The primary camera on the Xperia 5 IV captures excellent photos in daylight conditions. Just like the Xperia 1, the new Xperia 5 offers an incredibly balanced and natural look for photos that only a handful of phones can pull off these days.
The sample photos we captured on the Xperia 5 IV excel in resolved detail and show natural sharpness and potent noise reduction. The white balance is superb, and the colors are lively and realistic.
The contrast across all photos is great, while the dynamic range is natural - it is good, but it keeps the shadows natural-looking, and we do like Sony's take on the processing. In fact, we think that at 1:1 magnification, Sony's rendering of fine detail so good that it's hardly matched by another cameraphone.
While the ultrawide camera supports autofocus, it cannot focus at 4-8cm away. That's why the Auto mode prefers taking macro photos with the main camera. And those are particularly good with outstanding detail and just the right sharpness.
The ultrawide camera produces great photos, too - they are rich in detail with incredibly good central areas and more than acceptable corner areas. with proficient distortion correction is proficient.
The Sony's processing keeps its A game across the ultrawide camera with outstanding white balance, color accuracy, and balanced dynamic range. There is some noise visible upon closer examination, but it's perfectly tolerable.
Overall, the 12MP ultrawide photos offer flagship level quality.
While Sony is using the same 12MP sensor for the zoom camera, the lens are different - it's a 60mm f/2.4 lens now with OIS (2.5x optical zoom) and there are no different zoom steps like on previous Xperia 1 and Xperia 5 models.
So, the zoomed photos we took on the Xperia 5 IV offer the same potent processing the others camera do, they just have lower per-pixel detail than the other images due to the smaller sensor with tinier sensor pixels.
Even with the less impressive detail, it is still enough, and smear spots are a rear occasion. The photos are quite nice with the right amount of sharpness, superb contrast, accurate colors and the usual good but not over the top dynamic range.
Portrait mode is called Bokeh and there is a toggle for it in the viewfinder.
The bokeh photos from the main camera are great - the subjects are detailed and sharp, with outstanding white balance and accuracy, and well-exposed. HDR is at play, but it's not over the top, like everything else about Sony's processing.
The subject separation is proficient (to be tripped only by messy hair), and the adjustable blur is easily likable.
We are very happy with the portrait shots from the main camera.
The telephoto camera also offers good portrait shots, but they are inferior to the ones from the main camera due to the smaller sensor and darker lens.
There is enough detail and the photos do excel in colors, contrast and dynamic just like the standard ones, but they are not as detailed and sharp. The subject separation, however, is still quite good.
The Xperia 5 IV offers a much welcome selfie camera upgrade - there is now a 12MP front camera with a large 1/2.9" sensor. And while the focus is still fixed, the selfies are now outstanding.
These 12MP selfies are probably one of the most detailed we've seen in a while, with excellent resolved detail, balanced sharpness, realistic colors, and lovely dynamic. The noise is low, too.
Unlike previous models, there is no longer a Portrait Selfie mode - you just use the Bokeh menu from the viewfinder. And the quality of the portraits is great - the subjects are as detailed as on the standard photos, well exposed and with accurate colors. The blur is convincing, and the separation is good enough.
The main camera on the Xperia 5 IV captures very good low-light photos with a reasonable level of detail, low noise, excellent contrast, and a realistic look. The colors are excellent. Sometimes a bit punchier than they should have been, but that's alright.
Most of the photos were shot at 1/4s shutter speed, which explains why some of them might not be tack sharp.
There is certainly some HDR magic going on as more often than not light sources are well-contained with almost nothing clipped. However, we can't help but think that the dark shadows could have benefitted immensely from some sort of a Night Mode processing.
Overall, the Xperia 5 IV takes impressive low-light photos with its main camera, but it operates under the same limitations as a DSLR camera would. You need a way to keep the phone stable for longer exposures to get bright night-time photos and this puts it at a disadvantage compared to the competition where computational photography can turn night into day or simply complement a night scene where the light might not be very balanced.
The low-light photos we took with the ultrawide camera are nice, but the wider field of view means light is less balanced across the scene so you end up with large areas of overly dark shadows. The images are otherwise detailed, and the color saturation is great, but the absence of a Night mode is felt even stronger here - these photos are far from competitive.
The zoom camera does quite alright at night. The photos we took at scenes with sufficient light came out plenty good with more than enough detail, good sharpness, accurate colors, and better than expected dynamic. The noise is handled with high proficiency once again.
The photos we took in not-so-good light conditions aren't bad either, they are just dark and less colorful.
And here are photos of our usual posters taken with the Xperia 5 IV. You can see how it stacks up against the competition. Feel free to browse and pit it against other phones from our extensive database.
We shot photos side by side with the Xperia 1 IV and found that the Xperia 5 IV, having the same camera sensors and chipset, produces identical photos with its main and ultrawide cameras.Xperia 5 IV and the Xperia 1 IV
The only difference we could find is that the white balance on the Xperia 5 IV samples is more accurate for some reason.
And here are the ultrawide photos.
The same goes for the low-light performance - identical photo quality with a barely noticeable difference in the color temperature - the Xperia 1 IV photos are a tiny bit cooler.
And here are the ultrawide photos.
So, as far as photo quality is considered, it is identical on the primary and ultrawide cameras of the Xperia 5 IV and Xperia 1 IV.
The Sony Xperia 5 IV captures video up to 4K30 and 1080p/60fps with all four cameras via the default Photography Pro app. Using the Video Pro app also unlocks 4K mode up to 120fps on all rear cameras, too, and it's easy shooting with this app if you want a point and shoot 4K at 60fps or 120fps clip that doesn't necessarily need to be processed later.
Using the Cinema Pro app, you can unlock a host of other frame rates on all rear cameras - you get 4K at 24, 25, 30, 60, and 120fps, though that's not the full 16:9 UHD type of 4K, but 21:9 3840x1644px instead. The Pro in the name implies a better understanding of video capture parameters and workflow from the user. It requires a certain level of ability (and willingness) to post-process the footage - you likely won't be shooting casual 4K60 clips using the Camera Pro app.
The Xperia 5 IV, just like the Xperia 1 IV, offers the option to shoot videos with Wide Dynamic Range. This is done by combining multiple frames, but it's not your default setting for a reason - when shooting in WDR, stabilization and 60fps capturing are not supported.
Optional SteadyShot EIS stabilization is available across all four cameras. The primary and the telephoto also include OIS, which is always active, SteadyShot or not. And SteadyShot does an excellent job in stabilizing the footage at the expense of small FoV shrinkage, so you better keep that on.
The 4K30 clips have a video bit rate of about 55Mbps, while audio is captured stereo with 156 kbps bit rate. You can enable Intelligent Wind Reduction, a real-time filter that eliminates wind noise if present.
All videos we captured on the Sony Xperia 5 IV have superb audio quality with rich and deep sound.
The default 4K30 video footage from the main camera is excellent as it has the same natural rendition as the photos we took earlier. Everything looks detailed, well-developed, and not over-sharpened like on many other phones. The resolved detail is plenty, and the noise is low.
The videos excel in white balance and color accuracy, too. The contrast is good, and so is the dynamic range.
We have certainly seen 4K videos with more detail - this is the one thing the Xperia 5 IV does not really ace. But it is enough, and the natural look does make up for that.
The 4K30 videos from the ultrawide camera are impressive, especially considering the 16mm ultrawide-angle lens. There is an excellent level of detail for such a camera, the same natural processing as everything else on the Xperia cameras, accurate colors and great contrast. The noise is handled very well.
Another impressive treat from this ultrawide camera are the corners - they are not smeared or blurred as on other ultrawide cams, and we can only praise Sony for making the whole video this sharp.
Indeed, the ultrawide camera on the Sony Xperia 5 IV is among the bests UW shooters a phone can offer in 2022.
Quite expectedly, the zoom camera also offers excellent 4K30 videos, rich in detail and with natural sharpness. The colors are top-notch, the contrast is good, and the dynamic range is pretty great. The noise is once again incredibly low.
The Wide Dynamic Range videos do keep the highlights from clipping. They also deepen the shadows and increase the contrast, which is not exactly Wide Dynamic Range should be doing. Anyway, we found the WDR videos a bit more pleasant than the Standard ones, though SteadyShot EIS is not available, which is essential these days and that's why we'd prefer the regular ones.
And here are some screen grabs you can compare for yourself.
Finally, the low-light videos from the main camera are okay even if nothing impressive. The detail is enough, the noise is tolerable, and the exposure is good, realistic if you will. The colors are true to life.
Finally, here is the Xperia 5 IV in our video tool so you can make your own comparisons.