Shared publicly  - 
 
You may have heard that the Nexus 5's camera isn't that great. You may have even experienced it in person.

I, too, have been unhappy with the N5's camera for the same reasons, even though Google's been touting the camera as absolutely amazing in commercials left and right.

However, all of the flaws that people usually talk about pale when it comes to the background noise levels in videos recorded by the Nexus 5, and that's something I haven't heard anyone talk about yet. 

Compare the two samples taken by:

- the Nexus 5: http://youtu.be/QhRt1gHiYoI
- the Note 3: http://youtu.be/InR6FVPIs38

The Note 3 audio sample demonstrates an even and smooth background noise levels.

In comparison, the Nexus 5 records background noise very unevenly, with pops and level changes heard throughout. This tarnishes videos taken with the Nexus 5 in quiet environments. When I view the videos of my kid's first intelligible words from a few weeks ago, I cringe every time. I wish I realized this problem with the Nexus 5 sooner. The noise cancellation and smoothing is basically non-existent.

Yes, Google may fix some issues later, but we're talking about the experience right now.

Has anyone else noticed it? What are everyone's thoughts on the matter?
16
2
Richard Yarrell's profile photoHayden Lueck's profile photoCharlie Callow's profile photoArtem Russakovskii's profile photo
21 comments
 
Probably (hopefully) a lack of optimization due to the seemingly last minute removal of the new camera software.
 
That's weird. All the other video samples I've screen / heard from the Nexus 5 both looked and sounded great.
 
Also note how quiet the 'testing' is on the Note3 compared to the N5. Sure this might not be best for quiet (as you mentioned), close-quarters recording, but for recording stuff across the room, or across the park it's a good thing.
 
+Jeff Andrews My guess is the Note 3 does a much better job of massaging audio so it's not all over the place and adjusts gains accordingly. Which level do you prefer really?
 
I've definitely noticed it. Surprisingly though, the N5 seems to record loud sounds with less distortion than the N4 did. Source: I recorded video during a concert and it wasn't that bad. 
Rich S
 
I dropped back the the gs3 once I gave the n5 a week. It's a poor device on several fronts. You give up a lot by getting a nexus device.
The camera is certainly capable of good photos and videos in the right conditions, but the camera app is among the worst available and the device takes pictures slower than pretty much everything else. 
 
+Artem Russakovskii Yes reasonably quiet but I guess not silent like this is. The overall sound came out a lot better on the N5 than the iPhone 5s which is was being compared to but I guess the test may not have highlighted this particular issue. In general recording it seems really good at normal volume levels. Hopefully Google will fix this issue with an update.
 
+Shaun McLane This I am glad to hear! I have a Nexus 4 and am hoping to upgrade to the 5 at some point and I found the sound on the Nexus 4 was awful in gigs! Literally just a total mess. At the Arctic Monkeys at some points it actually went silent at the loudest points and generally sounded like a terrible collection of noise and the bass was crunching. Most of the time you could not tell what song was playing from the recordings. We were right at the barrier and I know recordings will always distort badly in that situation but the N4 is just dreadful in loud environments!
 
+Shaun McLane Yeah quite frankly I don't ever expect much from a phone at a gig. The sound always sucks. But the Nexus 4 is another level of bad. I'm happy just to hear it doesn't sound like that!
 
+Artem Russakovskii You sure you haven't gotten a defective unit.  Honestly, I haven't had people complain about the N5 as you do.
 
I think your review is valid and accurate. But then again I think about the price versus 'other phone$' and I am more than OK with it.
 
+Artem Russakovskii would an app like Camera Zoom FX alleviate these issues? I know it's not an ideal fix (stock camera should work all the time), but maybe it's a usable workaround in the meantime?

Fortunately for me, I barely take pictures/videos, so I've had few complaints with the N5 so far (except for the Exchange bug, that is just KILLING me)
 
Don't forget that the Nexus is all about the lowest tender/bidder, so not everything is perfect.
i.e Nexus 4 camera quality..
 
There's been some talk on the Google forums: http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/nexus/nexus-5/0hvTK4eMVGk.

THIS is the only issue I have with the Nexus 5, it's a HUGE one and I don't see many people caring about it (worse than the noise itself is the sound going mute when people are whispering, or are a little bit away from the phone, on a quiet environment). Also, when I record voice notes in Keep they sound at a really low volume. Google e-mailed me and others and asked us to send them a bugreport, which we did. They're working on it. +Artem Russakovskii
Add a comment...