The Poco F5 uses the same camera hardware as its predecessor. The main camera uses a 64MP OmniVision OV64B40 sensor, 1/2.0" in size and with 0.7µm pixels. The sensor is paired with a f/1.8 aperture and a lens with optical stabilization. In our opinion, this sensor is a bit outdated, particularly for the given price range. We've seen bigger sensors in the same price category.
The ultrawide camera is still 8MP and uses Sony's IMX355 sensor, which is pretty small in size - 1/4.0", 1.12µm and is paired with f/2.2 aperture. For the macro shots, the phone is equipped with the usual 2MP f/2.4 shooter.
The selfie camera has changed this time around. The new setup uses Samsung's S5K3P9SP04 16MP camera with f/2.5 aperture. Last year's F4 had a 20MP unit.
The camera app is a rather straightforward implementation, though it does have its quirks. First, basic operation for changing modes works with side swipes (on the black bezel!), and you can also tap on the modes you can see to switch to those directly.
Up and down swipes don't work for switching between the front and rear cameras; only the toggle next to the shutter release does that.
You can add, remove, and rearrange modes in the main rolodex by going to the More tab and navigating to the edit button, and you can access that from the settings menu as well. The unused modes will still be in that More tab, but you can switch to a (less intuitive) pull-out pane that's summoned from a line next to the shutter release.
The hamburger menu at the far end is where you'll find additional options, including the Macro mode, which apparently still doesn't deserve a place in the main carousel with modes. Next to that hamburger menu, you have a flash mode switch, an HDR switch, an AI toggle, and a shortcut to Google Lens.
At the near end, you have the camera zoom switch that operates in one of two fashions. The first one is simply tapping on one of the three dots that represent the ultra-wide, primary, and 2x digital options. Or you can tap on the active magnification and slide sideways to reveal even more zoom levels - 2x and 10x, plus a slider for intermediate magnifications. Also around is a magic wand with beauty effects and filters.
There's a nicely capable Pro mode, where you can tweak the shooting parameters yourself. You can use the primary and the ultrawide cameras here. You get to pick one of 4 white balance presets or dial in the light temperature with a slider, there's a manual focusing slider, and shutter speed (1/4000s to 30s/0.8s for main/ultrawide) and ISO control with the range depending on which camera you're using. A tiny live histogram is available, and a toggle for zebras can be found next to the hamburger menu.
As expected, there's a host of extra modes, including Long Exposure with its own set of different presets - moving crowd, neon trails, oil painting, light painting, starry sky, and star trails.
Night mode is available on the main and ultrawide cameras. There is also Auto Night mode enabled by default in settings.
To be honest, we were skeptical about the Poco F5's main camera performance in the sense that there won't be any improvements from last year's F4, which makes good stills to begin with. However, the F5 shows a big improvement in overall quality. Maybe the new ISP inside the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 deserves some credit. Either way, the daylight samples below are really impressive.
All of the photos we took offer a great level of fine detail, excellent sharpness and wide dynamic range. Colors are vibrant but not too over the top, except maybe for the green grass and foliage. Those appear a bit too saturated.
Noise is well-controlled even in indoor settings, and detail remains ever so impressive. The Poco F5 definitely punches above its weight in the camera deparment.
The full-resolution 64MP samples also look quite good. For a bit more noise, some softness and no HDR, you get even more detailed images. So it's up to you to decide whether the trade-off is worth it.
The 2x zoom crop looks quite good. It's definitely above the average for the price bracket showing a good level of detail, minimum loss of sharpness and retains the overall rendition from the standard 1x zoom mode. And extra points to Xiaomi for including an OIS. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference for short zooms like 2x, but it does make the shooting experience a tad more enjoyable. And besides, it's likely to get a shaky image when you have one chance to capture the moment.
The rather unimpressive 8MP ultrawide camera managed to deliver decent stills in good lighting conditions. The overall quality is definitely above average, considering the rest of the midrangers with the same 8MP shooter. Detail and sharpness, although unimpressive, are decent enough. Dynamic range is also okay, but we mostly liked the color rendition and contrast. These are not your usual washed-out 8MP ultrawide samples.
The Poco F5 doesn't disappoint even after dusk. The main camera delivers impressive sharpness with fine detail in abundance. Dynamic range is more than adequate, and only high-contrast scenes seem to produce clipped highlights, whereas shadows retain quite a bit of detail. Light sources look good for the most part, and noise can be spotted only in the darker corners of the scene and in the sky. Contrast, color and color temperature seem to be on point too.
To our surprise, the Night mode produces images of lesser quality. Xiaomi went overboard with the sharpening and noise suppression. Some details and straight lines become thick, while the complex surfaces are flattened out by the noise suppression algorithm, wiping away most of the detail.
On a more positive note, the Night mode improves the dynamic range by fixing the clipped highlights, fixes the light sources, brightens up the image and goes for a bit juicier colors.
The same goes for the 2x zoom mode, but everything is exaggarated. Having said that, the standard 2x zoom samples are usable for social media purposes. But if the scene gets too dark, the stills get too noisy and soft.
The ultrawide camera produces subpar images at night. The photos are dark, they lack detail, and the dynamic range is inadequate.
With night mode, the highlights get restored, however, that's of little use when the photos look blurry and almost defocused.
Here's how the primary camera on the Poco F5 stacks against the rest of the competition in the controlled environment of our Photo Compare Tool.
The macro camera delivers subpar images, as it's usually the case with this outdated 2MP shooter. Photos look lifeless, lack contrast and there's not much detail coming out of the tiny 2MP sensor.
Under the right lighting conditions, the portrait mode produces sharp images with plenty of fine detail and colors that are true to life. However, the subject's skin comes off a little pale most of the time and even the slightest drop in ambient light results in a noticeable drop in detail. Still, overall performance in more challenging conditions is more than adequate.
The edge detection algorithm is a hit-and-miss, especially with a more complex background or when you have an object on the foreground. Notice the Lego scooter in the fourth scene.
The selfie quality is somewhat uninspiring. There's plenty of detail in the shots, and sharpness isn't too bad even in more challenging lighting, but colors seem a bit too conservative, and all of the samples look grainy.
The device's video recording capabilities cap at 2160p@30fps with its main camera, while the ultrawide can only do 1080p videos since its resolution is just 8MP. The phone also offers a so-called Steady video mode, which mimics an action camera-like stabilization. In this mode, the video resolution is capped at 1080p as well, probably due to the real-time processing it requires.
The video footage from the main camera at 4K resolution is quite crisp, with nice and vibrant colors, good dynamic range and adequate contrast.
The ultrawide video, on the other hand, is a whole different story. It has colors and contrast but lacks sharpness, detail and dynamic range. There's also a little bit of noise if you look close enough.
The difference between the standard 4K stabilized video and the Full HD Steady video isn't profound since the 2160p video's stabilization is pretty good on its own. And there's no extreme jello effect, either. Switching to the Steady video mode, naturally trims the field of view and makes stabilization a tad smoother, but it's hard to justify the loss in resolution. Maybe the 4K stabilization is good enough for the majority of cases.
Once you are done with the real-life scenarios, take a look at our video compare tool to see how the Poco F5 stacks against the other phones we've reviewed.