LG G4: Fast lens, sharp images without flash

Image quality on the LG G4 is pretty good. In bright sunlight, the colours were accurately reproduced.
Image quality on the LG G4 is pretty good. In bright sunlight, the colours were accurately reproduced.PHOTO: LG

But panoramic images not as good as most of its competitors'

The rear camera of the LG G4 has received a 3-megapixel (MP) bump from that of its predecessor, G3, to 16MP. But the improvement to its front-facing camera is more dramatic - up to 8MP from a mere 2.1MP in G3.

The rear camera uses a slightly bigger 1/2.6-inch image sensor, compared with the 1/3-inch one in G3, but the pixel size remains at 1.12 microns.

The G4 has the fastest lens of this round-up, given that its lens has the biggest maximum aperture of f/1.8.

Like the G3, the G4 has all its buttons, including volume and power, at the back of the phone.

You can use the volume-down button to trigger shutter release. Double-pressing on this button activates the camera app.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $888 (Dual-LTE version tested)

    REAR CAMERA: 16-megapixel (1/2.6-inch) 29mm f/1.8

    FRONT-FACING CAMERA: 8-megapixel 25mm f/2.0

The camera app is pretty basic. It has Auto, Panorama, Dual Camera (which combines the pictures taken with the front and the rear cameras into one photo) and Slow-Mo video modes.

There is also a full manual mode, in which you have control over settings such as white balance, ISO, shutter speed and aperture.

Perhaps a gimmick, you can actually activate the shutter release via voice recognition in a feature called "cheese shutter". When turned on, you take a picture by saying words like "cheese", "kimchi" or "LG".

Image quality is pretty good. In bright sunlight, the colours were accurately reproduced. The sky and the clouds were beautifully rendered. However, the areas in shadow could do with crisper details.

Panoramic images were not as good as most of its competitors'. Exposures for different parts of the image were not exactly spot-on. I also found slight misalignments between the stitched images, but they were only apparent if you looked closely.

Under dim artificial lighting and without the use of flash, the images were sharp and smooth, unlike the grainy feel of the photos taken with its predecessors. The skin tones and the ambient light looked natural.

But when shot with flash, the images looked warmer, or redder.

Night shots were pretty good. It was able to capture adequate details of the clouds in the dark sky, as well as keep the lighting of the buildings from being overexposed. You can even see the details in the darker areas of the images.

Selfies were excellent, with smooth but natural-looking skin and accurate exposure of the surroundings.

• Verdict: Like its predecessor, the LG G4 is great for night shots and selfies.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2016, with the headline 'Fast lens, sharp images without flash'. Print Edition | Subscribe