Moto Z Play Review - Camera Review

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Moto Z Play – Camera

The Moto Z Play’s camera performance is nothing special, but it handles outdoor shots pretty well as long as you’re not viewing the results too closely. It certainly doesn’t come close to the OnePlus 3‘s camera.

If you’re buying a phone for its camera, consider saving up for an iPhone 7, Galaxy S7 or Google Pixel.
Moto Z Play 2

The Moto Z Play’s camera shoots at a maximum 12 megapixels and has a reasonably wide f/2.0 aperture. Decent stats, but viewing the resulting images highlights numerous shortcomings. Outdoor shots with lots of detail – such as trees and complex architecture and stonework – become messy as you zoom in. Colours are also slightly muted and a little dirty.

Images will be fine for social media sharing on the likes of Instagram for example, more so if you stick a filter and a classy vignette over everything.

Camera performance is relatively slow, too. I found the autofocus in particular to be a real annoyance. Forget spur-of-the-moment pictures of subjects less than 50cm away; the autofocus will mess around for at least a couple of seconds before you’re likely to get a good shot, by which time the moment will be gone.

For shots taken over a longer distance, I still felt the need to tap the screen to ensure the camera was actually focusing correctly. Moto Z play sample shot
Shooting with HDR, this moody skyline shot looks decent

Moto Z play sample shot
When you can get autofocus to work properly, short-range shots can look good, but colours are lacking

Moto Z play sample shot
When light levels drop, so does quality

Night performance is pretty bad. Pictures are noisy and grainy, and while super-bright colours stand out, dark skies look grey instead of black. The two-tone flash does at least allow the camera the opportunity to take decent shots of people at night or inside gloomy pubs.

Moto Z Play camera sampleMoto Z Play camera sample
Plenty of grain and slightly bright skies in these challenging night shots

The 5-megapixel selfie camera performs well in daylight and is supported nicely by the front-facing LED flash.

Video performance is good, too. Full HD and 2160p video is shot at 30fps, while you can shoot semi-slo-mo footage at 120fps in 720p. The camera has electronic image stabilisation when shooting video, which hugely reduces wobble and makes for lovely, smooth videos.

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