The Tegra Note 7 has a 5-megapixel autofocus camera that can shoot 1080p Full HD video and a VGA quality front-facing camera. Nothing extraordinary there, but instead of the usual stock Android camera application, Nvidia has included the Camera Awesome app in its place, which offers a wider range of features including HDR, Burst and Continuous shooting modes.
There’s a lot more going on with the user interface as well with plenty of settings and modes to play with, including the ability to manually adjust ISO sensitivity settings, image stabilization, exposure levels and metering.
Nvidia also promises a future update will enable an exclusive to Nvidia 'always-on HDR' mode. HDR, if you're not familiar, stands for high dynamic range and is a mode that takes three different photos at the same time but at different exposures and then stitches them together. This helps improve photos in most situations, particularly those with strong contrasting light sources -- such as shots with bright sunshine and areas of shadows
Because this takes a little processing time it's normally a mode you have to enable manually, but Nvidia's image processor is designed to allow you to take HDR shots all the time just as you do ordinary non-HDR shots. On paper it's a very neat idea, so it's a shame it's not ready yet, but while we wait we can still put the Tegra 4's cameras through their paces and test the HDR mode in its not always-on incarnation.
Tegra Note 7 image with HDR mode produces better colours
Nexus 7 2 image produces a lot of noise
Tegra Note 7 image with HDR can look a little overprocessed
The Nexus 7 2 struggles to deliver the same level of vibrancy as the Note 7
Without HDR, it’s a pretty ordinary performer. When you switch on HDR the shutter is slow to jump into action, but it definitely improves colour reproduction and the overall vibrancy in images. There’s still some signs of haziness and images can look over processed in places, but clearly beats the Nexus 7 2 in the same conditions. Results really do vary depending on the environment, particularly as there's no LED flash, but it's not bad for a cheap tablet.
The VGA front-facing camera, however, is one of the poorest we’ve seen, so you are going to struggle coming out nice and clear for video calls. We can't help Nvidia has miscalculated here, too, given how useful tablets are for making video calls.