LG’s newest phone sports some amazing specs. We run the AT&T version of the G3 through its paces to see how the camera performance has evolved over the G2, and if that new Laser Focus is as good as LG claims it is. It’s time for our real-world test bench!
LG G3 Camera Review: UHD Video Test and Samples:
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hey everybody some gadget guy and it is time to play with the camera on the LG g3 been exciting watching LG during this transition is every phone I've played with theirs has subtly refined to the experience of shooting photos and video and the g3 is no exception so jumping right into some outdoor flower scenes we can see focus performance is razor sharp you still can't pre focus video before you start shooting but once you are shooting the focus action feels like it's on ball bearings it's a very sure-footed efficient focusing system now there's still a tendency to over expose in the video and unfortunately as LG has simplified their camera app they also have gotten rid of quite a few settings that I think would actually help things like exposure control and also what type of metering you'd want the phone to use I prefer spot metering so that when I focus on something it takes the metering off of that object but those features are gone now and we can see here with this yellow flower the g3 still struggles with over exposing the scene highlights are clipped and yellow is already a difficult enough color to expose for that the saturation is starting to wipe out detail information in all of the little petals we start getting into scenes with reds and pinks in them thankfully the saturation is on point these flowers are very vibrant so I'm happy to see that the g3 has gotten the color correct but I do wish that I could turn down this video by about a half a stop ditto scenes with predominantly red in the frame here we see that color information is starting to get lost in just the oversaturated I mean it's vibrant video with colors that pop but we start to lose some of that information in the texture and the leaves Reds can be especially difficult to properly expose for but here the LG is just starting to get in its own way in trying to deliver vibrant video another note on that focus though is once you lock on to something the g3 is much more sure-footed than the g2 or the G flex used to be and it seemed like this the g2 used to hunt and pulse focus all throughout the video here once you've locked on to that little lime in the background it just stays put and I'm really happy to see that the focus isn't shifting all over the place just another example of how the focus locks in once you set it this foreground object is not confusing the phone at all I had it focused out to where those trees are casting shadows and the g3 is not letting go now we're still dealing with a smaller censored camera here the 1/3 inch sensor isn't radically different than the sensor found on the g2 so unfortunately we don't have the most pleasant depth of field behind this flower it's still really easy to make out the ferns directly behind it and then the background blur is just really buzzy and a little overly crisp once you get into that upper right hand corner it's not the most pleasant output we've seen in trying to blur the background especially going up against phones with larger image sensors just another example of this depth of field at play once we're focused on this little Bougainville blossom here you can very easily make out the garages directly to the right of the flowers and then the texture in the trees behind the garage it's again it's a it's a very buzzy it's a very active kind of blur which can be a little distracting it kind of draws your eye away from the subject if if you're looking around the rest of the frame onto a walking test LG's optical image stabilization does a better job than most phones that only employ electronic image stabilization I actually wish that they could crank up the response just a little bit more I kinda like the wobble that some people don't like when you look at video shot from a Nokia and while it definitely doesn't live up to the advertising that you see in LG commercials it's doing a pretty decent job of compensating for not only my hand movements but then also my foot Falls now another little gripe with this camera app even though the focus is much more sure-footed I don't feel that the camera alerts you as well when you're trying to focus in at macro distances so there are gonna be plenty of times where the camera will say that it's got a lock on your subject and it doesn't really that you're maybe just a little too close to the lens of the camera and it's starting to blur out certain details in the foreground onto a transition test moving from a dark scene to a bright scene and then back again I'm really happy with the performance on the g3 thankfully it looks like they've stopped scaling the frame rate to compensate for exposure and there's a very subtle bloom when going from dark to bright then it gets a little choppy err when going from Bright to dark but this is almost Samsung level performance and Samsung phones I still feel are some of the best performing phones at handling exposure changes LG is right behind them now and this is definitely better performance than I've seen out of Nokia phones conducting the same test now on to tracking movement just the camera right around where that great is directly in front of me so as cars drive into and out of the scene on previous LG devices I would normally expect the phone to start hunting focus but that's no longer the case you set the focus the phone stays put and I'm really happy to see that now I can't say I'm overly impressed with the audio quality on LG phone so I think there are far too aggressive in applying noise reduction and it starts to have a warble e almost underwater quality when there's a lot of ambient noise in your scene and just to check out some zooming in video we we have enough megapixel information to down sample and resample but we also have an 8 X zoom on this camera which means I would say 3 up to 3x is probably a pixel resample similar to what we see on Samsung Nokia and then beyond that it's just blurring the image and we're losing a lot of detail at the far end of the zoom even trying to refocus there's just no more information to pull out of the scene but if you keep your zooming just a little bit more reasonable I think you end up with better looking video now into some nighttime scenes we we do have a lot of glare off of this camera lens I even tried cleaning it you can see headlights and street lights definitely bloom but it's doing a phenomenal job of tracking movement not getting confused by objects entering and leaving the frame and we are not employing a destructive amount of noise reduction all in all this is really good looking nighttime video and we no longer have a camera that's trying to hunt all over the place trying to lock focus nor do we have a camera that's scaling way back to something like 15 frames per second onto our creepy gate LG is also giving us phenomenal white balance this is very very close to what this scene looks like in real life it's a very orange light that lights this gate and I think maybe it would be just a touch more yellow looking at this video now but this is very accurate color information which again we can see using our creepy tunnel scene that the lighting on the front of the tunnel is very yellow so we should see very yellow paneling yellow walls but then the lights inside the tunnel are very whitish blue which we see travelling all the way down the tunnel it's excellent color accuracy especially when we're pushing the camera in low-light situations and one more example of this where we can see these two lights have always bugged me down my walkway near my condo where the what light closest to me is a white light and the light right next to it is just slightly more yellow the LG is doing a phenomenal job of capturing those differences while again also shooting low-light video and this flower shot in almost no light we're just dealing with my neighbor's porch light here it's still retaining an incredible amount of detail and incredible amount of information we can see some noise reduction blurring some of the lines some of the detail in the petals and the and the leaves behind the flower but I'm just so happy to see that LG is not scaling back to 15 frames per second so folks this has been a substantial update to LG's camera sensor and camera app combination on the g3 I'm getting much much better performance in terms of focusing in terms of white balance and especially in low-light video situations where the camera app is maintaining 30 frames per second video instead of scaling back to 20 or 15 frames per second video like previous LG's and the HTC ones and I'll always be a fan of onboard optical image stabilization helping to smooth out the scene and then also for those of you who shoot still photos being able to maintain your shutter open longer and compensating for your hand movement when shooting in low-light in my opinion this is about as good as a 1/3 inch sensor can get and really I don't think LG has anywhere to go from here in improving their camera quality until they step up to a larger image sensor and for those of you who are interested in such things I've duplicated most of these tests while shooting UHD video as well so definitely check out on my channel for the Ultra HD version of all of these video tests because there are a couple surprises especially in how the camera manages exposure and white balance that I wasn't expecting moving up to a higher resolution as always folks thanks so much for watching my videos sharing my videos subscribing to my channel dropping me those comments down below if there are any questions you have on LG's camera here on the g3 definitely drop me a comment below I'd be happy to answer it hit that thumbs up button and I will catch you all on the next review you