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Moto X Camera Update Rolling Out – Introduces Manual Control of Focus and Exposure, Additional Language Support

Motorola is rolling out an update to the Moto X’s camera this morning as version The update introduces manual control of focus and exposure, locks exposure during panorama shots, enables additional language support, and fixes other bugs. Since putting the Moto X camera on the Play store, Motorola has been able to update it on the fly and tweak settings as they see fit. Had they left the camera as a part of the system, updates like today’s wouldn’t exist. Instead, Motorola would be forced to issue an entire OTA update with carrier approval and all of that jazz. 

To manually control focus and exposure after the update, you need to swipe from the left to access the camera’s minimal settings menu. From there, choose the button that used to be the tap-to-shoot-and-focus button, which is also a finger pointing into a square. Once enabled, you can drag the bracket anywhere to have it set the focus and exposure. Neat, right?

What’s new:

  • Manual control of focus and exposure
  • Locked exposure during Panorama capture
  • Enabled additional language support
  • Bug fixes

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Cheers Dan, Michael, and Matthew!
  • Sheridan Mcpherson

    does anyone know how to use the new zoom feature on this phone’s camera?

  • Rellz

    I wish they would include photosphere in the moto x camera. I hate having two cameras and galleries just to use photosphere.

  • sski66

    Hey Kellen, Alittle off topic, but about cameras, I noticed in the Pic u put up one of u guys has a Sony NEX 5T, I been checking out bunch of different cameras & this one stands out to me, how do u like it ???

  • sergiobsb

    I just received the update but I didn’t get manual focus and exposure. Not even after enabling it. It’s the same as before.

  • Sambit Rayginale Willkonson

    Why doesnt this fix the poor photo quality in Snapchat with the Motorola Moto X?

    • very true I noticed this also. Maybe its on snapchats end to fix

  • BeejRich

    Got it on the Droid MAXX, as well!

  • MikeSaver

    couldnt you already ddo this?

  • Jared Muskovitz

    Just got a Motorola Camera update for my Droid MAXX – assuming it’s the same?

    • Nathan D

      I’m actually not seeing any changes. I guess we’ll have to wait until the Kit Kat update.:(

  • Hoff16

    All of the Verizon Droid line got this as well. My Droid Maxx received it this morning. The Moto X is a great fan but the small Droid Max, Mini, and Ultra users need some love as well =)

    • Manthas

      Too bad the feature isn’t actually active without the 4.4 update, which we haven’t gotten yet. It’s a tease, lol!

  • Albert

    I just restored my phone twice after screwing up the file systems. I was hoping I had more time. Now I have to do it again just to pull the freaken update. But props again to morotola.

    • Albert

      Nevermind, thought this was an OTA, just an update to the camera, I forgot this is new Motorola.

  • jnt

    Not a fan of this change. I like the idea of having more control over that, but now you can’t just tap a place on the screen and shoot. You have to drag the circle to where you want to focus first… makes the tap-to-focus not NEAR as intuitive. But it is nice having that control.

    • not really you can just disable the feature

      • jnt

        Right, but then you lose the tap to focus feature. Before, you could leave it enabled, pop open the camera, and simply touch where you wanted it to focus and it would snap the pic focused on that spot. This is much more tedious and makes leaving that setting on all the time almost worthless for quick shots. The control is better, the function is not! 🙂

  • Maxim∑

    Mine still only does tap to focus?

    • TheDave1022

      Are you on 4.4?

      • Maxim∑

        yeah I have republic wireless on 4.2.2 still

  • adam

    Does Foxfi Work On The VerizoN Moto X Running Kitkat?

    • Doug

      If you’re talking about the hotspot feature, no it doesn’t, I asked the developers. They said you’ll have to rely on USB mode or Bluetooth mode instead.

  • Maxim∑

    I love Motorola so much

  • moelsen8

    i’ve had this on my moto x for at least a week or two……????

  • derbo904

    Wait.. I thought the control focus and exposure was already included in the 4.4 update. At least I was able to enabled it. I don’t see a difference in this feature. I welcome bug fixes whatever they are..

    • disqus_Cc3WecARt4

      Same. I was on 4.4 already and I see no noticeable changes. Maybe they are all under the hood.

  • RoadsterHD1

    I have the new Droid MAXX and i don’t see a difference in the camera after the update. I don’t see a
    Manual control of focus and exposure
    Anyone know what I’m doing wrong? I enabled the finger/square button and I don’t see “control focus and exposure”

    • CAPerkins22

      Same issue here. I would venture a guess that it’s a 4.4+ feature.

      Speaking of which, any word on the 4.4 update for the new Droid lineup?

      • RoadsterHD1

        No, but since Moto X got it we should be right in line for it. Punit said we go straight to 4.4 from 4.2.2

  • TJWaterskier

    All apps closed, shook the phone and immediately “dragged to” the gum wrapper on both. Here are the results.

  • Lucas

    I am stiil waiting for 4.4 ota….

    • Robert Macri

      Sprint? Try now

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        I’d guess Rogers or international, neither of which have seen the update yet.

        Or possibly a Moto G or 2012 Motorola user?

        NEI, non-solvable.

        • Sean Walton

          Ya i’m on Rogers and getting upset that I have to keep waiting. I wrote to Motorola and they said to be very patient, it’s coming but would not give me a timeline.

      • Lucas

        Actually, it is the Brazilian retail version. Everyone here is receiving it, but me…
        Same device as AT&T, but unlocked.

        And the camera update here doesn’t show the drag to focus.

  • Pakmann2k

    It’s available for the Droid series also. Its live in the play store and shows up in the, “my apps” button. Also Music was updated. Added music to SD support for Kit Kat users.

  • Justtyn Hutcheson

    The manual focus/exposure control has been in the camera since the 4.4 update. Not sure why it is being labeled as “new”. Improved perhaps, but not new.

    • Robert Macri

      Came here to say this… Definitely not new with this update.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        It is, however, greatly improved. Just downloaded and installed the new version, and using the “manual” focus circle is very quick now, where it would search quite a bit before.

    • BlackMaGiC1o0

      The manual focus feature was definitely there before this update. I remember messing with it when I got my phone after Moto Maker went live for VZW.

  • MichaelFranz

    Same should go for Droid line right, camera is the same i thought..

    • Charlie R.

      The camera update is also available for my Droid Maxx, so I would say yes. I wish they would’ve included that in the article.

      • MichaelFranz

        Yea its live, its not showing as an update but if you go to Motorola Camera in you app list and click on it there is an update button.

        • Pakmann2k

          Shows as an update now. That was fast. Lol

    • CW

      That it is as I just got the update on my Maxx as well

  • Booyah

    I seriously don’t see some people’s gripes about the camera on this phone. I’ve been able to consistently take amazing photos, time after time. Even my wife who is a photographer and has an iPhone 5S is impressed with the photo quality.

    • ĴⒶ₡Ҝ

      I’ve captured some stunning photos w/ the X in natural light, but indoor or in slightly dim light pics are so-so.

      • Booyah

        After the first major camera update, my indoor pics are great too. Just have to hold it steady. I’d say it’s on par with any other smartphone, including the 5S. At least for the pics I’ve seen.

      • gtg465x

        Camera FV-5 helps a lot with low light photos. Just manually setting the ISO lower with it works wonders.

    • teleclimber

      Hey Booyah, do you happen to have publicly viewable samples? My father is interested in the X but unconvinced by the camera (he is an advanced amateur photographer).


      • Booyah
        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Great shots. The Corgia in the tree is my fave out of the bunch lol.

        • Brian Stein

          Many Pretty.
          So Photos.
          Much Doge!

        • teleclimber

          Nice, thanks. I have to do a lot of editing to get nice colors like this from the Nexus 4, and then the image looks terribly mushy and noisy at 1:1. These look great.

          Is the shutter instantaneous (or nearly)? I tried taking pics of my 6-month old nephew on my N4 but the 1-second delay just made it impossible to capture a good smile.

          • Booyah

            Depends on the lighting. Anywhere from instant to about a second. If you really need instant, you can always sideload the nexus camera.

          • jnt

            I have a 6 year old, 4 year old, and 2 year old, and I can tell you that the X will struggle to capture them instantly except, MAYBE, in perfect bright light where it doesn’t have to think at all. Since your nephew is only 6 months, he might not be moving as fast, so it’ll probably be workable. But the older he gets, the harder it’ll be for the X! 😉

        • Sean Walton

          Amazing shots dude! Your dog is awesome!

          • Booyah


        • Scott Smith

          Thanks for sharing. Photos 1 and 3 are fantastic, although I see some things I don’t like about the camera in the other two shots. That’s me being pretty nit-picky though.

          • Scott Smith

            And to be a little more specific. Photo 2 of the sunset looks slightly out of focus (i.e. a bit soft) and photo 4 of the tree is losing some of the details in the leaves. For a phone camera though, I think these are pretty darn good.

    • Geoffrey Gunter

      Huh. I never really cared much about cameras in smart phones and even I found the Moto X camera to be underwhelming. I mean, it is definitely possible to get some good shots but it’s kind of hit or miss for me. Maybe its the photographer and not the camera lol.

      • MattyWalnuts

        i’m with you. the camera quality on my smartphone has become increasingly more important over time and i’ve been very disappointed with the moto x camera. IMO it’s no better than my OG Droid or Droid 2 and my SGIII took way better photos. The quality of the moto x makes my wife’s 5C look like a $1K DSLR.

    • Maxim∑

      I sold my 5S for the Moto X (yeah…) and the quality in GOOD lighting is better in my opinion. In low light Moto X is pretty bad in comparison

    • Sean Walton

      Low lighting (indoor) is the issue here. I have amazing shots outside in great light but dim lighting is an issue.

    • jnt

      It’s great in a lot of scenarios, but it’s also a bit slow still (especially compared to a 5S!). And the sensor is still not the highest quality out there. It’s by far the best Moto camera to date, but still mediocre in any scenario besides perfect lighting when compared to other newer phones.

    • KR

      The phone has the ability to take good photos, but the problem is that it’s largely inconsistent, with best-case scenarios taking place in good daylight. In low light settings, I consider it to be especially mediocre. It’s a solid device, but the camera is just not one of its strong points, evidenced by the multiple attempts to refine it.

      Anecdotal: To compare, I also have access to a Galaxy S4, and under the same conditions, it was able to take exceptionally better pictures on the first or second attempt. This was under low lighting, where it accurately captured warmer candle light which washed over a table, with glass and a contrasting/shadowy background. The Moto X, by comparison, produced artifacts as it couldn’t properly capture the lighting against the table/background, and struggled with solid blacks, making the photo very messy. My best photo took over 8 attempts, which in the real world, isn’t ideal for capturing a moment.

      That said, it just means there is more room for Motorola to improve the next Moto X, as it’s otherwise an outstanding device (and I just purchased another as a gift). But in a strict camera discussion, I can’t say it competes very well against some of its main competitors, if the camera carries a lot of weight with a potential buyer.

      • jnt

        Perfect description of it!

  • Warwick

    Does anyone flash photos come out pink after the previous camera update?

    • Warwick


      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        I can see a bit of pink in my flash shot with auto exposure, but the “manual” exposure it is not present.

        Gotta loved software, your work is never ever done….


    Hmmmm… Ability to drag and focus has been there since last update. Why are they saying it’s new?

    • Booyah

      Wondered this myself.

    • JoshGroff

      They probably just forgot to update the changelog.

      • JRUIV

        I think even though it’s not “new”, they leave it there for people who didn’t notice it the last time. It’s a main feature.

        • JoshGroff

          I’ve seen a few other apps do that, and it makes sense. I thought you were saying it wasn’t there with the last change and just showed up with the new update.

    • Punit Soni

      Its focus AND exposure

      • JRUIV

        Yes I know. Both have already been there

    • leffer

      Heh, I thought I was going crazy. Like HOW DID I HAVE THIS UPDATE ALREADY?!

  • Matthew Rebmann

    😀 It’s kind of awesome seeing your name at the bottom of a post. Cheers!

  • avs


    • boogie_monster

      and …

    • BigTimmay

      This isn’t YouTube. Stop.

  • Brian Stein

    photosphere pls?

    • sirmeili

      I actually miss this. I also miss the damn capture button (instead of pressing the screen). Also!, I miss the button to change modes from camera, to video, to panoramic. I don’t like that panoramic is a setting and the video camera is just sitting off to the side.

      Note that I’ve only had my MotoX since last night, so Perhaps the UI changes will just take getting used to.

      On the plus side, I do like the HDR option

      • Matthew Rebmann

        I miss the Photosphere function quite a bit as well. I don’t think it’s allowed to be used though. If you side-load the AOSP camera apk, it isn’t included. It’s only on the Nexus devices, I believe.

        • Fozzybare

          i have it. you need the nexus camera apk. it’s out there

        • Razma

          which is crap considering the moto x is technically a google phone

          • Jeff Miller

            Um no its not. Even Moto CEO was quick to say this was Moto all the way.

          • Matthew Rebmann

            How is it basically a google phone? Woodside has repeated time after time that Google wants Motorola to operate as a separate entity, which I mostly buy. They have completely different teams with completely different goals

          • Brian Stein

            It’s a Google Phone

          • Sean Walton

            “the moto x is technically a google phone” no it’s not, where did you get that from? Being pretty much stock and Motorola being owned by Google does not make it technically a google device, it’s a motorola device.

      • Brian Stein

        I agree, mine is brand new, too. I think for 90% of the photos I take, I prefer the Moto X set up. But I for sure will miss Photosphere… They are so cool, Google needs to just put out an app capable so that it can have armies of photospherers adding street view to the entire globe!