LG G4 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge – Camera Shootout

by: Joshua VergaraJune 10, 2015

The LG G4 and Samsung Galaxy S6/edge are currently some of the best Android phones you can get your hands on. Both handsets have received no shortage of compliments, and deservedly so. We’ve already pit the flagships from the two Korean giants against each other in a comprehensive comparison but, as promised, today we’re going to focus on one particular aspect that makes both these devices amazing: the camera experience.

Kicking things off with their respective self-portrait taking capabilities, looking at the image above and in the video, it’s obvious that the LG G4 does tend to overexpose some parts of these photos, and the field of view of the 8 MP front-facing shooter is somewhat narrow. The 5 MP front-facing unit of the Galaxy S6 does comes with a wider angle lens, and also benefits from a Wide Selfie Mode that allows you to use a panoramic motion in order to get more people into your shot. On the other hand, the LG G4 comes with a slew of gestures in order to make taking selfies a little more exciting, but the most useful of the lot is the ability to bring down the phone to a viewing angle that automatically lets you see the selfie you just took.

Moving onto the rear cameras, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge pack 16 MP rear shooter with a f/1.9 aperture and OIS, while the LG G4 also features a 16 MP unit with f/1.8 aperture and OIS+, as well as a laser guided auto-focus system and a color spectrum sensor that flank the camera.

In lower light situations, the G4 still ends up over exposing the shot a little too much, and when there is a prominent light source on the subject, it will tend to be more blown out. Testing these cameras out during a concert, with the band members on stage being under very bright lights, you can see that even with spot metering you’re not going to be able to get a very good shot in the basic mode. That is where the Pro Modes comes in.

The Pro Mode of the Galaxy S6 isn’t very robust, and there aren’t a whole lot of settings that you can manipulate, but you can bring the exposure compensation slider down, for example to -2, that does make for a somewhat better shot. The G4 did a better job with the exposure, despite the fact that, with the faster shutter speed that ISO had to compensate for, there ended up being a lot of grain in the shot. So in this situation, you’ll have to take your pick between a shot that is a little bit more overexposed with the Galaxy S6, or a better looking photo in terms of color and exposure with the LG G4 but with a lot more grain in the image.

As you may have noticed in the videos taken during the concert, taking a video makes the settings revert to what you get with the auto mode, and it is disappointing that the manual settings don’t have any effect on the video content.

Moving to the outdoors and other well-lit situations, both cameras do an excellent job, but unsurprisingly, the Galaxy S6 does tend to oversaturate the shots a little bit. In some instances, this means the availability of deeper blacks and more contrast, and the punch in the colors can get to be a little much, even if some people do prefer that. In the case of the LG G4, the color reproduction is a lot more accurate because of the color spectrum sensor.

There were a few rare instances where the G4 actually saturated the photo a little bit more than the Galaxy S6, as you can see in the second set of images above. The G4 also lets you cater the shot more to you liking with the more robust Manual Mode that it features, and of course, you also have the ability to shoot in the RAW format, and use the RAW capture photo in a program like Lightroom to make it look exactly the way you want it.

Apart from the image quality possible with both cameras, a mention has to be made with regards to the picture taking experience itself. Samsung introduced a new shortcut with the Galaxy S6 that allowed you to double tap the home button up front to bring up the camera app and start shooting right away. The LG G4 has its own shortcut as well, a double tap of the volume down button, but this isn’t just to launch the camera app, as it also ends up taking a photo. Now, if you haven’t already framed the scene correctly without the viewfinder, or if there is nothing to take at the time, the camera will still take a picture, and only then can you begin to cater your shot, making the G4 just a little bit slower in going from the prone position to actually being able to take photos.

Testing the optical image stabilization available with either device, you can see in the video above that the larger sensor of the G4 and the enhanced OIS does a great job in keeping things stable, while the resulting video with the Galaxy S6 is not as steady in comparison, and is a really big feather in the cap of the LG G4.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Camera Samples

While the Galaxy S6 tends to oversaturate, and the LG G4 has a penchant for overexposure, when it comes to capturing detail, both of these devices do a fantastic job. It’s only when you really zoom in to the photos that some disparities might come up, but is nothing significantly noticeable. You may see that the post processing that goes on results in a slight loss of sharpness in the case of the LG G4, but is something that is noticeable only when really zooming in to the shot.

LG G4 Camera Samples

So there you have it for this in-depth look at the LG G4 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge camera! As you may have noticed throughout the video, the Galaxy S6 does tend feature very punchy colors, but the color reproduction with the LG G4 is far from bland, and the shots still look really nice. Bottom-line, users will likely be happy regardless of which smartphone camera they end up choosing. It cannot be emphasized enough how great both of these cameras are, and we’ve come to a point in the Android world where the smartphone tech is getting more than good enough to replace regular point and shoot cameras. This is a wonderful thing to happen, and it will only continue to get better over the course of this year and beyond.

  • Jarek Bukowski

    Great photos after all… Looks like you have a really joyful life :)

  • Kwetsima Maluleke

    S6 is better.

    • V-Phuc

      what pics did you look at to say so? LOL.

      • The_Firm

        Obvious Samsung fanboy says so! heh

  • fast432


  • Lonatoon

    This cam with exynos , edges and much more features . Am ok with S6 and prefer s6

    • John Garlits

      It’s a great phone, but sub-par battery life, no software buttons in 2015, no sd capability (It’s just a tiny slot!) made it a no-go for me.

      • Sheldon75

        Software buttons? Really?
        Most annoying thing ever…for me, of course. Got 64gb, blazing fast ram, compared to sd

        • John Garlits

          Yeah, for me it just seems wrong, especially with the back button on the right side and having no ability to change it. If you’re used to it, I guess it works. 64GB is pretty good, but I’m spoiled with my 128 GB sd card. Sure, a bit slower, but no biggie for me. I guess I could live with those things, but limited battery life along with non-swappable is the deal-breaker. I was tempted, though. I hear the active version may have a larger battery, but I already chose (for the next 6 months anyway). The screen is great, and the edges are really cool. Nice size for one-handed use too.

          • S.Yu

            Lol Huawei has the back button on the left and many hate it(they say “Most people aren’t left-handed so why put it on the left!”), but there is a way to change it though, but then it’s a trade-off for screen space and I’d take screen space over the ability to customize the touch buttons.

  • S6 with manual mode of G4.

    • V-Phuc

      you wish!

      • John Garlits

        It would theoretically just take a camera software update, right?

        • WitchyWitch

          I think I read with 5.1.x Samsung plans to update camera controls. We will see.

      • S.Yu

        It’s already available in Europe and coming to other regions in a few days.

  • V-Phuc

    In daylight situations, both camera do equally well (the difference is just marginal to call a winner). However, in indoor or low light situations, the G4 can take much better images due to its Pro Mode. S6 is nowhere near. For instance, look at the apple&lime photo, or the steak photo to see what I meant. The ability to tinker with different settings to get a better image in low light/indoor conditions is something that everyone should look for in judging the camera performance in a phone. Bright daylight means nothing, or point and shoot means nothing either.

    • John Garlits

      Yeah, they’re about the same in this comparison. For most people or when you need the picture quickly, auto mode is what gets used primarily, so I wouldn’t say it doesn’t matter. From a certain point of view, though, you’re right, the best performance possible for each camera could only be assessed by expert use of pro/manual modes.

    • S.Yu

      Bright daylight doesn’t mean “nothing”, what you see here are the two best options on the market, that’s why bright daylight performance is close for both of them, just go check out M9 or the new Zenfone 2’s samples, they can’t even retain enough detail in full daylight, and have really bad DR too.

  • Todd Martineau

    Josh, where did you go to order that steak, vegetables and coleslaw? That picture is making me seriously hungry….thinking about setting it as my computer wallpaper…

  • leslien

    Samsung galaxy S6 edge camera sensor Imx 240 or isocell?

    • Rick_Deckard

      Either one…

  • Weneklek

    really close in my opinion but I prefer the G4’s. Sammy’s photos seems a bit over-saturated for my taste but it can really help depending on the shot as well.

  • Martin Lane

    Not read this yet but I have to ask, why do this when the 5.1.1 update is about to be released for the Galaxy S6, you will need to do all of this again? Seems like a waste of time.

  • Kotcha

    What’s funny is that in their “in depth review”, they didn’t spot the option to disable the automatic picture that the G4 takes when using the shortcut…

  • Rick_Deckard

    You can’t go wrong with either of these phones…

  • WitchyWitch

    What’s the longest shutter speed possible with G4, in manual?

    • Weneklek

      i believe 30 seconds

      • WitchyWitch

        Thank you, that sounds pretty good.

  • The_Firm

    From this sample G4 is overall winner. But still cant go wrong with most name brand flagship phones. Be interesting to see comparison with random Android phones from around the World. So many!!!

  • rodney brooks

    You were at the Packing house in that first picture right? I eat there all the time. Great food!

  • EvenInTheDarkestHour

    Darn close. Seemd that the S6 had a couple more strengths, but neither seems to be a bad choice. Thanks for the comparison.

  • jasonlowr

    s6 without a doubt, lg front camera seems washed out, and night photo is either overly exposed or too dimmed.

  • nebulaoperator

    I found LG to have slightly better colour reproduction and slightly upper hand in the lower light with images over all brighter . I am surprised how both camera perform very well I wish every other flagship had that quality

  • S.Yu

    The S6 is said to start offering RAW mode with its 5.1.1 update? This review would be more helpful updated.