Hang on, the LG G4 is a smartphone not a camera, or is it? The G4 features so many solid camera features that we decided it was worth diving into the camera specifically to see how it holds up on its own.

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Hardware

The LG G4 packs some impressive specifications for a smartphone (essentially an ultra slim camera):

  • Camera: 16 megapixels
  • Flash: LED
  • Aperture size: F1.8
  • Focal length (35mm equivalent): 28 mm
  • Camera sensor size: 1/2.6″
  • Pixel size: 1.12 μm
  • Features: AF Assist Beam, Optical image stabilization, Manual focus, Histogram, Face detection, Digital zoom, Voice activation, Self-timer, Autofocus, Touch to focus, Geo tagging
  • Settings: Exposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets, Shutter speed control
  • Shooting Modes: Burst mode, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Panorama, RAW image capture, Macro mode
  • Camcorder: 3840×2160 (4K) (30 fps), 1920×1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps), 1280×720 (720p HD) (60 fps)
  • Features: Optical image stabilization, Continuous autofocus, Video light, Video calling, Video sharing
  • Front-facing camera: 8 megapixels

Performance

The G4 features a 16MP back camera with a f/1.8 lens that features optical image stabilisation (OIS), as well as laser auto focus and phase detection. The camera is extremely responsive taking pictures instantly with almost no hesitation, putting it up their with my Canon DSLR for taking quick action pics.

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The ability to switch to manual mode is something that photographers will enjoy, allowing you to increase the aperture or adjust the ISO settings to make the most of a bad lighting situation. Add to that the ability to save and export images in RAW format and you have everything you need for a serious camera enthusiast.

Here is what you can expect from the interface in manual mode – plenty of options all very neatly laid out making the process of adjusting the ISO / aperture very quick and easy:

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The big winner for me is the impressive F/1.8 aperture lens that allows for much more creative freedom than ever before. Being able to blur the background in-camera as opposed to via a filter after the fact really helps the G4 step into the realm of DSLR cameras.

Image Quality

The photos the G4 produces are crisp and vibrant with excellent contrast and easily manages to produce 5312 × 2988 pixel images without breaking a sweat. It also performs admirably in low light conditions – significantly better than other smartphone cameras. Feel like snapping a selfie – LG has you covered with an 8 megapixel front camera that doesn’t compromise on image quality.

The most important aspect for a professional photographer is the ability to export those images without losing data. The G4 is able to capture and export images in RAW format, just like the DSLR to provide additional editing ability for photographers and ensuring none of the beautiful details captured have to be compressed.

Summary

Looking at the LG G4 purely as a camera, you get a great mix of usability and performance. A flexible manual mode, a wide aperture lens and RAW capture ability really makes the LG G4 a solid camera to have with you at all times. While buying it just for the camera would make it pretty damn expensive, considering all the other benefits it’s a decent offering.

Related: LG G4 Smartphone Review