These days, it’s not just professional photographers who want good quality cameras. Anyone who values their social media presence would want a portable phone camera that captures the best parts of their life to share with their fanbase. Even smartphone creators are upping their camera game, giving cameras a run for their money.
The LG G4, which was released not long ago, boasts a great quality camera that could rival even hybrid DSLR cameras. With a 16 MP back camera that produces images of up to 5312 x 2988 pixels, and front camera of 8 MP, the LG G4 is a smartphone power-packed with a camera to impress. We brought it out for a test ride, and this is what happened.
In The Sunshine
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The basic functions of this smartphone camera play their roles well. With just two taps of the down volume button located just below the lens, the phone comes to life through the camera mode. This makes capturing quality moments with loved ones extremely simple. In Auto Mode, it showed off its flexibility by taking great quality pictures in every setting, adjusting quickly to any scene. When I moved from a dark room to intense sunshine, the camera hardly faltered, and the picture quality stayed.
The selfie mode was also fun to use. Instead of pressing a button to take a selfie, the front camera can be activated through hand gestures. A squeeze of an open palm in front of the camera will activate a 4-second timer. With two squeezes, it will take four consecutive shots. With friends, it’s great for fun shots. By yourself — well, no one takes just one selfie, do they?
The selfie camera also has an adjustable beautify function that removes blemishes, brightens skin, and smoothens skin tone for that perfect selfie.
The day-to-day usage of the phone’s camera is easy to operate, and produces great photos. But if you’re a professional camera user, this is where the experience gets really interesting. The manual mode of the LG G4 camera is what truly gives the user a photo-taking experience unrivalled by any other smartphone, and it was what I had the most fun with while taking photos.
Unlike most smartphone cameras, it allows you to adjust a range of camera settings, for example the ISO, White Balance, and Exposure. Simply put, the ISO controls the light sensitivity of your camera, and the LG G4 boasts a range of 50 to 2700. The higher the ISO, the more light will be captured in ultra-fast shots — setting this too high, though, might make your images look grainy.
Through the Manual mode, you can adjust the White Balance from a range of 2400K to 7400K, changing the colour temperature of a photo to suit indoor lighting. A room with dim yellow lighting, for example, seems to work best with 2000K, while natural sunlight works optimally with a higher white balance. You can also brighten or darken an image with exposure compensation, shown by the plus-minus (+/-) sign.
The manual focus also helps you choose the depth of focus. Instead of tapping a screen to focus on a particular subject, the manual focus works by reeling through a range of vision, much like how you would adjust the lens of a DSLR manually.
The best part was the adjustable shutter speed. This is the first smartphone to allow an adjustable shutter speed, which ranges from as long as 30 seconds per shot to as quick as 1/6000 seconds. This allows you to take amazing long exposure shots, including great night scenes or movement shots, as long as your hand is steady enough. It gives great room to play and experiment with.
At the end of the day, if you intend to do some post-shoot editing, you can choose to save your photos in a RAW jpeg file instead of the usual jpeg, which is made specifically for post-shoot editing.
The G4 Experience
While most smartphone cameras aim for clear photos with high resolutions, this phone’s camera impresses with its versatility. It’s flexible to your needs, from everyday Instagram photos to high quality shots, even to the most experimental of photographs.
Despite trying it out for a whole week, I feel like I have yet to fully explore everything that this camera has to offer. It pushes the limits for amateur photographers without breaking the bank. At the same time, it gives professional photographers — who are used to manual adjustments — a range of functionality that would definitely earn LG a degree of respect with this camera.