The Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus features a 13MP camera with a maximum resolution of 4160 x 3120 pixels in its native 4:3 mode. The lens has an f/2.2 aperture. A single-LED flash is present but there are no niceties in the line of OIS and phase detection/laser autofocus - not that you'd expect them at the price point.
The user interface of the camera app is logically laid out. On the top left you get four shortcuts (front/rear camera switch, flash mode selector, HDR toggle and shutter release mode). The settings menu is accessed via a dedicated shortcut in the bottom left corner, which brings up a tabbed interface with tabs for stills, video and general settings.
Lenovo has provided the basic shooting modes - there's Normal, Panorama and Effects. While other makers give you a Pro/Manual mode, here you can just go about and tinker with some of the variables from the settings menu. You get white balance presets, and manual ISO selection, but also access to image properties - sharpness, saturation, the lot.
The camera output of the Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus is on the good side of average with a lot of resolved detail, though images are a little on the soft side. Sharp edges and lines are rendered decidedly better than foliage - tree leaves aren't particularly well defined. The shadows are also riddled with noise.
Color reproduction is generally accurate, with just a bit too much saturation, though you can adjust that with the sliders in settings, if you don't like the added punch. White balance suffers on occasion and you get one very warm photo, but starting with the second, it catches up and brings things to normal.
The smartphone consistently exposes well, there are no pronounced tendencies to err on either side. Dynamic range isn't among the K5 Plus' greatest strengths - shadows often end up pitch black.
The HDR mode on the Vibe K5 Plus does what it's meant to - brightens up the shadows and tones down the highlights. On occasion it produces over-the-top results, in other scene the effect is more natural. HDR shots are a touch softer than regular photos, but overall detail is preserved. Oddly, the FOV gets a tiny bit narrower in the process.
The Panorama mode on the Vibe K5 Plus is but a tick in the specsheet. At a little over 600 pixels tall panoramas are lacking in resolution and are very much useless.
You can take a look at how the Lenovo K5 Plus stacks up against the competition in our Photo Compare Tool.
The Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus is equipped with a 5MP front-facing camera, mated to a rather dim by today's standards f/2.8 lens. It creates detailed images but has limited dynamic range. For what it is, though, the selfie camera does a good job.
FullHD at 30fps is the best the Vibe K5 Plus can offer in video recording, but that's hardly grounds for complaint in this price range.
Videos are recorded with a bit rate of 20Mbps with a stereo audio stream at 96Kbps. The captured detail is about average, it's certainly not impressive, but we've seen worse. Perhaps the most annoying bit about the K5 Plus' video recording is the persistent focus hunting, which you can observe no less than 4 times in the 30-second video below.
You can also download the 1080p video sample (11s, 28MB) taken straight from the Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus.
You can check out our Video Compare Tool to see how the Lenovo K5 Plus fares against the competition when it comes to video capturing.