The LG G5 is quite a phone, but one of its standout features is the camera, which after using an iPhone 6 Plus for a year is perhaps one of the most useful additions to a phone I have experienced in quite some time.
The LG G5 uses a dual-lens camera, which means instead of one sensor on the back of the phone you have, well, two. And while this might sound a bit like a gimmick — or, similar to what HTC tried to do a couple of years ago — it really isn’t.
LG smashed the ball out of the park with this imaging setup.
The G5, unlike nearly all of its peers, for now, is equipped with two rear facing cameras: the default 75º setup, which uses a 16MP sensor and captures shots like any other smartphone in its class, and a wide-angle, 135º setup that uses an 8MP sensor for wider, more panoramic shots.
The wide-angle lens lets you take truly stunning photos of things right in front of you. For instance, say you’re shooting a phone for review and it’s on your desk in front of you. With a normal phone you’d have to take a few steps back to get the ideal shot. Not so with the LG G5 — just switch to the wide-angle lens and it captures everything in front of you, as you can see below:
The wide-angle lens is also great for video as well. You can capture a more realistic, POV-style view of what you’re attempting to capture. I mainly used the wide-angle for images but I can really see a lot of people loving this aspect of the camera for video work. The possibilities, whether filming short films or vlogs, are obvious the moment you begin tinkering around with the settings.
Apple is widely reported to be including a dual-lens camera on its upcoming iPhone 7. After using the LG G5 for almost a month as my daily driver, and being someone that doesn’t really use my phone camera all that much, I can see why the world’s biggest technology form is interested in this type of imaging technology — it completely redefines what you can do with photography on a mobile phone. And this is the first implementation. Imagine what it’ll be capable of in a couple of years?
LG G5 Camera: Many, Many Modes
The LG G5 has a couple more tricks up its sleeve, and while these aren’t quite as impressive as the imaging unit as a whole, they certainly add in an element of fun to capturing images. Out the box you get seven shooting modes: Auto (the default), Popout, Multi-View, Snap, Panorama, Slo-mo and Time-lapse.
Popout mode uses both cameras to create shots where the subject is in focus and the background is kind of blurred. The standard lens captures the focus object, while the wide-angle lens handles the background and adds in effects like a vignette or blurring.
Multi-View is pretty cool too, and rather similar to an Instagram mode, as it lets you shoot three separate images and then arrange them in one, grid-like shot for uploading to social networks. This is great for images from nights-out or shots when you’re doing something, say, walking up a mountain, and you want to show progress and vistas from your vantage point inside one image.
Another cool feature of the camera is its built-in voice control settings, which you can turn on by tapping the Settings icon in the camera app. With this setting activated, you can assign a voice command — like, “cheese” — to activate the shutter.
This sounds like a gimmick, but if you’re capturing images on a tripod and want to minimise movement for video or photo, it is a godsend because you can say, CHEESE, and the image or video is captured without having to touch the camera and this, obviously, eradicates any movement or judder before capture.
Manual Mode For Pros
Like a lot of Android phones, the LG G5 features the ability to shoot in Manual mode. When you activate this mode you have complete control over everything — ISO, White Balance, Shutter Speed and Focal Range. This offers a degree of control over images that simply cannot be matched by standard modes, providing you know what you’re doing.
Importantly, you can also capture photos in RAW format which is ideal for more professional shooters that like to retouch and edit their captured shots in software like Photoshop.