ASUS finally came up with some serious considerations for their Android device lineup, and the Zenfone series has a lot to say. For the smartphone category, the Asus Zenfone 5 has done an exceptional job especially with two things – interface and the camera app which helps a lot in making the camera captures different than what a capture would be like, from the same lens and sensor on a standard smartphone. PixelMaster is what the company has called it, and although these captures won’t be the most impressive ones, the Pixel Master technology seriously makes the captures better.
Talking about the numbers, the Asus Zenfone 5 comes with an 8-megapixel camera on the rear side and a 2-megapixel one on the front. The 8MP one is the Sony’s BSI sensor with a 5-element lens and combines with f/2.0 aperture. Although the company claims there is image stabilization included, we won’t vouch for it because there was some shake easily noticeable if the device is not held with a very stiff hand.
The Camera app in Zenfone 5 comes with several settings, modes, effects and everything is well spread out on the sides. The standard screen without any open options would let user set flash, switch between cameras, go to settings, view gallery, change modes, switch between photo and video recording. A couple excellent modes which one should really try out – Selfie and GIF animation. Selfie is where the phone lets you use the rear 8-megapixel camera instead of the front one, and the only thing you need to tell is the number of faces it needs to recognize. GIF animation is something which the device creates with a post-capture processing with the different photos that are taken in quick succession.
There is seriously a lot to play around with, and check out in the camera app. That is because of the options that are given, and you shouldn’t really restrict yourself to the simplest photo capturing.
At least with this device unlike the others in the competition, the Auto mode works great and you don’t really have to tweak any settings manually if a decent photo is what you need in natural light. HDR does the job in a better way, but it is not a preferred option when quick captures are needed, and a clear comparison between the Auto and HDR modes shows that there is not a vast difference between them. To be frank, although Asus tried to portray the PixelMaster technology as the best one for low light captures, that didn’t help much in the trials we did.
The photos in the night / low light conditions still had a lot of noise and they weren’t any different from a normal smartphone camera capturing a low light photo. The lowering of quality is contributed by the shutter which is not quick when the light is not abundant. Thus, while taking a photo in low light conditions, one has to ensure that there is no shake at all, and at least there is no light source from the front because that makes it even worse.
Overall, the camera of Asus Zenfone is not bad at all, because whatever complain we had was about the low light captures. For a 8MP camera, the Zenfone 5 has a very good camera which needs some good light (majority of smartphone cameras are the same) but if that is available, there is no disappointment at all.