Google Pixel 5 Digicam Overview

173Picture High quality ratingUBER-G SCOREScoring/rating system titleIQPicture-High quality based mostly scoring systemCAMERACell Excessive FinishClass based mostly on value2020-09System launch dateGoogle Pixel 5System model and title

The Google Pixel Sequence is likely one of the strongest and trusted cellular digital camera manufacturers available on the market. With the Google Pixel 5 out available on the market at a value of ~$699, let’s take a better take a look at how its digital camera system performs in Day/Evening/Ultrawide and Zoom pictures and what Uber IQ Camera benchmark rating it will get.

Since we even have the older Pixel 3a, 4, 4a, and the brand new Pixel 4 5G, we took all of them for a photograph safari.

Pixel 5 Digicam {Hardware}: What’s New?

Taking a look at Google’s Pixel 3 cellphone to right this moment’s Pixel 5, one can discover that the {hardware} has not developed that a lot, particularly in gentle of the cellular digital camera warfare between Samsung vs. Apple and Huawei’s rise to camera superpower status.

The Pixel 3, 3a, 4, 4a and Pixel 5 fashions use the identical digital camera sensor. Nevertheless, Pixel 3 and 3a have an f/1.8 lens, whereas 4, 4a, and Pixel 5 have an f/1.7 lens. The brand new Pixel 4a 5G has the identical digital camera system because the Pixel 5.

The Google Pixel 5 has a Extensive 27mm Extensive digital camera and an Ultrawide 16.5mm Ultrawide digital camera. The Ultrawide digital camera is the massive differentiator between Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 because the Pixel 4 has a 50mm Zoom digital camera as a secondary digital camera as a substitute.


The Pixel 5’s Extensive+Ultrawide configuration is best by our cellular digital camera requirements as a result of folks have a tendency to make use of Ultrawide far more than Zoom, so we’re off to begin.

Unusually, the Google Pixel 5 has a much less highly effective processor platform than the Pixel 4, choosing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G as a substitute of the Pixel 4 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. Though the Snapdragon 855 turned obtainable in 2019, it’s architected to be sooner and costlier than the 765G chip.

From a pictures perspective, a efficiency distinction might influence Picture High quality (IQ) as a result of the Google Pixel Digicam closely depends on Software program enhancements somewhat than Digicam {Hardware} evolution.

Picture High quality Evaluation

If you wish to study extra about our Uber IQ Camera benchmark, examine the official web page. From a high-level, we’re score picture picture high quality for Day, Evening, Ultrawide, and Zoom pictures.

Vital: let’s make clear some terminology we’ll be utilizing:

  • “picture processing”: software program work that improves the picture knowledge high quality
  • “picture filtering”: software program work that modifications the model (aesthetic) of the picture.
    • “context picture”: a wonderful approximation of how the scene appears to the eyes

A worldwide digital camera rating is evident and simple, however particular person sub-scores assist inform a greater story for individuals who need to have a extra nuanced view of the digital camera’s Picture High quality. If you wish to know extra about how the rating works, head to our Uber IQ Camera benchmark web page.

Daylight Pictures


  • Good efficiency
  • Images by no means over-exposed
  • Agreable colours


  • Publicity can look unrealistic

In daylight pictures, the Google Pixel 5 delivers efficiency and is devoted to our high-dynamic-range pictures expectations.

Like different Pixel telephones, the Pixel 5 digital camera emphasizes “by no means over-exposing something,” so, in very shiny scenes, the output may be considerably completely different from what your eyes see. In some areas, it appears nice. In others, it makes the scene darker.

From an Picture High quality (IQ) perspective, it doesn’t all the time change issues a lot (until distinction is misplaced), however this is a component of aesthetics (model) that try to be conscious of. You may determine based mostly on the context picture and the pattern photographs we’re presenting right here.


From a Photographic Particulars viewpoint, the Google Pixel 5 captures particulars on par with different telephones utilizing comparable digital camera {hardware}, just like the iPhone 11 Professional’s main digital camera, in response to our Uber HW Camera rating.

Google and Apple take completely different approaches: Apple tolerates noise to attain larger ranges of particulars, whereas Google chooses to take away the noise on the value of introducing blur. Each firms are hitting the bounds of their electro-optics (sensors+lenses) for that era of cameras.

Telephones like Huawei’s P30, P40 sequence, and Samsung’s 20 Extremely sequence have a lot bigger sensors and revel in low-noise and high-details.

Context photo: what your eyes see
Context picture: what the eyes see

Under, I’ve included a 12MP picture from the superb Huawei P40 Professional+ facet by facet with a 108 MP picture from the Notice 20 Extremely, simply to point out you what occurs while you push the Megapixel rely larger with these new sensors.

Evening Pictures


  • Very respectable evening pictures


  • Noise is seen
  • Particulars & Texture might be higher

HDR Evening Pictures

At first, the variations between Pixel 3/3a, Pixel 4/4a, and Pixel 5 aren’t very noticeable past shade variations. As an illustration, the Google Pixel 3 tends to over-saturate colours. A few of that has improved within the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5.

Upon analyzing cropped-images, we discover small variations in picture noise and particulars. In the identical scene, the Google Pixel 3 photographs are noisier than the Pixel 4, 4a, or Pixel 5. In our exams, the Pixel 3a carried out marginally higher than the unique Pixel 3.


Sadly, all of them function extra picture noise than the iPhone 11 Professional, which has a noticeably decrease Evening picture high quality than the Galaxy Notice 20 Professional.

The Pixel 4 cropped photos are just a bit sharper than the Pixel 5. That is because of a distinction within the noise-reduction settings, which provides some blur on the Pixel 5.

Primarily, Pixel 5 is giving-up somewhat little bit of sharpness to scale back noise. High quality-wise, it’s a toss-up, however it’ll rely in your private preferences between noise and sharpness.

In the long run, the Pixel 5’s low-light efficiency lags behinds cameras that use costlier digital camera {hardware}.

Context: what the scene appears wish to the eyes

Non-HDR Evening Pictures (0.04 LUX)

In soft-lighting Evening scenes, we will see how light-sensitive the varied cameras are. Though there are small enhancements in colours, noise, and particulars: the Pixel 3/4/5 telephones stay throughout the identical generational stage of efficiency because the Google Pixel 3.

A comparability with the Galaxy Notice 20 Extremely reveals a somewhat giant hole in low-light efficiency with right this moment’s greatest. These outcomes reveal how leaving the digital camera {hardware} nearly unchanged for years takes a toll on the general competitiveness of the Pixel 5 towards the very best rivals.

Even with the low-resolution internet photographs, you possibly can most likely see the distinction in readability, sharpness, and particulars, beneath. Nevertheless, the cropped photographs present the big picture high quality hole between the Pixel 5/4/3 with right this moment’s high-end digital camera telephones.

Sure, there’s Google Evening Sight, However…

We’ve got already defined in our Pixel 3 camera review why we take into account long-exposure evening modes like “Evening Sight” as pseudo picture filters and due to this fact don’t give them Digicam IQ factors. We nonetheless want to focus on that matter as a result of Evening Sight has a large influence on the person expertise.

Lengthy-exposure photographs require you to wait 3 to six seconds with out transferring to take a shot. A traditional-exposure Evening shot takes 0.05 seconds or much less. Given comparable picture high quality, it’s significantly better to not have to attend.

Lengthy-exposure modes are an effective way to compensate for much less highly effective {hardware} however aren’t a perfect person expertise. It normally creates pictures that may look fairly unnatural (learn: brighter is not always better). Different telephones can take extra pure photographs immediately.

Lastly, a higher-performance digital camera might additionally use a long-exposure mode and doubtlessly produce a fair higher picture anyway.

Zoom Pictures


  • Good colours
  • Agreable smoothing filter


  • Not aggressive towards devoted zoom cameras

With out a devoted zoom lens, the Pixel 5 stage of element is just a bit bit higher than Pixel 3/3a. Nonetheless, if Zooming is extra vital to you than Ultrawide, we suggest trying on the Google Pixel 4, which has a 2X optical zoom lens as a substitute of the Ultrawide lens.

Google has a few of the greatest software program algorithms to enhance zoom photos. Nevertheless, taking a look at a cropped picture of a Pixel 5 Zoom phot and evaluating it with a long-zoom such because the Galaxy S20 Extremely proves that a few of the greatest digital camera Software program can solely assist a lot within the face of overwhelmingly extra highly effective {hardware}.

Most zoom with the Google Pixel 5

Under, right here’s an instance of zoom picture, taken with the Xiaomi Mi Combine 3, which has a digital camera {hardware} that’s similar to the Google Pixel 5. Ass you possibly can see, the consequence just isn’t far off.

The subsequent picture significantly highlights picture high quality tradeoffs between having extra particulars, however extra noise, versus smoothing/blurring issues out to maybe make a extra agreable picture however unfastened particulars. Have a look at the rocks and varied locations to see how particulars are blurred out.

Under, the Pixel 4 demonstrates how having only a 2X devoted zoom lens instantly will increase the picture high quality (IQ).

Lastly, the very best resolution is to have extra powerfull digital camera {hardware}. The Galaxy Notice 20 Extremely has extra highly effective {hardware}, and no quantity of software program could make up for knowledge that was not captured.

Ultrawide Pictures


  • Welcome addition to the Pixel digital camera
  • On-par with Samsung’s Ultrawide
  • Higher than iPhone 11 Professional’s Ultrawide


  • Huawei’s Ultrawide stays the very best available on the market

Notice that the 13mm Samsung Ultrawide digital camera is “wider” (extra expansive area of view or FoV), in order that’s nearly 30% extra FoV. The orange rectangle within the S20U picture pattern beneath reveals the Pixel 5 FoV in comparison with the S20U’s ultrawide digital camera FoV.

It’s troublesome to measure how a lot worth the person places into having a “wider” view, so we’re elevating the problem and offering picture samples in your to evaluate.


A narrower area of view additionally offers a pure picture high quality benefit as a result of it’s much less liable to distortion, vignetting, and issues like that. For now, “wider” doesn’t deliver extra Picture High quality factors.

There are different trade-offs between Pixel and rivals: Google is far more keen than Samsung to depart some picture noise as a substitute of aggressively eradicating it. General, it is a nice Ultrawide digital camera.

Daylight Ultrawide Pictures

In daylight pictures, the Google Pixel 5 shoots nice photographs. Nevertheless, we observed that the high-dynamic-range picture processing is a bit aggressive and results in some distinction loss.

The Blue sky on the center-top turns into duller than it needs to be, whereas the shady areas are generally brighter than they’d naturally be. The comparability with the Galaxy Notice 20 Extremely illustrates this nicely.

On this explicit scene, each the Google Pixel 5 and the iPhone 11 Professional general tint are barely off, a bit pink on the Pixel and a bit Yellow on the iPhone 11 Professional, however general, main OEMs have good shade administration.

Of the three telephones, the iPhone 11 Professional has bigger noise spots, and doesn’t fairly seize particulars in shaded areas. The Notice 20 Extremely has an general benefit, with nice picture high quality, low-noise and a wider FoV.

Evening Ultrawide Pictures

In Evening Ultrawide Pictures, the Google Pixel 5 16.5mm digital camera is doing nicely and manages to be on-par Galaxy Notice 20 Extremely’s Ultrawide digital camera in sheer picture high quality for the sort of scene.

The Pixel 5’s Ultrawide digital camera is clearly superior to the iPhone 11 Professional’s, and somewhat bit higher than the Galaxy Notice 20 Extremely’s Ultrawide digital camera as a result of it options higher particulars on the value of getting extra noise (and the narrower FoV). When you dislike noise in your pictures, choose the Notice 20U for ultrawide pictures.


173Picture High quality ratingUBER-G SCOREScoring/rating system titleIQPicture-High quality based mostly scoring systemCAMERACell Excessive FinishClass based mostly on value2020-09System launch dateGoogle Pixel 5System model and title

Google has been made minimal {hardware} enhancements for the reason that Pixel 3 and has most likely squeezed each little bit of picture high quality it might from this stage of {hardware}.

There are small variations between the Pixel 3, 3a, Pixel 4a, 4a, 4a 5G, and Pixel 5. Nonetheless, the first digital camera {hardware} power has remained inside a small share of what Pixel 3 was, and we present it in our picture evaluation.

The Google Pixel 5 provides picture picture high quality (IQ), however it’s not as edgy because it as soon as was. Google goes mainstream as a substitute of combating for the highest place and that might be technique.


The $180 Pixel 3a provides a wonderful digital camera expertise for the value. The Pixel 3a digital camera might arguably be a greater than telephones Xiaomi Redmi Notice 8 Professional (learn our Redmi Note 8 Pro camera review), and positively a greater worth than most iPhone cameras.

It’s tougher for the $699 Google Pixel 5 digital camera to compete when it comes to worth. Telephones just like the Xiaomi Mi Notice 10, Huawei P30 Professional, and possibly the Galaxy S20 Fan Version (FE) are ferocious camera-value rivals.

The $499 Google Pixel 4a with 5G is a superb Google digital camera for the cash because it has an similar digital camera system to the Pixel 5 and prices $200 much less.

Fortuitously for Google, the Pixel digital camera “picture filtering model” has a substantial fan base that may need to stick with a well-known and likable digital camera person expertise, regardless of a rising picture high quality hole.

For instance, seasoned reviewers like Judie @ GearDiary liked Google’s Pixel 4 software program options similar to digital camera controls or the precise Pixel Digicam tuning of the Bokeh (blur) impact portrait mode.

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