LG G4 vs Galaxy S6: Camera Comparison & Samples

The brand new LG G4 and Samsung Galaxy S6 both promise to be some of the best smartphones released in 2015, and also look to deliver the best smartphone camera around. Both companies made a huge effort to offer the best camera experience possible, and have two of the most capable and fastest lenses around. Here we’re sharing some sample photos taken by hand with both devices.

Earlier this week LG took the stage in New York City to officially announce and unveil the all-new LG G4. The smartphone features an improved 5.5-inch Quad HD display, a powerful 6-core processor, and a new genuine leather hand-stitched rear design. However, the highlight of the show was the 16 megapixel F1.8 camera that aims to take down the Galaxy S6 and even the iPhone 6 when it comes to camera performance.

Read: LG G4 Camera Blows Away Galaxy S6 & iPhone 6

The link above shows just how impressive the new LG G4 camera is, but were all taken in a controlled environment setup by LG to highlight its cameras features, rather than the competitions. And while it shows some awesome features of the G4 camera, the images below are a better representation of real-world usage by hand will look like.

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Both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4 represent some of the latest cutting edge technology when it comes to mobile photography, so naturally we wanted to test out both and see which is better. And while we tried our best to take each photo in the same situation, some may slightly differ.

These phones both give you plenty of potential to work with when capturing the moments that matter to you. Naturally we shot a few different photos in different lighting to see how they handled the job, and it’s up to you to decide what looks best. There were moments the Galaxy S6 shined, and others where the color and lighting just didn’t look nearly as natural as what was captured on the LG G4.

As a reminder, both phones have a 16 megapixel camera with optical image stabilization. The Galaxy S6 has an F1.9 lens that promises to be extremely quick, and handle low light situations better than any phone to date. The the G4 one-upped Samsung by releasing the LG G4 with a 16 megapixel camera with an F1.8 lens, optical image stabilization, laser auto-focus, and a sensor that’s 40% bigger than what came with the LG G3. They both have tons of potential, so lets take a look.

Each photo you see below will be taken with the new LG G4 on the left, and the Galaxy S6 images are on the right.

Click to enlarge & scroll through

 

Here are some photos of a fountain in New York City. The first is a regular shot from above, and the second is zoomed in using both cameras stock settings. The second image isn’t a crop, we’ve zoomed in to see how well it handles zooming in and working with image stabilization. Everyone’s eyes are different, but I see more green in the Galaxy S6 images.

One thing we found rather interesting was while trying to snap a photo in a poorly lit Tiffany Co store in NYC. I pulled out both phones, had stock settings turned out just as they are out of the box, and tried to take a photo of some Tiffany Jewelry. For whatever reason the Galaxy S6 struggled with the low light, glass, and additional lighting, and we ended up with a very unnatural yellow tint to the image.

Below is the LG G4 on the left, and the Galaxy S6 on the right. What we saw in person is shown by the LG G4, while the Galaxy S6 at multiple angles gave us this odd and unnatural yellow glare. I tried multiple angles to get the Galaxy S6 to show a more natural while light, but for whatever reason failed to capture it.

There is plenty to see in New York City. From oddly colored bricks, the Wall Street Stock Exchange, and much much more. Both phones take amazing photos, and have quick launch options so you’ll never miss a quick photo moment, but here’s what we captured. Again. G4 on the left, Galaxy S6 on the right.

Here while snapping a photo down the road the LG G4 handled the incoming light a little better, while the Galaxy S6 got a little washed out trying to take in all the details. The bricks are similar, with the G4 having a darker result, and the WTC memorial fountain was so amazing I was too busy taking in the moment to capture more than a photo or two. That said, both photos turned out excellent of the fountain.

One area where I don’t have a sample but can give my opinion, is with Panorama mode. I took a panorama shot of the WTC Memorial Pools with the G4, and it turned out absolutely awful. The lines didn’t match up, it was fuzzy at parts, and was just a mess. The Galaxy S6 panorama mode (and most neat fancy settings) are better overall. The Galaxy S6 makes things easy. The G4 does too, but also has more advanced options in Pro mode for ISO control (more than the S6) shutter speed, long exposures, and more. Something the Galaxy S6 can’t do.

Sadly my trip to NYC was coming to a close, and I quickly pulled out both phones and snapped a photo at the airport from the same spot. This was in the shade covered by the overhead structure, with plenty of natural light. The LG G4 manages to do a better job here too, letting more light in to see more detail in the cars, building, and the sky has a natural blue color. We’ll let you be the judge.

All said and done this is a mixed bag of results. We tried toggling the always-on HDR auto mode, taking photos from different angles, and even zooming in, and both phones perform rather excellent. At times the Galaxy S6 had better color reproduction, while other moments the LG G4 is the clear winner.

Both of these phones have extremely fast, accurate, and stunning 16 megapixel cameras with optical image stabilization and some of the best low-light performance of any phone I’ve ever used, and the Nexus 6 in my back pocket was no match, so I didn’t even bother trying to compare. From our initial impressions the LG G4 and Galaxy S6 have two of the best smartphone cameras around, and either one will make any owner happy. The LG G4 may have more advanced controls and options, but the Galaxy S6 did a few things better, has some great built-in effects and filters, and more things like slow motion, fast shot, wide-angle and selective focus.

The LG G4 camera interface as a whole isn’t as smooth as the Galaxy S6, and lagged at times when messing with settings or options, while the Galaxy S6 is as fast as ever. It’s hard to say which is better, but both are excellent, that’s for sure. Video samples and even more coverage is coming soon, so stay tuned. Below is a dump of all the photos in one area.

32 Comments

  1. Tony Ureno

    04/30/2015 at 6:15 pm

    Did you guys seriously forget to take off the sticker from the S6’s lens?

    Reply

    • Shagrath

      04/30/2015 at 10:37 pm

      The G4 camera is very impressive but yes, I don’t think the S6 should be this bad.

      Reply

    • Cory Gunther

      04/30/2015 at 10:37 pm

      Yes I took the sticker off of the camera… and even if I left it on, there’s a hole in the middle so it wouldn’t be an issue anyways. That doesn’t matter.

      These were average photos while walking around NYC. No tripod, no special settings, no trying to get the “perfect image” like we’ve seen in marketing materials or other gallery samples. These were quick grab my phone and snap a photo moments like 95% of people in the world.

      I have some stunning photos the S6 took during my trip, and I’ll be adding more in a round 2 next week, but the LG does pretty good. I was surprised how bad some of these S6 photos turned out though.

      Reply

      • psychok9 (@psychok9)

        05/01/2015 at 6:37 pm

        Amazing, LG G4 very good job, and with some plus (microSD, removable battery and a camera more “sophisticated”). After my S6 delusion (I’ve a S3), this LG seems a step forward.
        Thank you for the samples :)

        Reply

        • WGACA

          05/01/2015 at 11:56 pm

          S6 delusion? Still beats the G4 in every other department. Design, ergonomics, processor, screen, memory speed, speaker, durability and yes the S6 camera isn’t as bright but sure is more realistic. Complete shadows are taken away from buildings on the G4. Nice, but not realistic. So I wouldn’t call that a delusion.

          Reply

        • WGACA

          05/02/2015 at 12:31 am

          Also don’t forget there is more to a camera then just the amount of light it let’s in. As the reviewer says, the rest of the camera app and features isn’t as good as the S6. Panorama pictures with the G4 are rubbish and also it lacks many other good features that the S6 has like Virtual Shot and Selective focus. So the sensor might be slightly more advanced on the G4, the camera software is a lot better on the S6.

          Reply

          • Evangelos Aktoudianakis

            05/22/2015 at 7:54 am

            I am not sold to either company, but you come across as a fanboi when you so boldly claim that the S6 beats the G4 in every other department. Let’s break it all down,shall we?

            Design: S6, clear winner.
            Ergonomics: I don’t see a clear winner, unless you mean how easy it is to hold in one’s hand? I’ve had both an S5 and a G3, and neither one was problematic for me.
            Processor : S6, winner
            Screen : G4 winner, more realistic colours – 98% cinema colours, as opposed to the 110% saturated of the S6.
            memory speed: -no clue
            durability : youtube crash tests for the S6, and you’ll see that nice gorilla glass go pew – non replaceable back means that if you break it you have to live with it, as opposed to the G4’s replaceable back.

            You also forgot to add:
            microSD – G4
            Battery life – With G4 slightly ahead, replaceable battery is a life safer (which I use on my G3)
            updates regularity – Samsung always fails badly when it comes to keeping up with Android updates. My Tab pro is still on 4.4.2, so is my mum’s Tab s. My G3 is on 5.X.
            Camera – The G4 camera is better. 1.8 FS vs 1.9. You claim a lot of hardware stats in your post, so it’d only be fair to include that one as well.

            All in all, two great devices, each with their + and -. But I doubt one is definitely FAR better than the other.

          • DHJ 82

            05/22/2015 at 9:12 am

            @ Evangelos Aktoudianakis

            Yes, let’s shall ;-)

            Screen:

            Helll no the G4 is better. The 110% is not in Basic mode but standard. Also no Displaymate test seen yet of the G4, which would give definite proof it is actually better then the S6. So far, the S6 has a brighter screen, wider colour gamut, more accurate colours in Basic mode, has infinite contrast, a lot more energy efficient, has way better blacks and the whites don’t look as blue as on the G4. So far the S6 is still king. Look it up.

            Durability:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpsyGweP5so

            Pretty damn durable if you ask me. PS: back is replacable.

            Memory speed:

            I’ll give you a clue. LPDDR4 vs LPDDR3. S6 clear winner here

            Battery life:

            Draw. So what’s your point? Replacable battery… Yes. Ever heard of Anker external battery? Problem solved.

            Camera:

            AndroidCentral with the best and most extensive review and also the Super Saf review seem to say the S6 is still e best in the camera department.

            So yes, in my opinion the S6 is far better.

          • DHJ 82

            05/22/2015 at 9:46 am

            @ Evangelos Aktoudianakis

            Also, check every top 10 smartphone lists on the internet. 90% have the S6 on the #1 spot. Not one has the G4. Not one. Says everything doesn’t it?

  2. K4T3

    04/30/2015 at 11:53 pm

    This is not a very unbiased review of the cameras. Both cameras clearly show great potential for taking quality photos, but the commentary about them is skewed, and not overtly knowledgeable in photography. Aside from most of the S6 pictures needing to be turned upside up in order to look at properly (bit of a publishing editorial blooper), what I find in most of the pictures where there is a difference, is that the two cameras are focusing on different parts of the image (both in terms of focus and light metering).

    For example, the photo of jewelry under glass, the S6 pic was focused on the reflections of the overhead lights, instead of the subject matter. This drastically affected the color balance as well. The user should have been able to tell what was going on, and re-focus it properly. Either camera could have had this issue, it’s a common issue for *any* auto-focusing photography when shooting through glass display cases. It’s not really a camera flaw at all, just a case of the camera not being psychically aware of the shooter’s focusing wants.

    Having a very similar camera to what the s6 uses (s5) I can say that if you want excellent light handling in shots which have a strong lighting contrast, you’ll want to change a setting (although that will have a trade-off in shooting speed)… “out of the box, not touching settings” is not a great way to review cameras unless you’re only willing to devote minimal effort to the review and don’t want to learn the ins & outs of each device. Then again, some end users will never touch camera settings either, so there is that.

    The G4’s images are all quite obviously heavily post-processed to artificially amplify sharpness and color saturation, while the S6’s shots are closer to original sensor input. You can see this in any sharply defined areas of the photos, and looking at the pixelation of some areas of the G4’s shots. Personally, I’d prefer a more sensor-true image like the S6 is providing, as I can pop any image into photoshop and tweak with ease (and do it in a way that best suits each image). But someone who generally leaves their photos “in phone” and doesn’t know much about photo editing might appreciate the G4’s automated image tweaking.

    What I do see though, is that the G4’s camera is a very reasonable competitor to the S6’s camera. The S6 arguably has a “cleaner”, more capable sensor, and less automated fiddling with the image, but the G4’s large aperture lens helps it to compete surprisingly well with the S6.

    Reply

    • Fares

      05/01/2015 at 1:59 am

      if you are looking at processing with photoshop, then there is nothing better than RAW pictures of LG G4!
      seriously in day light, G4 is doing much better than the S6… pictures are simply more detailed
      Now we should maybe wait for a “lowlight” and “indoor” comparison so that we can declare a winner

      Reply

      • Cory Gunther

        05/01/2015 at 9:24 am

        I plan on doing a lowlight and indoor comparison next.

        Reply

        • WGACA

          05/01/2015 at 12:20 pm

          Can you tell me if you had HDR on or off on the S6? No way the difference in the Tiffany picture is that big. Having the S6 Edge myself, I know it would do a lot better in these circumstances. Same goes for the airport picture. Can you confirm it was on, off or auto? I always gave it on and it does a great job. Better then what you’ve showed.

          Reply

    • psychok9 (@psychok9)

      05/01/2015 at 6:47 pm

      @K4T3
      For me S6 photos are artificial. You can check when you snap “natural” enviroments, like tree, green field, animals. The photos seem painted, unreal… like Note 4 Exynos version vs Note 4 Snapdragon, the denoise is very aggressive.

      Reply

      • WGACA

        05/02/2015 at 12:00 am

        Are you high? Read the review. The G4 is the one that is oversaturated and overexposed. Yes, in some instances it looks better because brighter, but in some instances it takes complete shadows from buildings away, which are definately there in real life. Also the Coca Cola truck red is orange/pink instead of red.

        Reply

      • WGACA

        05/02/2015 at 1:44 am

        I have the S6 Edge by the way and I can tell you the green of my grass is exactly the way itvis on the picture I just took with it. Wanted to see if you were right. But you’re not.

        Reply

  3. WGACA

    05/01/2015 at 7:30 am

    I have the S6 Edge and I don’t recognise some of the poor shots from the S6. Was HDR on? This makes a huge difference. It looks to me it was on on the G4 and off on the S6. Also, although the G4 captures more light, it seems it captures too much at times completely taking away the shadows. This makes it look a bit unnatural. I’m sure the buildings in the shade are not as bright as in some of the G4 shots. The red Coca Cola truck seems orange instead of red as well, which makes me wonder how colour accurate the G4 really is.

    Reply

  4. Do_real_comparisons

    05/01/2015 at 8:04 am

    Look at the pictures you took of the jewelry. The reason why the S6 looked yellow was because you took it from the reverse angle, with the light probably shining into the lens of the S6 camera. Look at where the necklace is in the picture you took using the LG4.

    Reply

    • Cory Gunther

      05/01/2015 at 9:23 am

      Did you read the post?? I tried about 6 angles to get rid of that yellow look. For some reason I couldn’t get rid of it.

      Reply

    • Bojan

      05/01/2015 at 11:41 am

      The reason why it’s all yellow is because of incorrect white balance. It has nothing to do with angles, but rather which kind of light is present at the scene, and in this case I’m 99.9% sure it’s fluorescent light. It’s in situations like these where the color spectrum sensor in the G4 comes in handy. The S6 can’t tell if it’s fluorescent, cloudy, sunny or whatever, but the G4 can, thanks to the sensor.

      Reply

  5. Lauren Glenn

    05/01/2015 at 8:21 am

    Interesting…. for me, I loved the G3 because of the display (which was really nice) but found myself really loving the audio quality (including hi-res audio support with FLAC and Apt-X with bluetooth which has been missing on the Samsung Galaxy line since the S3).

    Reply

  6. SERJIO

    05/01/2015 at 9:51 am

    G4 Look better shots,but nobody closer nokia 808 pureview image quality

    Reply

  7. nofeiw

    05/01/2015 at 10:17 am

    Poor review. Where are the night outdoor photo comparison (large area in the street)? Night indoor photo comparison with using flash? Where are the landscape shots?

    Reply

    • nofeiw

      05/01/2015 at 10:25 am

      And if you make night indoor photos with flash, make NOT ONLY macro shots, but take a photo of the entire room too (so we can see the strenght of the flash, and the light sensitivity of the camera).

      Reply

  8. Georg Zechner

    05/04/2015 at 7:25 am

    It would have helped if you tried to center each comparison image the same. Te S6 seems to have a much wider angle lens than the pecs would suggest but it’s difficult to judge from these samples.

    Reply

  9. Eric Hong

    05/04/2015 at 9:40 am

    It is quite apparent that G4 daylight photo and the dynamic range are much better than the S6. Looking at the UPS truck photo between G4 and S6, G4 showed the wall details of the far side’s white building clearly where S6 didn’t show those details. Other back-lighted scenes showed G4 handled dynamic range much better. Also, from other web sites, G4’s laser focus definitely fared much better than the S6’s contrast detection focus, this is especially true in low light. I’m quite impressed by the G4’s camera overall. S6 has a excellent camera but G4 is just one up better in many areas.

    Reply

    • WGACA

      05/04/2015 at 11:25 am

      Not enrirely true. This review only shows a small part of the range of the S6. As you can see in this comparison below, the S6 wins in a lot of areas, including video, OIS, mic, detail and contrast. Just read all the comments below. The people have spoken.

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PsAt_o8zxGw

      On top of that, the S6 has a much better camera app, i.e. cleaner and easier to use, and also has more good working features like Virtual Shot, Selective Focus and Panorama. That last one is also present on G4 but is horrible.

      So I wouldn’t exactly call it a win for the G4. A draw at best.

      Reply

  10. Justin Shands

    05/27/2015 at 1:00 pm

    Any word on the followup to this piece with the comparison in more situations?

    Reply

  11. Andis Zvanbergs

    08/02/2015 at 4:50 am

    LG has laser focus. its way better than simple screen focus on most smartphones. I mean on low light shoots laser is way accurate, laser focus dont need light at all. You can notice it than compare g4 vs s6 in a pub or somewhere out where are night. What 1,8f is better than 1,9f it let more light inside for a sensors, so also shutter speed on moving objects are quicker, you dont see so much blur on moving objects as S6. Colour spectrum sensor is huge bonus, if you zoom pictures than you can see more colours on G4, its not like s6 zoomed picture details like white look yellow. Also RAW mode on G4 is huge advantage over s6. Expendable memory up to 2TB is great bonuss to g4. 32GB and 64GB versions are too short, after half year would look on files what to delete and what to save on cloads and whatever. On g4 i can not worry about short of memory, i can save all my pictures and videos and after easily watch them without any cload use or conecting to PC. 5 minute of recording 4k video takes about 1,06 GB and so pictures on day time 10-12mb. I had lumia 1020 and 32gb built in memory was big issue for me. I have lg g4 and my girlfriend s6, for me battery works 2 full days with about 3 hour screen use (some pictures, some webbrowsing). My girfriend use almost same usage and get only 1 full day. I think LG G4 is winner over S6

    Reply

  12. Juan Aparicio

    08/14/2015 at 10:00 am

    I think both cameras are among the best you can find on a smartophone. I had a S4 and was in love with the S6 (mainly for its camera) but then the G4 came along and never looked back. I wasnt looking for “premium” design or building, I was looking for what could meet my needs, and I needed a great camera, expandable storage and replaceable battery. Despite that, I would buy the S6, but there was only the 32 Gb version… not good enough. Now I have the G4 with 32 Gb + 64 Gb micro SD, I´m happy with my decision and I agree with WGACA :”I wouldn’t exactly call it a win for the G4. A draw at best” … that coming from a samsung fanboy, it´s a really good opinion on the G4.

    Reply

  13. Thomas She

    11/28/2016 at 9:05 pm

    Hey guys,
    Ever heard of the Google Pixel? :3

    Reply

  14. Thomas She

    11/28/2016 at 9:06 pm

    Btw, LG G4 camera is a lot better with the DSLR like settings and the ability to take RAW photos. Photo editing has never been easier for me.

    Reply

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