Michael Kolb
October 4, 2017

A quick camera update

Our small team has been hard at work improving the Essential Camera app.

Over the last couple of weeks, our camera team has been listening to your feedback and has worked hard to improve latency, reliability and performance of the camera on Essential Phone.

Since computational photography is used to post-process and fuse images from both the color and monochrome sensors to create new functionality, we’ve been able to improve the overall image quality through software updates. We’ve also improved the 360 experience with the addition of spatial sound recorded through the four ambisonic microphones on the 360 Camera as well as a countdown timer (so you can time that #360selfie just right).

We’ve seen some amazing images come back from Essential Phone users capturing iconic cityscapes (h/t Twitter user @jeramiikun), beautiful beaches (h/t Twitter user @CourtMejias) and pensive cats (h/t Reddit user).

After installing the latest system build (NMI81C) and updating the camera app through Google Play make sure to check out the latest improvements:

  • Boosted capture speed in regular and low light to below 1 second (over 40% faster)
  • Improved brightness and performance in low-light
  • Spatial sound when shooting in 360 (supported on device, Facebook and YouTube)
  • Use volume up/down keys as shutter buttons in 360 mode
  • Countdown timer when in 360 camera mode
  • Bug fixes and overall reliability improvements

Several additional improvements are in the works (more HDR improvements, live 360 streaming to Facebook and Periscope, animated 360 stills and filters, Portrait Mode and Pro Mode) and will continue to roll out through updates on Google Play. System build NMI81C is starting to roll out today so expect to receive this update soon.

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