Which camera is better? LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5


WhistleOut
07 August 2014

The mighty LG G3 is finally upon us. It has received rave reviews worldwide and you can be assured that ours in in the works. In the meantime, how does its camera, with its laser auto-focus, stack up against the current Android champion: the Samsung Galaxy S5.

So far the S5 has managed to best the HTC One (M8) and even the Sony Xperia Z2 in separate camera showdowns. From personal use we’d also rate it higher than the iPhone 5s, which is roughly equal to the other two.

So, does the G3 have what it takes to bring down Samsung’s seemingly unstoppable happy-snapping flagship? In short: no, not quite. LG may have made a superior phone to Samsung in many respects, but Samsung seems to have pipped it once again in terms of image quality. Even so, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how close a call some of these photos are. In fact, at regular viewing sizes you could be forgiven for thinking they're identical.

Test 1:

To see the main differences between these two you're going to need to click on them and view the full sized images. Side-by-side, it becomes apparent that the Galaxy S5 provides just a slightly crisper image. Shapes have more defined outlines and textures are more detectable.

However, the LG G3 makes a comeback with color accuracy. Where the S5 seems to have allowed the glare and the purple leaves to wash out the soil below, the G3 maintained the correct contrast and more appropriately represented the color of the leaves themselves.

This one's a draw. The blown-up image of the GS5 was better for its detail, but at regular viewing sizes, such as you would find in a browser on on the phone itself, the G3's representation was more accurate thanks to the colors.

Draw

Test 2:

This one's a win for the S5. It's not without it's faults, but the G3 picture is a little too washed out by the glare to really be usable. The whole picture has an almost milky quality that we really don't like.

The Galaxy S5 avoided the milkiness across the majority of its image, but at the cost of the central UFO-like glow at the top. However, for the most part the rest of the picture maintained color integrity. Sharpness was also a little higher in the full-sized image, but almost clumsily so as if a sharpening filter had been activated post-capture.

Winner: Galaxy S5

Test 3

Once again we have two almost identical photos. Fully expanded the Galaxy S5 is the tiniest bit sharper, but it's unnoticeable at regular viewing proportions.

The LG G3 handled the sky a little better, managing to avoid the white hue above the buildings in the S5's image.

Overall, the differences between these two shots are too small to be important. They are both stunning examples of how far smartphone camera tech has come. Full marks to both!

Draw

Test 4

Once again we have two stunning pictures here, but this time there's a clear winning: the Galaxy S5. Admittedly, in the slimmed-down versions they're all but identical, but if you click the images and check out them at full size it's clear that the GS5 captures superior detail at close range. The flower itself, as well as the branch upon which it sits, have texture and depth that the G3 missed.

The G3 does well for itself. It's certainly not a blurry or grainy image; it's just not as good as the GS5's one.

It should be noted that the G3 has continued its run of color accuracy. The sky in the background is much more realistic than the S5's, which does look a little like a filter has been imposed. Still, it's not enough to sway the vote and Samsung takes the victory here.

Winner: Galaxy S5

Final test: the Selfie

I'm sure you've all been keenly anticipating this last, and ever-so-important test. Neither photo was particularly inspiring. Both were grainy, had poor color accuracy and would be useful for nothing bigger than than a newsfeed pic on your Facebook feed. Still, a winner must be claimed so onward shall we trudge.

The G3's picture was blurrier than the S5's, but had less noise. The S5 has far more pixellation, but is brighter and sharper.

At 'normal' viewing size for a selfie (read: social-media posts or phone screen viewing), the S5's noise becomes less apparent. Unfortunately for the G3 its blurriness does not. One look at the boats in the background, or my stylish granny jumper displays this.

We also feel that the brighter look of the Galaxy S5 is more suited to the purpose of a selfie, which is generally used to show everyone how good a time you're having. So, we're giving this one to the S5. Neither photo was particularly inspiring, but Samsung seems to have lived up to the underlying motivations of the selfie more than LG has.

Winner: Galaxy S5

Verdict

Both of these phones sport fantastic cameras. Each had super-fast and accurate auto-focus and handled everything from long-distance to close-ups with an ease that could only be called style.

The LG G3 was the best at color accuracy, that's for sure. There was little white glare in photos featuring the sky and everything came out generally as it looks in real life.

The Galaxy S5 was only a little behind the G3 in this respect, but overall managed to display finer details in its images, especially when viewed full-size. It's also better at close-ups than is the G3, but the two are equal at macro shots.

While Samsung is today's winner it is not by much. We don't think that the difference between these two cameras should sway your decision too far in the direction of either device. They both have plenty of other merits with which they can compete.

Ultimately, if you're an absolute camera nut and need to have the best camera on the market then the Galaxy S5 is certainly not a bad choice. If you're happy with a close second best then the LG G3 is a great phone that deserves your attention and respect.


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