Above and beyond: Lenovo Moto G Plus first impressions review
The Moto G Plus is a brand new model in Motorola's Moto G mid-range series, but its camera specification looks pretty much top-notch. A 1/2.4-inch Omnivsion OV16860 16MP sensor with a large pixel size of 1.34um is paired with a fast F2.0 aperture. Its contrast detect autofocus is supported by on-sensor phase detection and a laser to measure subject distance. A dual-LED flash is on board for shooting in very dark conditions, and in the camera app a new Professional mode allows for manual control over the most important shooting parameters like shutter speed and ISO.
|The new Professional mode allows for manual control over shutter speed and other shooting parameters via a range of virtual dials. It's also possible to display just one dial at a time.|
We have had the chance to use the Moto G Plus for a couple of days before launch and shot a good number of samples in a variety of situations. Read on for our first impressions of the new smartphone and its camera.
In bright light the Moto G Plus 16MP camera module does a very good job at resolving detail. Thanks to very well balanced sharpening and noise reduction, fine textures and low contrast detail, such as the trees in the distance in the left sample below, are rendered very nicely. The lens in our test unit is sharp, with only some minor softness toward the edges. Skin tones look natural and color is overall pleasantly neutral, without any white balance issues in natural light.
|ISO 64, 1/1236 sec||ISO 64, 1/137 sec|
|100% crop||100% crop|
Some luminance noise is visible in blue skies but it is finely grained and not too intrusive. In the shadow areas some smearing of detail is noticeable, but again this is well within acceptable limits. Shadow noise is very well controlled as well.
|ISO 64, 1/2836 sec||ISO 64, 1/450 sec|
|100% crop||100% crop|
The well-balanced approach toward noise reduction is maintained throughout the ISO range and while noise and the effects of noise reduction inevitably become more evident in lower light the Moto G Plus performs very well in dimmer conditions.
|ISO 160, 1/33 sec||ISO 400, 1/30 sec|
|100% crop||100% crop|
In lower light shutter speeds are reduced down to 1/15 sec which, without optical image stabilization, can result in the occasional shaky image. However, as long as you keep your hands steady the Moto captures very good detail, color and exposures in lower light. Both images below were shot in fairly dim conditions. In the one on the right the camera deals particularly well with the mix of artificial and very low natural light.
|ISO 640, 1/20 sec||ISO 800, 1/15 sec|
|100% crop||100% crop|
Like on the higher-end Moto models, the Moto G Plus offers a multi-frame Night Mode that kicks in when things get too dark. This allows for decent exposures of even very dark scenes, such as the image on the left below which was captured in a museum in very low light. We also liked the Moto G Plus flash performance which delivered well-exposed images with good color and detail during our brief test.
|ISO 1250 1/15 sec||ISO 2000, 1/15 sec, flash on|
|100% crop||100% crop|
The Moto G Plus comes with the same panorama mode as previous Moto devices and image output is very similar. Stitching is generally very good but panorama mode does not deal well with moving subjects in the scene. At under 3000 pixels the output size is very small.
|Vertical panorama, 2472 x 704 pixels|
HDR mode works in the conventional way and combines several exposures into one. On the Moto G Plus the effect is much more pronounced in shadow areas, which are noticeably lifted while highlights are only recovered minimally.
|ISO 64, 1/1196 sec, HDR off||ISO 64, 1/1158 sec, HDR on|
In video mode the Moto G Plus can capture 1080p footage at 30 frames per second that is digitally stabilized. Detail is good, the autofocus tends to be stable and the stabilization works efficiently, making for smooth panning and stable hand-held recording.
During our testing we were impressed with the image output produced by the Moto G Plus. The large pixels in combination with very well-balanced image processing result in image quality that we would typically expect from devices in a higher price category. Images show good detail and well-controlled noise levels across the ISO range. Colors are pleasantly natural, even in difficult light situations, and thanks to its night mode the Moto is capable of capturing decent exposures even at very low light levels. On the downside, in dim conditions camera shake can lead to some image blur, though it is typically only noticeable at a 100% view.
The new Professional mode is good news for those mobile photographers who want maximum control over the capture process, and the large 1080p display is nice for viewing and composing images. The fingerprint sensor performs very swiftly and increases the security of your image and video files that are stored on the device. The plastic back is in line with a mid-ranger but overall the Moto G Plus looks like a great option for consumers who want excellent camera performance without spending money on a flagship device.
Apple has updated its professional video editing app Final Cut Pro X to version 10.4.6. The update brings full 64-bit support, a new feature that helps convert older formats and much more.
Tonight's episode of NBC's Tonight Show, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, was filmed entirely on Samsung's flagship smartphone the Galaxy S10+.
Camera Bits has released the long-awaited update to its photo ingestion software in the form of Photo Mechanic 6.
SmugMug Films has shared its latest film, Streets in Mind, which takes a look at the life and work of London-based street photographer Alan Schaller.
We were in Japan earlier this month for the annual CP+ show in Yokohama, where we sat down with senior executives from several camera and lens manufacturers, among them Nikon.
Sony has released firmware version 5.0 for its flagship mirrorless camera, the a9. The update brings AI-driven autofocus modes, an improved menu structure and other updates.
Night Sight, Portrait Mode and (surprisingly) wide-angle selfie mode are features that we're currently loving about the Pixel 3's camera.
The Auschwitz Museum has asked visitors to be more respectful after an upsurge of pictures posted on social media showing people posing on the train tracks that lead to the main gate.
This week Chris and Jordan take the new Leica Q2 for a spin, and while most of us in the Northern Hemisphere are welcoming spring, they head even farther north than usual to visit ice castles. Because #Canada.
Harvard is facing a lawsuit over profiting from 19th century daguerreotypes that captured the portrait of a slave and his daughter on a South Carolina plantation.
From the detailed textures in rural landscapes to the incredible lighting inside futuristic buildings, the photorealism of Unreal Engine 4 is blurring the lines between fiction and reality...you know...aside from the spaceship.
Facebook has sent out emails to affected users requesting they change their passwords following a discovery that over 20K Facebook employees had access to 600 million passwords.
We've added Panasonic's new Lumix S1 and S1R full-frame mirrorless cameras to three of our buying guides. If you're looking for a quick summary of each model, then have a read.
YouTube channel Photoshop Cafe has shared a video detailing ten tips and tricks you can do to both fix and speed up Photoshop when it's running slow and sluggish.
It's not going to be the banger of the year, but it'll get a few laughs.
DJI has confirmed its drones won't be affected by the GPS 2019 week rollover.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has teamed up with Kodak to release a beer that's capable of doubling as a film developer.
The Diana Instant Square is a retro-inspired camera with manual controls that's fun to shoot in good light, but largely unpredictable in its operation.
Residents of a Paris street plagued by Instagrammers, selfie takers and music video crews are asking the city government for a weekend and evening ban to give them some peace.
The adapter plugs into the Osmo Pocket's USB Type-C port and features a 3.5mm TRS jack to plug in various external microphones.
Checkout allows Instagram users to select products for purchase and make payments directly in the app.
GauGAN as it's known, can create photorealistic images from basic drawings using the power of artificial intelligence.
The EOS RP is Canon's latest full-frame mirrorless camera, with diminutive dimensions and a diminutive price. Find out how it stacks up and get our thoughts in our early review.
Montana judge Dana L. Christensen has ruled the Republican National Committee did not infringe upon the copyright of photographer Erika Peterman after they took a photo from a Democratic candidate's Facebook page without permission and altered it to use in a derogatory promotional mailer.
Nikon has launched updates for three of its programs to address various bugs and glitches that could cause crashes and unwanted results.
LEE Filters has launched the LEE100, its next-generation filter holder that improves the design and looks in all the right places.
With the arrival of some much-needed sunshine and final production firmware for the Panasonic S1, we've been able to get outside and really start putting the camera through its paces.
Importing, culling and tagging photos is about to get a whole lot faster and look a whole lot better with the impending arrival of Photo Mechanic 6.
On its own, the FTZ adapter retails for $250 and when bundled it dropped the cost to just $150. Now, Nikon is offering it for free with all Z6, Z7 purchases in the United States.
Profoto said it spoke with Godox back at Photokina 2018 and continues to contact Godox in an effort to stop it from marketing its V1 light.