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The LG G3 and the Galaxy S5 are two Korean smartphones that presently find themselves at the top of the totem pole, and both offer great back-facing cameras. The question is, which one is better and can this even be said? Our comparison shows that both have their strengths and weaknesses, but one of these Android devices won by a hair in the end. Can you take a guess?

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The Samsung Galaxy S5 or the LG G3? Which one has the better camera? / © AndroidPIT

Shooting conditions

Our comparison wasn’t conducted in a laboratory full of lab coats and extremely meticulous conditions. No, we undertook this test one sunny afternoon in the AndroidPIT editorial office. This is actually more informative for future owners than any sterile laboratory. Real life situations is what needs to looked at when comparing cameras. It is also for this reason that we used automatic mode and only once did we switch to HDR mode and Blur mode with a few subsequent adjustments of the focal plane.

In order to compare pictures more easily, we switched the resolution of the Galaxy S5 on 10 MP as opposed to 16 M, except for the comparison images where we compare sharpness and resolution. In regards to all of the other pictures, we concentrated on image noise, color, contrast, dynamics and saturation, though these characteristics don’t really differ much from one manufacturer to another.

Comparison pictures and results

These comparison pictures and more can be found on my Google+ profile: taking a look is really worth it, because the more pictures you see, the more the differences become apparent.

Picture quality, color and contrast

Both cameras came out almost on par in this part of the comparison: Samsung’s Galaxy S5, however, delivers slightly stronger contrasts and sharper contours, while the pictures look a look a lot sharper on a computer screen and seem a lot more appealing. The LG G3 is able to lighten darker colors a lot better than the Galaxy S5, while the automatic white balance on the S5 is slightly warmer than the cooler G3 results.

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Between the Galaxy S5 (top) and the LG G3 (bottom) there is hardly a difference - in general, the LG G3 portrays colors a little cooler than the Galaxy S5, which is caused by the automatic white balance (AWB) and the camera software./ © AndroidPIT
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A street in automatic mode: The LG G3 (bottom) tends to make darker image areas much more lighter than the Galaxy S5 (top). In comparison with other Android flagships, the results produced by the G3 almost seem as if taken in HDR mode. / © AndroidPIT

HDR mode

Samsung did it better here as well: the HDR mode on the Galaxy S5 reduces contrasts and appears less pale and grey than the G3. Taking HDR pictures and then processing them was a lot faster on the Galaxy S5 than on the LG G3.

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In this HDR shot in a poor lighting situation and high contrasts, both devices are able to produce sufficient details from the dark parts. The Galaxy S5 (top) however keeps more contrast and offers sharper pictures. / © AndroidPIT
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Here we used HDR mode again, where we can see that the LG G3 (bottom) has greyer colors and poor contrast. The Galaxy S5 offers a much more attractive picture even if the picture seems slightly hyperrealistic. / © AndroidPIT

Poor lighting conditions

When it comes bad lighting, the G3 beats the S5, and this in a major way. In darker rooms and evening pictures, the G3 is the better smartphone. That being said, when the camera software processes the pictures, it takes longer on the G3 than on the Galaxy S5, and the device needs to be held for a longer period of time. This is a sign that the software has a big role in the picture after the shot has been taking.

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The LG G3 (bottom) is slightly better: the focus speed as well as the overall picture quality are good. The poor performance by the Galaxy S5 in low-light situations can easily be seen, the picture (top) is washed out and has a lot of noise. / © AndroidPIT

Resolution and sharpness of detail

The Galaxy S5 came out on top in this category. The camera shoots pictures in 16:9 format with 16 MP, while the LG G3 only offers a resolution 10 MP. The S5 is therefore better capable of reproducing small details and offers more leeway when post-editing image details. Samsung seems to sharpen details a lot more than LG and this is very apparent when observing the pictures at 100% zoom. This represents an advantage for normal users because unedited pictures on the S5 look a lot more appealing.

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Both cameras were able to deliver good results here: the S5 (top) and the G3 (bottom) show no differences, but the S5 does indeed have stronger contrasts. / © AndroidPIT
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In this zoomed-in picture, it's clear that the Galaxy S5 (top) shoots sharper pictures. / © AndroidPIT


After a short test, I noticed a lot of very interesting things: the Laser Autofocus on the LG G3 was only quicker and more precise in a very badly lit kitchen, but in every other situation there was no difference in speed in comparison to the Galaxy S5.


Both the LG G3 and the Galaxy S5 offer panorama mode, but do it in two different ways: as the S5 pans, it takes one continuous picture, while the LG G3 puts separate picture quadrants together. The result from the LG G3 came out at a higher resolution, but the lighting was irregular. Also, to get anything decent, you need to hold the camera super still, any shaking will lead to some unattractive results. The lighting for the entire panorama on the G3 was alright, but the S5 was a bit brighter.

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The S5 (top) is slightly too bright, but the LG G3 has irregular lighting. / © AndroidPIT


Adjusting the focus in pictures after having taken them is a new feature that both smartphones were able to master. That being said, the blur effect is much stronger with the S5 than the G3. To produce the effect, the S5 merges three pictures with varying focus levels, and the G3 uses four. The S5 allows the user to choose between foreground, middleground and background, while the LG G3 has a slider that permits you to choose between the four pictures. The only annoying thing here is that the effect is not continuous, so if the desired sharpness is between two shots, no picture is ever really sharp.

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The post-focus on the S5 (top) is slightly better than the G3.  / © AndroidPIT

Camera modes

Samsung also ‘won’ in this category, seeing as the menu on the Galaxy S5 has much more settings options than the G3. Next to automatic mode on the G3, there are three others to choose from and the settings menu is quite bare. Even if we aren’t always fans of Samsung’s immense list of gimmicky features, LG could have brought more features to the table in their latest flagship.


After our short test, Samsung came out the victor: the Galaxy S5 offers more in the way of software features with more appealing pictures overall and hardly any disadvantages like the LG G3. The only area where the LG G3 came out on top was the picture quality in low light situations. The Galaxy S5 once again proved that this doesn’t belong to their list of strengths.


Write new comment:
  • Samsung s5 front camera weird then ever. And back camera too. I don't seen as bad as s5 camera before. Till s4 it was best. I amaze no website highlight this issue. U have to take ten pics then hardly you find a good picture. Samsung Galaxy s5 is biggest camera disappointed. Can't compare with any other galaxy s series models.

  • soltan Feb 3, 2015 Link to comment


  • Hal K Jun 23, 2014 Link to comment

    This test is a joke. G3 even with lower mp count takes very comparable shots as s5 and thats in good daylight. What happens with pics at night? G3 walks away easy and wins this comparison. Ois in g3 allows unmatched night photos indoor or outdoor. Just google g2 or g3 night pic comparisons. That alone wins it.

    • OIS+ is great, to be sure, but LG have a real problem with heavy post-processing and weird artifacts. I've seen this in every camera comparison from the G2 or G3. So low-light results can still be very grainy in the dark areas with a "smudged" look on flat illuminated areas. At least that's been my repeated experience in the comparisons I've done.

  • Hi Loei,

    So let me get this straight, you guys chose to make a comparison based on popularity of settings and not by best capability?

  • Alec Zhan Jun 19, 2014 Link to comment

    If you shot all of these pics in the 10 MP mode that you mentioned then this whole comparison is BS. the g3 can shoot up to 13 MP but there is an option to shoot at 10.

    • Loie Favre
      • Admin
      • Staff
      Jun 19, 2014 Link to comment

      Hi Alec. Thanks for your comment. We chose the highest possible resolution with the 16:9 ratio. The 16 MP is only possible with 4:3. and we took the 16:9 ratio for the reason that this is more popular one among users.

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