Video Mode

The Moto X video interface is very simple.

Shooting a video on the new Moto X is very straightforward. After you tap on the movie button on the main camera screen the only options are to pause or stop recording. Recording time is displayed in the bottom left corner. You can also capture a 16:9 still image by tapping anywhere on the screen. In the settings you can choose from three different movie modes - 1080p, 4K or slow-motion. The latter captures 1080p footage at 120 fps which, when played back at 30 fps, results in a 4x slow-motion effect. You can watch the entire video in slow-motion or, like on the Sony Xperia Z2/Z3 models or the iPhone slow down only a specific section of the footage and play the rest back at normal speed. 

Other than that the Moto X camera app does not offer any control over video capture. The Motorola has to make do without an optical image stabilization system but the angle of view in video mode is a little narrower than in stills mode, which indicates that the camera is applying digital stabilization to keep things steady which works reasonably well.

You can choose from three video mode in the settings. 

Video Sample 1: 1080p video in bright light

This video was taken handheld in bright light. When viewed at 100% the footage shows good detail and is free of artifacts. The digital image stabilization is doing a good job at keeping things steady but a tiny amount of jittering is noticeable toward the edges of the frame. Motion is smooth and the AF stable. Sound quality is clear. 

Video Sample 2: 1080p video in low light

This clip was recorded handheld at an indoor event with stage lighting. Again, the AF is stable and the recorded motion very smooth. At full-size viewing slightly higher noise levels than in the first sample are noticeable but overall detail and noise are still very good in these light conditions. Exposure and color rendition are good but we can again see the same jittering as in the bright light sample. 

Video Sample 3: 1080p 120 fps slow-motion video

The Moto X slow-motion mode captures 1080p footage at 120 fps which results in a 4x slow-motion effect. Like on some competing models you can slow down only a specific section of the footage and watch the rest at standard speed. This is done via timeline-sliders in the gallery app. Detail is not quite as good as in standard video mode which leads us to believe the image might have been upscaled from 720p. That said, most of the Moto X's rivals capture slow-motion at 720p. 

4K video

Like the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the Sony Xperia Z2/Z3 the new Motorola Moto X is capable of recording 4K video. When zooming in to a 100% view we can see that the 4K footage is clean and shows very good detail. Some compression is noticeable but less so than on other 4K smartphone modes we have seen. If you've got a 4K screen to play it on the Moto X 4K footage gives you noticeably more detailed output than the standard 1080p mode. The 8MP screen grabs are suitable for decent size printing as well. 

4K video screen grab
100% crop