Let’s talk about the camera
In my experience, Nexus devices have typically shown lackluster camera performance. They’ve either shot photos that appeared blown-out or, in the case of last year’s Nexus 6, lacked the ability to take a decent photo in low light environments. Fortunately, the Nexus 6P’s camera is exponentially better than those of its predecessors.
The 12.3-megapixel rear-facing camera sensor on the Nexus 6P is manufactured by Sony, which also supplies camera sensors for plenty of other OEMs. However, this particular sensor differs in that it features 1.55 micron pixels, which are about four times the size of normal pixels in other camera sensors. This is supposed to help the 6P capture more light in darker environments, though it still falls short compared to Samsung and LG’s 16-megapixel camera sensors.
There are a couple of caveats with this new and improved camera sensor. For one, the Nexus 6P’s rear-facing camera does not support optical image stabilization (OIS), so you’re going to shoot some slightly blurry photos in low light without it, which happened to me a few times. Check out these pumpkins, for instance:
These pumpkins came out blurry because, as I quickly snapped them in low light, the long exposure allowed my shaky hands to move phone a little while the shutter was open. Optical image stabilization would have helped here, if the Nexus 6P had it.
I’m also a bit bothered by the fact that the rear-facing camera is on auto HDR by default—it’s as if Google’s cheating its way into better photos. That doesn’t mean I didn’t love the photos it produced, but I wish there were a live view of it, like on the Galaxy S6 and G4’s camera apps, so I can decide whether I want to use it. If you do shoot in HDR, you won’t see the end result until the app is done processing, which can take a few seconds.
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