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

LG G3 photo with flash

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?

Comments

  • Thomas Su

    Galaxy S5 vs LG G3 camera shootout?

    • jjj

      G3 win big time, especially in low light situation.

  • supremekizzle

    Not really a shootout without a second, third, fourth, etc device…. If it’s a shootout with itself, it should be “LG G3 camera suicide”…

    • jjj

      Are you retard?

      • supremekizzle

        No, but obviously you are. If you were trying to ask me if I am of mental functioning at or below an IQ level of 80; than the correct way to ask me would be: “are you retarded?” However, if you were trying to make a statement or observation about my severely crippled brain, than the correct way would be: “You are a retard.” Or an even more simple and eloquent one word statement would have sufficed: “Retard.”

        Either way, the answer is no. I was simply pointing out that a camera shootout involves two or more cameras.

        • jjj

          Then you are really retard.

          Stop trolling with just the word “shoot out”

          • MrMagoo

            Seriously man… what are you smoking?! Your last statement didn’t help your cause in any way. He was merely stating that a “shootout” would mean it was shootout against other cameras. I was also thinking the same thing, and I’m sure there were others thinking the same. And btw nice schooling @supermeskizzle!

  • qazyjc
  • Piotr Rogulski

    Well, that donut is the best part of this article.

  • Corbin Crutch

    I’ve always loved LG’s phones. I’m glad they’ve made real improvements on the camera – however the flash seems disappointing

  • Andrew White

    Joshua…I would like to see images of 4k video and hdr photos loaded into a 4k TV i.e a Samsung, Sony or an LG.
    I recently bought a 65″ curved UHD set a couple of weeks ago and would like your impressions of how the new flagship devices, including Oppo’s Find 7 actually compare on the big screen.
    Nice review, keep em coming!

  • danqi zheng

    Nice!!! quite suitable for selfie-lovers like me haha!

  • Eddy

    Its size won’t be for everyone, and we do wish LG would take a closer look at the audio side of things, but there’s no denying that its high-res capabilities, mixed in with a stunning video performance, great design and superb user experience make it a very tempting choice.