DNG RAW Files from the Google Nexus 5 Are Quite Versatile

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer CES 2014 MeFOTO phone adapter (10 of 10)ISO 8001-60 sec at f - 6.3

Since RAW DNG access was unlocked on the Nexus 5 via Camera FV-5, we’ve been playing a bit with it. What we didn’t expect were some incredibly versatile RAW DNG files with very good highlight recovery and pretty good shadow/black level recovery. After bringing the DNG files into Adobe Lightroom 5, we were able to see what the camera’s small sensor is capable of doing.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 6.45.10 PM

This is the original file in Adobe Lightroom. The first thing that I wanted to test was the highlight recovery from the RAW DNG image.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 6.45.20 PM

After suppressing the exposure and the highlight recovery details, we were able to bring back all of the details in the brick wall behind Asta.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 6.45.59 PM

But in an attempt to get more details from the shadows back, we also needed to push the black levels, shadows and specific luminance levels up. This is the best that we could do.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 6.46.25 PM

This is another image that we shot in a very dim bar and where it was super tough to focus the camera.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 6.46.35 PM

As you can see, by nerfing the highlights we’re able to get back lots of details.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 6.46.45 PM

Then we decided to mess with the white balance and tint a bit more. No excessive image noise was created.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 6.46.51 PM


Want to try them for yourself? We invite you to download the images for yourself from this Dropbox folder.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.