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Moto Z Play Review - Performance

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Moto Z Play Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response -0.3secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response -0.3secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo  2.2secs (from standby)
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 39secs (from off)
Shot to Shot (without Flash) 0.4secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
5fps (unlimited shots)

The camera promises "Zero shutter lag" which is the time between you pressing the shutter release button, and the camera taking the photo. However, in our tests, the Moto Z Play actually takes the photo from 0.3 seconds before you press the button. This is the case whether using the on-screen shutter button, or the volume control. 


Motorola Moto Z Play Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Photos taken with the dual-tone LED flash aren't as good as photos taken with a true Xenon flash, as the flash isn't as bright, and some photos show red-eye. There's also a noticeable yellow tint to images. Images have good colour in good light, and detail is quite good, but images aren't as good in low-light. The HDR mode does a good job giving images with better dynamic range in the shadows, and can be left on Auto in the Auto mode with good results. 


Motorola Moto Z Play Lens test images

Lens Performance - Exposure is reliable, and colours are bright and saturated. Dynamic range can struggle at times, unless you use the HDR mode, and when using the HDR mode you need to make sure you hold the camera as steady as possible for a sharp shot. The front facing selfie camera performs reasonably well with a 5 megapixel sensor and an f/2.2 aperture, and the LED flash helps with selfie shots. Detail is quite good in the centre of the frame, and out to the corners, although some noise in visible in most shots when viewed at 100%. You need to be careful of camera shake as the camera doesn't have built in optical image stabilisation. 


Motorola Moto Z Play ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is lowest at ISO100 and ISO200, becoming more noticeable at ISO400. ISO800 images show more noise, but photos should still be usable. At ISO1600 and above images become softer as detail is lost to noise, and these settings are best avoided. 


Motorola Moto Z Play White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under both tungsten and fluorescent lighting, with the presets giving a slight colour cast to images. 

There aren't any filters or effects built in to the standard camera app, and instead you need to apply filters after taking photos. Alternatively you can download any number of alternative camera app to take photos with effects, including Instagram, Snapseed, VSCO, Lightroom, and others. The camera has a decent panoramic mode, although the images aren't very high-res.


Video - Video resolutions available include 4K UHD, FullHD, 720p, and VGA, all at 30fps. There's also an option to record HDR video as well. The front facing camera can record FullHD video. Slow-motion video is recorded at 120fps, at a resolution of 720p. When recording 4K video, the lack of image stabilisation becomes quite noticeable, and switching to the FullHD video mode enables the electronic stabilisation which helps. Video quality is good, and the camera does reasonably well under low-light conditions.


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