A 48MP main camera runs the show with a fairly wide f/1.7 aperture. The sensor is fairly large, measuring at 1/2.0" with 0.8µm pixels. Like the G 5G Plus, the ultrawide unit is 8MP with f/2.2 aperture and 1/12µm pixels.
And instead of a 5MP macro camera, the vanilla settles with a 2MP camera dedicated to macro stills and videos. The good news is that the autofocus has been retained, which greatly improves the camera experience.
The front-facing camera is again 16MP with f/2.2 aperture and 1.0µm pixels.
Motorola has introduced a big overhaul of its camera app with one of its recent updates, and the vanilla Moto G 5G comes with the latest version out of the box. For instance, the camera modes have been moved a little further from the viewfinder and are simplified. You can see only the standard Video and Photo modes, with the rest being neatly tucked away in the hamburger menu. The last mode you've select will temporarily appear next to the Photo mode.
Additional settings for each mode can be found right next to the lenses' toggles. There are the flash settings, timer, aspect ratio and the Active Photo toggle. This way, the viewfinder isn't overcrowded and is more straightforward.
The macro camera finally gets its own toggle, too, probably since there's no 2x zoom toggle. The rest of the settings, such as video resolution and other capture settings, can be found in the settings menu in the viewfinder's upper-right corner.
Given the handset's price range, the phone's primary camera can do pretty good daylight stills. The first thing we noticed is the competent HDR achieving a wide dynamic range and the overall sharpness and cleanliness of the photos. You can notice that there are some noisy patches in the shadows and some edge softness if you look close enough, but nothing alarming.
In fact, when compared to its more expensive sibling, the Moto G 5G takes sharper images than the Moto G 5G Plus. There's maybe some additional sharpening in the process that helps with the overall look. Otherwise, the vanilla Moto G inherits the contrasty look of the photos and the punchy colors. Also, don't mind the warm white balance; this is due to the sun's positioning and the time of the day.
As the light begins to drop, though, there's noticeable noise and drop in sharpness, as you can see from the indoor shots we took. Those scenes had decent lighting conditions too.
While there are some differences between the vanilla and the Plus models when it comes to the main camera's pictures, the ultrawide units seem to be pretty much identical and also on par with what most of the competition has to offer.
The processing is similar to the main camera, having a wide dynamic range, punchy colors and just the right amount of contrast. However, the details and sharpness are far from impressive, and there's almost always noise in the shadows. Notice how pronounced the grain is in the indoor shots. There seems to be some sharpening process leading to those easy-to-spot sharpening halos around the edges of the buildings or the windows. Also, the lens correction algorithm has a hard time keeping things straight as opposed to the Plus' ability to fix the distortion.
Although just 2MP, the macro camera can capture decent-looking close-up shots, and it's not hard to do so as it has autofocus as well. Most of the phone's competitors lack autofocus.
Pictures look sharp and punchy but fail to offer enough detail for a macro photo.
Gone is the sharpness as the light drops. The detail isn't aplenty either, and noise can be spotted from afar, especially in the shadows and homogeneous backgrounds. Some small patches in some of the scenes look like they were washed away by the noise reduction algorithm.
Still, the photos look way sharper than the Plus model and generally less foggy. The auto HDR does a pretty good job of balancing out the scene, making the light sources look okay and preserves quite a bit of detail in the shadows and highlights. Colors are accurate, and so is the white balance.
Switching on the so-called Night Vision mode can only affect the camera's performance positively. It has a more natural look than the Moto G 5G Plus since there is no oversharpening. The images look grainier, but only if you look from up close. It brightens up the image, too, bringing out considerably more detail from the highlights and shadows.
The best part is that the Night Vision mode takes just as much time as a standard photo. So no matter the night scenario, using the dedicated night mode is well recommended.
Sadly, the ultrawide doesn't support Night Vision, and, as expected, the images in the dark are far from stellar. To be frank, rarely do we see a good ultrawide camera in this price bracket during, let alone during the night. As expected, this one takes muddy, noisy, and virtually unusable photos as the light fades.
The portraits are actually really good, even in sub-optimal conditions. The software tends to go for a more warm white balance, but colors remain punchy and vibrant. The subject is almost always sharp and natural-looking. The faux bokeh effect is quite convincing, but it can definitely miss some edges or hair when introduced to a more complex background.
Selfies are a bit on the soft side, but they are also vibrant, with natural skin color and the subject's face is always well-exposed. And the portrait effect looks a bit over the top, to be honest, and often washes away some detail around the subject.
The phone can go up to 2160p@60fps, but to achieve the best possible quality, we've recorded a 4K sample at 30fps. The result was a good-looking video with plenty of sharpness, fine detail, and virtually no noise. Colors are close to real-life; the contrast is okay, and the dynamic range is wide enough too.
However, the exposure metering needs a little bit more work as you can clearly see the clipped highlights - the buildings in the distance, the white billboard on the street and the white cars passing by. And we can't really blame the weather as the sun was shining while recording this sample in particular.
The ultrawide camera can record videos as well but caps at 1080p. The exposure tends to be a little better - no clipped highlights while the shadows contain enough detail. No noise can be observed, and the color reproduction is on point. Sadly, the level of detail and the lack of sharpness, even for a Full HD video, keep us from giving it an excellent score.
Video stabilization is available for 4K videos at 30fps, and as you can see for yourselves, the EIS is doing a pretty good job too. We recorded a non-stabilized video for reference.