LG vs. Samsung: Let the smartphone camera battle begin!

LG vs. Samsung: Smartphone Camera Battle

LG hasn't generally been known for having the best smartphone cameras in the world, but with its Optimus G Pro -- launching in the U.S. this Friday -- the company is aiming to raise its game.

While I'm working on my full Optimus G Pro review, I thought I'd give you a glimpse at the phone's real-world camera performance so you can get a feel for the types of images it's able to capture. I compared it with Samsung's latest and greatest smartphone camera, the Galaxy S4 -- a phone that's been widely praised for its image-capturing capabilities -- to provide context and perspective.

Check out these side-by-side samples and see what you think.

All images were taken using the phones' default settings, with no editing or adjustments aside from basic rotation. Click on any image to view a larger (and optionally full-resolution) version.

[SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One: Camera shootout!]

LG Optimus G Pro Camera - 1
    
Samsung GS4 Camera - 1

LG at left (or top), Samsung at right (or bottom). The Optimus G Pro does reasonably well outdoors, but it occasionally looks a little dull and washed out.

LG Optimus G Pro Camera - 2
    
Samsung GS4 Camera - 2

LG at left (or top), Samsung at right (or bottom). While the Optimus G Pro can be a bit lackluster, the Galaxy S4 sometimes gets oversaturated. In terms of coloring, the LG camera's image is actually more true to life in this set.

LG Optimus G Pro Camera - 3
    
Samsung GS4 Camera - 3

LG at left (or top), Samsung at right (or bottom). The Optimus G Pro -- while a perfectly decent picture -- looks a little less brilliant than the GS4. If you view the full resolution versions, zoomed into 100 percent, you'll also see that the LG image has more noise.

LG Optimus G Pro Camera - 4
    
Samsung GS4 Camera - 4

LG at left (or top), Samsung at right (or bottom). Another good one to look at zoomed into 100 percent at full resolution; the difference in noise at that level is quite noticeable. At the same time, an argument could be made that the Samsung image is somewhat overexposed.

LG Optimus G Pro Camera - 5
    
Samsung GS4 Camera - 5

LG at left (or top), Samsung at right (or bottom). Pretty significant differences here. In this case, the Samsung image is more realistic.

LG Optimus G Pro Camera - 6
    
Samsung GS4 Camera - 6

LG at left (or top), Samsung at right (or bottom). Indoors, the Optimus G Pro generally does well.

LG Optimus G Pro Camera - 8
    
Samsung GS4 Camera - 8

LG at left (or top), Samsung at right (or bottom). You can see that the sun caused more flaring on the Optimus G Pro's lens. Also some noticeable differences with the building in the background, particularly when viewed at the full-resolution level.

LG Optimus G Pro Camera - 10
    
Samsung GS4 Camera - 10

LG at left (or top), Samsung at right (or bottom). Indoors, in a brightly lit store. One of these things is not like the other...

LG Optimus G Pro Camera - 11
    
Samsung GS4 Camera - 11

LG at left (or top), Samsung at right (or bottom). Another brightly lit indoor shot. The differences here are subtle.

LG Optimus G Pro Camera - 12
    
Samsung GS4 Camera - 12

LG at left (or top), Samsung at right (or bottom). Low light -- taken in a garage with just a bit of natural light leaking in through a covered window nearby. In these conditions, the Optimus G Pro pulls ahead by a meaningful margin.

LG Optimus G Pro Camera - 13
    
Samsung GS4 Camera - 13

LG at left (or top), Samsung at right (or bottom). Another dim test -- this one in a dark room with nothing but a single concentrated (and flickering) source of light.

LG Optimus G Pro Camera - 14
    
Samsung GS4 Camera - 14

LG at left (or top), Samsung at right (or bottom). Very low light; clearly, here, both cameras failed. This level of low-light territory seems to be an area where only the HTC One shines (I took essentially the same picture with that phone while working on its review, if you want to compare).

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That's all for now, folks. For more on the LG Optimus G Pro, check out my hands-on impressions -- and stay tuned for my full review, coming later this week.

UPDATE:

Optimus G Pro review: A supersized smartphone done right

Optimus G Pro vs. Galaxy Note II: It's really no contest

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One: Camera shootout!

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