173Image quality ratingUBER-G SCORESscoring / ranking system nameIQImage quality based rating systemCAMERAMobile High EndCategory based on price2019-02Device introduction dateLG G8 ThinQDevice brand and name

The LG G8 ThinQ announced on February 24 is LG's new flagship smartphone (high-end, mainstream). Despite a relatively affordable price tag of $ 620 (T-Mobile, no contract), camera performance is of paramount importance to potential buyers. Let's take a look at the performance of the LG G8 camera using the prism of our four photo columns.

Important camera specifications and hardware score of the Uber-G camera

  • Rear view camera system (2 cameras)
    • Primary: 25 mm 12 MP 1: 1.5 wide (primary) + OIS
    • Extra wide: 16 mm 16 MP 1: 1.9 Ultrawide

From a hardware perspective, the LG G8 camera modules (25 and 16 mm) are only slightly more powerful than the LG V40. They look almost identical on the surface, but a more detailed analysis shows a slight increase in light sensitivity.

Image quality analysis

Important: Let us clarify some terms that we will use:

  • "Image processing": Software work that improves the image data quality
  • "Image filtering": Software work that changes the style (aesthetics) of the photo.
  • "Context photo: a large Approximation from what we see
    • Including how dark the scene actually is
    • Just for that context of the shot.

A note on Uber-G camera IQ benchmark: Our camera rating system is based on four “pillars” or partial values ​​that offer the much needed nuance: Day, night, Zoom and extra wide Photography.

Daylight photography: 185

The color matching of the daylight camera of the LG G8 is reminiscent of the Google Pixel 3, which has a more pronounced image filter style that increases the contrast and saturation slightly above the normal level, but not so much that it disturbs people.

Context: the scene as we see it

Above: Both the LG G8 and the Pixel 3 increase the contrast of the shadow areas. like the mulch next to the table. The G8 has additional sharpening filtering, which seems superfluous in daylight due to the quality of the photos.

Below: The Galaxy S10 series has a more natural HDR tuning and captures the shaded area as you see it, and closer to our context photo.

The LG G8 is set to take more natural shots than the LG V40 camera, which tends to over-saturate and contrast somewhat. Some people may prefer more saturated colors, but the saturation is very easy to add, according to the facts.

If you increase saturation by default, many users who want to "see what they see" may be "turned off". Holding onto reality is always a safe bet.

Context photo: what we see

The Galaxy S10 uses as much sharpening as the LG G8, while the Pixel 3 and iPhone X don't use nearly as much as can be seen in the photos below. This is partly the reason why the iPhone XS can better preserve the texture (how materials look). If not used intelligently, excessive sharpening will result in artifacts that can disrupt small details.

Above: As you can see, the “texture” of the roof is better preserved by the iPhone X among others.

Below: In this photo, both the LG G8 and Galaxy S10 are doing very well, but the G8 makes shaded parts darker and has a slight bluish tint over the image. The S10 has better color capture and HDR management.

LG has made great strides in daylight photography compared to V40 and now has a score to quantify them.

Night photography: 191

The LG G8's primary 25mm camera performs better in low light than the LG V40 in all situations. A side-by-side comparison is enough to reveal this fact and explain the higher score for night photos. However, let's go deeper with a first scene.

Context Shot: The scene as we see it

Above: You can see right away that the LG G8 maintains the general mood and lighting of the scene better than the LG V40. Getting the right color tones is very difficult in low light because the data is much scarcer than in daylight. This pushes the camera equipment to its limits.

Below you can see how Pixel 3 changes the saturation and contrast of the scene. The Huawei P30 Pro offers even more when it comes to optimizing camera image filtering.

And the Galaxy S10 captures the group's most realistic hues, followed by the LG G8.

The LG G8 doesn't have the P30 Pro's exceptional night vision feature, and you can take a closer look at it in our P30 Pro low-light test, but it works just fine if your eyes can see.

The G8 takes slightly blurry photos than the Galaxy S10 and P30 Pro, as it often relies on a slow shutter speed of just 1/5 sec (compared to 1/15 sec from Huawei) to do more while taking photos Collecting light.

In addition to the color tones, a cropped photo highlights what happens to noise and details. First we compare LG V40 and LG G8. You can see significant differences in noise. You can find details in the tree bark, in the tree shade of the house and in the street sign.

Context Shot: What We See

Above: The Pixel 3 noise level is quite high when the brightness gets low enough, like here with street lighting. This also applies to other situations. The Pixel 3 photo may appear more appealing due to the additional saturation, but is a simple optimization.

Below: The Huawei P30 Pro artificially brightens the scene, but filters it so strongly that the scene looks a bit hard. Together with the aggressive noise filtering and the 10 megapixel detection, this leads to a certain loss of detail.

Above: As you can see, the LG G8 is pretty close to Galaxy, which has only slightly better details and contrasts. S10 remains the phone with poor lighting conditions under "normal" conditions of only 0.5 LUX (this is a ~ 7 LUX scene). The performance breaks down below 0.5 LUX and you need night vision.

The LG G8 could use a little more contrast to get even more lifelike photos, and it's so simple that we can hope that a future software update will improve this someday. In the meantime, a simple filter in the photo editor can help. We didn't know what to expect from the G8's low-light performance, but we're happy with it, especially given the price of the handset (~ 699 at the time of release).

Ultrawide: 136

by daylightthe ultrawide photos are better than LG V40, which was the best ultrawide camera of 2018. The G8 noise is significantly lower, the colors are more lifelike and the G8's HDR performance has also improved.

If you compare ultra-wide daylight shots to those of the Galaxy S10, the LG G8 has slightly lower noise levels and less lens distortion (see below), but the Galaxy S10 has a slightly better HDR that preserves contrast and shadows more naturally.

Overall, the G8 has an advantage in extreme daylight, unless the focal length of the S10 of 14 mm is particularly important for you (compared to 16 mm for the G8).

Context (not ultra wide) as a color reference

The Galaxy S10 already performs better in ultrawide photography than the Huawei P30 Pro. When you compare the LG G8 to the P30 Pro's Ultrawide shots, it's clear that the G8 wins in terms of color, noise, and distortion – it's as clear as a day.

Above: Both pictures are really good on the surface, since the G8 Ultrawide cameras use more HDR than necessary, so that we end up losing some contrast / shadow. The S10 land very close to the contextual image, which is a proxy for "reality".

Below, the Huawei P30 changes the mood of the scene dramatically and has a good number of chromatic aberrations in the top right (pay attention to the purple glow in the branches).

Below you can also see how the camera deals with tricky details like a mixture of grass and weeds. The LG G8 does a better job than the Galaxy S10. At the same time, you can see that the G8 Ultrawide photo is less noisy.

Context recording (cropped)

In extremely poor lighting conditions, the LG G8, like the LG V40, outperforms all Huawei phones on the market. The LG G8 ultrawide camera suffers less from vignetting (light decreases from the center) than the S10 and P30 Pro. However, the improvements over the LG V40 at night are not quite perfect.

Context photo: what we see

On the other hand, the image sharpness is lost, since the LG camera is resumed at shutter speeds of only 1/5 seconds, which makes the photo blurry. Here, too, the Galaxy S10 captures better colors and retains an advantage at night.

Thanks to its Ultrawide performance in daylight, the overall score for the LG G8 Ultrawide is high enough to make it the new Ultrawide champion!

Zoom: 57

As already mentioned, the zoom functions of the LG G8 are more limited than those of the LG V40 camera system, as LG has switched the hardware priorities to the ToF camera on the front and back of the phones. There are no optical zoom lens So zoom photos actually use a digitally enlarged photo from the main camera.

This choice costs the LG G8 a few points in our Camera IQ score, but OEMs have to do a delicate balancing act to offer an optimal "experience for the price".

Above: The overall zoom IQ of the LG G8 is above the Google Pixel 2. There are some style differences and the G8 uses more filtering, but the Pixel 2 is quite noisy.

Above: The Google Pixel 3 shows the upper limit of a normal 25-27 mm lens in a zoom situation when the most intelligent algorithms are used. Although technically impressive, it becomes difficult to improve quality without a better sensor or special zoom lens.

This final comparison with the Huawei P30 Pro shows the effect of a 135 mm lens for the optics compared to a 25 mm lens with digital zoom.

Conclusion and Uber-G camera IQ Score

173Image quality ratingUBER-G SCORESscoring / ranking system nameIQImage quality based rating systemCAMERAMobile High EndCategory based on price2019-02Device introduction dateLG G8 ThinQDevice brand and name

Uber-G camera IQ Partial results
Day 185
night 191
Zoom 57
Extra wide 136

Overall, LG's camera strategy works with the LG G8. By focusing the camera resources on the two most important use cases (Wide and Ultrawide), LG offers users a great camera experience, even if it doesn't cover more exotic use cases such as extreme zoom and night vision.

With a street price of ~ $ 620 at the time of release, the LG G8 offers excellent Camera IQ (image quality) for which it is designed precisely. LG's next high-end camera will appear later this year and may dethrone today's top phones.

ULTIMATE 2019-04mobileUBER-G SCORECAMERAIQBESTULTRAWIDESpecific category is taken into account

From a mobile camera standpoint, the Samsung Galaxy S10e is the real danger to the LG G8 as it has a slightly better camera IQ and (read our Galaxy S10e Camera Review) and is sold in the same market segment. As a complete smartphone, however, the LG G8 has a few tricks with which it can differ from the Galaxy S10e.

In the meantime, the LG G8 looks like another iPhone XR killer, at least in terms of camera performance.

Saved in Cell Phones> Photo Video> Reviews. Read more about reviews from Editorspick, LG, LG G8 and Mobile Camera.


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