Saturday, March 14, 2015

How to Improve Moto G Camera Quality

Motorola Moto G is probably the best phone for the money. It has great IPS screen with large resolution, fast processor and memory, long battery life and competes successfully with phones that cost 2 times more. Of course some sacrifices have to be made in mid-range phones in order to cut costs and that is usually the camera. Not that Moto G's camera is bad, but it is no match for the cameras of most of the more expensive smartphones. Fortunately, there are some tricks and settings you can use to improve Moto G's camera quality significantly and that's what I'm going to show you in this article.

This article gives tips ant tricks for improving the photos made by the first generation of Moto G (i.e. Moto G 2013), but most of them are valid and will improve the camera quality of the newer generations of Moto Gs like Moto G2, Moto G3 and Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus and Moto G4 Play, too.

  1. Update the Motorola camera app
    Each new version of the Motorola Camera application introduces improvements and bug fixes, so it is essential to regularly update the camera app to the latest version. If you have set the play store not to notify you of program updates, then simply visit it from time to time to see if there's an update to the camera app.
  2. Switch the camera to HDR mode
    Moto G HDR mode
    HDR or High Dynamic Range is a technique used in photography to produce brighter and more vivid photos. Basically in this mode the camera uses multiple photos of the same scene to produce a better final photo. The only downside is that the camera may need a little more time to take the picture, so it's recommended that you keep your phone steady for a little longer.

    To activate the HDR mode of Moto G, start the camera app do the following:

    1. Drag the left side of the screen to the right
    2. Tap HDR from the options - this is the first option as shown on the screenshot to the right
    3. Tap the "On" option to turn HDR mode on
  3. Set focus and exposure to manual
    Moto G focus and exposure
    This will let you to manually control the focus of your photos, which is very important, because you will be able to set the focus to the most important part of the scene keeping it as sharp as possible in the resulting photo.

    To activate manual focus on you Moto G, start the camera app and do the following:

    1. Drag the left side of the screen to the right
    2. Tap the focus icon - the one with a rectangle and a finger over it as shown on the screen shot above
    3. Tap on "TURN ON" in the dialog that opens

    After this option is activated you will be able to click somewhere on the screen of the camera app and the camera will focus on the clicked object thus making it sharper in the final photo.

  4. Change the aspect ratio to increase the camera resolution
    On the first generation of Moto G, the camera aspect ratio also affects the resolution. By default the aspect ratio is set to 16:9 and the camera shoots photos in 3.8 MP. If you want to take advantage of the full 5 MP resolution the first gen Moto G camera supports, you will have to switch the aspect ratio to 4:3 (see the screenshot on the right).

    Note that using the 16:9 aspect ratio makes your photos better suited for computer, laptop, tablet and phone screens as they are typically in the same aspect ratio and thus the image fills them entirely when opened, so I personally prefer the 16:9 mode. The 4:3 mode is better suited for printing and if you want to take advantage of the full 5 MP resolution of the first gen Moto G camera.

See also:


  1. Also switch aspect ratio to 4:3 at 5mp in the camera app . default is 16:9 at a dismal 3.8 mp.

    1. Hi, I personally prefer the widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio as it is better suited for screens, but you have a point about the increase in resolution in the 4:3 aspect ratio mode. I've added this information to the article, too.