Camera

The Nexus 5 has an 8MP main camera with a 1/3.2-inch CMOS sensor and an F2.4 30mm equivalent lens. The OIS (optical image stabilisation) helps you eliminate camera shake, and it's pretty easy to point-and-shoot and get good results.

You tap the shutter button to take a shot and you can tap on screen to choose a subject to focus on, but there's no tap to focus and shoot in one. You get vastly superior results if you're able to take your time, hold tap and hold on the shutter button and just lift your finger off when you're ready to capture.

Extra options are accessible via the icons at either side of that shutter button. Tap the camera icon and you'll find the video, panorama, and photo sphere options.

Tap the circle with the flash icon, or hold your finger on the screen and you'll get the menu popping up. It's an arc offering HDR+, exposure, flash, and an option to switch to the front camera.

Google Nexus 5 review
The camera menu

Tap the icon in the middle and you'll be rewarded with another level of depth showing location, self-timer, resolution, white balance, and scene mode options. Scene modes include action, night, sunset, and party.

To be honest the interface feels awkward. At first you may not understand the icons and you have to tap and hold your finger on them to get the text.

This means you'll sometimes flip down a menu level you didn't intend and then have to go back and start again. Like anything else, the more you use it, the easier it gets, but it's not the most accessible menu in the world.

Google Nexus 5
The interface can be a bit awkward

There's also a 1.3MP front-facing camera which is really for video calls and quick selfies.

You can capture video in full HD 1080p at 30 frames per second. Open the settings and you'll find white balance, flash, front camera, and further settings which bring up a windowed menu offering time lapse, video quality options, and the choice to store location data.

It takes approximately two seconds to launch the camera. You can swipe right to left on the lock screen or unlock and tap the camera icon. Once open you can also use the volume rocker to take a shot, rather than the on screen shutter button. The way you'll typically hold the Nexus 5 to take a photo makes the volume rocker much easier to use than the on screen button.

Occasionally I found my fingers dropping into shot because the camera is offset to the left. When holding it in landscape the lens is at the top left, quite near the edge, but you soon get used to it.

Google Nexus 5 review
The autofocus works pretty well for close-up shots and I didn't have to refocus this one

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Google Nexus 5 review
You can see a decent level of detail on the default top quality 8MP setting

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Google Nexus 5 review
It takes a couple of seconds to process HDR+ shots, but the level of detail is excellent

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Google Nexus 5 review
Even on a dull day, given some time, the camera makes the best of the conditions

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Google Nexus 5 review
The flash is powerful and illuminating for confined spaces

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Google Nexus 5 review
You can see the difference without it, there's lots of low-light noise and it doesn't know where to focus

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Google Nexus 5 review
This panoramic shot of the bay came out nicely. You just have to take your time and pan the camera slowly for good results

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Google Nexus 5 review
Here's a partial photo sphere in the same location. A slow, steady hand is needed, but it works quite well

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Google Nexus 5 review
Action mode was able to capture this gull in flight, but the camera is struggling with the dour day as it pans from brightness to dark

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Google Nexus 5 review
You can see the noise creeping in when there isn't enough light

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