Camera NX V4 Bring ZSL Photo Shooting with HDR+ on Nexus, Same as Pixel Phone’s Way (Update for N6P)

Camera NX, aka the Google Camera 4.2 mod for Nexus 5X, which enabled the Burst mode, 240 fps slow motion and zsl (zero shooting lag) without HDR+ on the Nexus 5X, now I present the new Camera NX V4, with the awesome zsl HDR+ feature enabled for Nexus 5X / 6P.

What is ZSL? ZSL was short for Zero Shooting Lag, means you can take pictures without waiting for the camera freeze time after pressing the shoot button.

In the regular HDR+ photo shooting process with Google Camera, the camera will freeze for 1-2 seconds when process the HDR+ function, you can NOT continuously shooting HDR+ photos by tapping shoot button.

Even if you set the HDR+ off, the camera still lag for half a second on Nexus 5X using the Google Camera v4.2, you should know that in the previous version Nexus 5X can make ZSL photo without HDR+.

HDR+ changed a lot in the latest version 4.2 of Google Camera, as we know, the Google Pixel / Pixel XL phone can take ZSL HDR+ photos, no freeze anymore, Why?

As Google described, Google Pixel / Pixel XL equipped a powerful Snapdragon 820 / 821 Soc, which has a Dual image signal processors (ISPs) build inside, it has the ability of huge image data process, especially it has Hexagon 680 with HVX (Hexagon Vector eXtensions), which can make the HDR+ processing much faster.

If you read the document of Nexus 5X’s Soc, the Snapdragon 808 Soc, also have a Dual image signal processors (ISPs), in the QUALCOMM official document, this ISP can support 1.2GP/s throughput and image sensors up to 21MP/13MP.

On the Nexus 6P side, the Snapdragon 810 Soc, combined a similar ISPs, but it has 14-bit bandwidth, two times powerful than Nexus 5X one, I suppose the Snapdragon 808 have 7-bit bandwidth Snapdragon 808 has 12-bit bandwidth.

And this is how Qualcomm described the Snapdragon 652 Soc:
Dual ISP (image signal processor), offers support for up to 21MP zero
shutter lag (ZSL) photos
at 24 fps.

I suppose the ZSL photo feature only required Dual ISP, not the Hexagon 680 with HVX, but Google designed to disable this feature on Nexus 2015 phones.

So, In the Camera NX V4, I made the camera using Pixel’s configuration, tested on my Nexus 5X, the shooting lag disappeared in both “HDR off” and “HDR auto” mode! In the HDR+ auto mode, HDR+ program is 1.0.137460761z, and the “HDR+ on” mode’s program is 1.0.137460761n, and they have different effect, here is the comparison of HDR+ off, auto and on samples.

Exif parameters:
HDR+ On: f/2 1/42 s ISO-654 -0.33 HDR+ 1.0.137460761n, file size: 2.37MB

HDR+ Auto: f/2 1/25 s ISO-443 -0.5 HDR+ 1.0.137460761z, file size: 2.19MB

HDR+ off: f/2 1/25 s ISO-457 0, file size:2.09MB

Camera NX mod Pixel HDR+ Profile compare

Look closer:
Camera NX mod Pixel HDR+ Profile compare details

You can see the HDR+ auto have the best quality in three samples, the vivid color, less noise, brighter effect, the most important thing is, No freeze anymore, the HDR+ will process in the background immediately after press the button. I realize that the new feature Delete photos durning HDR+ process was for ZSL HDR+ photos.

Video showing how ZSL HDR+ works:

My phone is running Android 7.1.1 beta, in the video, Camera is stock Google Camera, Camera NX is the mod version. You can notice the lag on stock camera, when using the modified version, no lag while I continuously tap the shoot button, but due to the hardware limitations, the camera slow down a bit at the end.

Right now this is only for Nexus 5X. Nexus 6P users needs to wait for a while.

Update 11/08
For Nexus 5X: reduce some value to improve HDR+ / Burst speed and stable [testing].
Smartburst will fc if you keep hold on the cam button for more than 5 seconds (not enough ram I supposition ). Turn off the auto-creation will fix it.

Download link for Camera NX V4 Update1: Camera NX V4 Update1 for Nexus 5X | (Alt mirror AFH)

Update 11/08, for Nexus 6P users, please download this version: Camera NX v4 Update1 N6P. Update1 version didn’t change the video framerate so no more fc with camcorder.

PS. If you download the apk but can not install it, try using any file manager to do the job, stock download manager have a bug.

PS. Camera NX v4 require Android 7.1.1 beta.

Update 11/11, Method for fix issue for 7.1 roms (fix may work for 7.0, tell me if it works.)
How to fix the black viewer issue on some 7.1 custom roms. 5X / 6P . ( looks like stock 7.0 still lack something for activing the ZSL HDR+, sorry guys, If someone figure out how to fix it, please leave a comments. ) .
Flashable zip Packages in TWRP recovery:
For Nexus 6P: CamNX-Fix4Nitrogen
For Nexus 5X: CameraNX-N5X-fix

Or if you want to do it manually, do these steps one by one.
1. Download this zip file, extract the jar file, put the jar file to /system/framework/ directory by root explorer, and change its permission to rw-r-r.
For Nexus 6P:
For Nexus 5X:

2. Download this zip file, extract the xml file, put it to /System/etc/permission/ directory by root explorer, change its permission to rw-r-r.
N6P & N5X shared the same file:

3. Reboot, the problem should be fixed.

Right now I suggest Nexus 5X users who are using the 7.0 roms, stick with Camera NX V3.1, it can still give you the Smartburst & 240 fps slow-motion. Here is the link:

New version V5.3 is up! Now we have a updated version V5.3.1 (No ZSL) for Android 7.0 users too!

Link: Camera NX V5.3 Update For Nexus 5X / 6P, Add Hybrid-Burst Mode, Automatic Select HDR+ Auto, Better Video Bitrate

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Posted in Android Share, Featured, Nexus 5X