The camera setup is another area in which Motorola did a downgrade of such coming from the Moto G52. Gone is the ultrawide cam from that phone. Instead, the Moto G53 just has a 50MP main snapper and a 2MP macro cam on the back.
The main camera utilizes a 50MP Samsung ISOCELL S5KJN1 1/2.76" sensor with a Tetracell filter and 0.64µm pixels. It sits behind an f/1.8 lens and has PDAF, but nothing too fancy beyond that, like OIS. The other camera on the back is a 2MP OmniVision OV02B10. It is a 1/5" sensor with 1.75µm individual pixels. This camera is fixed-focus only and has an aperture of f/2.4.
Last but not least, the Moto G53 comes with either an 8MP, f/2.0 or 16MP, f/2.2 selfie camera. Our unit has the former with an 8MP Samsung ISOCELL 4H7 sensor (S5K4H7). It has a 1/4" optical format and 1.12µm individual pixels. There is no autofocus on the selfie.
The camera app is your typical Motorola affair. The camera modes are arranged in a customizable carousel formation, with the hamburger menu at the rightmost end of the carousel holding the more seldom-used shooting modes.
Pro mode gives you full control over the camera's settings like white balance, ISO, autofocus, shutter speed, and exposure compensation, and Pro mode works on both rear cameras. It even has a histogram.
Additional settings for each camera mode can be found by swiping up in the viewfinder - there's a tiny arrow hint to indicate that. Here, you'll find flash and self-timer settings in Photo mode. Interestingly enough, there is no resolution selector for video capture. 1080p is just the cap and the default. The gear icon for the general settings menu houses even more settings, including photo resolutions.
The 50MP main camera captures 12.5MP stills by default due to its Quad-Bayer nature. These shots look very nice, with plenty of detail, good contrast and dynamic range and nice, true-to-life colors.
There are still some notable shortcomings when pixel-peeping, though, like softness and graininess on most uniform surfaces. Hardly a major dealbreaker, though, especially on a budget device.
The G53 can capture in full-res 50MP mode. These shots don't have considerably more detail, but there are benefits in very fine detail or patterns. The G53 doesn't take too long to capture 50MP stills, either. If you can deal with the bigger file sizes, then we definitely recommend 50MP mode.
The main camera captures decent portraits, but nothing to phone home about. Subject detection and separation are good, and the quality of the background blur is excellent.
Non-human subjects can be a bit more finicky to focus on properly, but you can get very good results with enough patience.
While there is no dedicated zoom camera on the G53 and not even a quick toggle for zooming on the camera UI, there is nothing preventing you from doing a digital zoom. The 50MP main camera definitely has enough resolution to handle a 2x zoom with relative grace. The quality of these shots is not too far off from regular ones, and they are perfectly usable.
Here's how the main camera stacks up against competitors in our vast photo compare database. Pixel-peep away.
The 2MP macro camera produces pretty nice results, given its small size and lack of autofocus. The focal plane is fairly wide, but you still have to be careful to get the subject in focus. Once that's done, however, photos have a surprising amount of detail and nice colors.
The 8MP selfie camera does a decent job. Detail is plenty, though finer skin texture does not come through and gets destroyed instead. Colors look nice, though again, skin tones aren't exactly natural. The focal plane is, once again, pretty wide and forgiving.
Selfie portraits look very good as well. While not perfect, subject detection and separation are almost always spot on, and the quality of the background blur is excellent.
The Moto G53 is limited to 1080p@30fps video capture on both its main and selfie cameras. You don't get to choose a lower resolution either unless you install third-party software like Open Camera. Videos get saved in a standard h.264 AVC video stream at around 20Mbps with a 48 kHz stereo AAC audio track inside an MP4 container. H.265 HEVC video is an option in the camera app setting, though.
The main cam captures decent but mostly unimpressive 1080p videos. Detail is generally good for this sort of resolution. Colors aren't too bad, either. Contrast, however, is cranked way up, which makes for a very artificial and over-processed look. Dynamic range is pretty limited too.
Here's how the main camera on the Moto G53 stacks up against the competition in our extensive video compare database.
The main cam offers electronic video stabilization (EIS), which works pretty well. It definitely smooths out shakes and bumps but does introduce a bit of unfortunate focus hunting.
Footage from the selfie cam is capped at 1080p@30fps as well. It also looks very over-processed, with way too much contrast. It is still usable, though.
Stabilization works surprisingly well on the selfie cam, but it does chop away a fairly big portion of the frame.
The Moto G53 struggles a bit in low-light conditions. The shots are a bit soft and grainy and also quite dark. On the plus side, there is a very reasonable amount of detail in the frame, and light sources are handled well.
The Moto G53 has an automatic night mode that triggers consistently and does its thing. There is a manual night mode beyond that. It produces very similar results. Occasionally, its shots are softer than the regular ones, which is odd.
On the plus side, capturing night mode shots does not take very long, even with the relatively weak chipset inside the G53.
Low-light selfies are decent but not amazing. Detail is good, and both shadows and light sources are handled competently. Skin texture is almost entirely destroyed, and skin tones are pretty off. There is also a noticeable about of noise in the frame. Still, nothing unexpected for this class of device.
Low light video is decent, but nothing to phone home about. Detail is alright for a 1080p clip. Light sources are handled decently well. Noise is handled well, too and is almost absent.
Shadows are a bit too dark for our taste, but not dramatically so. Overall, the video is usable.