Camera comparison: LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, iPhone 5s, LG G2, Sony Xperia Z2, HTC One (M8)

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Introduction


We're tech geeks. We're the kind of folks that friends and family consult with prior to buying a new gadget. And when it comes to smartphones, it usually boils down to one thing – the great majority of people who are about to get one want it to take good photos. Surprising? Well, not really. Studies show that taking photos is one of the top uses for a smartphone nowadays. Smartphone manufacturers are well aware of that and put great effort in enabling their devices to take good photos.

The LG G3 is one of the newest contenders on the smartphone scene, and just like the handsets it'll be going against, it comes with a very promising camera. Its 13 megapixels of resolution, 1/3.06” sensor size, and f2.4 aperture don't sound particularly intriguing to anyone who knows their way around a camera, but the improved optical image stabilization (OIS+), dual-tone LED flash, and fast, laser-assisted auto-focus are perks that many of its competitors don't have to offer.

So it is our duty now to put the LG G3's camera to the test – to see how well it performs against other popular high-end models. And for this camera comparison, we've lined up the usual suspects: the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Note 3, the iPhone 5s, the LG G2, the Sony Xperia Z2, and the HTC One (M8). Here's a look at what these handsets have to offer in terms of camera specs.



Note: we're using a Panasonic Lumix GH2 as a reference camera.

Colors


Okay, we know it is the LG G3's photos you want us to comment on, so that's what we'll start with. At a glance, the phone performs really well. Its images look fine when viewed on their own, with their bright, colorful presentation. But the thing is that the G3 goes slightly beyond the margins of what we'd consider neutral. The majority of its outdoor images exhibit a warm, yellowish tone, and a slight boost in color saturation is also present. Not bad overall, but the G3 could have performed better.

The cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 appear to be guided by the same set of algorithms, at least when it comes to colors. Their photos are neutral to cold-looking, but relatively accurate in most scenes.

The LG G2 has a higher tendency of skewing colors towards the colder side. Sometimes it nails them well, yet it renders other scenes a tad blueish. It's a hit or miss.

As usual, the iPhone 5s produced warm images with saturated colors during our shoot-out. The extra warmness gives a lively feel to the iPhone's photos, thus making them quite pleasant to look at, but it detaches them from reality somewhat.

This time around, the Sony Xperia Z2 didn't do quite as well as it did in previous comparisons. Some of its shots have a very neutral and accurate color balance, while others exhibit a cold, blueish tone. Some slight color saturation can be seen in the shady areas in some of its photos.

And lastly, the HTC One (M8) can't impress us with its daytime photos. Some do look just fine, but others are greenish in tone, and the purple-hued artifacts seen in others don't make the M8's situation any better.




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