Camera NX brings Portrait mode to the original Pixels, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P

Portrait mode on Nexus 5X using the Camera NX mod. (Source: Chromloop)
Portrait mode on Nexus 5X using the Camera NX mod. (Source: Chromloop)
A developer has created a Google Camera mod that enables portrait mode on devices such as the original Pixel series, Nexus 5X, and the Nexus 6P. This mod enables the Pixel 2 exclusive portrait feature on older generation Google devices.

The Portrait mode in the Google Camera app has been a Pixel 2 exclusive feature with Google claiming that older Pixel and Nexus devices do not have the necessary hardware to get the right output. However, an enterprising developer, Charles Chow, has created a mod named Camera NX that enables owners of Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P to benefit from this functionality.

Chow's Camera NX takes a burst of photos to create a depth-of-field look unlike the Portrait mode in the Pixel 2 Google Camera app. The mod implements the zero shooting lag HDR+ (ZSL-HDR+) functionality that is found in Google Camera v4.2 and works only in the Pixels, on older Nexus hardware. The mod suffers from a limitation of being able to create depth-of-field looks only when it identifies a human face while the camera app of the Pixel 2 can create it with almost any object. Chow claims that the mod has been tested to work on the Nexus 5X and should, therefore, work on the Nexus 6P and the older Pixel series.

The app can be downloaded from the developer's blog and sideloaded onto the phone. Do have a look at the mod's thread at XDA forums before installation for any potential issues, especially on custom ROMs.


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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2018-01- 1 (Update: 2018-01- 1)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.