Just for Fun: The LG G4 Phone as a camera? Yep, I had to try ;)

The LG G4 Phone as a camera? Yep, I had to try 😉

By Steve Huff

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A while ago LG contacted me and told me I had to try their G4 phone as a camera. I told  them “I have never reviewed a phone, so it’s not really my thing”. They then replied “Well this could be a 1st! Just concentrate on the camera”.

So they sent me a phone to review 😉

The G4 arrived and being that I am an Apple guy, it was odd trying to get used to the Android OS. The phone itself was gorgeous, and had a fantastic screen and in many ways I preferred it to my iPhone as a whole. But my job was to test the camera in this guy so I charged it up, and away I went with it in my pocket every day. I decided to use it as I would my iPhone, as I use my phone often for video, snapshots, etc. I was never thrilled with my iPhone camera so I figured I would not be so impressed with the G4 camera.

Well, when I started using it I realized the camera in the G4 was much more powerful than the one in my iPhone, or at least it seemed. All manacle control were available as was adjustable ISO. All touch screen of course making it as simple as eating a piece of pie. 😉

After a week or so I unloaded all of the images from the G4 and wow, I was surprised! MUCH better IQ than my iPhone! This is NOT a review, not at all, just some thoughts on using the G4 as a camera.

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As I reviewed the images from the G4 I was mightily impressed with the color, contrast and details.

Specs:

16 MP, 5312 x 2988 pixels, laser autofocus, optical image stabilization, LED flash, check quality
Features 1/2.6” sensor size, simultaneous video and image recording, geo-tagging, face detection, HDR
Video 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, optical stabilization, HDR, stereo sound rec., check quality
Secondary 8 MP, 1080p@30fps

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COMPARED TO MY IPHONE 6+? Take a look:

ALWAYS click images here for larger!

1st up, iPhone 6+. Next, the G4

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1st up, iPhone 6+ and then the LG G4 – easy to see the winner 😉 

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While I am not going to sit here and review a phone, as that is not my specialty, I will say that the G4 is the best phone camera I have tried. It kills my iPhone 6+ and is compatible to point and shoot cameras, which is why the sales and existence of P&S cameras have stalled 😉 When you have a phone in your pocket that can take fantastic images, why the need for a $400 point and shoot? The G4 is one phone that can handle double duty and if I were an Android guy, I would be switching ASAP just for the camera!

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OOCFILE

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25 Comments

  1. Still using my iPhone 4S, just changed the battery in it after 4 years so it should be good to go for another 4. I’m still able to get the latest iOS updates and I can’t really see myself upgrading until it dies permanently. I think Chase Jarvis already proved mobile phones are legitimate cameras, and if you actually look for good photographers on Instagram, you’ll have no way to blame the camera on your smartphone for crappy photos. I get a kick out of people now getting picky about the cameras on phones. The technical arguments about camera quality in mobile phones mirrors the arguments so common on camera forums (DSLR vs. mirrorless, sensor size, dynamic range, etc.). When are people going to start getting picky about their photos rather than their equipment? For a kick, here’s my instagram feed, feel free to mock the technical qualities of my photos.
    https://instagram.com/jvacierto

  2. Uh oh, Now you started the “my phone is better than yours” argument! Careful there, I know of few things that can get people going so bananas as critisising or even praising the wrong phone.
    I read this article as a nice pice on mobile phones and their cameras in general. They can not be ignored no matter what brand they are. Too many people rely on their phones today for taking pictures and some turn out great. And technolgy keep getting better. An actual industry has been growing around phones an there are now several brands of lensadapters for phones to get fisheye, better macro, and even telephoto. And let´s not forget digiscoping where some people shoot through good quality binoculars and get stunning bird och sports pictures (stunning in relation to the kit used). No matter what modern phone we own, there is always a way to take Pictures these Days, even if the preffered camera is in your bag at home.
    We are getting spoiled here, ladies and gentlemen.

    Cheers!
    /Stefan

    • Well ‘Skip’, you’re wrong:) The camera in most new phones is good enough to replace 90% of the P&S’s for 90% of the population….which is why nobody buys tiny sensored P&S cameras anymore.

  3. I was curious about this camera since it was launched.
    I had a LG G3 and, although the images where great, the buil-in camera app was VERY sluggish. So much so that I could not get a single sharp shot from my 5 month old son. Hopefully LG has fixed performance issues with the G4.
    So, I have some questions to you Steve:
    – how does burst mode (if there is one) compares to the one on the iPhone 6plus?
    – does it shoot raw?
    – on the red car picture, the picture taken with the iPhone seems much better exposed than the LG’s. Is this always the case in bright environment!?

  4. I recently had to get new phone ( broke note 3 screen)
    I WAS almost set on LG G4 but couple things made it horrible from user friendliness stand point
    1- the volume buttons on the back are really horribly placed. Majority of phones have them on the side where they should be… the are extremely frustrating to use. After about 30 minutes i just gave up and walked away.
    2- screen was ok. Not great. First issue was just like G3 before that screen has very bluish cold tint to it. After looking at iphone 5 and 6 it is same or worse so maybe Steve didnt pay attention to it
    Samsung screens are way more color accurate. Sadly unlike laptops and TVs phone and tablet screen cant be calibrated ( if so…someone please enlighten me)
    3- screen COMPLETELY blacks out in horizontal position ( like shooting landscape photo) when using polarized sunglasses . Many phones do this some more some less. My new s6 edge+ that i just got 4 weeks ago does too but much less and it is actually usable and visible. G4 is NOT. And nothing is more annoying then having to constantly peak from under your sunglasses into the bright daylight .
    I played with many phones. From new ones its samsungs or I really liked droid turbo. Amazing camera and screen too.
    Sad thing is… i used to have iphone and loved it. Because i didnt know better lol. Itunes has to be single most frustrating piece of software ever created.

  5. I played about with my samsung recently as a camera…I discovered the photographic experience was a little empty so just focused on composition which was a positive turn, results were surprisingly pleasing too.

  6. I have the G4 and am always stunned by the results. You’re shooting with a 28mm lens equivalent, so it’s not going replace my actual camera, but it is an amazing performer. What Steve didn’t mention, which also are definite pluses: are that the G4 has a replaceable battery (mine came with a second battery AND charging port that doubles as a carrying case) which is literally a snap to put in and take out. Also it takes removable micro SD cards up to (I’ve been told) 2T – if such cards exist. My phone also came with a 32 gb micro SD card. The fact that you can upgrade the memory at any time is a pretty nice extra, plus the phone rocks as a phone.

  7. Nice review. Thank you for sharing and I absolutely agree over the P&S cam replacement – if it comes to small sensor cameras..

    ***

    Some of my Android vs iOS philosophy and my hopes for Windows Phone.
    (if it is OK to share)..

    It is beautiful to have choices! And I am waiting for Windows Phone to finally take over the position that it should, that it does deserve and for that OS to stand up against iOS and Android, being a real competitor, becoming an up par role player. Also, I am looking forward to The New Nokia. They will rise again! ,-)

    Android has been working right out of the box for pretty long now. What you have to make sure of, is getting one that is not full of the manufacturers bloatware. Also, get one that is high end. You don’t by a 300 bucks iPhone, so don’t buy a cheap Android. Personally, so far neither Sony nor Samsung really have been an option for me because of the software they add. I like the minimal style of Nexus devices and – surprise – I have been using HTC phones for about 5 years now and I really like them a lot. Pretty clean devices with not too much crap I don’t need. But really, this is a personal preference..

    I also have an iPhone and I am using both, the 6plus and the HTC One M9 on a daily basis. They both have their weak points and their strengths. Maybe – I have to admit, I do use the iPhone in a more playful, creative way and the HTC really has to help me get my work done.

    For somebody who is using a lot of the features of a phone (except doing phone calls, really), I can safely confirm that the workflow on my M9 is smoother than on the iPhone. One thing that really makes me happy with the latest iOS update: AT LAST!! I can go back from one app to the other without having to click x times, closing one app, reopening another one. That said, I still miss many extensions on the iPhone. Like – picking a picture from the album and post it to Instagram. I have to enter the app and get the pic. Same for Snapseed. Then, today I tried to forward an email on the iPhone and additionally attach a pic – either I am too stupid or there’s simply no option to attach a file or pic as separate attachment with two clicks. I can do that on my M9 – open the mail, click the forward symbol, tap the paper clip symbol, attach all sorts of files, send the thing.

    What I have found out over the last couple of years, really, is that a great number of iPhone users use their phones for phone calls, text and occasionally for pics upload / sharing, not many of them really do dwell on the so called ecosystem that others refer to, that bit of sync you can get over Android and Google, too, easily and data is both what Apple wants and Google. Also, Windows is no exception (good stuff for data information and profiling users). At least, this user profile does apply to most people around me. I know there are also many who use it for photography and editing (quite some with jailbreak, though).. But none of the regular users here in my vicinity – neither my friends, colleagues, co-workers, family, or.. name it, are using their phones but for direct messaging (calls/text) and snapping shots but not sharing on a greater extent – in their eyes I am a tech nerd, simply because I do use a bit more than 50 % of a smartphone’s capability.. Although, I do not even know if that number is right..

    Don’t get me wrong, I do like the iPhone for many things (though not so much for the company behind). Its main advantage: it is so mainstream, that loads of developpers make really great apps for it. Some I miss on my Android phone, many are missing on Windows Phones (as of now).. But then ..the M9 already has some of the features built in I need to add via apps for the iPhone.. I might also even have a look at the new 6S plus, since the 8mpx cam is a lacking some verve vs the M9’s 20mpx.. ,-)

    Most important is, that everybody is using what he or she does like and feel comfy with. And still, it is not wrong to give other – equal(ly priced) – devices a chance.

    ***

    Some lovely iPhone shots – sorry for the location, though *g*:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/101763868370227998870/WaldfriedhofBW?authuser=0&feat=directlink

    I also shot some cool vids with Hyperlapse from Instagram and lately, I did play a bit with ProCamera. I really dig what you can do with iMovie – that really is some quick editing. The original vids play well resolution-wise, unfortunately these two are just Instagram uploads:

    https://instagram.com/p/7aqcC5g4g8/?taken-by=debartch

    https://instagram.com/p/6nrJmhA4st/?taken-by=debartch

  8. The Iphones are for people who wants a phone that just works. No customization. The Androids are for those to likes to tinker and personalize things. The best Android phones have technically better specs across the board especially when it comes to camera specs.

    • Umm… I’d like to hear how you think Android users “tinker and personalize” the cameras in their phones (hint: they don’t). Android cameras just work.

    • I agree with Iijimmy80 but one or two things I jealous with the iPhone is their resource especially memory management which is way better than any other mobile OS (in desktop, MacOS is better than any others in this field also). How many Android smartphone models have higher RAM capacity than the iPhone’s? Lots of them but yet the iPhone can run all its apps smoothly.
      And.. the battery. Android phones’ batteries drain and get hotter quicker than the iPhones’.
      One thing I hate from iPhone is their protocol which doesn’t allow us to share files to other phones even to other iPhones seamlessly.

      • As an iPhone and iPad user your comments about memory management are saddening 🙁 iOS has terrible control over memory, particularly in the crash-tastic Safari.
        Third and First party Software locks up and crashes all the time. i do have older devices, these this a pricy, but I was playing with the new 6S Plus and crashed the phone. It had to restart. I think iOS 9 needs a little longer in the oven.

        When it works, it do work well. Still probably getting an 6S but it’s kind of huge. And weak feeling

  9. I’m not sure the lousy phone resale and the various clunky Android OS would lead me to consider switching. I’m using my 8th iPhone and number 9 is upon us tomorrow.
    That said until the iPhone 3something my former Sony-Ericsson was equipped with a far superior camera but, again, that for me was all that was “superior”…
    Have fun. And so will I with the 6s.

    • You should give the latest Android Phones a go Jim, they’ve come a long way and they’re far simpler than iOS now. I would say some of them are superior than the iPhone 6 / plus.

      • That’s a joke, right?

        >Camera has crashed.
        >Low battery. Exiting camera.
        >Leaving iOS’ synced ecosystem of fully synced apps for Android’s standalone apps

        It has to be.

    • Android hasn’t been “clunky” anymore for a long time.

      Give a Nexus device a try or one of the new Motorola phones. They run Android without bloatware. You will be pleasantly surprised.

    • I never Buy a phone for the resale value, but always for the best experience I can get. I need my phone to be customizable, and before iPhone6, their screen size was too small for me. If your happy with the iPhone’s, good for you.

    • I never Buy a phone for the resale value, but always for the best experience I can get. I need my phone to be customizable, and before iPhone6, their screen size was too small anyway for me. If you’re happy with the iPhones, good for you. People like me will be less interested in it.

    • Android is the new windows. It’s not about how many megapixels it’s hardware: software to final output. Go on IG and you’ll see hundreds of photographers using iOS. They even do gallery showings of their work. Take the iPhone and use 645 camera app with tiff output.

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