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Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Camera Comparison: Is Xiaomi following Apple’s Footprints?

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Couple of weeks back, Xiaomi launched the successor of Redmi 4 – the Redmi 5 along with a plus variant – the Redmi 5 Plus. As soon as we got our hands on these two smartphones, we did the unboxing (watch here) and compared them with each other (read here). And now we are going to do the Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 camera comparison.

Before we start the comparison, have a look on the camera specs of these two smartphones:

  Redmi 5 Redmi 4
Primary 12MP, f/2.2, PDAF, LED flash 13MP, f/2.0, PDAF, LED flash
Secondary 5MP 5MP

 

As you can see, Xiaomi has downgraded the lens and lens aperture of rear camera. The successor comes with a narrower aperture which means the Bokeh effect will be better on Redmi 5 while the overall image quality (including colors and white balance) is going to be better on the Redmi 4. Anyway, this is a theoretical thought, let’s head to the actual performance of their cameras.

DAYLIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY

While on-paper specs support Redmi 4, the actual performance of daylight goes in the favor of Redmi 5. I took multiple daylight shots and they looked better on Redmi 4 but as soon as I imported those pictures on laptop and zoomed them in, my initial thought changed. Have a look on the samples:

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Camera Comparison

As you can see, photos taken by Redmi 5 have more details and good sharpness compared to photos taken by Redmi 4. Another thing is that Redmi 4 seems to be producing oversaturated photos. Images are more colorful than the original scene. Have a look below:

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Camera

The Redmi 5, on the other hand, has managed to capture nearly realistic colors however; it won’t look good on the phone as it as lower pixel density. That’s why my initial thought was in the favor of Redmi 4.

In this section, the Redmi 5 is a winner.

HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE or HDR

As we have already told you in our previous article, Redmi 5’s HDR is not that effective but I think it’s a problem of optimization and can be fixed in upcoming update. Anyway, coming to the point, I took multiple HDR shots from both handsets.

Starting with color accuracy, none of them are good at producing actual colors. While the Redmi 4 produces oversaturated colors, the Redmi 5 goes with less saturation. Have a look on the non-HDR photo first:

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Camera Comparison | G2b

As you can see, samples from both smartphones look poles apart. They have less details and non-realistic colors. Now coming to the HDR photos, Redmi 4 is better than the Redmi 5 in terms of bringing details but again, colors are oversaturated. Have a look below:

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Camera | G2b

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 HDR Camera Comparison | G2b

In this section, deciding a winner is a bit tough but I would go with Redmi 4 for capturing good details.

BOKEH or DEPTH OF FIELD

As expected, the bokeh mode or depth of field is better on Redmi 5, thanks to its narrower f/2.2 aperture. Have a look on the sample image:

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Bokeh Camera Comparison | G2b

As you can see, both smartphones are good at creating depth of field. As both images look very good, I was curious to check the details. So I zoomed in and found that Redmi 5 is way better than the Redmi 4. Image taken from Redmi 5 was sharper and full of details compared to Redmi 4’s.

In this section, the Redmi 5 leaves Redmi 4 behind with flying colors.

INDOOR or ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING

Photos taken in the artificial lighting condition are also better on Redmi 5. Whether it’s HDR or non-HDR, the Redmi 5 takes a lead over Redmi 4. Have a look on the sample below:

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Camera | G2b

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In non-HDR photo, the Redmi 4 has some kind of whitish layer on the photo. Turning on HDR mode does bring some changes (more details and colors) but these changes aren’t better than the Redmi 5 (see below).

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 | G2b

Much like the previous section, the Redmi 5 is winner.

PANORAMA

As I have already told you in my previous article that the Redmi 5 has some optimization issues, it can be seen in this section. Have a look on the sample panorama images from both smartphones:

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Panorama

As you can see, images taken from Redmi 5 have less saturation, less details and less sharpness compared to images taken from Redmi 4. Even though pictures are a bit oversaturated on Redmi 4, I can say that these images are closest to the realistic colors.

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 panorama Comparison | G2b

This section is won by the predecessor aka Redmi 4.

LOWLIGHT

Much like previous sections, samples images from both smartphones look identical. So I zoomed them in to 100 percent to decide a conclusive winner. Before I talk about it, have a look on the samples (non-HDR images):

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Camera Comparison low light | G2b

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Camera low light | G2b

So, did you decide a winner? Of course, not. That’s what happened with me so I zoomed those images to 100 percent and found that Redmi 5 has more details and sharpness compared to the sample images of Redmi 4. However, both have noticeable noise in non-HDR photos. Have a look on the HDR images:

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Camera Comparison with zoom in | G2b

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Camera Comparison zoom| G2b

While HDR mode doesn’t bring much changes on Redmi 4 this time, the Redmi 5 takes a lead by producing bright and clearer image with good sharpness and details.

This section is won by the successor aka Redmi 5.

SELFIE

For selfie, both smartphones come with a 5 megapixels front facing shooter with dedicated beauty mode. I have two samples, one with beauty mode and another without beauty mode. Have a look on both:

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Selfie Camera Comparison | G2b

Redmi 5 vs Redmi 4 Front Camera Comparison | G2b

While their camera sensors are same, their actual performance isn’t. As you can see, the Redmi 4 takes a lead in beauty mode whereas the Redmi 5 takes a lead in normal selfies. Though zooming these samples to 100 percent reveals noise and less details.

In this section, no one is winner.

OUR VERDICT

While on-paper specifications of Redmi 4 is better than the Redmi 5, the actual performance goes in the favor of Redmi 5. Whether it’s daylight, bokeh, indoor light or lowlight, the successor is better than its predecessor. So if your primary objective is camera, we would recommend Redmi 5.

Further, you might be wondering why did I say “is Xiaomi following Apple’s footprint?” in the headline. I think that the performance of Redmi 4 has been downgraded after I updated it to MIUI 9. Have a look on Redmi 4’s camera samples taken back in June last year. They are far better than the samples taken now. Click here to check.

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