LG G2 vs S4, One and iPhone - test cameras of various devices in the same conditions

    Good day to all! Tell me, if I ask you to name the best mobile camera in the current generation of smartphones, which manufacturer will you name? And in the past? And the year before last? I am sure that we will not see the treasured letters of LG, how much back in history do not move. No matter how regrettable this fact was, but with cameras (in the opinion of both users and online publications) LG-smartphones always had some ... uh ... not that it would be even difficulties or problems. A terrible software happened to the cameras. And so, in 2013, LG G2 was shown at IFA and a miracle happened: LG Finally, they overcame the software problem and the new flagship makes excellent shots.


    Do not believe? Then I ask you to click the “read more” button, check out the test footage of foreign reporters, read their opinions and make sure that now everything is really ok.

    UPD: Pictures sometimes fail, I fix, if I see troubles, in the comments you can not write about it.


    Nexus 4, optimus G, G pro frankly could not boast of the best shots in the industry, despite the efforts of marketers, advertisers and PR specialists. Physics and software can’t be fooled. But now we have the hope that at least G and G PRO will be able to improve their position: the new flagship LG G2 has an improved matrix from G PRO, a completely new software that is responsible for processing the signal coming from the photosensitive sensor. I hope that when upgrading to 4.4 or 4.3, these features by backporting will transfer to the "younger" models and improve their photographic capabilities. As for the LG G2, its camera is a small work of art. The lens is protected from damage by durable sapphire crystal, the camera module is equipped with an optical stabilization system, an improved system of automatic focusing, plus, again, new software. But these are all words and lyrics,


    As competitors for G2, the Phonearena editors chose the well-known Falgman (at the time of testing) devices: Galaxy S4, HTC One, iPhone 5 and mirrorless camera Lumix GH2 (micro four thirds system). It is strange that the smartphone from Sony did not participate in the test, but I think that without the participation of Xperia Z the results will be quite relevant and easily interpreted.

    Street shooting

    Perhaps a good half of the frames on a smartphone is done in the open air, in a variety of conditions. Morning, day, evening, night, snow, rain, sunny, overcast, fog - there are a million conditions, and there is only one camera. Soft needs to correctly assess the illumination, set the shutter speed, white balance, photosensitivity parameters, perform metering and generally do a bunch of calculations, but that ridiculous uncle will turn away right now ... In general, evaluate from fifty different factors, choose the right settings, and make focus - and all this on the go. The task is not an easy one, and yes, engineers do not get their salaries for nothing.

    By myself, I know that devices sometimes can’t be shaken for weeks, and when they fall into your hands ... In general, the weather will turn bad and the music will go bad, and there will be nothing to test, as usual. In this case, the test frames were almost all done on cloudy days, with soft and diffused light. The conditions are good for evaluating the detail of frames, but not ideal for evaluating the contrast and operation of an automatic exposure meter.

    Here are six different cityscapes on the basis of which we will conduct our mini-analysis. As a reference (and the first frame), we take a frame from a Panasonic GH2 camera.
    Panasonic GH2: I would not call the work of the exposure meter ideal: the sky was overexposed, the trees became almost black, but I have no complaints about the main subject: the church turned out to be very plausible in color, the details are clearly distinguishable. Cars and their license plates are quite distinguishable, signboards across the road can be more or less disassembled. About the distortion of optics, I think it makes no sense to speak in this case.

    LG G2: The light meter preferred details of the sky and normal lighting of the church. The trees turned out to be even darker, but their area (compared with the area of ​​sky, asphalt and church) in the frame is not so large, so the operation of the algorithm can be understood. License plates and signs are distinguishable. The color rendition may not be perfect, but to call it bad, my language does not turn out.

    Galaxy S4: Here, the exposure meter preferred dark areas to light. The sky is illuminated (but not overexposed), the trees got a greenish tint, the asphalt is lighter, and the white balance is set to “warm” tones. I can’t say for sure there are problems with the operator’s hands or with a smartphone, but to distinguish car numbers and text on some signs is somewhat more complicated than on the previous two frames. The frame seems less contrast compared to competitors, but it is precisely because of the comparison, I think that in real shooting conditions the camera chose quite good settings and tried to preserve colors in dark areas, sacrificing the contrast of the sky.

    iPhone: The situation is much like the one we saw in the previous frame. White balance removal, priority in dark areas. Unless the eight-megapixel module and increased contrast killed completely the ability to read the signs across the road and almost all the license plates.

    HTC: The most indecent frame. Probably the same takes off the Galaxy S2. The sky is overexposed, there is no need to dream about the inscriptions through the road, since at least the trees turned green. White balance has the same problem as the galaxy / iPhone. But ultrapixels, yes.

    Panasonic GH2: Excellent contrast, sharpness, exposure and white balance. Neutral and nice shot.

    LG G2: Slightly less sharpness of the frame (but also the size of the matrix, please note that it’s not comparable, and optics as well), again, the exposure is slightly diverted to the priority of lights. Decent frame, comparable to that obtained on the “reference” camera.

    Galaxy S4: As you can see, the story with the church repeats. White balance is shifted, priority is to dark areas, which is why the sky is whitened. Sharpness also decreased. The rest is a good shot. Adjusted for smartphone. :)

    iPhone: Everything is fine with the white balance, but there are some oddities with the exposure. Again, the frame is overly contrasted.

    HTC: One in its repertoire: highlights in the sky, lack of detail, dull colors.

    Further frames will go without comment, if trends continue (so as not to repeat the same thing), if not, I will give a brief annotation under the photo card.
    Tree on sky background
    Panasonic GH2: There is some overexposure, colors are preserved, a slight blue of the sky is noticeable.

    LG G2: Everything is the same as on the previous two test shots. A little lighter than the camera, a little less detail, otherwise everything is about the same.

    Galaxy S4: The sky is in trouble, but the tree turned out pretty well.

    iPhone: In his repertoire. Contrast tear up, pinch colors, get overexposures and dark areas. Low.

    HTC: It is overexposure and in Africa overexposure. And there are some chromatic aberrations!

    New yorker
    Panasonic GH2:

    LG G2: A little overexposed. :(

    Galaxy S4: Similarly + failed BB.

    iPhone: Nice shot.

    HTC: White balance, color is overwhelmed, but there is no overexposure. Like parts in dark areas.

    Panasonic GH2: Great shot. Unless the trees in the background are dark, but yes they are not as important as water jets, the reflection in the building is opposite and a good white balance in difficult to measure conditions.

    LG G2: The shutter speed is clearly greater than that of the GH2, but the trees have details and color. Great shot, LG.

    Galaxy S4: Samsung also holds the brand.

    iPhone: Surprisingly, the iPhone didn’t crush everything in contrast!

    HTC: HTC? no overexposure? Amazing! The picture, by the way, is well detailed, it is clear that of all smartphones it has the lowest shutter speed.

    The yard
    Panasonic GH2: The sky turned white (admittedly, on the left near the post it is a little blue), but in the shadow there are enough details. Nice balanced frame. Of course, the software could tighten the shadows, but yes it's all nitpicking.


    LG G2:


    Galaxy S4: Surprisingly here, the frame came out as good as that of G2 / Lumix. And I already began to doubt the Samsung.

    iPhone: Better than last times, but still not up to the top three.

    HTC: Well ... but in the shadow there are details, although the resolution is not very. Notice how marvelous it is on the leaves!

    As you can see, LG G2 learned to shoot, and not anyhow, but at the level of the best classmates. Galaxy S4 is something weird with BB and exposure metering, the iPhone makes everything more contrast, and HTC has obvious problems with color reproduction, exposure and frame resolution.

    Color rendering

    Sinite? Blush? Yellow? Yes, even green. As you set up, it’ll shoot like that. Unfortunately, we have smartphones, not SLR cameras with the ability to fine-tune color profiles. That's when such an opportunity arises - then we will blame our crooked hands, but for now it remains only to send programmers and engineers curses (or blessings). As they set up and write, we shoot. :( He is such a software machine, yes.

    Сложное фотозадание для камеры смартфона. Примерно поровну всё поле кадра занято двумя цветами, зелёным и жёлто-оранжевым. В качестве “бонуса” есть немного цветных пятен других цветов, нейтрально-серо-коричневые цвета листьев и немного асфальта.
    Panasonic GH2:

    На кадре много мелких деталей, которые сожрала система подавления шумов, байесовский фильтр матрицы и JPG-конвертер. В целом Lumix справился достаточно достойно: зелень зелёная, цветы такие, какие должны быть, с экспозицией проблем нет, листья имеют нейтральную окраску.

    LG G2:

    Цвета получились чуть более насыщенные, чем у “эталонного” снимка фотоаппарата, но сам кадр весьма удачен: цвета не поехали, трава правильного цвета, разве что листья чуть теплее окрашены, чем хотелось бы.

    Galaxy S4: Samsung, on the contrary, produced a picture less saturated with colors, but there is nothing to complain about in terms of details and color rendition.

    iPhone: iPhone did something weird. The white balance fell into blue, the greens turned blue, the flowers got a strange shade. As the saying goes, "low."

    HTC: I have no complaints about color rendering, the colors are a bit cold, but the ratio between yellow and green is decent, except that four million ultra-pixels lost more details than 13 million pixels of a Samsung or LG.

    Like last time, I will comment on the rest of the photos to a minimum, lingering only on certain features or out of the ordinary cases, in the rest everything is clear.
    Flower bed close up
    Panasonic GH2:

    LG G2:

    Galaxy S4:



    On similar problems, we get similar results, which, in principle, is not surprising

    The yard
    Panasonic GH2:

    LG G2: As you can see, the color rendering is practically no different from the Lumix GH2.

    Galaxy S4: Sinit.

    iPhone: Very good result.

    HTC: The result is similar to the Galaxy S4, but the details in the picture are less.

    With color rendering, everything is more or less clear. In normal light conditions, everything is more or less OK. And what will happen when shooting in the dark?

    Night shooting

    Gas station
    Panasonic GH2: The picture is moderately lit, there is illumination from bright light sources, ghosting is within normal limits. For automatic mode, the frame is quite detailed, the foreground and background are well designed.

    LG G2:

    Кадр отличается балансом белого и типом засветки (оно и понятно, оптика-то другая). В остальном — твёрдая пятерка.

    Galaxy S4:

    Странные пересветы, шумы, заметна ошибка работы автофокуса и/или очень длинная выдержка.


    Ситуация аналогична таковой у LG G2: отличия от “эталонного” кадра минимальны.


    HTC со своими ультрапикселями как обычно словил пересвет (ошибка автоматики. считающей экспозицию), деталей на заднем плане также не разобрать.

    Три смартфона из тестируемых имеют специальный “ночной” режим съёмки. Посмотрим, что будет, если применить его по назначению:

    LG G2:

    Кадр всё так же хорош, появилось чуть больше деталей, активней и аккуратней отработал шумодав.

    Galaxy S4:

    Намного лучше, чем в “дневном” режиме, но до G2 пока не дотянул.


    Без комментариев.

    Panasonic GH2:

    Имеется некоторый недостаток контраста и потеря деталей на кропе 1:1, но в целом изображение весьма прилично выглядит. Особенно если не приближать его. Цвета естественные, пересветов нет.

    LG G2:

    Снятов ночном режиме. Имеется некоторая потеря цвтеовой информации, но зато кадр получился контрастным и чётким. На кропе заметна работа шумодава, однако на общем плане и при просмотре на компьютере “во весь экран” фото сохранило достаточно деталей.

    Galaxy S4:

    Автоматика в ночном режиме потеряла цвета и оттенки, попытавшись сохранить детали и контуры одноцветных объектов. Кадр не идеален, но вполне приемлем.

    iPhone: A good frame in all respects, close to the “reference”, but the details, of course, are less.

    HTC: Guess who made a mistake with the white balance, overexposed and lost all the details? :)

    With night shooting everything is more or less clear. Miracles do not have to wait, but frames are frames. Detailing and noise reduction are set up well, frames are comparable to current flagships and do not make blush with shame.


    The concept of macro photography is difficult to adapt to smartphones, but the shots taken practically “at point blank range”, perhaps at the limit of the focusing system’s capabilities, can be stretched to this genre.
    Inexplicable wood
    Panasonic GH2: Autofocus missed and went “further”, the clearest part is a centimeter and a half “lower”, we have foreground.

    LG G2: Not a bad DOF and detail in the picture, autofocus worked almost perfectly. Colors also look quite natural.

    Galaxy S4: Similar to the result of LG G2, except that Samsung has its own vision of color and white balance. I would not say that it is wrong, it is simply different.

    iPhone: Again, a wonderful shot worthy of competitors.

    HTC: Surprisingly, HTC did not screw up and got a clear and detailed shot.

    As you can see, in this test, smartphones coped almost better than a normal camera.
    Green something
    Panasonic GH2: Superb color and detail. There are some problems with the depth of field, but rather, they are on the conscience of automation.

    LG G2: White balance and colors are significantly different, but the detail of the picture - no. Two minutes in the mobile editor and the picture will be difficult to distinguish from that received on the camera.

    Galaxy S4: The result is very similar to that of LG and Panasonic. Again, the colors are “their own,” but this is easily fixable.

    iPhone: Another good shot in the piggy bank of the iPhone and the mobile industry as a whole.

    HTC: HTC, of ​​course, has slightly fewer details than the rest, but the colors are the most “correct” and as close as possible to the real ones.

    Indoor shooting

    Artificial light sources, walls that “paint” the light (and everything that is “covered” with this light), a variety of different colors and shades, complex shadows from multiple sources ... In general, test frames:
    Still life
    Panasonic GH2: Under normal conditions and the frame is normal. Neutral exposure, perfectly matched by BB automation, good frame detail.

    LG G2: The frame is slightly different in color, otherwise everything is ok.

    Galaxy S4: Similar to the situation with the G2, except that the saturation is slightly lower.

    iPhone: iPhone has done something strange this time with colors, light and contrast.

    HTC: The frame is very mediocre, in the center you can clearly see the “pink spot”, which many manufacturers have already got rid of, if not hardware, then software.

    In addition to the situation with bright lighting, there are rooms in which a pair of not the most powerful bulbs burn. The behavior of the camera, accordingly, changes:
    Still life, a little less light
    Panasonic GH2: Everything is again very, very good.

    LG G2: Great job, LG.

    Galaxy S4:

    iPhone: iPhone, ha ha, what are you doing, stop it! Bring the colors and shades back to the earth.

    HTC: Well, where, one wonders, is HTC's much-praised light sensitivity? Where are the great shots in low light conditions? So far, I’m only seeing that the HTC’s frame is not saturated enough and is dark and there are normal photographs from the rest of the test participants.

    With "so-so lighting" sort of sorted out? Let's move on to shooting in the dark.
    Still life, very little light
    Panasonic GH2: Judging by the glare, the flash fired, but there are no problems with white balance and color reproduction.

    LG G2: It’s definitely not possible to say about using the flash, but the frame is still decent.

    Galaxy S4:

    Странная экспозиция, перекос баланса белого, но зато детали на снимке есть, а передний план в фокусе, как и должен быть.


    Айфон включил вспышку и его цветовая вакханалия закончилась. Отличный кадр.


    Нет, ну технически… Наверное… задача выполнена. А вот о качестве думайте сами.

    Чубайс, верни электричество!
    Panasonic GH2:

    Очень нейтральные цвета и мощная вспышка.

    LG G2:

    Тёплая окраска снимка и умеренная мощность вспышки, призванная отделять объекты (и лица, в первую очередь) от фона.

    Galaxy S4:

    Умеренно-мощная вспышка и найтральный ББ. Хороший кадр, в стиле Lumix'a.


    Как Galaxy S4, но чуть теплее.


    Вспышку в детстве кашей не кормили?

    A bit about software

    The LG G2 (in addition to the “green”, fully automatic mode) provides other software machines that allow you to get exactly the result that you expect when shooting. In addition to the night, sports, panoramic shooting modes that have become familiar, there are also “unusual” ones. Super-fast burst shooting, the so-called “dual shot” (the frame is simultaneously on the rear and front cameras), the “smart corrector” mode, when the software camera “develops” the file, it independently analyzes the picture and highlights the general, according to its understanding, dashed line picture of the place. Then offers to erase them. Not to say that in everyday life these modes are very relevant and important, but sometimes you have to get out of the existing situation with what you have. Well, in this case, the presence of a function is not an absence, it’s useful.

    About video recording, there will probably be a separate detailed post, but I just can’t not mention the camera’s operating modes in video recording. Firstly, the new autofocus system uses a fully movable optical unit with a stepper drive, which allows you to use silent tracking autofocus when recording video. Secondly, there is an interesting feature called AudioZoom: the camera has access to three microphones on the “body” of the smartphone, and the new audio processing chip allows (even having such a small “stereo base”) to spread the signals in time, and by analyzing the picture from the camera and the incoming sound, to make sure that a certain object in the field of view of the camera will be heard well, and the rest - a little muffled. Functionality, of course, is not JamesBond, but there is a result and it really is felt when viewing.


    We examined four modern smartphones and one camera in the most popular shooting conditions. What about the results?

    Galaxy S4, LG G2 and, of course, Panasonic Lumix GH2 in most cases choose the most correct settings, try to squeeze out all the juices from the available capacities as much as possible and behave decently.

    The iPhone stands apart both because of its OS and because of its results. No, he’s not bad, and the shots are not bad, they are just ... “different”. Well, on the iDevice screen, they look pretty good.

    HTC in most tests showed the worst result. Nevertheless, the ultra-pixel camera and HTC Zoe software need to be further developed.

    Well, I also want to say that for some time LG has a really great camera in a smartphone. Thank you for your attention and see you soon on the hub

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