Here is our second picture gallery of photos taken with the Google Nexus S.
In the second gallery, the pictures are all indoor shots, using a combination of flash and no-flash, plus more images in macro mode; the mode that seems to get the best results.
In the outdoor shots, the phone seems to struggle to expose images properly and also fails to focus sufficiently to get a sharp image. Even when holding the phone perfectly still, it was hard to be sure you’d get a good photo – and even on its own large screen, it isn’t really until you view the pictures on a monitor that you can see for sure.
A hardware button might help a little, but there’s no touch-t0-focus feature and you must therefore allow the phone to focus every time you press the on-screen shutter button. This also adds a delay, while turning off the autofocus and selecting ‘infinity’ didn’t seem to improve the results anyway.
If you’re mainly taking shots of scenery, you can of course just keep trying, but that’s not so good for taking pictures of people, or anything that is moving (there’s no sports mode or image stabilisation, nor any form of night mode (bar manual exposure enhancement).
But, in macro mode, the phone transforms and can produce sharp, perfectly exposed, pictures that are beautiful to look at. It seems we’ve found what makes the camera perform as we hoped it would.
However, given the lack of camera controls and features (and the lack of HD video), we must ask Google nicely to get working on improving the camera interface significantly. Meanwhile, let’s hope that a third party camera app can step in and get the best from what would appear to be a pretty decent image sensor – let down purely by software.