Camera Comparison: LG G3 vs Galaxy S5 vs One M8 vs Galaxy Note 3 vs iPhone 5s

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LG G3 vs Galaxy S5 Note 3 One M8 iPhone 5s 2

One of the features that got our blue undies in a bunch during yesterday’s newly announced LG G3 was the smartphone’s improved camera features. Really, there’s 2 main camera features that should help the phone outperform some of its rivals (on paper anyway): the laser auto focus sensor, and enhanced OIS+.

Together, you’d expect some pretty snazzy snapshots, especially in low light where things can get muddy. But often times a camera is only as good as its sensor and the software behind it. Luckily, the boys at PhoneArena were able to snap a few comparison shots, pitting the LG G3 against the current crop of rival flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and Apple iPhone 5s.

LG G3 vs Galaxy S5 Note 3 One M8 iPhone 5s 1

We don’t want to spoil anything, but the results — which seem to have been shot in a dimly lit area — seem to favor the LG G3 in our unbiased opinion. The worst offender? Without a doubt the Samsung Galaxy S5 which, we mentioned in a previous article falls on its face in average lighting conditions (but looks great in daylight). Like most things, we’ll let you decide for yourself.

LG G3 vs Galaxy S5 Note 3 One M8 iPhone 5s 3

Of course, these results aren’t conclusive and we look forward to the chance to test out the LG G3 camera for ourselves. For a look at the zoomed out, full resolution images shown in the collage, hit up the source link below. Don’t forget to let us know which smartphone camera (which is only 1 component of what makes a phone great) you think came out on top.

[PhoneArena]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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133 Comments

  1. Where is the z2? I would settled with z1s

    1. I was thinking the same….where is the z2?

  2. Is the S5 camera really that bad? I thought the newer Galaxy phones were supposed to be fairly good.

    1. My wife has the S4, its camera takes similar pictures. Blurry, out of focus, horrible.

      1. hold the phone very very steady for a long time and take multiple shots….she will eventually get a very good shot (provided that the light condition is good)
        That’s the best you can do with that phone. (probably any 8MP+ cameras) Not too bad if you are just taking shots of static objects/scenes. If she likes to take action pix, she should really get a M7 or M8.

        1. lol “eventually” is the key word there, lol.

      2. Galaxy S4 takes great pictures.

        Your just just making stuff up in a pathetic attempt to troll.

        http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Camera-comparison-Samsung-Galaxy-S5-vs-HTC-One-M8-Galaxy-S4-iPhone-5s-LG-G2-Nexus-5-Sony-Xperia-Z1_id3653

    2. The phones are great. The camera, if you use it right, it’s ok. They went after the marketing instead of functionality.

    3. Nope, it’s best camera on an Android device, they just made a mess of this comparison, user error or dodgy camera, they’ve done a number of detail tests and the Galaxy S5 scores very highly when cropping images.

      Read the link below, it’s done by the same people that did the comparison above. Galaxy S5 wins, Galaxy S5 has won in other tests they’ve done as well including blind comparison tests, most users here are conveniently ignoring this.

      http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Camera-comparison-Sony-Xperia-Z2-vs-Samsung-Galaxy-S5-LG-G2-HTC-One-M8-iPhone-5s_id3708

  3. OMG I can belive I just got the Galaxy S5 for my wife. Hope they fix that camera very, very soon..

    1. relax man, they (phonearena) clearly can’t use the S5. My images are always sharp. Perhaps they left on the protective plastic or were focusing on other areas? I’ve never seen photos that shitty on my S5.

      1. Agreed this comparison is definitely BS. Just Google GS5 camera comparison and you’ll see this test is inaccurate.

        1. And how many of those test are done in a studio and with a tripod. The S5 can take great picture, but only ideal condition. If you slow down the shutter long enough any camera can take good low light but one little movement and you will have blurry picture. In real life One carry a tripod for a camera phone.

  4. It looks like the M8 has the sharpest camera, especially in the last picture. Probably thanks to some software tweaks by HTC though.

    1. People can knock UltraPixels all they want, but it performs great in low light, super fast to focus, and captures images instantly.

      1. Its because people are quick to knock things they dont understand and cant comprehend based on supposed information heard third handed.

      2. Phonearena comment are not he worst. The M8 far from the worst but if you listen to any comments there you would think it is just garbe

      3. A lot of people just don’t see to understand this. They just think the bigger the number the better. I guess phones are cheap enough that no one wants to take the time to try them both. Keep them both for a day and if they can’t figure why the 4MP on the M8 is way better, they really shouldn’t comment on a thread like this.
        Anyway, the G3 camera does look pretty nice….does it focus well and fast though? It’d probably still have issue with the write speed being 13MP and all.

        1. the 4MP on the M8 is an Ultrapixel 4MP anyways. Again, its something it seems alot of people cant wrap their heads around..all they see is 4MP and somehow think its inferior. Every picture i took with my M7 was superior to my wifes S4, so much that if its a picture we really want to come out nice, we use my phone. Now with the M8 its the same story over the S5. In fact my wife is holding off on getting an S5 based on her experience with her own S4 and the reviews of the S5. She might be getting an M8

      4. I love the camera on my m8. I like it even better than the camera on my note 3. Mostly because I’m more likely to get a usable shot. Especially indoors.

  5. Finally, an ad that highlights the phone’s features

  6. The gs5 is the worst by far. It’s weird that it is Even worst than the note 3

    1. LOVE the camera on the Note 3. Even to this day, it’s still one of the best smartphone cameras I’ve seen.

      1. I’ve took several phones(Note 2, GS4, GS5, LG G2, M7, M8, iPhone 5s, & My Note 3) including my own not to mention from friends & colleagues over the last yr+ to really get an idea of camera performance…..I’d have to agree My Note 3 is actually very very good in almost every aspect still to this day. I’m not sure what Sammy did to the GS5 but it isn’t what I thought & I’m already seeing rave reviews on the G3’s camera performance.

    2. Both my wife and I switched from note 3 to s5 due to how fantastic the camera is when I had a day with it. I’m not going to poo poo on the competition as they seem to have good shooters as well, but these s5 pics don’t seem to represent what I’m experiencing.

  7. GS5 is just as blurry as the GS4 camera. This is why i laugh at all the Samsung fans in love with their 13MP camera. Would be great if it could actually focus. The M8 pics look awesome. love that phone.

    1. http://www.imore.com/iphone-5s-vs-samsung-galaxy-s5-vs-htc-one-m8-camera-shootout

      Someone without an Android horse in the race, and you can see how horrid the M8 compares.

      https://phandroid.com/2014/04/23/galaxy-s5-vs-one-m8-camera/

      From this site, check how washed out the photos get EVERY TIME there is a light source in the pic.

      http://www.cnet.com/news/samsung-galaxy-s5-camera-comparison-versus-htc-one-m8-iphone-5s/

      And from CNET, showing that the M8 is all show and no go.

      The M8 is a total faceplant, so I’m with most of everyone else here calling the compare total crap.

      1. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2694621&page=156
        You are telling me these are bad picture get real. You have to the worst troll. A comparison is only if your phone lose right?

        1. I’m not seeing comparisons that show the M8 winning. If they are, Google is strenuously removing them from their search engine (sarcasm intended)

          1. Like this one?

          2. Enter the first and only example…and what are they even doing? Of the three compares shown above, only one picture is even recognizable on any of the cameras. It’s the least professional compare I’ve ever seen. Of course, when you take the pictures as a whole from the originating site, it’s much better. The larger frames (not the crops) show the poor color scaling of the M8.

          3. Even though the M8 takes great pics and are in no way washed out. What good is great color if the pictures are horribly and consistently bad.

          4. Ever heard of DPReview? They are probably the gold standard of photography review websites. Now, they haven’t gotten around to the S5 yet, but the M8 just got some bad news. With a sad score of 7.1, they say: “…M8 is loaded with features and beautifully designed and built but the image quality of its camera cannot keep up with the otherwise great performance of the phone.” They go on to talk about the poor detail, artifacting everywhere, underwhelming Panorama & HDR and gimmicky DuoCam. See here: http://connect.dpreview.com/post/9518793433/htc-ona-m8-camera-review?page=8

            Meanwhile, the S4 got an 8.0, saying: “…S4 features one of the best cameras we have seen so far.” They call its image quality “very decent”, and the camera app is “simple but customizable” with “a multitude of innovative features and modes.” They wish it had OIS, saying it would have been the icing on the cake, but recommend it because of its strong imaging capabilities. See here: http://connect.dpreview.com/post/0586582857/samsung-galaxy-s4-camera-review?page=11

            Who cares about the extra MPs, I’m positive that the IsoCell will bump the S5 even higher.

            The M8 is a great phone for anyone who doesn’t care about the photos they take. If you do, steer clear and find an S5, a Z2, or possibly a G3 (I’ll have to wait for an actual professional review, though, to make that last recommendation).

          5. You can quote and link all the supposed reviews you like, ive used the S4 and so have several dozen friends. They love the phone but hate the camera, that includes my wife. I know at least a half dozen friends that own the S5 now and they also say the camera is slow to focus and half the time isnt focused as the shutter flashes the pic, resulting in a blurry pic more than 50% of the time. Just like with the S4. Even the most focused of the pics looks slightly out of focus. As i said ive used the phone and/or have real world use from people i know.. Reviews can be bought, theres no doubt they can. Im going on my own real world personal use. Samsung has work to do on their camera sensors, because honestly theyre quite unreliable.

          6. Ah, the “ignore the rational, professional reviewers and go with me and my buddies” argument. Problem is, I love the S4 camera, and the S5 just improves on it. I guess I’m just one of those people that hates artifacting, fringing, poor white balance, and bad light management. And I think that’s OK, because that means I agree with the majority of the population.

    2. GS5 has a 16 mp camera with .03 auto focus

      1. So you’re saying that its even more embarrassing that the pictures are that bad ? The
        GS4 had the same crummy camera. My wife needed her phone camera for work and her GS4 took such horrible pics she started borrowing my M7.

  8. i call BS i have had an galaxy s5 since the first day and i have never got shots that terrible, and i take pics everyday.

    1. you’re right, those were photos from the moto g but they pretended it was from a gs5. And they almost got away with it too if it wasnt for you pesky kids.

    2. Okay, then post some of your pictures else we only got your word random internet guy for it.

  9. I like the sharpness of the G3 camera but searching around for all the sample pics, every pic is super noisy (even in sunlight), white balance seems overly warm and doesn’t capture as much light, especially for the amount of noise produced.

    1. I mean, they are using tiny smartphone sensors. There’s only so much they can do.

  10. LOL @ the S5.

    Glad I avoided that piece of crap.

    1. You’re a smart man.

      1. No he not. But HTC one m8 is a great phone. But u can never go wrong with a Samsung phone. But to each it’s own

        1. You actually can go wrong with an Samsung device… but hey, no judging right?

          1. What he meant was, you can’t go wrong with a current flagship Samsung phone. Sure, if you get your hands on a Behold II, it’s a piece of crap. The S5 is a fast, tough, spec-awesome, future-proofed, and expandable piece of kit.

    2. http://www.imore.com/iphone-5s-vs-samsung-galaxy-s5-vs-htc-one-m8-camera-shootout

      Someone without an Android horse in the race, and you can see how horrid the M8 compares.

      https://phandroid.com/2014/04/23/galaxy-s5-vs-one-m8-camera/

      From this site…

      http://www.cnet.com/news/samsung-galaxy-s5-camera-comparison-versus-htc-one-m8-iphone-5s/

      And from CNET.

      Just Google for compares, and it’s quickly apparent that the terrible camera comes from the company with 3 letters and no vowels in its name.

      1. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2694621&page=151
        Maybe if you use it then you can talk. If you don’t have it then don’t try telling people how bad it is. Auto on the M8 is not that good but manual is great. I know because you know why? I have it and you don’t. Let like say how bad a car handling when you never had it. Play in a store is not the same. Now take your hating of M8 out of here

        1. I used it at the store, didn’t like it. Blew out the colors with lights in the background. ‘Course, I couldn’t keep photos I took in the store, so I reference reviews for those who might be otherwise mislead by gross hyperbole. Don’t get me wrong…it’s a nice phone. But it has fundamental flaws in the camera department that several people around here refuse to acknowledge. Worse, they champion it as the greatest cell phone camera in the Android world. Someone joining the ecosystem could be mislead by these would-be evangelists, and find themselves grossly disappointed. If you rarely take photos with your phone and just post it to FB/Instagram/etc…M8 is fine. If you are like me and you need a great camera because the phone is the most likely device you’ll have in 10 seconds to snap the picture of your 6 year old, preserving a lifelong memory…steer clear of the M8.

          1. So you did not even look at the picture. And you never really even used it. The M8 has the fastest shutter speed if you know anything about camera then you would that speed is your friend. If you have 10 second to take a picture then you would want a fast camera. The S5 is not one of them.
            For someone who never take the time to use It you do have a lot to say about.
            No one here is saying the M8 is the best, it has it strengths and weakness. You say trust the camera comparison when the S5 look the best but guess what most of them are done with tripod or in ideal condition. It is not one of those and see how bad the S5 does. Know bashing something you have very little knowledge about and it will just make you even more like a troll.

          2. Look, it’s very simple. Whenever there is a light bulb, a sun ray reflection, or some other light source in the shot, everything starts going wrong. Over exposure. Color loss. Massive signal bleed between pixels. That’s not being a troll. And giving people access to professional tech blog sites that have reviewed these devices side-by-side (and no editing of the pictures, like fanbois tend to do when bragging about their stuff) is just common sense.

          3. Haha, it obvious that you did not even look at some of the XDA posted picture because of those issues are not in the most of those picture. You don’t even own the M8 and you are telling me some of the issue I have? Get real. There are many way around those issues with out editing the picture.

          4. FYI, I did look. But you’re telling me that I should take personal experience and professional independent reviews, throw them out the window, and base everything on a couple of faceless fanbois on XDA who did who-knows-what with pictures taken on a who-knows-what device. No comparison or professional reputation on the line.

            A real review should take as simultaneous as possible picture from as close to the same location as possible on a mounted tripod to ensure accuracy. Otherwise, everything is subjective. You get real.

  11. I call BS as well, I know the GS5 takes better pics then this ! phandroid must not have auto focus turned on , I have a galaxy S4 and I taken pics waaaay sharper then those shown here, mmmmm phandroid you are starting to loose credit from me as a reader wtf !
    p.s i have tested a GS5 and taken better pics then these

    1. you do know phandroid didn’t perform this test right?

      1. i stand corrected, but they should not put up BS like that….. lol

        1. I agree the S5 camera lens was either super dirty or the picture taker purposely messed with the Auto Focus.

    2. yeah 1 in 100 shots….take your time, line it up, and most important of all, don’t move

  12. Results very inconclusive for all phones.

  13. Wow, finally people can see how great the m8 camera really is. Best camera phone I’ve ever had.

    1. 4MP

      LOLLLLLLLLLLL

      1. That’s about all you need for great pictures. Anything above is just too slow to write…and also cause some people to not be able to count above 4. But again, samsung had to put a big number up there to market to idiots.

        1. 4MP’s of terrible light management and color scaling

          1. Yep, The M8 sucks.

            This is why..

          2. yea ok, amazingly the supposed M8 shot is the only bad one, go away Troll

    2. Exactly…. this was definitely surprising

  14. I use my GS5 all day taking pictures of detailed cars, so they can be sold online. I take close up pics of the vin, odometer, and stereo. This looks like someone had grease on the lens. I also had the N3, which takes slightly worse pics then the gs5. I’m not a samsung fanboy. I think the M8 takes better pictures, I just didn’t like the way it felt in my hands. This is just another case of reposted nonsense.

    1. keep in mind they did caveat by saying these were less than ideal conditions, and the gs5 takes amazing shots in good natural lighting but struggles in poorly lit situations. And that the m8 struggles in strong sunlight but looks good in less than ideal situations… which would explain the difference in quality here.

      1. I’ll be impressed if a phone comes out that can take pictures with the low light capabilities of a cat’s eye.

        But I’m seeing slight incremental differences that look to me more due to methodology than cameras. Except for the S5. I think someone forgot to take off the hard to see protective plastic flap (“Why do my pictures look like crap? Did I get something on the lens? Oh wait…”)

      2. If the problem was low light, the pics would be noisier, not blurrier.

  15. OK, is it just me or did the M8’s images beat out every phone shown? Not bashing… but at first glance of all three comparisons the M8 instantly looked more appealing to the eye than the others.

    1. I think the G3 is the best, but the M8’s camera is certainly solid.

      1. I respect that, but they were still very close to me.

    2. I agree, but I think it might have something to do with (what appears to be) low lighting conditions. Say what you will about the UltraPixel, it fares well in average to low light.

      1. No Chris, even in Phonearena’s own low light test the M8 never won, the Galaxy S5 won, funny how you never posted those results.

        Something is wrong with the Galaxy S5 shots and it does contradict all the previous results phonearena have posted.

        It’s either user error or they have a defective phone, I guess we will find out when they post a new camera showdown.

    3. Personally I think the new LG G3’s camera was the best. And I’m not an LG fan or have had an LG phone but that G3 took some damn good pictures.

  16. I can’t understand how those pictures from the S5 could be so horrid. I couldn’t make them that horrid if I tried.

    I think someone forgot to take the little clear plastic covering off the S5’s lens.

  17. There must be something wrong with their GS5 camera here. It can’t take that poor photos. It also contradicts their own camera testing that put GS5 on top in nearly every category.

    1. Yes there’s definitely something wrong with that S5 camera. Every picture is blurred and out of focus. The S5’s camera is MUCH better than that.

  18. I despise my GS5 but the pictures aren’t that horrendous.

    1. yeah he needs to exchange his phone, thats just a bad camera module, no way theyre that bad

      1. Or lean the lens or soemthing. Eitehr way, no real reporter would take those picturs and acapet that that is the normal way these images would look. Tehre have been enough of these comparisons where the Galasy S5 came out on top or at least tied for the lead.

        This site has an incredible desire to vindicate the HT camera though. So in that light it makes sense.

    2. Agreed. My S4 is better than this, and I can’t imagine the S5 is that much of a step backwards.

  19. Please ad Z2 to your flagship comparisons

  20. To me, the m8 looks the best, just followed by the g3. I’m just going off of color, sharpness and noise, not resolution. Of course the 4mp shooter can’t win in the resolution department.

  21. WTF is that last picture?? Fingers in the bush?

    1. So I wasn’t the only one who was wondering that.

    2. OLD bush

  22. I personally feel the G3 is won this one! The macro shots are incredibly sharp; the G3’s picture of the dehydrated fruit has the most detail down to the sugar crystal.

  23. This should have been a blind test. Then what photos each one were should have been at the bottom.

    They all look the same to me. Though I can see some differences.

    1. I agree that it should have been a blind test could have brought about less bias in seeing which photos were visually more appealing. But I did notices that the S5 was the worst in this scenerio and the Note 3 wasn’t far behind. the M8 had the best shots and the G3 was a close number 2.

  24. G3 is looking like my next phone…if the 32gb version comes out before christmas.

  25. Chris, this is a bogus comparison. the S5 you used is quite obviously a defective.

    1. Just like my GF’s S5 was “defective”… it took horrible pictures. Had her go back in to TMO and trade it out for an M8, she couldn’t be happier.

      1. Your story keeps changing. A couple of weeks ago, it was your defective phone. I’m beginning to wonder if you have a girlfriend…

        1. Maybe he has a waifu.

        2. Nice try. If your that interested you can go back in my Disqus history. I said the same thing I said today about my GFs S5 cam and how she exchanged for an M8 a few weeks back.

          And if you keep going I’m going to make you my GF…

          1. Why am I not surprised that you don’t know that I’d have to be a girl to be your GF?

          2. It’s a saying/phrase guy… Equivalent to me saying your my b****

          3. That awkward moment when you were turning a sting back around on someone…and they didn’t get it.

          4. I know right… I wish you were smarter, then our virtual bullying of one another could be more fun.

          5. Sigh. You missed it again

          6. I miss you too bae

          7. You can’t miss what you’ll never have. I don’t know if you know this, but I’m not into guys. I can understand your attraction…you just can’t help it. But a guy like me has to draw the line somewhere, and I draw it at other dudes.

    2. This phonearena comparison, their would be the same one they used for their review so it would not be defective

  26. I am no professional photographer but just looking at all the photos the m8 looks the best to me.

    1. They look dull and lifeless, the same as other M8 samples I’ve seen.

      1. Now in the first set the g3 and 5s look better but in the second and third the m8 definitely look the best.

        1. No they don’t, they look dull.

          HTC One M8 is usually easy to spot in a camera comparison because they look the most boring.

          The images have very little dynamic range.

          The G3 shots look really nice though.

  27. To all the people sayong the GS5 here is defective-
    Lamest. Excuse. Ever.

    1. User error I’m sure. That or the GS5’s min focusing distance is crap.

    2. Or you could just look up any review and use common sense.
      Even the Note 3’s pictures are better than the S5’s here. You don’t find that a little fishy.
      I wouldn’t say tampered. I would say purposefully not done right.

      The S5 has the best all around camera. Any other review will show this.

  28. No love for the Z2? My Z2 takes remarkable photos. And I’m not even knowledgable on cameras.

    1. Agreed, Z2 should have been in the comparison.

    2. Probably because it will likely blow the G3 out of the water with a much larger sensor.

      1. Haha maybe.

  29. wow is the gs5 camera that bad? or someone is out there to give Samsung a bad rap?

    1. Nope, the Galaxy S5 won in all Phonearena’s recent phone comparisons and blind image comparisons which Phandroid completely ignored.

      So why it looks like that compared to phones it’s meant to have won against now is a little suspicious, we know the Galaxy S5 has a great camera so this doesn’t make any sense.

      1. These are crops of larger photos, I believe, to show the detail captured, not the actual photos themselves. I read an EXCELLENT comparison here: http://www.imore.com/iphone-5s-vs-samsung-galaxy-s5-vs-htc-one-m8-camera-shootout

        I hope that they add the LG G3 to add so broader perspective. Based on their review, it’s between the G3 and the S5 for me. I buy phones based on camera and battery these days. :)

        1. And one of the best things about the S5’s camera is the clarity. Which includes zoomed in detail.
          Which makes these shots look purposefully altered.

  30. So, S5 doesn’t do macro well. How about everything else?

    My experience with the S5 camera is that it’s been phenomenal so far.

  31. I like Galaxy S5’s 16MP camera through which I can capture best memorable moments
    of my life with clarity. I can directly share it with my family and friends by uploading it on my Instagram profile. The best thing which I like in my Galaxy S5 that is its powerful 2800mAh battery that after fully charged on wireless charging pad runs throughout
    the day.

    1. How much are you paid for each one of these ads? O.o

    2. The All New HTC One M8 is designed for those people are aren’t stupidly blinded by a mediocre camera which is that of the Galaxy S5

      1. Wow….”designed for those people are aren’t stupidly blinded by a mediocre camera”
        Translation bias butthurt trolling.

  32. this is just a macro camera comparison. We really want to see action shots, low light conditions, People, landscape, etc.

  33. The S5 shots look horrible out of focus.

    1. Tell me about it.

    2. Yeah. It is to the point it litterally looks like someone did it on purpose if you have seen many other results.

  34. The 5S wins the low light shots. It shows the most detail and captures the most light.

  35. WTF? Whoever took these purposefully took bad pictures with the S5.
    It has the best Android camera. And all around best in gneral.
    The 1020 and 808 are the only two better and only in photos.

    Yes Samsung has always been known to not do as stellar in low light. However the new Isocell tech helped improve that some….Not quite enough, but improved.
    Even the Note 3 is showing supposed better results than the S5.
    BS.

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