LG G6 Camera Review – Amazing with One Fatal Flaw

The LG G6’s Dual camera set up is my current favorite on the market because it gives me the most flexibility. The two lenses don’t do depth of field to make your photos look a little more fancy or have a black and white lens to make any low light scenario look stunning. The G6 has a wide angle lens built right in which lets you do more with what you see. No more crouching down to get a whole building in, or not having enough photo to work with when cropping for Instragram, the LG G6’s wide angle lens has you covered!

The  13MP cameras on the G6 are technically a step down from the G5’s 16MP shooter. That is true, but it’s a technicality, by now we’ve all figured out that more Mega Pixels don’t always mean the highest quality. The reason they went down to 13 from 16 is they wanted to get rid of the camera bump on the back. They also made the two lenses equal in Mega Pixel count, previously the wide angle was lower at 8MP which was quite a noticeable, more might not be better but half as many is defenatly a big difference.

The main camera does have an advantage over the wide angle as it comes with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS,) which means that you can take faster shots in lower light. It also gives you more stabilization when you’re taking video.The main camera also lets you have that blurred background which so many people these days love, it’s not an good as those that use the information from both cameras to create the effect digitally, but it’s pretty good. The wide angle camera is fixed focus lens which means that everything is always in focus. This is very normal with wide angle cameras, none of GoPro’s cameras have depth of field, they aim to have everything in focus all the time.

When it comes to versatility we really to have to give it to LG, the wide angle camera was often my main camera on the G5, so improving it is an easy sell.  You can see below just how much more you have to work with when you use the wide angle lens.

When is comes to overall camera quality, I have been really loving the camera, I’ve fallen in love with a few photos, this one of the sheep in particular. We did do a bit of editing before we shared it, so we’re going to show you both versions just so you can see what’s possible.

Edited on Instagram

Unedited

At the Geneva Auto Show it was easy to see how the Wide Angle lens made this the best phone to take car photos with, tight spaces with not a lot of room the Wide angle really let you capture the car. It was only here that I really noticed that the wide angle was slightly more orange than the standard angle photo, the hue is slightly different, but it needs to be added to list of things that aren’t quite as good on the wide angle.

When it comes to samples shots of the wide angle vs the standard lens I have quite a few, the versatility of the camera lens is a massive advantage and we can’t stress enough that we prefer it over the portrait mode that most dual lenses focus on.

HRD on, you can see it can feel a little over processed, but still a very good photo.

And when it comes to the Zoom let’s take a look at how the wide, standard and 100% zoom perform. 100% isn’t great, but it still impressive how much detail you get for something so far away.

Low light?

If you look closely on some of the photos you can notice a little more noise on the wide angle shots, but in general, we think the G6 camera performs quite well in low light, is it the new benchmark for low light smartphone photography like the Pixel? No, but it’s no slouch either.

Is being Square really all that?

We love the versatility that the dual lens setup offers and this becomes even more apparent when you use their camera app Square. With it’s 18:9 screen ratio you have two perfect squares and LG has come up with a few clever ways to take advantage of that, especially if you’re into Instagram, Snapshot let’s you take a photo and instantly see the result, so you don’t need to go into the gallery to check your shot and if you need to get another one you have it there as a reference.

Though the two lenses are technically equal in terms of sensor and cameras they are anything but, the Wide angle is still a little lower quality when it comes to low light photography. That’s because the standard lens comes with OIS and this gives it the edge in low light. You can see in low light photos between the two lenses that the camera quality just isn’t quite as good.

The camera interface is the first place that we really noticed LG taking advantage of all that extra screen real estate. camera roll and you can preview all the photos that you just took and Square is a camera feature that splits the display into two perfect squares, grid shot put 4 photos into one, guide shot give you examples of shots for you to frame against, and match shot lets you take one photo and line it up with the other one.

Anyone who uses Instagram will love Snapshot, instead of having to open the photo and check to make sure you got it, you can immediately see it and make adjustments. Some people have scoffed at me for claiming that it’s a great feature, but if you love Instagram (and let’s be honest, isn’t that almost everyone?) you’re going to love this feature.

Grid shot is good for making a collage, but it’s a bit annoying to have to shoot them in order all at once. I understand that it’s a camera feature but most of the time when I’m making a collage it’s not about taking a series of photos in a row but rather, it’s about capturing the essence of an event. The photos I’d most likely want to include together could happen hours or even 10 minutes apart, having to take the photos right away is rather limiting in the content you can create.

When it comes to match shot, I havne’t gotten much more creative with it than what you see below, I know that it’s possible to come up with some amazing ideas like LG has done in their sample work, but it’s a feature that is a little lost on me, maybe in a few more months of playing I’ll have figured something out, but for now, I’m not sold.

Guide shot is a bit of mess, actually, it’s a massive mess. When you take a photo that photo by default becomes the guide photo (which you don’t want! you want their amazing photos to be the one that you’re copying, not your failed attempt). Your crappy photos are then shown to you over and over as examples of guide shot photos. I think I’m pretty good at Instagram, but I’ve tried a few times and you’d need a hand model to pull off most of these photos and the top down food shots, we all know that restaurant lighting casts shadows on your plate and the side lighting needed for perfect shots like theirs just isn’t in the real world (or not my world anyways).

We do love the camera roll that appears on the side letting you see all the photos that’ you’ve just taken, no need to open the gallery app to check out a specific shot, you can just scroll back right in the camera UI. We’re a huge fan of this feature and think it’s probably the best/most useful UI innovation that we’ve seen in a while.

In terms of the rest of the camera UI we do like that you can tap to focus with the standard lens and in both lenses you’re able to tap to meter the light as well as manually adjust it (we’re not sure why this manual adjustment wasn’t in the G5, but we’re glad it’s in the G6).

The Camera is set to Auto by default, under Auto you can select Square or Manual Modes

What can get a little confusing when navigating the camera UI is finding the different Square shooting options. There is a dedicated Square app that can bring you into this shooting mode or you can find it by selecting Auto which is where you can also go into manual mode. that it’s only in Square Mode that you’re able to access the different types of shots (Grid, Match, Snap and Guide). You have to use the Square App or select it from the same menu where you can head into manual mode.  Once you’re in Square you can choose the different Square app features. Otherwise when in “normal” camera mode the options that are available are: PopOut, Snap, Panorama, Slo-Mo, 360 Panorama, Time Lapse & Food.

Front Facing Camera

The 5MP front facing camera is a 5 Megapixel f/2.2 camera to help you fine-tune those selfies. There are a bunch of different filters to help you get any look you’re going for, lighting is a bit of a strange one, we’ve tried to use it on a few different occasions and we just think that it pulls the highlights of existing lighting brightening the shot but not enough to make us think of using it. Skin tone does even out your skin nicely and isn’t as capable of being alien in extreme, they’ve opted for there highest setting to be only slightly unnatural.

The selfie camera needs a serious upgrade, it’s just as important as the front facing camera and LG has totally missed this mark. The front facing camera is even down from 8MP on the G5 to 5MP on the G6, we can’t get over just how disappointed we are in the low light performance. I keep cleaning the lens to see if it’s dirty, but it just keeps on producing subpar selfie.

If the bar lighting is a little bit better the front facing camera isn’t really that bad, jsut a few meters away in better lighting I took these every decent photos using the different live filters

The Verdict

We’re in love with the wide angle lens and forgive it’s slightly lower performance in low light because of the versatility it brings to our mobile photography. We can’t look past the subpar low-light selfies, we can understand how for some this could be a real deal breaker.