Jun 17 AT 7:25 PM Nick Sarafolean 5 Comments

LG G3 camera experience: megapixels and lasers

LG G3 (7) (JPG, Resized)

When you think of how you use your smartphone, several things come to mind: calling, texting, browsing the web, checking social media, streaming music, playing movies, reading books and, oh yes, taking pictures. The camera is one of the most important parts of a smartphone, and LG decided to make sure that its flagship G3 was outfitted with a good one.

The G3′s camera features a 13-megapixel sensor paired with optical image stabilization. A dual-LED flash sits on one side of the camera while the other side plays home the stand-out feature of the camera: a laser autofocus. The system shoots a laser that hits an object, then bounces back to the IR camera that does some math and figures out the distance from the camera to the object and determines where to focus. Oh, and this all takes place in about .276 seconds.

In real world usage, the camera works as well as you’d expect with such a system, which is to say that it’s a great camera. It focuses quickly, is easy to use and provides high-quality results that are almost always on par with the industry standard iPhone 5S. The auto white balance is accurate and the camera does a good job with dynamic range. For even better contrast and dynamic range, you can use the dedicated HDR mode that bumps it up even more. Look at the comparison below with and without HDR.

HDR comparison

The G3 has some other tricks up its sleeve, including a Magic Focus that works surprisingly well. What it does is quickly take several pictures at different focal lengths, then gives you the option to choose which focus you want. The concept is great and works well for macro shots. Other than that, though, it becomes a bit useless. Another flaw is that you can only change the focus right after you take the photo, meaning that you can’t change it later. Check out the shot below for an example of Magic Focus.


We also pitted Magic Focus against HTC’s UFocus. Checking out the result below, we can see that Magic Focus not only looks far more natural, but is also far more accurate in where it chooses to defocus. And as an added bonus, you can see how much better the G3 is with dynamic range and white balance.

HTC One UFocus Comparison

keyThe camera UI itself makes the shooter fairly easy to use. In auto mode, the only two buttons are a back button to exit the camera app and a settings button. The entire screen is your shutter button and you simply to tap it to take a picture. When you turn on special modes like Magic Focus, a dedicated shutter button does appear. On the whole, the camera app is very minimal, which is a good thing when compared to some of the cluttered camera UIs out there.

LG hit a home run with the G3 camera, pairing a great sensor with OIS and high-speed laser autofocus. While LG has had camera struggles in the past, we’re glad to see that it’s resolved them with the G3, allowing for a true flagship experience.

Check out the gallery below for more pictures from the G3.


A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @nsarafolean.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • dragonhockey

    The camera of a smartphone is one of the major factors you have to consider when choosing one for you because most of the time you will use it to capture moments and shots that you can save for a lifetime and its frustrating if you have a poor camera specs.

  • Noureddine S

    Download the latest ANDROID Apps& Games.For FREE


  • Brennan

    Takes several pictures at different focal lengths? Be careful with your terminology.

    This camera takes multiple pictures at different planes of focus.

    Focal length (simplified) is the effective distance between the optical nodal points of the objective element and rear focus plane of a lens, which ultimately dictates the angle of view of the lens. Only a camera with an actual (optical) zoom lens is capable of doing what you describe.

  • Jamie

    I have the HTC M8 and I’m extremely disappointed in the camera. Especially when trying to take pictures up close. Up close is absolutely terrible, it just doesn’t focus correctly.

    I switched from the LG G2 and, camera wise, I regretted it.

  • Jacqueline

    The camera of LG G3 seems more impressive then HTC M8 according to the images captured through it shown above. Well, it is rumored that Verizon may introduce it in the US market and will be available from 17th July. I have lots of expectations from its 3000mAh battery that after fully charged on qi wireless charger expected to give 25 hours of Talk time.