Editor in Chief
- Dec 30, 2010
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- Austin, TX
Here's a second Nexus 5 rumor for you guys today. This one actually comes with several bits of intel, and most of it is related to the camera in the device. Recently we shared a new spec-list rumor for the Nexus 5 which suggested the camera would not be the 13MP one found in the LG G2, but would instead simply be an 8MP shooter. Today's intel seems to echo that info, but before you get too disappointed about it, despite the lower MP count, this new camera will come with some very advanced features which could make up for the difference.
First, we have a report the camera in the Nexus 5 will come with MEMS technology built-in. For the lay-person, this is microelectromechanical technology. This new tech is vastly different from the voice coil motors (VCMs) used in typical smartphone cameras. Without going into elaborate technical detail, the MEMS tech effectively speeds up the camera dramatically, allowing for a focus which is 7 times faster than current cameras. It will also help the camera take multiple images extremely fast. This would effectively allow you to shoot a picture and focus later, as with a Lytro camera. This new tech is manufactured by Digital Optics and is not normally found in smartphone cameras. Here's a quote with a great breakdown of this technology,
MEMS is short for microelectromechanical technology and the technology differs drastically from the current voice coil motors (VCMs) used in smartphone cameras. It is the same technology that brought us microphone, gyros and barometers in a tiny smartphone. It is extremely precise - made in clean rooms just like all other chips - and is hundreds of times more power efficient.
Voice coil motors are the current technology and they employ technologies that are a bit dated now. Auto-focusing in VCMs happens when a current is sent through a coil causing the moving elements of a camera to move in the direction of a magnet. There are a few set steps for the moving elements and at each one the camera evaluates the focus to determine whether the image is in focus or not (if not it just moves one step further and re-evaluates). It sounds complicated because it is. Plus, with that many steps locking focus could take a whole second. It is also imprecise and noisy.
MEMS technology on the other hand can focus nearly 7 times faster and is much smaller. It uses electrostatic force to draw to solid-state comb-shaped surfaces together, but they never touch and degradation takes much longer. Instead of having multiple moving elements you only have one with extremely quick auto-focus and power consumption of 1mW, hundreds of times less than VCM modules. ~ PhoneArena
At this point we aren't sure if this rumor is valid, but it seems pretty solid. It comes from some hidden Nexus 5 log files, which could have been faked.
That's not all of the intel we have on the camera. According to a different leaked log, this time coming from an Android 4.4 file, the camera in the Nexus 5 will come with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), just like in the LG G2. This would further put the camera in the Nexus 5 on much higher ground than the competition if both of these technologies are present.
As a sidenote, the second logfile also shared that the Nexus 5 would include USB OTG (On-the-Go) support. This basically allows the phone to become a USB host for other devices. Intriguing...
It seems like the closer we get to the launch of the Nexus 5 the more interesting it becomes. Could this be the best Nexus device yet produced? Share your opinion.