February 21, 2016
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lg g5 first look aa-6

With every year comes a series of new flagships that all claim to offer vast improvements in areas such as battery, performance and, more often than not, the camera. LG is no different, with the LG G5 offering a new dual camera set up coupled with the 16MP sensor found on the LG V10, but how does the new camera stack up to the competition?

Without doubt, the Galaxy Note 5 sports one of the best cameras on the market but six months later, does the LG G5 have enough to pick up the mantle from Samsung’s flagship? Is the wide-angle lens enough to make the LG G5 the best smartphone camera on the market or does the Galaxy Note 5 still reign supreme?

While we intend to test the camera fully as part of the upcoming review, we thought we’d put the LG G5 through a very quick camera test against the undoubted best all-round smartphone camera in the Galaxy Note 5. It’s worth keeping in mind that this isn’t final software or hardware on the LG G5 but it does give us a chance to form some very early impressions. Let’s take a closer look in this quick camera shootout; before we get into the images themselves, let’s look at the key camera specs of each handset:

 LG G5Galaxy Note 5
Main camera16MP16MP
Secondary camera8MP wide-angleNone
Aperturef/1.8f/1.9
FocusPhase Detection AutofocusAutofocus
Sensor size1/2.6"1/2.6"
Pixel sizeTBC1.12µm
Optical Image StabilisationYesYes
Manual mode?YesYes
Video capture4K @30fps
1080p @60fps
4K @30fps
1080p @60fps
Front camera8MP
1440p video
5MP, f/1.9
22mm
1440p video

Below you’ll find the Galaxy Note 5 images on the left and the LG G5 images on the right. Where possible, we’ve kept to the same focal width but with the automatic switch between standard and wide-angle views on the LG G5, this isn’t always possible.

With each set of images, we’ve detailed which image was the most lifelike along with any other observations we made.

Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-Samsung1
Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG1

The Galaxy Note 5 is affected by external light flares, which results in a slight washing out of the photo’s colours, while the LG G5 produces a vibrant, yet slightly darker image.

Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-Samsung2
Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG2

The Galaxy Note 5 overcompensates for the colours in the scene with over saturation on the stand and the wood background, while the LG G5 does seem a lot closer to the actual scene.

Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-Samsung3
Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG3

Here, the LG G5 image seems to be a tad dull, whereas the Galaxy Note 5 image is slightly oversaturated but still the closest to the actual scene. It’s also worth noting the detail of the individual lights in the chandelier is more defined in the Galaxy Note 5 image.

Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-Samsung4
Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG4

Here the differences between the two cameras are very minimal, with good lighting meaning both cameras are almost identical to the actual scene. The LG G5 camera does product a slightly darker image but this also comes with more definition in the background.

Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-Samsung5
Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG5

Again, the two cameras produce very similar photos but the LG G5 is actually closest to the overall scene. It’s worth noting that neither phone captured the detail near the window to the right of the scene in the background.

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Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG6

Here, the Galaxy Note 5 proves to take the better image, with the bust having more detail and vibrant colours than the image captured by the G5.

Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-Samsung7
Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG7

Both images are a little noisy when you zoom into them, but the LG G5 does appear to be slightly more defined although the Galaxy Note 5 captures more detail in the background.

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Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG8

The Galaxy Note 5’s oversaturation leads to an image where the colours are too saturatated and not reflective of the actual scene. In comparison, the G5’s image is almost identical to the actual scene, aside from it being slightly darker.

Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-Samsung9
Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG9

Both cameras fail to capture the scene accurately, with the Galaxy Note 5 presenting more saturated colours and the G5 image appearing to be darker than the actual scene. Given the Galaxy Note 5 image is more saturated, it does appear to be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-Samsung10
Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG10

With many different colours and a lot information to capture, this is a scene that could prove a challenge for most smartphones. Both smartphones take great images here but the Galaxy Note 5 does seem to be more defined, with the LG G5 just losing out on a lack of detail when you get into the image.

Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-Samsung11
Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG11

Here, the over-saturation on the Galaxy Note 5 again means it doesn’t accurately reflect the scene, and the LG G5 does a better job at accurately portraying the various colours in the painting on the wall.

Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-Samsung12
Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG12

While the Galaxy Note 5 image does appear to look more pleasing, it is actually the LG G5 that offers the truest portrayal of the scene as the Galaxy Note 5’s image is warmer and heavily oversaturated. The G5’s picture is more natural but there is slight blooming in the highlights.

Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-Samsung14
Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG14

Both images are very similar and each smartphone camera seems capable of handling the various colours and details in the scene.

Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-Samsung15
Note-5-vs-G5-Camera-LG15

Here the LG G5 seems to handle the light flare from the right of the scene much better than the Galaxy Note 5, which seems to struggle with the light flare and under saturates the colours in the image.

There’s no denying that the LG G5 is definitely a step up from past LG smartphones with accurate and great photos in most conditions. Does it surpass the Galaxy Note 5? That’s a question we’ll answer in a more in-depth comparison once we have a production unit in the coming weeks but for now, let us know your views and which handset you think has the better camera in the comments below!

Nirave Gondhia
Nirave is one of the Managing Editors and a fan of travel. He's worked in technology for over ten years (including stints at two carriers in the UK) and reported on it for nearly nine years. In my spare time, A big football (soccer to those over the pond) fan and avid supporter of Man United for over 20 years, he reads a lot, loves a cocktails and blogs about travel.
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