The Lenovo S90 Sisley features a 13MP camera with a maximum resolution of 4208 x 3120 pixels in 4:3 mode, actually it's a little wider than that. It can also shoot in 16:9, but photos are cropped to 4096 x 2304 pixels.
Lenovo also boasts about the 8MP front-facing camera of the Sisley with its auto shutter gesture controls. The camera automatically takes a photo when you wave to capture, make the "piece" sign or blink in order to reduce shaking. Blink detection was surprisingly good, that is if you do it slow enough. The V-sign recognition is a hit and miss, while we couldn't get waving to work at all, but maybe we're just not selfie-proficient enough.
The user interface of the Lenovo S90 camera is friendly and logically laid out. On the top left you get four shortcuts (front camera switch, flash toggle, HDR and shutter trigger). The settings menu is accessed via a dedicated shortcut in the bottom left corner. It gives you access to HDR mode, Auto scene, geo-tagging, resolution settings, and anti-banding, among others.
Lenovo has provided the basic shooting modes - there's Normal, Panorama and Effects.
The Lenovo S90 captures images with plenty of detail. Despite the not-so-favorable shooting conditions, we were pleasantly surprised with its image quality. Colors are accurate as well.
Most of the time our unit was able to produce good detail and sharp results. Occasionally, some of the photos had some softer spots here and there. Noise levels are a bit high too, but it's tolerable.
The Sisley was fast to lock onto focus and taking multiple images in a succession is a breeze with low shot-to-shot times.
The Lenovo S90 managed to get close to subjects and offer detailed macro images. Quality is pretty good but manual focus seems to be playing a trick or two to the background.
Each manufacturer has their own way of dealing with HDR photography. High dynamic range shots aim to expose both the highlights and the shadows of a scene correctly.
The Lenovo Sisley snaps multiple images with different exposures and merges them to create its HDR shots. The results are generally nice, but Lenovo has perhaps gone a little overboard with the effect as it is very noticeable and sometimes even cartoon-like. The shooting process takes 2 to 3 seconds, during which the camera looks frozen and instructs you to hold the device steady, but this is more of an observation than a complaint.
Naturally, we shot our test posters with the Lenovo S90 Sisley and here's how it fared, compared against the Samsung Galaxy A5 and the iPhone 6. Of course, our tool allows you to compare it against any other smartphone that we've shot with.
The Lenovo S90 Sisley offers 1080p videos at 30 frames per second in addition to 720p videos, but there's no option for fast- or slow-motion capturing.
There's not a whole lot you can adjust in terms of video settings. You can set the focus to infinite or continuous as well as change the video quality. That's about it, which is quite disappointing. There is the option to shoot video in HD mode, but it's more of a quirk actually as it does bring out colors a bit, but at the expense of some fine detail.
1080p videos taken with the Lenovo S90 look good, but are not spectacular in any way. The level of resolved detail is ok, the white balance and colors are fine too. The videos look smooth with a framerate of about 29-30fps. Edge-to-edge sharpness is good, too.
Videos have a bitrate of 20Mbps and their stereo audio track in encoded in 96Kbps 2 channel AAC.
The video camera auto focus kept hunting which got annoying at times. This was also the case with the Lenovo Vibe X2 so probably it's how they like them over there in Lenovo R&D.
Below you can find the 1080p video sample along with the one shot with HDR enabled.
You can also download an untouched video sample - 0:11s, 27.8MB.
And finally, you can check out our video comparison tool to see how the 1080p videos taken with the Lenovo Sisley match the rest in resolution, color rendition and more.