Xiaomi Mi5S has Sony IMX378, now considered the best mobile camera sensor in the world.
The Sony IMX378 used in Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, and Xiaomi Mi5S is the highest quality mobile sensor ever.
According to DxO, the 12.3mp Sony IMX378 in Google Pixel scored 89, which puts it at the top of smartphone rankings, eeking out just over Samsung S7 Edge, and handily beating Google’s previous generation, Nexus 6P.
Further reading (opens in new tab)
DxO engineers report the Google Pixel camera performed well in all testing situations. They were especially impressed by the high level of detail retention and low noise regardless of lighting.
Additionally, DxO engineers have found Sony IMX378 in Google Pixel to have accurate exposure, great contrast and white balance, and fast autofocus.
DxO was also impressed by white balance and detail retention when shooting with flash, which are often problematic for many smartphones.
|Samsung S7 Edge
|Samsung S6 Edge Plus
|Sony Xperia Z5
|Samsung S6 Edge
|Google Nexus 6P
|iPhone 6 / 6S / 6 Plus
Sensor size over megapixels
These results show that in terms of image quality (IQ), sensor size and quality of sensor beats out megapixel quantity. Though, if you often do very large crops, or print bigger than 11×14, things can get a bit more complicated in regards to IQ.
Who is DxO
DxO, or DxOMark, is a French company widely respected as a top evaluator of cameras of all types, from compact to dSLR to mirrorless to mobile.
Xiaomi Mi5S standard has Sony IMX378 camera sensor
This comes as great news for Xiaomi lovers considering the newly released Xiaomi Mi5S.
It also gives us one more reason to choose Mi5S over Mi5S Plus, as the Mi5S Plus carries different sensors.
Will Xiaomi Mi5S camera be as good as Google Pixel?
Not necessarily. A smartphone camera, just like a standalone camera, depends on components other than the sensor.
In modern cameras, including smartphone cameras — multiple lenses, or ‘elements’, are combined to produce a ‘compound lens’.
Some will argue that the lens is the most important part of a camera. Indeed it’s critical. The lens is the part which is responsible for gathering and focusing light on the sensor. If light isn’t adequately directed, the result will normally be inferior sharpness and excessive artifacting.
Lenses are also often coated to help light along its path to the sensor as cleanly as possible.
With smartphones, the lenses generally don’t zoom (fixed focal length), which helps out a lot, as the lens only needs to be tuned to a single focal length and aperture, rather than multiple apertures and focal lengths as with zoom lenses.
The software, or jpg engine, which processes the images is also very important. It’s responsible for taking all of that data from the sensor and turning it into something worth looking at.
This is especially important in smartphones, as generally smartphone photographers don’t post process the RAW data from the sensor. They want to be able to shoot and have a photo ready to share with as little fiddling as possible.
One of the most important aspects of a jpg engine is properly cleaning noise from low light images. Clean up a photo too much and it becomes soft, don’t clean it enough and it’s left with too much noise.
Beyond noise, the jpg algorithms are also responsible for how much pop a photo has, cleaning up artifacts, and appropriately sharpening an image.
We have high hopes for Xiaomi Mi5S
We have good feelings about how the Mi5S camera will perform. We know the Sony IMX378 is an excellent sensor, and judging by the leaked Xiaomi Mi5S samples it’s a smartphone camera that shouldn’t disappoint.
It may not be exactly up to par with Google Pixel Sony IMX378, but it should come very close. The differences if they exist at all, at typical digital sharing sizes will likely go unnoticed.