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Moto G7: These photos were taken with a $300 phone

Can you tell a budget phone took these photos?

5
5

Patrick Holland

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1 of 37 Sarah Tew/CNET

The Moto G7 has dual rear cameras (a 12-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel depth camera). This combo offers a solid C- camera experience and that is not a knock. For $300, the Moto G7 cameras are impressive considering they can shoot 4K video, portrait mode photos and slow motion video. Overall photos from the G7 have decent image quality.

All of the following photos were shot with the Moto G7 without any editing unless otherwise noted.

Check out CNET's in-depth review of the Moto G7.

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2 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

The HDR on the Moto G7 offers decent results. Look at the whites and blacks in the mural.

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3 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

In good light, it can capture pretty good detail.

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4 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

Motorola seems to follow Samsung's belief that brighter photos are better. I found many of the photos I took looked a tad over exposed.

But according to the blind camera test Marques Brownlee did in December, people like brighter photos.

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5 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

Cheddar the cat pops nicely in this photo. However, there is a bit of noise and softness to the background.

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6 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

I like this photo of a cup of espresso sitting in a sunbeam.

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7 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

Here's another HDR success moment where it balanced the highlights and shadows well.

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8 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

This was taken inside of a streetcar. The lack of optical image stabilization results in some motion blur and softness.

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9 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

Here's another example of using HDR. Even with it, there is image noise in the ceiling and walls. Overall, the photo looks a tad soft.

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10 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

This was taken in an indoor public space in San Francisco. There was a wall of windows on one side that added a bit of daylight to make things less dim. Notice the motion blur on the woman walking in the background.

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11 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

Here's an indoor low-light photo taken just before sunset. The light in the windows blows out to white trying to expose the guy on the right properly.

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12 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

Portrait mode offers nice results. This one was captured using the auto-smile capture. When your subject smiles, the phone takes a photo.

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13 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

Portrait mode handled this low-light situation well.

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14 of 37 Angela Lang/CNET

Here's one where the phone had trouble "cutting" out the foreground and background. There's an odd line around the left side of my head and shoulders.

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15 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

Portrait mode not only works on people, but also objects and pets.

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16 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

There is a feature that makes zoomed photos look better. I had satisfactory results with it in this early morning photo of the Transamerica Pyramid.

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17 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

I am so impressed with this photo. It was taken zoomed all the way in. And the Moto G7 did a decent job getting the moon! This photo won't win any awards, but this is from a $300 phone camera!

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18 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

I loaded the Google camera app aka Gcam apk which is basically the app the Pixel phones use. The Moto G7 camera goes from C- to a solid B when taking photos with Google's app. This photo was taken with the Moto G7 default camera app.

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19 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

Here's the same moment as captured with the Moto G7 using the Google camera app.

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Here are 100 percent crops of the previous two photos. The one from the Moto G7's default camera app (left) looks over sharpened, has muted colors and more noise. The Gcam version (right) has better dynamic range and colors.

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21 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

This is an HDR photo from the Moto G7 default camera app of a statue. Take a look at the bricks on the building in the background.

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22 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

Here's the same statue taken with the Google camera app. Both photos oversaturated the sky.

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23 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

Here are 100 percent crops of the previous photos. The one taken with the Gcam app (right) has much better detail and dynamic range.

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24 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

In low light, the Moto G7 struggled with moving subjects.

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25 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

The Moto G7 applies a ton of noise reduction which can make images look like a painting.

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26 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

But there are also a bunch of fantastic modes in the default camera app on G7. Here's a regular photo I took of a cappuccino.

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27 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

And here's the same cappuccino taken using the Spot Color feature. You tap on a color (in this case the mint green on the cup) and it removes all other colors except for the one you chose.

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28 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

Here's another Spot Color photo I took of an orange beacon light.

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29 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

And here I applied Spot Color to the yellow of a beer I was having.

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There is a fun Cinegraph mode that keeps a portion of a "still image" in motion while the rest of the picture remains static. The resolution of the final gif isn't fantastic.

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31 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

The selfie camera is fine. There is a portrait mode that creates a decent blurred background.

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32 of 37 Marta Franco/CNET

Skin tones in this group selfie look a tad washed out. We used auto-smile capture to let the phone determine when to snap the photo. It waited for all four of us to be smile before taking a picture.

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33 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

I enjoyed using the Moto G7. And I'm quite happy with the photos I was able to take on a phone that costs $300.

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Here are a few more of my favorite snaps from the Moto G7.

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37 of 37 Patrick Holland/CNET

The Moto G7 is hands down the best budget phone I've used. While I didn't expect photos to be up there with the Pixel 3 or iPhone XS, I was impressed with how many good shots I got.

Check out CNET's in-depth review of the Moto G7.

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