While the Nexus 5 is a good device, its main weakness is it’s problematic camera. With the Android 4.4.1 update, which should be rolling out in the next few days, hopefully the frustrating issues such as slow focusing will be resolved.
On a personal level, I hope that such improvements and fixes cascade down to the Nexus 4 that I’m using too, as that phone has a camera that is absolutely horrible.
The changes break down in five categories, Burke says, autofocus first among them. Mixing speed and image quality requires a fragile balance, particularly in low light, and Android 4.4 skewed too far toward image quality. “There’s a tendency to say, ‘oh, we have this cool thing that stabilizes, so lets make the shutter time longer, reduce the gain even longer, and get better shots.’” But while the Nexus 5’s optical image stabilization allowed it to get better-than-average shots in low light, in good lighting it just made for frustratingly slow shooting speeds. By speeding up the framerate and increasing how quickly the camera can read its surroundings and fire a picture, Burke and his team improved the autofocus, the exposure, and the white balance. “You fix the motion blur,” he says, “and make everything faster.”