Camera - Low Light Evaluation

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[ G7 ] - [ G6 ] - [ V30
[ Mi MIX 2S ] - [ Pixel 2 XL ] - [ Mate 10 ] - [ P20 ]
OnePlus 6  - [ P20 Pro ] - [ S8 ] - [ S9+ ] - [ iPhone X ]

Switching over to the low-light scenarios, the first scene already again shows the inconsistency of the G7 in deciding on a good exposure. Although the G7 isn’t really alone here and both the G6 and V30 needed help to point out what the main subject is.

Again coming back and doing an apples-to-apples between the G7 and V30 (  vs shots) which have both respectively 1/25s ISO200 and 1/24s ISO400 – I can’t understand how the G7 manages to produce a much noisier picture even though by all means it should have had the clearer shot due to the lower ISO setting. It also continues to blur out details in a much worse manner.

The only positive here is that the HDR processing did manage to produce a quite good result – at least in shot 1.

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[ G7 ] - [ G6 ] - [ V30 ] - [ Mi MIX 2S ] - [ Pixel 2 XL ] - [ Mate 10 ]
[ P20 ] - [ P20 Pro ] - [ S8 ] - [ S9+ ] - [ iPhone X ]
OnePlus 6    ]

The next shot we finally see a result in which the G7 doesn’t obviously blur out the details. The result is quite good overall, although the colour temperature is a tad too warm but that’s also something a lot of phones had trouble with in terms of white street lights.

Here it’s also visible that the 1µm pixel pitch sensor is limiting the dynamic range as the larger sensor phones have better shadow definitions throughout the scene.

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[ G7 ] - [ G6 ] - [ V30 ] - [ Mi MIX 2S ] - [ Pixel 2 XL ]
[ Mate 10 ] - [ P20 ] - [ P20 Pro ]
OnePlus 6  ] - [ S8 ] - [ S9+ ] - [ iPhone X ]

Here’s another shot where the G7 doesn’t apply its super harsh water-colour effect, and I would say it’s for once finally a clear winner overall over the V30. The result is actually extremely competitive with most other flagships – while it loses to some out in dynamic range, the overall combination of the exposure and detail retention is pretty balanced.

Click for full image
[ G7 ] - [ G6 ] - [ V30 ] - [ Mi MIX 2S ] - [ Pixel 2 XL ]
[ Mate 10 ] - [ P20 ] - [ P20 Pro ]
OnePlus 6  ] - [ S8 ] - [ S9+ ] - [ iPhone X ]

In this last low-light shot the one thing that is blatantly wrong is the colour temperature – again this is a regression to the V30, but at least it’s not as awfully off as on the G6.

Please note that both G7 shots were shot at the same settings – 1/14s at ISO750, yet the second shot is far worse and this is probably the single best before-and-after in terms of showing what the processing is doing to the capture. The  is the heavily processed one. The phone is attempting to balance out the luminance in the shot but what is happening is it’s also bringing out the noise with it – this is especially visible in the sky.

The compressed rubber turf is naturally porous and here again the G7’s processing just loses all of its texture definition – look at the P20 Pro for the best baseline comparison.

Overall again the G7 regresses in practically every aspect compared to the V30 in this shot.

Extreme Low Light

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[ G7 ] - [ G6 ] - [ V30 ] - [ Mi MIX 2S ] - [ Pixel 2 XL ]
[ Mate 10 ] - [ P20 ] - [ P20 Pro ]
OnePlus 6  ] - [ S8 ] - [ S9+ ] - [ iPhone X ]

The V30s introduced the “Low-light shot” mode and was backported to the V30. The G7 includes it as well and under a certain threshold (if enabled in the settings) it switches over to LLS mode. This is a 2x2 pixel binning mode with a quarter of the resolution, but drastically increases light sensitivity.

The extreme-low-light scenario is essentially there to see how the phones perform under very dark conditions where you wouldn’t normally expect to capture much. Recent development in computational photography and special capture modes such as pixel-binning on the camera sensor have recently allowed phones to finally make this a somewhat viable scenario for newer smartphones.

The G7 here produces a very bright result which does beat most other phones. Looking at the EXIF data both the V30 and G7 did a 1/7s exposure, but the V30 doesn’t have any ISO entry while the G7 says it’s at ISO2250. Usually when the EXIF data doesn’t get populated it’s because the resulting image went through heavy processing, and there’s a notable difference between the G7 and V30 again as the latter, while being a bit darker, produced a much clearer and sharper image.

Low Light Conclusion

Unfortunately, while the G7 did fare a bit better in some low-light scenarios, it overall still represented a regression over the V30.

There’s just no real excuse for LG here as all it had to do to maintain camera quality was to port over the existing camera calibration and processing from the V30 to serve as a baseline. Instead it looks like LG started from scratch, and somewhere in the process they forgot to finish the work. I’ve heard from a lot of vendors that the camera is usually the last thing that’s developed during the bring-up of a new phone platform, but to have such a regression over a previous generation phone in a company's line-up is something that I haven’t really seen before.

Camera - Daylight Evaluation Video Recording & Speaker Evaluation
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  • anactoraaron - Thursday, August 9, 2018 - link

    Another LG flagship device with a way too blue display. I believe I called that when it was announced. Next up, poor update policy (quarterly security updates or worse) and a usual $200-$350 price drop in 3 months.
  • Integrazimmy - Thursday, August 9, 2018 - link

    Seriously??? You're gonna complain about a problem that almost any smartphone has, and is yet correctable??? What a cry baby! Just like the Galaxy S9 came with a red tint, it was corrected through the rgb display settings. So too can you correct it on the LG G7! As for updates, I've gotten two updates since I got the phone! Yes, I got the G7 and it's an awesome phone! My question for most people hating on it is... Have you even spent time with it??? Then until you do, don't judge!!! I for one, am loving it!!! Specially since I got the BOGO deal at T-Mobile! Making my G7 better than most phones at about $425 each with tax!!! This whole talk about a price drop is what would be expected from someone who probably copies and pastes everyone else's opinions but their own. Smh!
  • leexgx - Friday, August 10, 2018 - link

    Seems like your compensating for something in that post
  • Extraneus - Sunday, December 2, 2018 - link

    Not really, no. Just addressing ignorance... Just like I'm addressing your rude condescending.
  • Valantar - Friday, August 10, 2018 - link

    That is an... excessive amount of punctuation. As leexgx says here, it seems that you're compensating for something. A bit of insecurity regarding the quality of a product you just spent $850 on, perhaps? Sure, for $425 it's a great deal (any SD845 phone at that price would be), but the review clearly shows that the blue tint cannot be corrected at all. A white point of 7800K is ridiculously high, and a DeltaE of more than 6 at its best is atrocious for a flagship phone in 2018. You might not care about accurate colors, and that's fine, but not even giving users the option is really, really bad. It speaks of either rushed development or just plain bad software development on LG's part. These lapses do not belong in flagship phones in 2018 - the market has moved beyond that quite a few years ago. If LG can't match the basic features of their competitors, they should either quit trying or start making an effort. It's a real shame too, 'cause that display seems great in most other regards (contrast is fantastic for an RGBW panel, brightness is astounding). The camera seems like it could be improved significantly too, given how much better the V30 with the same hardware is. I suppose it doesn't matter much if the pictures are only ever viewed on phone screens and never zoomed, but that's not for me. I'm too much into photography to settle for overprocessed, smudgy pictures.
  • Alistair - Friday, August 10, 2018 - link

    Maybe the reviewed screen was bad and the rest are not. It can vary wildly.
  • Valantar - Saturday, August 11, 2018 - link

    As the review points out, at this price point you really shouldn't have to play the LCD lottery. There's this thing called 'quality control', after all.
  • frases lindas - Monday, August 13, 2018 - link
  • melgross - Friday, August 10, 2018 - link

    No, most better smartphones don’t have this problem. Just look at th displays on the Samsung and Apple phones. Both are far better.
  • jo-82 - Thursday, August 9, 2018 - link

    I have a G6 and I'm stuck at Nougat, Sec Patch March 2017. LG is as well as Samsung one of the worst manufacturers you could possibly buy.

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