Beam time: LG G3 Laser Auto Focus technology explained
posted by Daniel P. / May 28, 2014, 6:08 AM
If you've seen or heard about those laser beam range meters used in construction and/or interior decoration, the LaserAF technology that comes with the 13 MP camera of the G3 works in a very similar way. The LaserAF module on the back of the G3 emits pulses of low-intensity infrared light through collimating optics, and the precisely located elliptical infrared sensor to the left of the camera waits for the rays to get refracted, and bounce back to it. Needless to say, the cone-shaped beams are certified to be eye-safe, not like on some of those cheap laser pointers that burn retinas... or eyebrows. The electronics then continuously measure the round trip travel times for each infrared pulse beam, establishing a precise range to the subject. After the ISP receives the measurements of exactly how far is the object or scene of interest in front of the lens, it locks in the respective focus depth. This all happens for a fraction of a second, without wandering around, or second-guessing. To be more precise, LG touts 0.276 seconds autofocus time, which is quite impressive indeed.
We wouldn't say, however, that this focusing period differs that much from the 0.3 seconds that Samsung touts for its Galaxy S5, or HTC for its One (M8). Given that the three manufacturers say they achieve the rapid autofocus with different methods - Samsung with its Phase Detection Auto Focus system, HTC with its Duo Camera setup that uses a second sensor/lens kit for added depth perception, and now LG with the LaserAF system.
The LaserAF speed, however, is not the whole story with the LG G3 here. The precise distance pointer helps establish the perfect focus on exactly the object or person you desire, for instance, plus it helps in tracking when those objects are moving, constantly beaming infrared laser pulses back and forth, and making the focusing system work both hard and smart for its money. Check out how the whole system performs from the 0:35 point in the video below.
- Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
- Camera 13 MP / 2.1 MP front
- Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
- Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
- Battery 3000 mAh(21h 3G talk time)
Posts: 549; Member since: Apr 30, 2012
I'm quite skeptical on the necessity of this dedicated hardware knowing that it's achievable through software algorithm like on the S5.
posted on May 28, 2014, 5:36 AM 2
Posts: 621; Member since: May 07, 2012
well on the S5 it's not only the algorithms but the ISOCELL sensor also helps in the pictures. But the S5 does have some weak points because sometimes it does not focus as fast as advertised when the two objects are not obvious due to lighting conditions. Anyways gotta wait for a side by side comparison to see the real difference
posted on May 28, 2014, 5:40 AM 4
Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013
thats pretty dam awesome, I'm a camera guy and a good camera in a phone is important to me and i want to see how this competes with the 0.6 sec autofocus time on the S5
posted on May 28, 2014, 5:37 AM 7
Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012
I don't really care how fast the autofocus is, but if this really helps to get the focus right in very minimal lighting conditions, it's a good feature indeed.
posted on May 28, 2014, 6:17 AM 3
Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013
You dont? The G2 in night time takes 3-5 seconds to autofocus, taking a family photo makes you look like an idiot standing trying to focus while the S4 and others could autofocus in less than 2 seconds. It makes a HUGE difference being able to focus fast.
posted on May 28, 2014, 6:29 AM 5
Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011
Got rid of my galaxy note 3 as my second phone and got the Lg G2, hopefully those features come to my G2....my 1520 still my main phone
posted on May 28, 2014, 6:53 AM 0
Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011
Sorry but your G2 isn't going to have the AF feature :/ it just doesn't have the hardware for it.
posted on May 28, 2014, 7:16 AM 0
Posts: 147; Member since: Apr 27, 2014
i only wish there was a nexus 6! G3 is awesome
posted on May 28, 2014, 7:12 AM 0
Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010
Don't give up hope. While it may not be called the Nexus 6, I find it hard to believe that Google is bailing on the smartphone hardware market segment.
posted on May 28, 2014, 7:33 AM 0
Posts: 405; Member since: Nov 03, 2012
Google Play devices do not meet the low price ranges of the Nexus devices. I bought a Nexus 5 due to the price to performance ratio and unless the Google Play devices are going to drop to Nexus prices, they cannot effectively replace the Nexus initiative.
posted on May 28, 2014, 11:17 AM 0
Posts: 19; Member since: Aug 06, 2012
This description of the LaserAF contradicts what I've read elsewhere. Other sites are saying it's basically just a projected grid using an infrared laser and using the contrast detect autofocus. I'm curious to see who's right.
posted on May 28, 2014, 11:47 AM 1
Send a warning to post author
Send a warning to Selected user.
The user has 0 warnings currently.
Next warning will result in ban!
Ban user and delete all posts
Message to PhoneArena moderator (optional):