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[Mod][How to][Updated Camera 3.3.20.8]Unlock Advanced Camera Settings | Non-Root/Root

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GodOfPsychos

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2014
499
619
27
Solingen
Finally! The moment all of you have been waiting for. This is the Tutorial on "How to unlock the advanced camera settings in the motorola camera app" (ladybug icon) :victory:
first of all, this could be the most useful tutorial for stock rom users, since most of the custom rom already have this.

This mod should also work with:
MOTO DEVICES
-Moto E ------------------Confirmed working by @AshuGite and @spiked_mistborn
-Moto G 4G (LTE)--------Confirmed working by many users
-Moto X (2013)-----------Not confirmed, yet. But it should work
-Moto G 2 Gen. (2014)---Confirmed working by @prateek.khurana31
-Moto X 2 Gen. (2014)---Confirmed working by @neh4pres

OTHER DEVICES:
-Xperia Z2----------------Confirmed working except for recording Videos(missing libs) by @ogunja

If you owned one of the Devices mentioned above and the Mod is working for you, pls let me know for which specific Device it worked, hit the thanks Button below and feel free to open a new Thread in one of the above mentioned Devices' Forums, mentioning this Thread. Thank you

EASY METHOD
For NON-ROOT and ROOT users:
DON'T WORRY, this camera app will install as a seperate app so you will still have the original Motorola Camera app
Here is the camera app with unlocked hidden menu for non-root and root users: Motorola Camera v3.3.20.8 (unlocked hidden menu). Just install as normal apk. Thanks to @jefish for making this awesome Mod

How to access the hidden settings: After you swipe out the settings wheel you will have a "Ladybug" icon in the lower right corner (Screenshots below at the end of this post). just press it enjoy the advanced settings for your Camera

Recommended Settings based on @juanchotazo99 tests: Turn off Wavelet Noise, as it screws up your image quality. Morpho VNR seems to reduce noise in the cameras live view (not on the final image). QC Tintless seems to reduce the reddish tint on final images. So it is up to you if you want to set the last 2 options to on or off

ATTENTION: The Methods below are only necessary if you have ROOT and don't want to install the modded apk.

If you have the Play Store Version of the camera app, pls uninstall and flash one of these flashable zips through CWM Recovery. Thanks to @lost101 for making these.

Moto G (2013) 4.4.4 Stock Camera app: (Wavelet noise, Morpho VNR and QC Tintless settings available)
or
Moto G 2nd Gen. (2014) 4.4.4 Stock Camera app

If you don't want to manually edit your build.prop, you can have a look at this Xposed Module which unlocks the hidden settings without editing anything. Thanks to @S0bes for his Xposed Module


Also, check out @juanchotazo99 's awesome camera test with this new settings in this post. this is also really helpful to understand where the photos get better quality.

Completely Manual Method
Here is the tutorial for those who want to get the hidden settings by manually editing the build.prop
Step 1
Make sure you device is rooted and download or use any File Explorer that has root access.

Step 2
navigate to: Root>System>build.prop

edit the build.prop file (MAKE A BACKUP FIRST) and search for this line:

Code:
ro.build.tags=release-keys

and change it to

Code:
ro.build.tags=test-keys

and save the file.

Step 3
Finally reboot your Device and you're done. :D

Now after you swipe out the settings wheel you will have a "Ladybug" icon in the lower right corner (pictures below). just press it enjoy the advanced settings for your Camera :victory:
Screenshots
v6oj9h.jpg
2ut3ew8.jpg
2mwi92h.jpg
9gczea.jpg
icqpt5.jpg
jv0xhs.jpg
2n732j9.jpg

Don't forget to hit Thanks :) i would be really happy if you do that
 
Last edited:

juanchotazo99

Senior Member
May 9, 2013
265
285
Post process noise reduction, morpho VNR (NR, what else could that be, than noise reduction?). Let's disable these two settings and test. I'll give the camera a try tomorrow in daylight with these changes. I mean, scenes with foliage and plants, that suffer greatly from the noise reduction and become painting-like in pictures. Before, and after.

Thanks a lot for this!!


Hidden above is the original. Let's make a better use of this post.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bringing all of this to Moto's attention:


In my camera testing post quoted above I had added the following at its end:

Based on all the previous testing done by people in Motorola's official thread on Moto G's camera quality, BEFORE what @GodOfPsychos has discovered, a Motorola representative stated the following:

https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?page=1
https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=801623#801623

We’ve been exploring several options to improve the camera. Some items are already on the list – we will fix the intermittent split-flash problem that produces a picture split into light and dark halves. We are working on the intermittent red-tint issue. Other areas are more difficult because any change to improve one area will create other artifacts -- and someone will object to those.

That being said, we have a plan to improve, and much of it is based on the feedback gathered from this thread and others. Thank you. It won’t be fast because it requires changes beyond what we can do through updates to the Camera app itself. But we’re going to make changes that in addition to the items above, should improve sharpness and detail.

I cannot comment on the timing of updates, so I can only ask for patience as we work through this. And again, thanks for the feedback; the photos and observations posted and sent via email were instrumental in helping us get to this point.


Image quality improvements have been promised for the next update, that would be Android L.

Android L is itself a big deal for imaging because it exposes the entire picture/video taking pipeline to camera apps... that means someone can write a camera app with their own picture processing algorithms which in our case can definitely help us with the quality issue.

Meanwhile, we can enjoy better pictures thanks to OP's findings on the camera app's hidden settings. Anyway, if you read what I've bolded in the quoted comment from that official thread... What the hell, Motorola? I mean, he's probably meaning that the stuff that has to be changed is regarding the sensor itself (it presumably does in-sensor noise reduction, outside the scope of what the camera app does by itself) but when the camera app is doing useless noise reduction and you tell people that it can't be solved that way, then @GodOfPsychos finds out about the app's hidden settings being some simple on/off toggles for that useless noise reduction... just... what the hell. This defies logic.


I've made a user in the Motorola forum and have been posting all our findings in that thread. This can't go unnoticed there because their representatives are able to communicate with the camera team. All my posts so far, under the name JohnRambo:

https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=808803#808803
https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=809381#809381
https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=809421#809421
https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=809547#809547
https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=810521#810521
https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=812005#812005
https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=812831#812831


Silence so far, and people are starting to get upset about the matter. You would be, if the representatives all along said that the camera was fine, and the required tweaks are beyond what they can do with the camera app.. yeah, you get the idea. People shouldn't have to root their phone to fix its camera. EDIT: well, there's the modded camera APK now which is just great! Everyone can now enjoy their moto G's camera as it should be.

They updated the Moto X 2013's software to improve its camera quality, we've proven they can do the same with the Moto G 2013...


01/10/14, 9 days later

https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=813675#813675

I went back and marked my previous post as "best answer" to keep it a little more in sight. We're continuing to evaluate improvements, balancing how changes in one area might impact other aspects of the photos. As I wrote before, it will take a firmware update to implement some of the changes; not something we can do via a faster Play Store update.

Finally, an answer. So, no mention of the camera app doing this useless NR. Okay. Well, it seems we'll have to wait for the L update.


This actually made it to the XDA front page.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Added 28/09/14
Old camera app, before the update:


So, we have three settings to tweak, what do they do?

  • Wavelet NR is the offender, if you want to improve your pictures then disable that one.
  • Morpho VNR reduces color noise in the camera live view, I've been taking pictures with it on and off, and there's no difference in the final picture, nor in its file size. Its effect is especially noticeable in low light conditions, try it out. This one is up to you, if you prefer a cleaner live view.
  • QC Tintless affects color rendering, in particular the amount of red in the final picture. It is presumably the 4.4.4 fix for people who had too much red in their pictures in 4.4.2, so this one is up to you to tweak. Keep it enabled if you want more neutral colors, disabled if you want a little more red in your pictures out of the camera.

Just disable Wavelet NR. The other two are beneficial either to the live view's quality, or to the final picture through better color rendering.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Added 12/10/14
There has been an update to the camera app.


  • Wavelet NR is now QC denoise, still enabled by default. Do the right thing and disable it to improve picture quality.
  • Morpho VNR has been renamed to Morpho denoise and is no longer selectable. It doesn't affect you, don't mind this change. It is enabled by default and it should be, otherwise the viewfinder becomes a color noise mess under low light conditions, unlike the pictures taken with QC denoise off.
  • QC Tintless is unaffected. Keep it enabled.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Added 03/10/15


Go here for the latest camera app, with hidden settings enabled. Thanks @S0bes for all your hard work on this.

The camera app's hidden settings have changed a bit since the last update to this post, some other interesting settings have appeared (which I haven't tested by the way), but the recommendation that's been on this post for a year so far stays the same. Disable QC denoise, leave the rest as it is, enjoy!

As always your mileage may vary, the app can be installed on most Motorola phones so far (all of them?), and the improvements depend on how bad your phone's sensor is. The 1st gen Moto G has a particularly bad 5MP sensor that its output suffers too much by the noise removal done by the app. On phones with better cameras, well, you'll have to test for yourself to see if it's worth it.
 
Last edited:

GodOfPsychos

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2014
499
619
27
Solingen
Post process noise reduction, morpho VNR (NR, what else could that be, than noise reduction?). Let's disable these two settings and test.


Will give the camera a try tomorrow in daylight with these changes. I mean, scenes with foliage and plants, that suffer greatly from the noise reduction and become painting-like in pictures. Before, and after.


Thanks a lot for this!!

im gonna do a test tomorrow, too.
 

2hipso

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2014
294
90
Slovakia, Žilina
Will give the camera a try tomorrow in daylight with these changes. I mean, scenes with foliage and plants, that suffer greatly from the noise reduction and become painting-like in pictures. Before, and after.


Thanks a lot for this!!

im gonna do a test tomorrow, too.

but guys, pls upload it on imgur.com (imgur does not compressing images, so it's in it's full quality) and post links, thx
 
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KDB223

Senior Member
Aug 15, 2013
525
212
Didn't work for me :(
I'm on Stock 4.4.4 (XT1033) and the Camera app version is 3.2.54.1.
Any suggestions?

Sent from my XT1033 using XDA Premium 4 mobile app
 

GodOfPsychos

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2014
499
619
27
Solingen
Didn't work for me :(
I'm on Stock 4.4.4 (XT1033) and the Camera app version is 3.2.54.1.
Any suggestions?

Sent from my XT1033 using XDA Premium 4 mobile app

i don't know either. im a noob at stuff like this. i just found this out at midnight after hours of looking for the cause, that made those settings visible (never thought it would be just an easy build.prop entry).

which file explorer did you use for editing the build.prop?

if it is root explorer, then it could be that the build.prop didn't really saved. in this case the easy solution for that is, before editing the build.prop file, press the "Mount R/W" button in the upper right corner. after that you can edit the build.prop and save it
 
Last edited:

Bleak3993

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2011
485
94
Viña del Mar
Working fine here, I can tell these pictures have much more fine detail, but a little bit of noise in low light conditions.

For the people that is not working, I had the same problem, just change the line, save and delete the .bak of the build prop.
 
Last edited:

KDB223

Senior Member
Aug 15, 2013
525
212
make sure changes were saved then reboot and check again

i don't know either. im a noob at stuff like this. i just found this out at midnight after hours of looking for the cause, that made those settings visible (never thought it would be just an easy build.prop entry).

which file explorer did you use for editing the build.prop?

if it is root explorer, then it could be that the build.prop didn't really saved. in this case the easy solution for that is, before editing the build.prop file, press the "Mount R/W" button in the upper right corner. after that you can edit the build.prop and save it

I'm more than sure that my changes have stuck. I used Turbo Editor to the edit and then checked with ES File Explorer.

Sent from my XT1033 using XDA Premium 4 mobile app
 

KDB223

Senior Member
Aug 15, 2013
525
212
i don't know either. im a noob at stuff like this. i just found this out at midnight after hours of looking for the cause, that made those settings visible (never thought it would be just an easy build.prop entry).

which file explorer did you use for editing the build.prop?

if it is root explorer, then it could be that the build.prop didn't really saved. in this case the easy solution for that is, before editing the build.prop file, press the "Mount R/W" button in the upper right corner. after that you can edit the build.prop and save it

I'm more than sure that my changes have stuck. I used Turbo Editor to the edit and then checked with ES File Explorer.

Sent from my XT1033 using XDA Premium 4 mobile app
 

GodOfPsychos

Senior Member
Mar 15, 2014
499
619
27
Solingen
I still don't know what "Morpho VNR" and "QC Tintless" are.

btw. I recognized that the pre-installed motorola camera app is different to the motorola camera app installed through play store.

in the play store version are a few other options available like:
"Image Stabilization" (somehow unavailable on the pre-installed version), "Video Stabilization" (not greyed out like on pre-installed version),
"Dual Video Encode"(somehow unavailable on the pre-installed version), "Preview history" (not greyed out like on pre-installed version),
"HDR save EV0" (not greyed out like on pre-installed version), "Log AEC; AF; AWB" (not greyed out like on pre-installed version)


But the play store version is also missing some options that appear to be only available on pre-installed version like:
"Morpho VNR" (somehow unavailable in play store version), "QC Tintless" (somehow unavailable on play store version), "Video Size" (somehow unavailable on play store version),
"ALTM" (somehow unavailable in play store version), "Exposure compensation" (somehow unavailable in play store version), "White Balance" (somhow unavailable in play store version)


If someone has all these options available and not greyed out, i would really appreciate it, if you share your "MotCamera.apk" with us. i would attach it to the thread and of course give credit to you.:D

PS: sorry for my bad english.
 
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  • 228
    Finally! The moment all of you have been waiting for. This is the Tutorial on "How to unlock the advanced camera settings in the motorola camera app" (ladybug icon) :victory:
    first of all, this could be the most useful tutorial for stock rom users, since most of the custom rom already have this.

    This mod should also work with:
    MOTO DEVICES
    -Moto E ------------------Confirmed working by @AshuGite and @spiked_mistborn
    -Moto G 4G (LTE)--------Confirmed working by many users
    -Moto X (2013)-----------Not confirmed, yet. But it should work
    -Moto G 2 Gen. (2014)---Confirmed working by @prateek.khurana31
    -Moto X 2 Gen. (2014)---Confirmed working by @neh4pres

    OTHER DEVICES:
    -Xperia Z2----------------Confirmed working except for recording Videos(missing libs) by @ogunja

    If you owned one of the Devices mentioned above and the Mod is working for you, pls let me know for which specific Device it worked, hit the thanks Button below and feel free to open a new Thread in one of the above mentioned Devices' Forums, mentioning this Thread. Thank you

    EASY METHOD
    For NON-ROOT and ROOT users:
    DON'T WORRY, this camera app will install as a seperate app so you will still have the original Motorola Camera app
    Here is the camera app with unlocked hidden menu for non-root and root users: Motorola Camera v3.3.20.8 (unlocked hidden menu). Just install as normal apk. Thanks to @jefish for making this awesome Mod

    How to access the hidden settings: After you swipe out the settings wheel you will have a "Ladybug" icon in the lower right corner (Screenshots below at the end of this post). just press it enjoy the advanced settings for your Camera

    Recommended Settings based on @juanchotazo99 tests: Turn off Wavelet Noise, as it screws up your image quality. Morpho VNR seems to reduce noise in the cameras live view (not on the final image). QC Tintless seems to reduce the reddish tint on final images. So it is up to you if you want to set the last 2 options to on or off

    ATTENTION: The Methods below are only necessary if you have ROOT and don't want to install the modded apk.

    If you have the Play Store Version of the camera app, pls uninstall and flash one of these flashable zips through CWM Recovery. Thanks to @lost101 for making these.

    Moto G (2013) 4.4.4 Stock Camera app: (Wavelet noise, Morpho VNR and QC Tintless settings available)
    or
    Moto G 2nd Gen. (2014) 4.4.4 Stock Camera app

    If you don't want to manually edit your build.prop, you can have a look at this Xposed Module which unlocks the hidden settings without editing anything. Thanks to @S0bes for his Xposed Module


    Also, check out @juanchotazo99 's awesome camera test with this new settings in this post. this is also really helpful to understand where the photos get better quality.

    Completely Manual Method
    Here is the tutorial for those who want to get the hidden settings by manually editing the build.prop
    Step 1
    Make sure you device is rooted and download or use any File Explorer that has root access.

    Step 2
    navigate to: Root>System>build.prop

    edit the build.prop file (MAKE A BACKUP FIRST) and search for this line:

    Code:
    ro.build.tags=release-keys

    and change it to

    Code:
    ro.build.tags=test-keys

    and save the file.

    Step 3
    Finally reboot your Device and you're done. :D

    Now after you swipe out the settings wheel you will have a "Ladybug" icon in the lower right corner (pictures below). just press it enjoy the advanced settings for your Camera :victory:
    Screenshots
    v6oj9h.jpg
    2ut3ew8.jpg
    2mwi92h.jpg
    9gczea.jpg
    icqpt5.jpg
    jv0xhs.jpg
    2n732j9.jpg

    Don't forget to hit Thanks :) i would be really happy if you do that
    44
    Now, about morpho VNR. Does morpho ring a bell? It should, it's short for morphological, what does that mean? Morphology is a fancy word for "shape". NR is obviously noise reduction. V could be for variable, which makes sense if you're looking for noise patterns (shapes) that could be there or not (variable). So yeah, it's of our interest to investigate. What's more, in the Moto G 2014 camera app wavelet noise has been renamed to QC denoise... and we already have one setting named QC in the 2013 app, QC tintless. I disabled that too.

    Found a non image degrading host. So, here we go, took 8 pairs of pictures to test between wavelet noise, morpho VNR, and QC tintless on and off. First link of the pair is all the noise reduction settings OFF. Second link is default behavior we all despise and hate, all three noise reduction settings ON. I tried to hold my hands as steady as possible to reduce shaking and to provide an objective comparison. These are as taken, no photoshopping done.


    First pair
    http://i.cubeupload.com/Vlym5E.jpg
    http://i.cubeupload.com/XMKcwO.jpg

    Check the greens in particular. First picture, denoise off, it's much more saturated and lifelike. I've always found the G's colors too muted for my taste. Leaves also look more defined, less painting like, but it's still bad. I think we're approaching the limits of what the lens can resolve at a distance. Grass nearest, just before the shade shows more detail than in the second picture, which as we know, is turned to an oil painting.


    Second pair
    http://i.cubeupload.com/ORIJVk.jpg
    http://i.cubeupload.com/TsVr03.jpg

    Similar to the first pair.


    Third pair
    http://i.cubeupload.com/RyXSoe.jpg
    http://i.cubeupload.com/DuPXNf.jpg

    Now, what happens if we get closer to the grass? First picture shows each grass blade a bit more detailed and defined, whereas in the second picture it's kind of smeared, green leaking everywhere. Faint, but it's there. That's the noise reduction killing detail where it shouldn't be doing anything at all. This effect is more pronounced in the background, compare the branches.


    Fourth pair
    http://i.cubeupload.com/eakxUh.jpg
    http://i.cubeupload.com/1UpMC8.jpg

    More saturated colors, and the llama's fur shows more fine detail. So does the ground.


    Fifth pair
    http://i.cubeupload.com/1AkQnm.jpg
    http://i.cubeupload.com/zFdW7W.jpg

    This picture may seem boring, but it shows quite a difference. Have a look at the tiles in the shade, on the right. First picture keeps the same detail as the tiles in sunlight... now look at the second picture. See how all that fine detail is killed? Real detail, mistaken as noise because that's what noise looks like, a seemingly random pattern of color splotches, typical of when your camera has a small sensor that can't capture enough light and/or is of poor quality. Damn you, useless noise redution.

    Have you seen a single picture here that shows so much noise, either color or luma that requires treatment because the picture is useless? I don't. You probably don't. Look at the sky in the first pictures, you'll see some little red splotches here and there, but did you notice that by yourself? Me neither, I had to look for that to notice. What the hell, motorola?

    Sixth pair
    http://i.cubeupload.com/SBc1aG.jpg
    http://i.cubeupload.com/XRwaoK.jpg

    Oh, now we know what the noise reduction is targeting. Red channel of all three is the most affected. Just compare the brick wall. It's sad, that much detail destroyed without reason. Now connect the dots here and in the first pictures where you saw red color splotches in the sky. The sensor motorola used in our moto G is a poor performer on the red color channel in particular, it seems. For what the phone costs you can't ask for more, but was such agressive noise reduction necessary in the first place? Evidence so far seems to say no.

    Seventh pair
    http://i.cubeupload.com/dRgxS1.jpg
    http://i.cubeupload.com/u2RnOr.jpg

    Here, have a look at the bricks just below the grid. First picture shows some broken bricks with all its nice detail... second picture shows a painted broken brick. What a shame.

    Eighth pair
    http://i.cubeupload.com/p7cO9T.jpg
    http://i.cubeupload.com/p0Zqh5.jpg

    Have you noticed noise in daylight, being a problem enough for the noise reduction to be there in the first place? I don't. But if there's something that digital cameras hate, it's the night. No sunlight, only artificial light which isn't anywhere as powerful as sunlight to the camera's perspective, so it must drive the ISO setting (sensor sensitivity to light) high enough for it to capture whatever little light there is in the scene (or take a long exposure, but that's not an option with a handheld camera, you need a tripod or optical image stabilization for that...). What's the problem here? If the sensor gain is too high, noise gets out of control, because that's how it works... and the smaller the sensor is, the less light it can capture.

    There's a reason a DSLR costs what it costs, it's because it has a (in comparison) huge APS-C sensor (24*16mm, 384 mm²), or in the top end models, a monster sized full frame sensor (36*24mm, 864 mm²). These kind of sensors do just fine in night conditions, but an absolutely tiny in comparison phone camera sensor is not able to do the same. The moto G's sensor is 1/4", 2.4*3.2mm, 7.68mm². It's the smallest size there is for a phone camera... bad picture quality is to be expected, but for it to be degraded even further by not needed noise reduction... it defies logic.

    Now you do notice noise in the first picture, but is it a problem? Nope, it isn't. The resulting picture isn't useless, not at all. Now see the second picture. Whatever little detail there was, it's gone... specially in the background.



    To sum up
    • All three noise reduction settings can and should be disabled if you value your Moto G's camera performance.
    • Noise reduction off improves color rendering, saturation.
    • Noise reduction off naturally improves image detail because it's just not needed for what the sensor can do, either in daylight or in night time.
    • File sizes of the pictures with noise reduction OFF are consistently bigger, because of the added detail. Check it out for yourself.
    • No more reddish hue in the pictures with all the noise reduction settings disabled. Interesting.



    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Added 28/09/14
    Which settings do you need to change?


    • Wavelet NR is the offender, if you want to improve your pictures then disable that one.
    • Morpho VNR reduces color noise in the camera live view, I've been taking pictures with it on and off, and there's no difference in the final picture, nor in its file size. Its effect is especially noticeable in low light conditions, try it out. This one is up to you, if you prefer a cleaner live view.
    • QC Tintless affects color rendering, in particular the amount of red in the final picture. It is presumably the 4.4.4 fix for people who had too much red in their pictures in 4.4.2, so this one is up to you to tweak. Keep it enabled if you want more neutral colors, disabled if you want a little more red in your pictures out of the camera.

    My recommendation is to just disable Wavelet NR. Morpho VNR contributes to a cleaner live view, especially in low light conditions where color noise goes crazy because of the sky high ISO needed.. only on the live view. Captured pictures aren't affected by it. QC tintless on gives a more balanced color rendering, less reddish.

    These 16 test pictures were taken with QC tintless off, it wasn't known back then what it did and assumed it was another noise reduction setting. More testing shows this:

    QC tintless on
    QC tintless off

    so it's up to your taste.

    Wavelet NR screws up image quality, color rendering, everything. In daylight or other decent lighting conditions, you'll agree there's no point for that detail destroying filter screwing up your pictures. It's an useless post processing noise reduction filter, no different to what you can run in a denoise program in your computer.. with the difference that on the computer you can control how much noise removal you want to do, thereby rendering this agressive in-phone NR useless. In low light conditions now you'll see some color noise, and if you feel it's annoying, you can fix it with an image editing program, easily getting better results compared to what it does.

    There's still some NR going on, outside of what the camera app does, so sit tight and let's wait for what the Android L upgrade will bring on the camera front to our little big G. Meanwhile, enjoy your new G's camera.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Added 12/10/14
    There has been an update to the camera app.


    • Wavelet NR is now QC denoise, still enabled by default. Do the right thing and disable it to improve picture quality.
    • Morpho VNR has been renamed to Morpho denoise and is no longer selectable. It doesn't affect you, don't mind this change. It is enabled by default and it should be, otherwise the viewfinder becomes a color noise mess under low light conditions, unlike the pictures taken with QC denoise off.
    • QC Tintless is unaffected. Keep it enabled.


    Added 16/10/14

    A little testing with the updated app. As always, these are as taken.

    Pair five, updated app
    QC denoise off
    QC denoise on

    Pair six, updated app
    QC denoise off
    QC denoise on

    Lighting here is a little different than in the original pair, I couldn't wait until later for the sun to come up just a little more on the wall, had to go to a class. Same damage as before... it's the same. They haven't toned the app's NR down with the update. It wasn't listed in the changelog to begin with, but one could at least hope they had done a little tweaking...

    Lollipop can't come soon enough.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on all the previous testing done by people in Motorola's official thread on Moto G's camera quality, BEFORE what @GodOfPsychos has discovered, a motorola representative stated the following:

    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?page=1
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=801623#801623

    We’ve been exploring several options to improve the camera. Some items are already on the list – we will fix the intermittent split-flash problem that produces a picture split into light and dark halves. We are working on the intermittent red-tint issue. Other areas are more difficult because any change to improve one area will create other artifacts -- and someone will object to those.

    That being said, we have a plan to improve, and much of it is based on the feedback gathered from this thread and others. Thank you. It won’t be fast because it requires changes beyond what we can do through updates to the Camera app itself. But we’re going to make changes that in addition to the items above, should improve sharpness and detail.

    I cannot comment on the timing of updates, so I can only ask for patience as we work through this. And again, thanks for the feedback; the photos and observations posted and sent via email were instrumental in helping us get to this point.


    Image quality improvements have been promised for the next update, that would be Android L, which itself is a big deal for imaging because it exposes the entire picture/video taking pipeline to camera apps... that means someone can write a camera app with their own picture processing algorithms which in our case can definitely help us with the quality issue.

    Meanwhile, we can enjoy better pictures thanks to OP's findings on the camera app's hidden settings. Anyway, if you read what I've bolded in the quoted comment from that official thread... What the hell, Motorola? I mean, he's probably meaning that the stuff that has to be changed is regarding the sensor itself (it presumably does in-sensor noise reduction, outside the scope of what the camera app does by itself) but when the camera app is doing useless noise reduction and you tell people that it can't be solved that way, then @GodOfPsychos finds out about the app's hidden settings... just... what the hell.

    I'm gonna make a user in the Motorola official forum and post this in that thread. This can't go unnoticed to the higher ups there.

    EDIT: Done, posted in the official thread at Motorola's. We'll see what the representatives have to say when they see that.

    Here are all sixteen pictures if you don't want to download them from the image host. files marked "a" is noise reduction off, "b" is noise reduction on, as default settings are. http://www.mediafire.com/download/ft8mimds93ey2di/pictures.rar. All my posts so far in that thread documenting our findings here, under the name JohnRambo:

    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=808803#808803
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=809381#809381
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=809421#809421
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=809547#809547
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=810521#810521
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=812005#812005
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=812831#812831

    01/10/14, 9 days later

    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=813675#813675

    I went back and marked my previous post as "best answer" to keep it a little more in sight. We're continuing to evaluate improvements, balancing how changes in one area might impact other aspects of the photos. As I wrote before, it will take a firmware update to implement some of the changes; not something we can do via a faster Play Store update.

    Finally, an answer. So, no mention of the camera app doing this useless NR. Okay... Well, it seems we'll have to wait for the L update... meanwhile, OP has saved the day.
    30
    All right here you go guys
    5.0.47.7 with advanced camera settings + with ability to read qr and bar codes (see screenshot attached)
    for non root users
    It's a cloned application so you can install it even if you already have motocamera installed
    Hit thanks if you appreciate what I do and I will continue doing that

    @GodOfPsychos , add it in the OP please

    p.s.
    just to clarify bar code thing. I have edited a method inside apk to allow camera do that. It's not enough just to unveil lady bug as usually.
    With just a lady bug - screen 2
    With the modification - screen 3
    29
    Post process noise reduction, morpho VNR (NR, what else could that be, than noise reduction?). Let's disable these two settings and test. I'll give the camera a try tomorrow in daylight with these changes. I mean, scenes with foliage and plants, that suffer greatly from the noise reduction and become painting-like in pictures. Before, and after.

    Thanks a lot for this!!


    Hidden above is the original. Let's make a better use of this post.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bringing all of this to Moto's attention:


    In my camera testing post quoted above I had added the following at its end:

    Based on all the previous testing done by people in Motorola's official thread on Moto G's camera quality, BEFORE what @GodOfPsychos has discovered, a Motorola representative stated the following:

    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?page=1
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=801623#801623

    We’ve been exploring several options to improve the camera. Some items are already on the list – we will fix the intermittent split-flash problem that produces a picture split into light and dark halves. We are working on the intermittent red-tint issue. Other areas are more difficult because any change to improve one area will create other artifacts -- and someone will object to those.

    That being said, we have a plan to improve, and much of it is based on the feedback gathered from this thread and others. Thank you. It won’t be fast because it requires changes beyond what we can do through updates to the Camera app itself. But we’re going to make changes that in addition to the items above, should improve sharpness and detail.

    I cannot comment on the timing of updates, so I can only ask for patience as we work through this. And again, thanks for the feedback; the photos and observations posted and sent via email were instrumental in helping us get to this point.


    Image quality improvements have been promised for the next update, that would be Android L.

    Android L is itself a big deal for imaging because it exposes the entire picture/video taking pipeline to camera apps... that means someone can write a camera app with their own picture processing algorithms which in our case can definitely help us with the quality issue.

    Meanwhile, we can enjoy better pictures thanks to OP's findings on the camera app's hidden settings. Anyway, if you read what I've bolded in the quoted comment from that official thread... What the hell, Motorola? I mean, he's probably meaning that the stuff that has to be changed is regarding the sensor itself (it presumably does in-sensor noise reduction, outside the scope of what the camera app does by itself) but when the camera app is doing useless noise reduction and you tell people that it can't be solved that way, then @GodOfPsychos finds out about the app's hidden settings being some simple on/off toggles for that useless noise reduction... just... what the hell. This defies logic.


    I've made a user in the Motorola forum and have been posting all our findings in that thread. This can't go unnoticed there because their representatives are able to communicate with the camera team. All my posts so far, under the name JohnRambo:

    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=808803#808803
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=809381#809381
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=809421#809421
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=809547#809547
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=810521#810521
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=812005#812005
    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=812831#812831


    Silence so far, and people are starting to get upset about the matter. You would be, if the representatives all along said that the camera was fine, and the required tweaks are beyond what they can do with the camera app.. yeah, you get the idea. People shouldn't have to root their phone to fix its camera. EDIT: well, there's the modded camera APK now which is just great! Everyone can now enjoy their moto G's camera as it should be.

    They updated the Moto X 2013's software to improve its camera quality, we've proven they can do the same with the Moto G 2013...


    01/10/14, 9 days later

    https://forums.motorola.com/posts/e2f2722bfc?commentId=813675#813675

    I went back and marked my previous post as "best answer" to keep it a little more in sight. We're continuing to evaluate improvements, balancing how changes in one area might impact other aspects of the photos. As I wrote before, it will take a firmware update to implement some of the changes; not something we can do via a faster Play Store update.

    Finally, an answer. So, no mention of the camera app doing this useless NR. Okay. Well, it seems we'll have to wait for the L update.


    This actually made it to the XDA front page.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Added 28/09/14
    Old camera app, before the update:


    So, we have three settings to tweak, what do they do?

    • Wavelet NR is the offender, if you want to improve your pictures then disable that one.
    • Morpho VNR reduces color noise in the camera live view, I've been taking pictures with it on and off, and there's no difference in the final picture, nor in its file size. Its effect is especially noticeable in low light conditions, try it out. This one is up to you, if you prefer a cleaner live view.
    • QC Tintless affects color rendering, in particular the amount of red in the final picture. It is presumably the 4.4.4 fix for people who had too much red in their pictures in 4.4.2, so this one is up to you to tweak. Keep it enabled if you want more neutral colors, disabled if you want a little more red in your pictures out of the camera.

    Just disable Wavelet NR. The other two are beneficial either to the live view's quality, or to the final picture through better color rendering.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Added 12/10/14
    There has been an update to the camera app.


    • Wavelet NR is now QC denoise, still enabled by default. Do the right thing and disable it to improve picture quality.
    • Morpho VNR has been renamed to Morpho denoise and is no longer selectable. It doesn't affect you, don't mind this change. It is enabled by default and it should be, otherwise the viewfinder becomes a color noise mess under low light conditions, unlike the pictures taken with QC denoise off.
    • QC Tintless is unaffected. Keep it enabled.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Added 03/10/15


    Go here for the latest camera app, with hidden settings enabled. Thanks @S0bes for all your hard work on this.

    The camera app's hidden settings have changed a bit since the last update to this post, some other interesting settings have appeared (which I haven't tested by the way), but the recommendation that's been on this post for a year so far stays the same. Disable QC denoise, leave the rest as it is, enjoy!

    As always your mileage may vary, the app can be installed on most Motorola phones so far (all of them?), and the improvements depend on how bad your phone's sensor is. The 1st gen Moto G has a particularly bad 5MP sensor that its output suffers too much by the noise removal done by the app. On phones with better cameras, well, you'll have to test for yourself to see if it's worth it.
    14
    @NPriyo , @patrickdg , @supervixen, @MeltingSnowman @brainscollector and others
    I've managed to clone camera app (actually it was pretty easy to do)
    So, latest camera app with the lady bug for non root users here: