The LG GC900 Viewty Smart sports an 8 megapixel camera with a maximum image resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels. It boasts fancy Schneider-Kreuznach optics and a LED flash which, as you might have guessed, doesn't do much good. It might only make a difference in extremely dark conditions at the closest of ranges but don't expect anything beyond that.
The camera interface of the GC900 Viewty Smart is identical to the one on the KM900 Arena. Access to all the camera settings is via the left taskbar in the viewfinder. There you get virtual buttons for flash, focus mode (auto/macro) and exposure plus an advanced settings key. This left toolbar auto hides when not used and you need to tap on the screen to bring it back.
On the right hand-side of the screen is another bar with a virtual shutter key, that also slides up and down to switch between still camera and camcorder. Alongside are the exit and gallery buttons. This taskbar is fixed and actually not part of the viewfinder - that's the way to get around the difference between the wide aspect ratio of the screen and the standard 4:3 image sensor. If you don't like that you can opt for the full screen view, where a part of the image does get cropped but you see the center bit in more detail.
The actual Settings menu is a clever rotating dial with the available options for each setting displayed as a list. We have to admit that it is somewhat slow to navigate and find the right option but it is certainly very nice looking.
The LG GC900 Viewty Smart sports a ton of extra camera features with geotagging, face recognition and smile shot being some of the most notable. You also get image stabilization and viewfinder grid to help you better frame your photos. The LG GC900 also supports up to ISO 1600 but unless you like looking at 8 megapixels of noisy noise, we would suggest you stay as far away from it as possible.
The image quality of the LG GC900 Viewty Smart was somewhat of a disappointment. It might do the job if you aren't too fussy but any comparison to other 8 megapixel handsets on the market is to the Viewty's detriment. It's a pity, considering that the good old LG KU900 Viewty was up with them great 5 megapixel shooters.
If we have to say anything positive about the image quality it'd be that the colors are pretty decent and so is contrast in the photos. The amount of resolved detail is also good but the noise levels can basically ruin the whole deal.
The LG GC900 Viewty Smart is by far the noisiest 8 megapixel camera we have seen so far and the difference is easily visible even at the lowest ISO settings. This is probably THE handset to confirm the "more MP equals more noise" mantra. While we'd still pick it over most 5 MP shooters, the Viewty Smart won't be our weapon of choice in the 8 MP game.
We also snapped our resolution chart with the LG GC900 Viewty Smart. You can check out what that test is all about here.
LG GC900 Viewty Smart
Samsung i8510 INNOV8
You can easily see how vastly superior the Samsung i8510 INNOV8 is in terms of resolved detail just by looking at the two charts above.
The LG GC900 Viewty Smart is capable of capturing video of up to D1 (720x480) resolution at 30 fps. The video recording quality, unlike that of the still camera, is pretty good. The level of detail could have been a touch better, but the colors are lively with an extra notch of saturation added by the camera. The noise isn't at all that much of an issue here.
The new Viewty, just like the Arena, uses the outdated low-bitrate 3GP video format, which we didn't really like. We would much rather see more handsets like the LG Renoir, using AVI file format with DivX encoding.
Slow-motion QVGA clips shot at 120 fps are also an option on the LG Viewty Smart and the device much like the LG Secret and Arena, takes the extra step of adding Fast videos. This is the time-lapse video capture seen in some dedicated digicams.
With the right subjects those shoot modes can be quite fun. Unfortunately, the output videos are still limited to QVGA resolution. The Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH for example already shoots fast motion videos at VGA resolution of enviable quality. And as we see it, those videos don't require more processing power than there already is.
The flash can be turned on to act as a video light. Quite naturally, you can also record sound with videos, except in the fast/slow-mo modes of course. As we already pointed out, the dedicated video recording microphone is on the back of the phone. Videos are encoded in MP4 but are saved in 3GP format.
Here goes a sample D1 video for you to check out.