LG G6 Mobile review: Punchy picturesBy Paul Carroll - Friday July 07 2017 Mobile Review
The LG G6 features a dual-camera setup with two 13Mp sensors coupled to either an f/1.8 image-stabilized lens for its primary camera, or to a second f/2.4 wide-angle lens, without autofocus, as an alternative option. Tested using the primary camera, the LG G6 achieves an overall DxOMark Mobile score of 84 points and performs better for stills, securing a Photo sub-score of 85 points.
Its achieves its best scores for stills are in bright light, in which exposures are generally excellent, with good white balance, vivid color, high levels of detail, and fast autofocus. A noticeable increase in correlated noise, as well as less detail in low-contrast areas, results in the LG G6 ranking just behind its predecessor, the LG V20, which achieved a Photo sub-score of 86 points.
For video, the LG G6’s 2160p/30fps module achieves a Video sub-score of 83 points, which is 1 point better than the LG V20, thanks in part to the former’s improved stabilization system. Again, videos are better in bright light, with the main strengths accurate exposure with wide dynamic range, good detail preservation, pleasant white balance, and well-controlled color shading.
Outdoors: Nice exposures with vibrant color
Shooting in good outdoor lighting conditions, the LG G6 produces many vibrant and accurate exposures that pack plenty of punch. Accurate target exposures boast vivid color rendition and generally accurate white balance. In some exposures, however, white balance can veer towards a slight blue/greenish tint, and although it’s not overly offensive, some post-production correction to warm things up could help.
HDR exposures shooting towards the light in high-contrast scenes are also a little inconsistent, often rendering overexposed highlights or clipped shadows. Watch out for haloing around contrast edges on HDR exposures, too. The 13Mp sensors records good detail, particularly in textured or high contrast areas, although fine detail is often lost in low-contrast areas. The LG G6’s autofocus is excellent in bright light, locking on to subjects quickly and accurately.
Indoor: Inconsistent results
The LG G6’s low light results can be a little inconsistent in terms of exposure, detail and noise. Under brighter 300/100 Lux artificial lighting, indoor photos do pack a similar punch to its outdoor shots, with good exposure, vibrant color and a nice, albeit slightly greenish, white balance.
This level of brightness is not repeatable over consecutive shots using the same settings, however, with the next frame recording a duller exposure. In darker 10/5 Lux exposures, brightness is more consistent, and although a little underexposed with subdued color, overall very low-light shots remain usable.
Some visible color shading that shifts from pink in the center to green at the edges is also visible in low-light pictures. More concerning, however, is heavy correlated luminance noise in low-light shots, which results in a loss of detail and a textured oil painting effect in some areas. The effect can be quite distracting, but it’s also inconsistent: some pictures display high levels of correlated noise, while some consecutive shots using the same settings offering smoother results, with lower noise and less fine detail.
Details: Explaining the score
Exposure and Contrast (88)
The LG G6 achieves its highest category score for Exposure and Contrast, thanks to the generally accurate target exposures and punchy, vibrant results. It lost points for certain exposure variations, specifically in low light, and for HDR irregularities that displayed some limited dynamic range.
The LG G6 scores well for color, which is especially vibrant and bold on well-exposed outdoor pictures. Color is good in low light, too, aside from underexposed shots, which are a little drab. White balance is generally accurate, although both outdoor and indoor pictures have a slight blue/greenish cast, which might not appeal to photographers who prefer warmer results.
The LG G6 achieves a great score for autofocus, thanks to the fast and accurate performance of its phase detection system. It’s especially fast in bright light, and although not bad in low light, we observed more failures, notably in trigger mode.
Texture (87) and Noise (82)
The LG G6 achieves a good score for texture that is particularly impressive in bright light, with the only complaint a loss of fine detail in low-contrast areas. In low light, more fine detail is lost and many textures have a somewhat distracting oil painting rendering. A lower score for noise was achieved, with heavy correlated noise evident both in indoor pictures and in some areas of outdoor pictures, too. As already discussed, the inconsistent levels of noise across consecutive exposures is a concern, too, with high levels of noise in some pictures seriously affecting image quality.
A number of artifacts are evident in the LG G6’s pictures, the most problematic being the inconsistent denoising across darker and brighter areas of the same picture, haloing around buildings or contrast edges, and noticeable flare in pictures shot towards the light.
Of less concern, edge detail is often noticeably noisy, maze/moiré patterns are sometimes visible on high frequency areas, and a cyan shift in the sky is occasionally apparent.
The LG G6’s dual LED module achieves a great score here due to its stable exposure and white balance on flash pictures, especially when using additional light sources. On flash-only results, colors are pleasant and detail preservation is good, but pictures are slightly underexposed, with noticeable light attenuation in the corners. Strong color shading is visible when mixing flash with additional tungsten light sources.
On the whole, the LG G6 shoots many successful videos with accurate target exposures, wide dynamic range, and smooth exposure adaptation when changing scenes. Colors are bold and vivid in bright light, with accurate white balance, both outdoors and when shooting under fluorescent lighting.
In low light, colors are a little under-saturated, with a minor pink colorcast under indoor tungsten light sources. Changes to the color matrix are noticeable when transitioning between bright- and low-light conditions, with visible steps in white balance adaptation evident.
The LG G6 video stabilization system is pretty effective in bright and low light, with only slightly visible high-frequency motion in some videos, and some judder effect with panning movements.
Detail preservation is good in bright light, too, with well-controlled noise reduction for smooth results, although some luminance noise is more visible on specific colors.
However, detail preservation is fairly low in low light, with more visible luminance and chromatic noise evident. Autofocus is mostly accurate, especially in bright light, although occasional loss of focus during walking and tracking movements is evident. Again, results are better in bright light, as autofocus is fairly slow in low light, with visible steps in convergence and some unpredictability, including refocusing during lighting changes. Artifacts are occasionally noticeable on the LG G6’s video, too, including ringing and flare; and the same instability with low light noise that we saw with stills persists in low-light videos, especially during lighting changes.
|DxOMark Mobile Photo|
|Exposure and contrast||
- Generally good target exposure.
- Colors are vivid and pleasant in most conditions.
- White balance is generally accurate.
- Good detail preservation in bright lighting conditions.
- Fast autofocus, especially in bright light conditions.
- Detail preservation is good when using flash.
- White balance is accurate and stable when using flash.
- Correlated noise is visible in textured & homogenous areas.
- Fine details are lost in low-contrast areas in most conditions.
- A slight green cast is sometimes visible in all lighting conditions.
- Ringing and cyan shift are visible.
- Some irregularities and autofocus failures.
|DxOMark Mobile Video|
|Exposure and contrast||
- Good white balance outdoors and with fluorescent lighting.
- Well-controlled color shading in most conditions.
- Effective stabilization.
- Good target exposure with fairly wide dynamic range.
- Good detail preservation in bright light conditions.
- Fairly slow autofocus convergence in low-light conditions
- Occasional autofocus irregularities in bright-light conditions.
- Occasional loss of focus during walking and tracking movements.
- Pink cast under tungsten lighting, especially visible in low-light conditions.
- Some residual high-frequency motion visible.
- Visible steps in white balance adaptation when light changes.