The LG G7 ThinQ has a similar setup to the LG V30S ThinQ - a regular camera plus an ultra wide one. The main one is 16MP with a f/1.6 lens and OIS - same as on the V30S. The secondary one has been upgraded since the V30S and is now 16MP instead of 13MP. It has a f/1.9 aperture but it's still fixed focus and it doesn't share the OIS of the main camera. Not that it needs any OIS at this focal length.
Both sensors are 1/3.1" big with 1.0µm pixels (not especially big). The front camera is an 8MP unit with f/1.9 aperture.
The G7's main camera is capable of rich scene recognition thanks to the power of AI which was introduced with the V30S. LG says there is no need for internet connection for it to work. A small text pops up on the screen upon recognizing different subjects and in a second or so, the camera will have adjusted the parameters according to the stuff it recognized.
While this sounds cool on paper, the regular auto mode is just as good. We found those popups more irritating than helpful and it took one or two extra seconds for successful parameter tuning. As we said, the auto mode is just as good, so we really didn't find any use for the AI Cam.
The camera comes with a new mode called Super Bright Camera. It's a dedicated night mode, which produces well-exposed photos in pitch dark conditions. This is done by pixel binning - the light gathered by four pixels is combined into one when trying to take a photo in 2 lux or less. The result is a much brighter, 4MP photo.
The mode doesn't kick in automatically (for now), but a notification tells you to switch if it detects suitable conditions.
There is portrait mode available, and it uses the wide-angle camera as a depth sensor. The effect preview is visible in real-time, and you can edit the photo even after it's taken.
The camera app has been improved since the V30 with a reworked interface. It has the regular and wide switch on the viewfinder. On the left are the settings, mode, filter, selfie and flash shortcuts. At the opposite side are Google Lens, Portrait, and AI Cam toggles. Yes, this time around, you can choose whether you would like LG's proprietary Q Lens to help you with recognizing objects in your viewfinder or you can do that via Google Lens. Google Lens lets you search for products like the ones in your frame, copy text or phone numbers, scan barcodes, and recognize landmarks and pieces of fine art.
As additional modes you get Manual for images and video, cinemagraph, food, slow-mo, panorama (60MP), GIF, AR stickers - all pretty self-explanatory. The settings menu is a bit of a mess, but once you spot where the video settings are (on the right), you'll get the handle on it.
The daylight images have enough detail, though not flagship-level. Other than that, the contrast and colors are excellent, while the dynamic range is pretty high even without HDR involved.
The noise tends to spike in uniform areas - such as skies, building facades, and in the shadows.
Some of the images you are about to see look somewhat over-processed, with noticeable oil-painting effect - probably as a result of heavy noise-suppression or bad multi-frame stacking, we can't know for sure. You can decrease the chance of getting such images by disabling the Auto HDR from Settings. It won't work all the time, but on a few occasions, we indeed got better images.
Unfortunately, the photos are not on par with what we used to get on previous V and G phones. No matter if it's Auto or AI Cam, or even Manual, those are the kind of samples you'd get. And while the photos are very good, flagship-grade is what they aren't.
The samples we took with the wide-angle camera are on par with the regular ones in terms of image quality. Just don't expect to shoot objects from up close with this camera as the focus is fixed.
Now that we established the G7 takes good pictures, but not among the best we've seen, we should mention something peculiar. Among the samples we snapped, we found a few that looked different. Those were not as sharpened, and a little bit noisier, but they had a lot more resolved detail and looked more natural. We suspect those photos survived the heavy-handed processing because they were part of a series shot at rapid succession. In any case, we didn't find a way to capture them intentionally.
The LG G7 offers HDR Auto mode, which is smart enough to know when HDR should be used and the HDR effect is quite good without being too aggressive. But if you like to pixel peep, the drop in quality is noticeable due to the oil painting effect which we discussed earlier.
At least, for the very first time, LG's camera app can show the HDR effect straight in the camera viewfinder before you've taken the photo - something Samsung phones and iPhones have been capable of for quite a while. Also, capturing HDR shots no longer takes extra time like it did on the V30.
In low light the G7 output is softer than what you could get out of previous LG phones - here the bias is towards heavier noise reduction, hence less noise, but also less detail. The bright lens wasn't enough to compensate for the tiny sensor pixels this time around.
And here are the wide-angle samples.
For near pitch-dark conditions the G7 will offer you to use the so-called Super Bright Camera. It uses pixel binning - the light gathered by four pixels is combined into one when trying to take a photo in 2 lux or less of light. The goal is to get one well-exposed 4MP photo.
And indeed, you will. The 4MP shots taken in pitch dark conditions are well-exposed, but the noise reduction smeared most of the fine detail. So those will do for Facebook on those rare dark occasions but don't expect something as striking as Huawei's Night Mode on the P20 and P20 Pro.
And here are the wide-angle photos.
You can compare the original and the Super Bright photos here. We also snapped a scene with Huawei P20 Pro's Night Mode for you to compare to the LG's solution.
You can explore how the LG G7 camera stacks against other snappers in our Photo Compare Tool.
The Portrait Mode has finally made it to the LG G series. It uses the wide-angle camera for depth information, and you can choose the strength of the background defocusing before or after taking the photo.
The Portraits turned out pretty good. Subject separation works well, there aren't abrupt transitions from sharp to blurred, the bokeh is nice, and overall - those are among the better portrait photos we've seen.
The selfie camera has been upgraded on the LG G7 with an 8MP unit behind an f/1.9 aperture lens. The wide-angle mode is gone for good, though, but you get portraits, which is more than fair.
The captured detail on the selfies is enough, and those came with good colors and contrast. The dynamic range is about the average, and the noise is kept mostly low.
The G7 may lack a secondary selfie sensor for depth information, but it still does mostly fine in detecting and separating the person from the background. Sure, you can notice the processing tries to mask the borders with some forced blur, or the lack of it, but those are still some good samples nevertheless.
Finally, HDR is available for the selfie snapper, but there is no Auto mode. Still, if you need it, you'll get some detail in the blown areas.
The LG G7 records videos up to 2160p resolution with up to 60 fps (via update) with both rear cameras. While the optical stabilization is always there for you on the main cam, digital stabilization is only available in 1080p/30fps. Other makers now offer stabilized videos all the way up to 4K, and it's not like the G7 is lacking in processing power.
Footage from the LG G7's normal cam is excellent and definitely flagship-worthy. There is plenty of detail, the dynamic range is high, and the contrast is excellent. The color rendition is not exactly accurate as the G7 videos are a touch warmer but they sure do look lively. The oil painting effect is barely visible here, if at all, so you won't have to worry about that.
The 4K at 60fps clips are captured at 64Mbps bitrate while the 30fps - at 48Mbps, both with 156 Kbps stereo audio.
The 1080p clips at 30fps (17Mbps bitrate) are equally great as the 4K in terms of video quality - in their own class, of course. The 1080p at 60fps videos, on the other hand, are very soft, which is odd - the phone records 4K videos at 60fps just fine but not at 1080p?
There is optical stabilization active all the time for the main camera, but the 1080p at 30fps videos can also benefit from digital one. And while the OIS does great at keeping the picture steady, EIS is what works excellently for removing the camera shake when walking and recording.
The 4K at 60fps videos from the wide-angle camera are softer than the ones we took with the regular one, but other than that - they share the same high dynamic range, excellent contrast, and punchy colors.
The wide-angle 4K and 1080p ones captured at 30fps are on par with the regular samples in quality, while the 1080p at 60fps are just as equally bad.
The LG G7 has HDR 10 video recording mode at 4K or 1080p resolution at 30fps. The HDR video benefits are visible on the G7's HDR display and the video looks truer to life, with a lot more discernible shades and better contrast. We are providing an HDR video sample for you, but unless you have an HDR10-compatible display, it will likely look washed-out without revealing its true colors.
Finally, in Manual Video mode you can also enable 24-bit Hi-Fi sound recording. The PCM audio bitrate is 2304 Kbps, and you can fine tune it by your liking. A wind-cancelling shortcut is available for when you are shooting in windy environment. Just like the HDR video clips, the Hi-Fi ones won't be compatible with every hardware, but they should be easier to play as the PCM audio-compatibility is more common.
You can download short untouched samples of all the video modes we tested - 4K at 60fps (10s, 80MB), 4K at 30fps (10s, 60MB), 4K HDR (10s, 63MB), 4K Hi-Fi (10s, 69MB), 1080p at 30fps (10s, 21MB), and 1080p at 60fps (10s, 30MB).
And here is the LG G7 in our video compare tool.