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LG G4 camera samples: Can this replace your DSLR?

by Brandon Russell | May 1, 2015May 1, 2015 12:00 pm PDT

Battery, design, camera; three big ingredients a phone needs in order to be successful. Our demands for today’s super phones are higher than ever, which means companies need to make the appropriate improvements. Last year, the LG G3 offered a solid design and a really great camera. This year’s device promises to do better.

As it stands, the Galaxy S6 (and S6 Edge) is the market’s camera king, offering sharp pictures, accurate colors, and excellent exposure. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn close—it was always going to be a tough act to follow. That hasn’t fazed LG one bit. At the top of New York earlier this week, the Korean company proudly unveiled what it claims can completely replace not just your point-and-shoot, but a DSLR.

Big, bold statements. It better produce results that justify such ambitious goals.

We haven’t yet had the time to really put LG’s claims to task, but we did get the opportunity to quickly lug the device around our office (with some shots around my apartment). To make things as easy and general as possible, I left the device in Auto mode, which essentially did all the dirty work for me; there’s also a Simple mode, which allows users to press on the screen to take a picture; and a Manual mode, which, as the name implies, lets you tweak different settings such as shutter speed, ISO, white balance, etc.

In the short time I’ve spent with the phone, I’ve come away impressed—mostly. White balance is accurate both indoors and outdoors, and image quality seems on a par with today’s top shooters; exposure seems a little shaky early on. Whether it’s the very best remains to be seen. But you can bet we’ll be working to find out where the G4 fits into the increasingly competitive world of smartphone cameras.

LG said it made a lot of improvements to make the G4’s camera experience the best there is. In addition to the upgraded 16-megapixel sensor and f/1.8 lens, the device also sports better image stabilization, the same laser auto focus system found in the G3, and a “color spectrum sensor” that LG says will produce more accurate color and white balance. Inside our office, phones always shoot warm. Not the G4; so far, white balance has been excellent in challenging lighting conditions, backing up LG’s claims (at least so far).

We’ll let you guys be the judge of these shots. We didn’t get a chance to cover every shooting scenario in every lighting condition, but they should still give you an idea of how the G4’s camera performs. As we continue to work toward our final review, we’ll be sure to see how the device compares to some of today’s big flagship phones, including the Galaxy S6.

For now, check out the sample images and let us know what you think.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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