG Nexus 5 –each have terrible cameras. I guess we Nexus fans have become accustomed to the bittersweet truth of subpar camera performance on phones that are otherwise exemplary.

I normally shoot in RAW with a DSLR (Canon 70D) for Stark Insider for ease of post production work (Lightroom 5) so that the Nexus shooters were less than ideal didn’t matter a whole lot to me. At the end of the day, I could still take a photo of a wine bottle, a dish at Gary Danko (top drawer!), or a Tesla on the streets of Silicon Valley. Anytime my wife would borrow my Nexus to take a shot she’d immediately cycle through a litany of less than complimentary adjectives. Horrible. Terrible. Woeful. Sound familiar?

Speaking of the camera on the Nexus 5, there’s another gaff that drives me bonkers.

Nexus 5 owners: Have you tried placing the phone on a flat surface, and then typing on it?

Expect much wobbly action.

As I wrote about yesterday, that’s because LG could not, for whatever the reason, make the camera sit flush with the back case of the (beautiful) rear of the Nexus 5.

Too bad. That design oddity aside, the Nexus 5 is a brilliant Android. It’s significantly improved over the mediocre Nexus 4. And, yes, I do think Google has upped its game with the refinements in KitKat to the point where the overall experience feels slightly more–dare I say–Apple-like, but without compromising the power and flexibility of what makes the Android OS so great.

Expect the Android 4.4.1 update to rollout in the coming days. If the Nexus 5 wasn’t exactly perfect from the get-go it’s at least somewhat satisfying to know the Google engineers are working on some quick fixes.

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