The battle of OIS: Samsung Galaxy S6 vs LG G4

Optical image stabilization (OIS) has slowly, but steadily started making its way to top-rated smartphones and this year's flagships are overwhelmingly shipping with OIS. The use of optical stabilization can be roughly divided in two areas: the first one is keeping the camera module stable when taking a picture (which allows for faster shutter speeds and less blurry images, something especially noticeable in low light situtations), and the second one is in video where footage on the whole appears less jerky.

However, optical image stabilization systems do differ between each other, and that's why we were curious to compare the OIS on two popular smartphones: the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the LG G4. LG says it is using a second-generation optical stabilization system in the G4, one that provides better and more reliable results: "Optical image stabilization is also now better than ever too, so you get more crystal-clear images with less worry about camera shake. [SIC]"

Samsung, on the other hand, has included optical stabilization on its Galaxy Note series, but it's the first time we see it on a Galaxy S series device with the S6. Interestingly, though, once you fire up the camera app on the Galaxy S6, you see that it warns users that stabilization is not available in all video recording resolutions about 1080p at 30 fps (yes, that means that the stabilization is not available in 4K Ultra HD videos, nor in 1080p 60fps recordings).

With all those little differences mounting up, we were curious to see what are the actual, real-world differences between the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4 when it comes to how good they handle the task of stabilizing video. We have two test videos for the purpose (we're holding the two alongside and recording simultaneously so that all involuntary hand shake is identical on both): one in 4K Ultra HD (where the Galaxy S6 cannot use stabilization), and another one in 1080p at 30fps (where both should be able to use the feature).

In this 1080p test, for instance, you can clearly see how the Galaxy S6 mirrors every step we take on video and this results in a noticeable jerk in the video, while the LG G4 remains much steadier and the footage is much more pleasant to watch.

Interestingly, in the Ultra HD recording, there is more jerkiness in both videos - it's just a different type of instability, so it's hard to pick a single better-performing phone. What do you think: is OIS performance important to you and which one do you think does better?



1. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Very close comparison. Had a G2 before my S6 so I'm used to ois, would not like to not have it on my next device. Hopefully it becomes the standard.

2. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

S6 all the way, plus better colour reproduction by far.

3. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

S6 destroys g4. Seen in another far more shaky video.

4. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

G4 lags in 4k, just wow.

5. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

4K looks alot more jerky on the G4.. keeping OIS aside, S6s video quality is more pleasing overall.

6. Gibscreen

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 03, 2014

Worthless videos. You keep whip panning and walking at the same time so it's hard to see anything.

7. Shocky unregistered

The Galaxy S6 video just looks better, OIS is solid on the Galaxy S6 and seems to come out ahead in more comparisons.

8. barcas

Posts: 58; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Is it just me or did the GS6 look steadier in the 1080 test?

12. manojmcn

Posts: 634; Member since: Jul 16, 2015

Even I felt so.

14. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Thats because Optical Stabilization is disablet in 1080p. Only Software stabilization kicks in 4K. I think so but not sure.

18. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Hold on, isnt it the other way around? I mean, take the Note 3 for example. Although it doesnt have OIS, the digital stabilisation is disabled in 4K mode. I think its the same story, the writers got it wrong.

22. TyrionLannister unregistered

That's wrong. OIS in enabled in all videos. But in 1080p, Samsung devices use OIS as well as DIS.

28. Shocky unregistered

Software stabilization is disabled by default and should stay disabled because it makes things worse.

9. tiko13

Posts: 20; Member since: Jan 29, 2015

Aside from the stabilization, the colors on the G4 are HORRENDOUS.

10. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

I really hate that red tint that the G4's camera has. And its OIS seems far worse than the S6's. Isn't it supposed to have a 3-axis OIS similar to Nokia's? If so, it's supposed to look smoother. And that frame rate!

11. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

At the very least, the S6 had better color reproduction. The G4 made the grey concrete look purple. In some movements the S6 looked slightly more blurry and the G4 seemed to have stabilized faster. But overall I think the S6 was better. The 4K video, the G4 looked far more jittery. Considering the S6 doesn't use OIS with 4K, it did far better. Samsung simply did more than an amazing job with the S6's, it is their best phones EVER! I'm not a heavy camera user on phones or period for that matter, but seeing these videos always makes me want to just run out an snap and record stuff for no reason. Taking my kid to DisneyWorld in a couple weeks for his first time (6 y.o) and I will be sapping a plenty. I did record 4K of the July 4th Fireworks at Six Flags here near Chicago and even in the dark they came out pretty darn good.

13. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Have fun, take pics, I went with my 4 kiddos just a year or so back, best trip ever.

29. TyrionLannister unregistered

S6 does use OIS on 4K. It doesn't use software stabilization on 4k though.

15. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

LG G4's OIS 2.0 is a gimmick.

16. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2264; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

BOTH good in OIS but s6 has better colors.

17. 2faraway

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

No 60fps in either device so they suck, something that got just used to butter smooth videos. Now that refresh rates give me headache!

19. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Im pretty sure that OIS stays active on the S6 in 4K mode, its the software stabilisation that gets disabled when in that mode.

20. egbtmagus

Posts: 93; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Can you redo the video and not spaz out? Seems like you like making quick turns, especially on the G4. You need to have identical situations with both handsets not looking like you are filming a found footage movie...

21. zachki17

Posts: 294; Member since: Sep 14, 2014

you moving the G4 and those color reproduction not coming from G4 this comparison is usless PA you are cheating .. Samsung Galaxy S6 you give it 9.3/10 rate ... User rate 8.6/10 G4 9/10 and user 9.9/10

24. FluffyBled unregistered

I am pretty sure Samsung haters had a do in the S6 rating ... in the other hand ... LG isn't big enough to have that kind of haters yet!


Posts: 436; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

the G4 originally got 9.2 for its score, but after much whining from the Samsung fans, the rating for the G4 got downgraded to 9. which, honestly, throws into question the authenticity of PA reviews. they cannot even stand by their own review scores

23. Clars123

Posts: 1078; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

^^^^ You should really see the number of hate "reviews" posted by people about the S6..."someone" actually gave the camera a 4/10

25. kevin91202

Posts: 642; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

"...stabilization is not available in all video recording resolutions about 1080p at 30 fps..." -Victor H. (PA) About? About what? What are you trying to say? Write coherent English.

26. kevin91202

Posts: 642; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

@Victor H. Is this the first time you shot video with a phone camera? Why are you walking around in a circle and making us dizzy? First, your poor writing and now this video. Poor PA...

27. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

check your fact, PA the Galaxy S6 can shoot 4K and fullHD@60fps video with OIS, it's the EIS that's not usable

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