Originally Posted by recDNA
The camera doesn't 'suck.' In adequate lighting situations it works very well. In low light conditions it is unimpressive. I would assume the iPhone5, Galaxy S3, etc. all have similar problems.
Coming from a D2G I was concerned about the camera. I've had my Maxx HD for four days now and have been playing around with the camera in various lighting conditions and settings. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it did on an overcast day (see attached image). Keep in mind the attached photo was compressed to fit on this site. Other than obscuring the license plates no other adjustments were made on the image.
With the camera on 'Auto everything' in low light conditions it produces noisy, grainy pictures. The flash has a range of only about 6 feet. However, if you are in low light conditions by using some of the settings you can get acceptable results. Night time Portrait with flash always on helps. Night time portrait with flash always on and bumping up the exposure helps even more.
Probably the single best thing you can do is, if possible, move closer to the object being photographed to give the flash a fighting chance to illuminate the object. Playing with the exposure is probably the next best thing (don't overdo it.) Unfortunately with the stock camera app you have to reset the exposure after every shot. At least the exposure meter is in one-tenth increments instead of one unit increments, like my D2G.
I read about a trick on another forum that has given good results. Assign the volume rocker to be the shutter switch. With flash set to On and Night portrait On, and finger depressing the Volume rocker, with another finger double tap on the screen in the area you desire to focus, holding your finger down on the second tap for about 3-4 seconds. When you reach the 4th second, release the Volume Rocker (hold the camera steady) which will snap the picture. Experiment a bit up or down with the 4 second duration. End result is that you get more lighting in your photos, improving the overall quality. (Thanks go to SupermanDrew.)
I'm going to wait for Jelly Bean to get to my phone and see if it improves the camera. If not, I'll experiment with non-stock camera apps to see if they can improve low light shots.