LG G3 camera shootout

June 12, 2014
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LG’s latest flagship, the G3, is now becoming available in stores, and buyers have a lot to look forward to. In early hands-on impressions, the G3 garnered laudits for its crisp screen, thin bezel, and build quality, despite it being made of plastic instead of the rumored brushed metal. And no review of the device can overlook the G3’s camera, which features a laser-assisted focus system that enables super-fast shots and is a drastic improvement over the LG G2’s focus speeds.

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In this shootout, we take a look at the quality, features, strengths, and shortcomings of the LG G3’s camera.

Low light settings and 4K

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Like many flagship devices these days, the G3 is capable of shooting short clips in 4K resolution – check this sample to get a feeling of the G3’s 4K video mode.

Thanks to OIS, the G3 offers a great amount of detail even in low-light conditions. In our sample shots, 100 percent crops offer good detail. However, a level of noise and grain can still be seen, particularly in challenging conditions. Image stabilization does its job at reducing the adverse effects of shaky hands, though.

Simple selfies with gesture control

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For selfie-lovers out there, you will be glad to learn that the LG G3 offers a better way to take front-facing shots. With the gesture control feature, you simply show the camera a fist, and it takes a shot after a three-second countdown. No more fiddling with on-screen shutter buttons!

HDR works well

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As with most digital cameras, it’s in well-lit environments where the LG G3’s camera shines. You can play around with features like HDR, though, to make the most out of your smartphone photography. In our camera shootout on a cloudy day, HDR can drastically improve the image quality when taking outdoor shots with high contrast.

HDR takes different exposures and combines them into one photo, thereby normalizing the light levels and ensuring a fair amount of exposure and detail even in high-contrast situations.

Image stabilization comes in handy

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As you can see in the shootout video, image stabilization is adequate in both photo and video settings. This can come in helpful even if you already have steady hands.

Laser focus works as advertised

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Full resolution requires a 4:3 aspect ratio. Cropping to 100 percent will reveal that the laser focus does its job in making sure subjects are sharp. Check out our earlier feature for an explanation of how laser focus works.

Magic Focus

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This is LG’s selective focus feature, in which the camera takes several shots using different focal lengths, so you can select the desired focus after the shot is taken — similar to selective focus features on most other flagship devices of late.

Barebones interface

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When you launch the camera app, you’ll notice that it’s a touch-to-focus and touch-to-capture interface. There are no on-screen elements unless you call them up with the menu button.

Most of your smartphone photography on the LG G3 will likely be under Full Auto mode. Suffice to say, you won’t get too much in terms of control with the G3’s camera app. It won’t let you change ISO, white balance or other more advanced settings, but photos should turn out nicely in most situations.

In terms of color profile, the LG G3 produces photos that are a bit on the warm side. This is subjective, but I prefer warmer tones to cooler ones, so this works just fine.

Disappointing flash

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Unfortunately, the flash is a weak point of the LG G3’s camera, as it is too harsh to provide any balanced lighting during low-light situations.

Final thoughts

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The laser focusing system works incredibly well, and is decidedly much faster than the focusing system on the LG G2. Not only does it make smartphone photography, it also makes it more fun.

Gallery

There you have it. Are you impressed with the photography capabilities of the LG G3?

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