Google is advertising optical image stabilization as a major selling point of the
Nexus 5's camera.

Android fans, your moment has finally arrived. After months of speculation, leaks (intentional or not) and rumors, Google has announced the Nexus 5.

Available today in the Google Play Store, the Nexus 5 comes in white or black and will start at $349 for 16GB of built-in memory and $399 for 32GB. With a 4.95-inch, 1920 x 1080 display, Snapdragon 800 processorand a 2,300mAH battery, Google claims the Nexus 5 can handle up to 17 hours of talk time.

For photographers, the Nexus 5 does not exactly stand out from the competition. Its 8MP camera looks an awful lot like the Nexus 4 camera, and compared to the pixel-packing competition, the Nexus 5 falls short at first glance.

Google's main selling point of the Nexus 5 camera is optical image stabilization — a feature present on the Lumia 1020, LG G2 and Galaxy S4 Zoom, and those cameras all boast more megapixels. With OIS, the device should offer improved performance over the Nexus 4, but is that enough to compete with other top smartphone cameras? We're still waiting to hear more details from Google about the Nexus 5 camera (we still don't know about sensor size or aperture), and we'll want to conduct our own testing before we can come to any conclusions about what the device will mean to photographers.

Nexus key specifications

  • 8MP rear-facing camera with Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1.3MP front facing camera
  • 4.95” 1920x1080 display (445 ppi)
  • 2300 mAh battery
  • wireless charging
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 800, 2.26GHz
  • 4G/LTE and Dualband Wi-Fi
  • 16GB or 32GB internal storage
  • 2GB RAM
  • running Android 4.4 KitKat

In what may end up being a more infuriating than entertaining attempt at appealing to photographers, Google has released a video of people using their Nexus 5 smartphones to capture weddings. Since smartphones seem to be the #1 enemy of professional wedding photographers, we thought this was a funny choice for a promotional video. Watch it below.

KitKat brings an Android update to the masses

Google's release of its new operating system KitKat is an attempt to unify its users. Most Android users are still using Gingerbread — software that was first released in 2010 — because their devices couldn't handle an upgrade. KitKat will be available for all Android devices that have as little as 512MB of RAM, and if you get a Nexus 5, a new photography feature comes standard: HDR+.

From Google's long list of KitKat updates:

HDR+ mode on Nexus 5 automatically snaps a rapid burst of photos and combines them to give you the best possible single shot. Daytime pictures are vivid with clean shadows, and nighttime photos are sharp with less noise.

But there’s not a lot of KitKat features to appease photographers who have older devices. One perk is that the update lets you print photos or documents straight from your smartphone as long as your printer has an app in the Google Play store or connects to Google Cloud Print. You can now also remotely wipe your device in case it gets stolen to protect your personal images from ending up in the wrong hands. 

KitKat will ship on all Nexus 5 smartphones but users of older devices will have to wait for their carriers to issue an over-the-air update. (All Android users can always manually check for operating system improvements in Settings>About>System Updates.) See the rest of KitKat's new features here.