When I got my Galaxy Nexus / Google Nexus 3, I was very pleased that the advertised Zero Shutter Lag feature of Camera was indeed delivered with the Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”. It worked great, was really fast, and seemed truly zero shutter lag for most practical purposes from my non-systemic non-comparison testing and actual extended usage for a couple of months.
But that was only with Android 4.0 that Galaxy Nexus shipped with.
After doing the over-the-air upgrade of the phone to Android 4.1, the “zero shutter lag” was all but gone: you’re lucky if the photo will be taken the same second, sometimes the new focusing-related delay is more than 2 or 3 seconds! And you never know whether the shutter button press was registered or not when these delays are taking place, so, you end up missing the action, but then two (or three, or more) irrelevant shots are taken milliseconds apart a couple of seconds later! And that’s on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with a whole 1GB of fast and plentiful memory! Seriously, WTF? Don’t they have a regression testing team that can stop this kind of regressions at Google Android?
With 4.2, the way you get into the camera app from the lock screen has now changed (even though technically both 4.1 and 4.2 are supposed to be the same “Jelly Bean” release). To get into the app with 4.2, you swipe the whole screen from right to left, instead of the lock button from bottom middle to the left. However, now it takes about exactly 3 seconds for the camera app to start. WTF? Another zero-shutter-lag-related regression? AGAIN? They’ve finally seemed to have fixed the 4.1 regression where zero shutter lag itself was completely gone due to a bogus re-focusing logic, but now it takes like 5 seconds to get into the app in the first place, so, the post-Android-4.0-phone is still pointless to be used as a camera!
Moreover, even once the camera app is open with 4.2, it still takes longer to take any individual picture than it was with 4.0, and although shutter lag no longer seems to exceed one second, it is still definitely far from zero, either; even though time is no longer wasted for extended re-focusing as it was with 4.1.
Also with 4.2, the interface for changing camera options is now completely ridiculous: a circle menu lets you go into sub-circle sub-menus, but pressing “back” whilst in a subcircle submenu cancels the whole menu, so, can’t see/change all settings right away, and have to go and open that original circle menu once over again afresh; also when you try changing the settings in a sub-circle sub-menu, it’s not shown what the setting is currently set at. Hello? Did someone skip UI Design 101? This whole thing is just another 4.2 regression.
Yet another annoying and ridiculous 4.2 regression in regards to Camera: when you physically rotate the phone from horizontal to vertical, or vice-versa, there is now a delay of at least one second when the are absolutely no updates to the viewfinder, and the whole app has to be rotated to accommodate the new orientation. WTF? Seriously, WTF? No, I’m serious, WTF? THIS IS COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY AND UNACCEPTABLE! And the most ridiculous regression yet! I have no clue what their product managers are doing, or whether any kind of QA is in place at all whatsoever, or whether such things brought up by QA get taken seriously, but I literally have no words to describe such level of incompetence regarding such a plentiful of regressions, and especially this one. It’s completely beyond me why the old way of only rotating the buttons themselves is no longer possible with 4.2, and why any kind of rotation at all is worth between 1 and 2 seconds of viewfinder being offline!
BTW, it’s not like with the old 4.0 everything was very smooth, either: it was very cumbersome to actually see the pictures that you take, so, it’s not like 4.0 camera app was perfect.
Nonetheless, it’s amazing how an explicitly advertised feature of Android 4.0 and Galaxy Nexus (Google Nexus 3), “zero shutter lag”, just gets thrown out so quickly and stricken by just so many regression with every release ever since!
Google, when will I get my promised zero shutter lag back? Why is 4.2 and 4.1 are both so much worse than 4.0 in regards to zero shutter lag? It did work as advertised with 4.0, why did you have to introduce so many various camera-related regressions with 4.1 and 4.2?
Google, can you please take you useless Photo Sphere back, and give me the promised and usable zero shutter lag back?