Originally Posted by crankerchick
This is highly subjective, but I do have a friend who is just getting into dSLR finally, but has become obsessed with camera quality on smartphones since his son was born, because he's always snapping photos of him (he's 5 now). He cares very much about the quality of the camera on the phone and that is actually like his main requirement in a phone, that it be one of the best at snapping photos.
Anyway, he's a bit of a phone whore and has been through quite a few between him and his wife. Most recently, he's had the incredible and a test drive of the iphone 4s. He liked the camera on the iphone, but disliked pretty much everything else. I was letting him play with my Rezound and showing him sample photos and he immediately fell in love. 3 days later, he had the rezound and feels that it takes very good pics, comparable to the iphone 4s in general, and better in low light. Now the Nexus is out and we are both looking at sample pics and are disappointed. The difference is, he won't get the nexus because of the camera, whereas the camera is less important to me, so I'm still on the fence.
i agree some more technical reviews would be nice, but there's an anectodal "my friend said" example for you.
For what its worth, the photos on the Nexus seem inferior to the sgsII, iphone and rezound and in some instances even the razr from the samples i've seen. I'm just not impressed, but it's not a dealbreaker for me.
I haven't taken TOO many pics with mine, but I think the sensor is probably a lot better than early sample shots might suggest. I say this because I think it's capturing better low light photos than about any phone camera I have messed with. Now the issue is that it seems to have some odd issue with it's full auto control and any bright back lighting in a scene. There are a few scene setting and manual White Balance and such that might help with this until there is some sorta update, but I haven't tried them too much so much as I have found any sorta backlighting, even if peripheral back lighting exists to the side of the scene you are shooting it seems to send a glare across the sensor and wash out the picture.
I'm not really thinking it's the lens or sensor though so much as it's trying to get too much exposure in the presence of back lighting rather than relying on it's LED flash(this one is better than most) which tend to be a bit weak. If nothing else I think just putting exposure control on -1 when you are worried about back lighting will help. It tends to bias torwards overexposure really so just keeping exposure control on -1 might work in general unless you are pretty sure from the preview it's getting it right. Not sure why the colors get messed up if the exposure is a little long, but that does seem to be part of what is going on. I also wouldn't be surprised if the other aspect is that it's jacking up ISO too hap hazardly to get maximum light at the expense of color vibrancy.
Basically though I am pretty sure some updates to the software will make this an equal to the SGSII and iPhone 4S pretty easy. You have to understand this is a bone stock Google camera implementation without all the effort to get things perfect that I am sure goes into the proprietary camera software and JPG rendering routines on those phones. It really does seem that the full auto nature of things isn't making the best choices A LOT more than an issue with the sensor. Full dark flash photography on this thing I think will beat any camera phone out there from what I have seen. Not sure if the flash is better or if it just gathers light that much better or some combo, but it will pick up thing MUCH deeper into the shadows than I have seen from other camera phones.