LG continues the tradition with ultra-wide angle cameras so in addition to the main 12MP camera (1/2.6", 1.4µm pixels) with f/1.5 aperture and OIS, you will also find a 16MP ultra wide-angle camera with f/1.9, and 1.0µm pixels. However, the latter doesn't come with stabilization or autofocus.
And depending on the market availability, the G8 ThinQ can also carry a third telephoto camera. It should be a 12MP 52mm unit with f/2.4 aperture, 1.0µm pixels, OIS, PDAF and capable of 2x optical zoom.
The front-facing shooter is 8MP with f/1.7 opening (a bump up from last year's 8MP f/1.9) and also has autofocus, which is a big plus. It's aided by the 3D ToF sensor used not only for face unlocking but for portraits as well.
But before we take a look at how all three cameras perform in different scenarios, let's go through the camera menus and settings.
The camera menu is super simple - swiping left and right will switch between camera modes that include Portrait, Auto, AI Cam, Manual Camera and Studio with the latter mimicking a studio setting letting you fine-tune the lighting as if it's coming from several sources. The much-appreciated manual video recording mode is in there along with a couple of other settings. In the More menu we find a couple of more modes, one of which is the Night view, which curiously sounds differently from the Super Bright Camera mode we had on the G7 ThinQ.
If you wish to dive in deeper into the settings, you can tap on the settings icon in the upper-left corner of the viewfinder. All the usual settings are in there as well as the option to select video recording mode and resolution. The same goes for the stills.
We should start with saying that the G8 ThinQ's overall camera experience has improved significantly over the last year coming from the G7 ThinQ and even the V40 ThinQ. There's a good amount of detail in the daylight stills, color reproduction is great and with HDR turned on, the images turn out with good tonal balance.
Still, photos have high contrast and may appear underexposed in some cases. The software tends to retain the highlights and lose detail in the shadows as a result. You can also see some oversharpening here and there. In some rare cases, noise becomes too prominent too.
With AI turned on, the contrast is boosted even further making the grain even more visible and the subjects are oversharpened. Colors become juicier but not necessarily true-to-life. We didn't like using the AI mode for our day shots due to the instagram-filter-heavy look of the photos that it produces.
The ultra wide-angle camera carries the same pros and cons as the main one. Detail is a bit lower, even though it's a 16MP sensor we are dealing with here. But the color rendition and the image processing looks identical to the main camera's, which is good news. It looks like LG has put a lot of effort into fine tuning the wide-angle lens.
Dynamic range is good as long as the HDR is active, colors look nice and compared to other ultra wide-angle lenses, this one has a good amount of detail and the barrel distortion is barely noticeable. The oversharpening effect can be seen here as well, though, and the lack of autofocus may be limiting in some scenarios.
The phone delivers generally good night photos with excellent dynamic range, plenty of detail and juicy colors. It also tends to preserve light sources and different colors very well. Speaking of dynamic range, it appears that the phone will always turn on HDR in night scenes if it's set to Auto. The noise issue becomes more prominent in night time shots but we are fans of the balanced exposure the night-time photos have.
And while we recommend that you refrain from using the AI Cam mode during the day, we found it to be somewhat beneficial at night. It's able to capture more detail in the shadows and highlights but the trade-off is the even more pronounced noise, especially in the dark parts of the image.
Summing up the LG G8's low-light performance, we can go ahead and say that it's one of the best low-light performers. That's if you don't mind the noise, which is more visible than on competing devices.
Switching over to Night view won't do much for you. It tones down the colors compared to the AI mode and delivers just a little more sharpness in some of our shots. Noise is also reduced to some extent but all in all, we still recommend using the AI for night stills. The Night view mode is nowhere near close to the competition's dedicated night modes. And we wonder what happened to the LG G7's Super Bright Camera mode.
The ultra wide-angle camera, on the other hand, struggles to achieve the level of detail the main one has and noise is even more noticeable. But wide-angle cameras are naturally worse in low-light situations.
We are happy to report, that the ultra wide-angle camera held its own in low light situations and delivered very competitive image quality.
Here’s how the 12MP unit on the LG G8 ThinQ stacks against the rest of the competition in a more controlled environment.
Depending on the lighting conditions, the subject will once again appear a bit underexposed but skin tone looks natural, detail is there and the edge detection is pretty decent. It's not the best for sure but it's right up there with most of the flagship devices. There's also a slider in the Portrait mode that lets you adjust the blur strength to produce more natural-looking bokeh.
LG has definitely upped its game when it comes to selfies. Surely, the 8MP sensor on the front isn't anything ground-breaking but the wider aperture helps capture more light and the autofocus makes sure your mug is always in focus. Dynamic range is once again good while detail is nice given the 8MP resolution. However, we found it to be a bit artificial as sharpening can be seen here and there. Also, noise is once again visible in some dark parts of the image and we think there's a skin tone and facial hair enhancement at play here even though none was enabled in the viewfinder.
Thanks to the front-facing ToF camera (or the Z Camera as LG likes to call it) the LG G8 is able to produce very nice bokeh rendering in the Selfie Portrait mode. The edge detection and the bokeh are among the best we've seen from a selfie camera thanks to the advanced scene depth mapping.
Curious finding - the software crops the image in portrait mode and upscales the resolution to 8MP and, of course, some detail is lost along the way but it's barely noticeable.
The phone is capable of recording 2160p videos in 30 and 60fps and the same goes for the 1080p mode. Slow-motion capture is supported as well - 720p@240fps. You can even record videos in HDR10 with the so-called Cine video mode.
Regarding quality, the 4K videos turned out to be pretty nice - noise is barely visible (kudos to LG for fixing that, it was a problem with older models), colors are punchy, detail is good and contrast is high, even higher than it should be. There's a bit more to be desired from the dynamic range - it looks as if it's prioritizing the highlights over the shadows. Just look at the trees - they look almost black.
All of the above applies to the 1080p recording, except that there's less detail, of course.
Ultra wide-angle video recording at 4K is also possible but expect to lose some detail along the way. The videos are noticeably softer.
The image stabilization, on the other hand, is downright impressive, even in 4K mode. Also, if you pay attention, you can see a bit of oversharpening on the grass. Take a look below.
Once you are done with the real-life scenarios, take a look at our video compare tool to see how it competes against the best in the industry.