LG G5 Camera Review: We fully test the LG G5’s 16-megapixel rear lens and all-new 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, to see how they hold up against rivals. Check out our full G5 camera review, complete with photo and video galleries.
The LG G5 has many seriously cool features, including the pull-off bottom that can be used to remove the battery and add new mobile modules (check out our LG G5 review for more info). However, we were most intrigued by the G5’s new dual-lens camera, which offers a standard 16-megapixel snapper accompanied by a fresh wide-angle 8-megapixel lens.
These camera lenses can be used together or separately to capture some impressive photos and video footage. We’ve had a play with the G5’s camera and here’s our full review, complete with photo and video samples so you can check out the results.
Read next: LG G5 vs HTC 10 vs Samsung Galaxy S7
LG G5 camera review: LG’s camera app
We’re big fans of LG’s camera app, and thankfully this hasn’t changed much since the LG G4. On the LG G5, you can once again switch between Simple, Auto and Manual modes, to match your own tastes.
The G5’s Simple camera mode offers the bare bones functionality you’ll need; simply point at your subject and tap the screen (or push the volume buttons) to capture a photo. The only on-screen controls are the toggles at the top, for switching between the two rear camera lenses. If you want to swap between the front-facing and rear lenses, just swipe your finger down the screen, while pinching can be used to zoom in and out. It’s blissfully clutter-free and dead easy to use.
If you feel slightly queasy without plenty of on-screen toggles and settings, then swap to the G5’s Auto mode instead. From here you can choose to shoot video or snap photos using the two on-screen shutter buttons, while you also have a row of basic settings housed along the left edge. These can be used to toggle the flash, switch the camera mode and enter the more in-depth camera settings.
You also have the option to quickly share your pics, by tapping a drop-down bar. This allows you to post photos to social media, email them, or even attach them to a calendar entry.
Finally you have the full-on Manual mode, which will appeal to pro photographers. In this mode the G5 offers up a level reticule plus access to White Balance, Focus, ISO and aperture settings, so you can get exactly the result you’re looking for. You can also shoot RAW images if wanted.
Basically, the LG G5 camera app has something for everyone, no matter what your skill level.
LG G5 camera review: 16-megapixel camera experience and quality
The LG G5’s 16-megapixel lens is quick to focus, proving almost as fast as the Xperia Z5 and Galaxy S7 cameras. Once locked on, you can then quickfire loads of shots by rapidly tapping the shutter button.
In our tests, the G5 produced some stunning results across a range of conditions. Scenes well lit with soft or artificial light are captured with impressive detail, whether you’re right up close to your subject or shooting a landscape. The G5’s lenses don’t cope with high contrast as well as the Xperia Z5’s 23-megapixel camera, but it’s rare to flick through your album and find an oversaturated photo.
The LG G4 was of course one of the best performers in our tests when it came to low-light photography, and the LG G5 does a fine job too. Even in dingy bars and pubs, the lens can suck up enough light to produce quite a bright result, without too much grain.
The G5 deals quite well with motion too. As long as your subject isn’t right in front of the lens, you can generally capture a moving person or animal without any serious blur.
Want to know how the G5 camera compares with its biggest rivals, such as the Galaxy S7 and Xperia Z5? You’ll have to wait for our camera supertest comparison, coming soon!
LG G5 camera review: Photo samples
Here’s a gallery of photos taken with the LG G5’s 16-megapixel camera.
LG G5 camera review: Wide-angle vs standard
The wide-angle 8-megapixel lens that sits alongside the G5’s standard 16-megapixel snapper may capture less detail, but it’s a fantastic option for snapping landscapes as well as a group of people in confined spaces. We also found that the wide-angle lens was a great way to snap your pet up-close, to capture the entire face instead of just a stray ear.
Here are a couple of examples of the same shot taken on the two cameras, so you can see what an impact switching makes.
LG G5 camera review: 8-megapixel selfie cam
That 8-meg selfie camera is another dependable snapper, again performing well across a range of lighting conditions. The lens captures a terrifying amount of detail, so thank god for that built-in beauty mode (a slider on the right edge of the screen) that softens any damage done by those late nights.
It’s reasonably wide-angle too, so you can comfortably fit in five or six heads at full stretch (helped by the fist-pump shutter activation feature). In fact, the only feature we’re not fans of is the ‘flash’ mode, which reduces the viewing window and places a white border around it, in an attempt to light up your face. It’s nowhere near as effective as the similar mode on the iPhone 6s or Galaxy S7 (which was actually a little too powerful).
LG G5 camera review: Camera modes
The LG G5’s camera has a few bonus camera modes built in, which can be quickly selected from the G5’s Auto mode. These include standard bonus modes like a panorama feature, along with some whizzy new creations like the Popout and Multi-view modes.
Check out our full review of the LG G5’s camera modes for more info.
LG G5 camera review: Video samples
Our video samples recorded using the LG G5’s cameras came out well, as expected. The focus is quick to lock onto your subject and can handle changes in lighting remarkably well. You can shoot up to Ultra HD video and here’s some of our test footage.
You also have built-in Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), boosted by LG’s own ‘Steady Record’ feature. With Steady Record enabled, we found that our footage was much smoother than with just OIS active, although there is a ‘tremor’ effect with each step taken. Sadly you can only use Steady Record when shooting Full HD or standard HD video; it’s not selectable for Ultra HD video.
Check out our comparison video below.