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



So, it turns out that the LG G3 has no troubles with taking photos in a low-light, indoor environment. Details in such images are plentiful, and the digital noise is within the tolerable limits, visible only once we zoom in. Colors are accurate enough even when the LED flash has fired. The dual-tone LED setup is bright and fills the entire frame with light from up to several feet.

This is also a case where the Xperia Z2 performs almost as well as the LG G3. Sony's phone captures details really well and its flash has a very natural tone, despite being of the single-LED kind. The LG G3 outperforms the Z2 only in the darkest scenes with its superior detail preservation.

Then there's the iPhone – an all-around great performer. Again, having just 8MP to work with, it struggles to provide as much detail as, let's say the S5, G3, or the Z2, but nevertheless, we are quite happy with what we see. The iPhone's indoor images look very detailed given the camera's resolution. Color-wise, we do see a boost in warmness and brightness, but in this case, there's nothing too worrying about this. As for the phone's flash, the True Tone LED flash produces warm light that easily lights up the scene, but it fires only in very low lightning situations. Scenes that aren't dark enough to force the flash to fire may end up quite noisy and low on detail. Take a look at our low-light sample in the studio to see what we mean.

Photos from the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 have plenty of detail, there's no denying that. Where the two snappers fall short, however, is color accuracy when the flash is in use. Their images are clearly colder than those from the other phones, which renders them somewhat unnatural.

Indoor photos from the LG G2 look quite good, rivaling those from the G3 when it comes to details. But that's valid only as long as there's a good amount of light available. As lights get dim, the presence of digital noise becomes apparent and details also suffer heavily because of that. The G2 has a strong LED light that won't throw color fidelity out the window. It won't fire, however, unless light is really scarce. That's why you might need to force it to fire on certain occasions.

Due to its lower camera resolution, the HTC One (M8) can't provide as much details as the rest of the phones being compared. Color accuracy also leaves lots of room for improvement – colors are dull and lifeless, with a pink-ish hue in darker scenes. On the other hand, the HTC One (M8) took the best-looking photo in complete darkness, with very natural colors and scene filled with light.

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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posted on 16 Jun 2014, 07:50 7

2. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

And why the he** are the Z2 images taken in 8 mpx AGAIN...?! And not even superior auto...

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 07:51 2

4. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2223; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)

Superior Auto mode, I think.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 07:57 3

9. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

I don't think so because they test the HDR mode and so, which are not available in superior (though it uses them automatically). But even if they are taken in superior auto, why would they use the 4:3? 16:9 is default in superior auto and actually has a slightly higher resolution.

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 06:29

168. Nick_T (Posts: 176; Member since: 27 May 2011)

The sensor's native aspect ratio is 4:3 - that's why we used it instead of 16:9. Using 16:9 for photos makes little sense as that crops away 30% of the sensor's effective area.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 09:11 7

54. drazwy (Posts: 234; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)

Because the 20MP images from Sony are awful. The 8MP images are by far better.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 09:21 4

58. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Oh my god you have no idea what you're talking about... Yes if you take the images in superior auto mode, the images are sharper and especially in low light a lot brighter and have more colours. But still clearly less details.

But those images aren't even in Superior Auto mode. They are in Manual. The difference in the amount of detail in 20 and 8 mpx images is HUUGE. Seriously HUUGE. Noise, colours etc. are the same as long as shot in Manual.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 09:30 3

60. maherk (Posts: 4820; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

If you own the Z2 like you claim you would've known that it takes horrible 20 mp pictures. Almost every other review out there complained about it and ended up using the superior mode in their camera test. Stop whining for God's sakes, and go watch some Erica Griffin's Z2 videos, that will probably change your mood.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 09:48

67. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

I can upload some sample images to google + if you want to see. The 20mpx images are better in good lighting conditions. In low light and macro I use Superior. Maybe I will. Her videos are so well made and honest

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 10:28 4

85. maherk (Posts: 4820; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

I am not saying she isn't honest, but she isn't as professional as you make her look. Just because her reviews goes along with what you want doesn't make her a reliable source. I ve seen you praise phonearena when a Sony handset wins a poll/review, and attack them when they lose.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 11:42

116. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

You have? If I recall correctly, I have never praised PA for reviews or other comparisons. Yes, if Sony wins a comparison then I might say something like "Way to go Sony you're the best", but I never praise PA's review methods. Good example is the Z2 review. It kinda sucks. I'm just happy that they at least gave it a good score.

And about Erica, she says so many bad things about Sony phones too. Especially the ones before Z2, and in the Z2 she really hates the cameras focus in video for example. She doesn't praise Sony. She praises everything. And so she also bashes everything. About the same amount. I enjoy watching all of her reviews. And the fact that she isn't a professional doesn't exactly mean much. I bet that PA for example doesn't have any more "pro tools" than Erica or Supercurio would have.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 12:05 7

118. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

So what I got from your comment: if Sony "wins" it's ok, but if they don't, you complain to PA that they're wrong.

And you say you're not a fanboy? Haha yeah okay buddy.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 12:11

120. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

No I gave the wrong idea it seems. If Sony wins I'm happy and praise Sony's efforts. If Sony loses, I check out the test more carefully and then decide what to do. This time I just went for complaining because they didn't use 20 mpx. Simple as that.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 12:39 4

122. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Aaannnnndddddd? If you don't like it, express your comment once or go to another site. Simple as that. You coming back every five minutes feeding PA money because of the ads and saying the same thing over again isn't going to get your point across.

Just wanted to let you know in case you didn't.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 13:10 1

131. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Aaannnnndddddd I use adblock btw so they ain't getting any money that way fom me. (Not using adblock because I wouldn't want to give them money, I just hate ads)

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 14:01 2

135. TMach (Posts: 464; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

Plus this review ignores that the Z2's latest software version is 17.1.1.A.0.402. This software update, as is usual with Sony addresses all the camera software issues. A comparison against a p[hone with the latest software is credible this isn't given once owner's have updated their software to the latest version, the earlier software is irrelevant and defunct. This does mean any comparison with previous software has no merit or credibility.

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 07:51

173. Nick_T (Posts: 176; Member since: 27 May 2011)

The comparison was already complete when our unit got the update.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 10:30

87. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)

second that.

as their charts show, superior auto definitely performs better. their photos are not in the 16:9 aspect ratio so it's unlikely to be using superior auto mode.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 11:45

117. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

In good lighting Superior isn't better. The colours are same. Everything is same. Except details, which are a lot better in 20 mpx. Superior is still sharper, though you can change that with after editing.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 23:06

157. jsdechavez (Posts: 758; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)

Superior Auto takes 8MP res.

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 05:44

166. mistertimi (Posts: 77; Member since: 28 May 2014)

Yeah I wonder if they took them in Superior auto. I'm not a Sony fanboy by a long shot, but PA leaving out details like that is why I will never take their "comparisons" as a truly accurate representation.

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 06:21

167. Nick_T (Posts: 176; Member since: 27 May 2011)

They are taken in superior auto mode, which is the camera's default mode. We used manual mode only for the HDR photo samples so that we could force the camera to take an HDR photo.

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 06:39

169. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Ok. But why are they taken in 4:3 then? 16:9 has a slightly higher resolution in the superior auto mode.

EDIT: I read your comment above,

posted on 18 Jun 2014, 04:56

182. mistertimi (Posts: 77; Member since: 28 May 2014)

Cheers. You might want to put that in the article next time..

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 06:46 2

170. Maryewww (Posts: 32; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)

In their last camera comparison, S5 and Z2 scored exactly the freaking same... PA dudes are high on information

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 07:53 7

6. Chuck.Norrisson (Posts: 3; Member since: 16 Jun 2014)

Any review or test without the Nokia Lumia Phones is not worth reading in respect of "camera comparison" - period.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 06:59

189. jojon (Posts: 356; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)

well said chuck..

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 07:56 8

7. alexvv (Posts: 165; Member since: 16 Oct 2013)

why are you taking the night category out? this is where these phones should really be put in a test. in daylight you don't need an s5 to capture a good photo, it's in the dark that a good cameraphone shines... and well over 1/3 photos are taken at night because this is when people go out, have a drink, eat etc...!

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 07:59 3

10. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Agree... Night shots are one of the most important ones.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 09:32

61. maherk (Posts: 4820; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

Yeah because most of our pictures are taken in low light situations right? For once, just once, leave your fanboyism aside and accept the results for once without all this nagging.

posted on 16 Jun 2014, 09:53 4

70. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Sorry, but I can't. This is not fanboyism. This is just simply unfair. Why wouldn't they use the full capabilities of the phones?

Night shots have a huge meaning. Many places look more beautiful during the night or sunset/rise when there's still much less light. Many people go out with friends in the evening when it's already dark. And not to mention that in northern parts of Earth (like Finland where I'm from) it becomes dark already at 4 o'clock pm in the winter. In northern Finland it's dark all the time during the winter.

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