A new patent, granted to LG by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) earlier this week and discovered by LetsGoDigital, involves a smartphone with a main camera setup that consists of 16 lenses with varying focal lengths and characteristics.
The LG Velvet has a decent if entirely unremarkable camera setup. It consists of three units, two of them capable of taking pictures - a 48MP primary module, an 8MP ultra wide, and a 5MP auxiliary cam for depth estimation.
The main cam uses a Samsung 48MP TetraCell imager, or Quad Bayer in Sony lingo, which outputs 12MP images by default. The lens in front of it has a 26mm equivalent focal length in 35mm film camera terms and an f/1.8 aperture. Autofocus is phase detection based, there's no optical image stabilization.
The ultra wide angle cam employs a modest 8MP imager paired with a 15mm equivalent lens with an f/2.2 aperture. This one lacks autofocus. The 5MP depth-sensing module has an f/2.4 aperture lens, for what that's worth.
There is no dedicated 'macro' cam and with the ultra wide having its focused fixed further away, you're at the mercy of the main cam's close focus distance of about 9cm for doing close-ups. Which may very well be better than using some of the 2MP macro cams out there. But we digress.
For selfies, you get a 16MP front-facing cam with a fairly long 29mm equivalent lens with an f/1.9 aperture. This too is fixed focus.
LG's camera app is straightforward to use. Swipe across the screen to switch between modes or swipe vertically to switch between the front and rear cameras. Accessing Night mode (or Night view in LG's words) takes more than the ideal number of steps in the default state of the app - you need to scroll all the way to the right on the mode selector to get to the 'More' pane and it's there. You can add, remove and rearrange modes on the main carousel, however, so you can set things up to your liking.
The viewfinder's top row contains a toggle to engage the dual screen for viewfinder, shortcut to settings, an aspect ratio select (where the full 48MP mode is too), a filter menu, flash mode selector and a self timer.
There's a Manual Camera mode for stills (but not one for video as on the V60, for example) where you can tweak shooting parameters yourself. White balance can be set by light temperature (but no presets for common light sources), manual focus is available with a unitless scale from close focus to infinity (with optional focus peaking too), ISO can be set in the 50-3200 range and shutter speed options vary between 1/4000s and 20s (1/8s is the longest available on the ultra wide). Exposure compensation can be adjusted in the -2 to +2 EV range in 1/6EV stops. A tiny histogram is available too.
The Velvet takes overall pleasing photos with its main cam. Colors are nice and punchy but not over the top. The images have a distinctly contrasty look and shadows in particular may look a bit too dark on occasion, though we'd call it more of a conscious choice on LG's part than a deficiency in processing.
The phone resolves good detail for its 12MP standard photo size. Some noise can be seen if you look closely (for example, the windows on the left of the second sample), but it's nowhere near being an issue.
Daylight samples, main cam, 12MP
The Auto scene optimizer should tailor the shooting parameters to the scene. We found it to give colors a boost - particularly noticeable in the blues of skies and greens of foliage. If you prefer that look, go for it - we appreciate the ability to toggle off in settings.
Daylight samples, main cam, 12MP, Auto scene optimizer on
The 48MP mode will give you some extra detail in bright daylight at the expense of a decrease in dynamic range and marginal drop in saturation.
Daylight samples, main cam, 48MP
LG didn't fit a telephoto camera on the Velvet, but there is a 2x toggle in the viewfinder and the zoomed in shots actually don't look half bad, particularly if you manage expectations. There's a bit of noise, random textures like grass have a distinctly oversharpened appearance, but the images are more than usable overall.
Daylight samples, 2x zoom
The ultra wide angle cam on the Velvet does a fair job for the hardware. Its shots are quite soft, there's noticeable noise and fringing around high-contrast edges, but dynamic range is good and the colors are likeable, if a bit overdone with the saturation.
Daylight samples, ultra wide cam
Main camera photos in low light are detailed but on the noisy side. They're also quite dark for our liking, pretty much regardless of how well lit the scene is. Dynamic range is fairly wide if the auto HDR decides to kick in, less so without it. Color reproduction is on point - there are no reddish color casts and no major loss in saturation.
Low-light samples, main cam
Night mode on the Velvet has its own opinion as to when it should work and when it shouldn't. As in, you could go into into Night view, but the phone won't be doing the extra exposures and image stacking if it deems the light is above a certain level.
Even when it does engage, it doesn't make a world of a difference in terms of lifting the shadows. You may notice improved noise performance and some extra sharpening, but Night view is not the Night mode we know and love. Which is a somewhat strange development, given that the V60's Night view did give more noticeable results.
Low-light samples, main cam, Night mode
2x zoom shots don't get to benefit from HDR processing and have distinctly blown highlights. The photos are not great in terms of detail either though if you stick to fairly well lit scenes and fit to screen magnifications, they could still be usable. There's no Night view for 2x zoom.
Low-light samples, 2x zoom
The ultra wide cam's low-light shots are soft and lacking in detail. It's got some issues with colors in some of our warmly-lit scenes making for a washed out undersaturated look. We're not seeing an appreciable improvement if using Night view either.
Low-light samples, ultra wide cam
Low-light samples, ultra wide cam, Night mode
Once you're done with the real world samples, head over to our Photo compare tool to see how the LG Velvet stacks up against the competition.
LG Velvet against the Motorola Edge and the OnePlus 8 in our Photo compare tool
Portrait mode on the Velvet works decently, provided you don't torture it with complex scenes with plants in front of your subject. Even in simpler circumstances, it's prone to making hazy outlines and weird aliasing in the border areas.
The Velvet's portrait mode is neither here nor there with non-human subjects too. That hydrant's left edge is lost to the bokeh algorithms, and both the street sign and the trash can shots are the only successful samples of each of their respective 5-6 shot sequences.
Portrait samples, non-human subjects
Selfies from the Velvet, on the other hand, are properly good. Despite the lack of autofocus, - LG got the distance right and the images usually turn out excellently sharp in bright light. In slightly dimmer conditions it'll bring the shutter speed down to 1/30s and that may introduce some shake. Either that, or failure to align the frames when HDR-ing. Taking multiple shots to ensure that you get a sharp one is sound practice.
Portraits are very good as well - subject separation is about as good as one can reasonably expect from a single cam solution. Oddly, we had fewer issues with shake when taking pictures in Portrait mode, compared to regular Photo mode.
The Velvet records video in up to 4K at 30fps with its main cam, with 1080p at 30fps and 60fps also available. The ultra wide is limited to 1080p at 30fps. There's no 2x zoom level when shooting videos, which is a bit odd. A toggle in settings lets you switch to using the h.265 codec to save on storage with the h.264 being used by default.
A couple of LG-exclusive previously available modes are present on the Velvet too - ASMR modeÂ for amplifying even the softest sounds you subject makes, and Voice Bokeh for focusing on a subject's voice and reducing ambient noise (because that's totally what 'bokeh' stands for in the first place).
Audio modes: ASMR • Voice Bokeh
4K footage (48Mbpsbit rate) out of the Velvet's main cam is sharp and detailed with low noise. Colors are spot-on, contrast is high but detail remains legible in both the highlights and shadows. 1080p clips at 30fps (17Mbps) have that all too common oversharpened and overprocessed detail rendition, but color reproduction and dynamic range remain pleasing. 1080p at 60fps videos (24Mbps) have a distinctly interlaced look and an annoying jagged rendering of every slanted line.
The ultra wide angle cam's output comes with some extra pop in terms of color and contrast, similarly to stills. Its videos are okay - not bad, nothing special.
Video stabilization is available on both the main cam ad the ultra wide. 4K and 1080p/30fps from the main cam are nicely smooth, with walking-induced shake ironed out almost completely. Pans do have that split-second delay when you start moving but it can be alleviated with even slower panning. 1080p/60fps is shakier, but you'll likely want to avoid that anyway on grounds of poor quality.
The ultra wide cam's 1080p/30fps footage is also very competently stabilized.
The Steady cam mode comes with a 1x/2x toggle of its own and the 2x is actually sort of a hack to get the Velvet to record zoomed in footage. 1080p at 30fps is what you get, it comes from the main cam and it's pretty usable both on a tripod and hand-held. The 1x mode is sourced from the ultra wide, with a field of view ever so slightly narrower than the main cam's 1x outside of Steady cam. This mode too produces super stable footage.
Here's a glimpse of how the LG Velvet compares to rivals in our Video compare tool. Head over there for the complete picture.
LG Velvet against the Motorola Edge and the OnePlus 8 in our Video compare tool
The LG V50 ThinQ 5G has a triple-camera setup on its back and a dual-snapper arrangement at the front for selfies.
There are three imagers on the back - a 12MP primary for wide-angle shots, a 12MP telephoto for 2x optical zoom, and a 16MP snapper for ultrawide photos.
The main camera is a 12MP sensor (1/2.55', 1.4µm pixels) with 27mm f/1.5 lens and 3-axis OIS. It also makes use of dual-pixel phase-detect autofocus. Then there is another 12MP snapper (1/3.4', 1.0µm pixels) with 52mm f/2.4 lens, OIS and PDAF for delivering 2x zoomed photos. You will also find a 16MP ultrawide-angle camera with 16mm f/1.9 lens, 1.0µm pixels, and fixed focus. There is no OIS for the ultra-wide camera but it's not really needed with this short focal range.
The V50's notch has two snappers - an 8MP f/1.9 regular cam and a 5MP f/2.2 wide-angle shooter. There is no autofocus on either of those.
The camera app is pretty straightforward - swiping left and right will switch between camera modes that include Portrait, Auto, Night view, 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 with a couple of other modes is in the More menu.
Camera settings and menus
If you wish to dive 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.
The main camera of the LG V50 shoots high-quality 12MP pictures. There resolved detail is plenty, the sharpness is just right, and the contrast is superb. The dynamic range is above the average, while the colors turned out a bit warmer and popping than they should be.
The foliage presentation could have been a bit better, especially when shooting grass, but trees do look fine though.
Finally, the noise levels are mostly low, but you can still see traces in areas of uniform color and shadows.
LG V50 12MP photos
The 16MP ultrawide pictures are good though not the best we've seen. There is acceptable detail at the center, while the automatic distortion correction is doing a great job around the corners at the expense of added softness and purple fringing.
The images are contrasty and the colors here stayed true to life. The dynamic range is rather low, even when the HDR kicked in, and some noise is present.
LG V50 16MP ultrawide photos
The 12MP zoomed photos turned out very good - their detail is excellent, the sharpness is the right amount, and the contrast is brilliant. The white balance is often off though, and the samples have this red tinge that shouldn't have been there.
LG V50 12MP telephoto images
The LG V50 shoots some of the best low-light images we've encountered lately! The main camera produces excellent and very bright 12MP shots with impressive detail, very balanced exposure, low noise, and superb colors. The bright f/1.5 aperture, the large sensor pixels, and OIS are all massive helpers, of course.
Note that the V50 often preferred to shoot with HDR most of the time in low-light and we weren't arguing with that.
LG V50 12MP low-light photos
You can opt for Night View and it takes a second to capture an image. There is little to no difference with the regular shots, and after long pixel-peeping, we noticed a minor drop on the already low noise levels in the shadows. That's it.
LG V50 12MP Night View photos
The ultrawide snapper on the LG V50 also has some bright f/1.9 lens and its low-light photos are quite good. They are bright and balanced, detailed enough and managed to preserve the good colors and contrast.
Sure, these ultrawide images are noisy and far from great around the corners when looking them in full resolution but are still very much usable and among the better ones we've seen.
LG V50 16MP low-light ultrawide photos
You can use Night View for ultrawide shots, and it will lower the noise and restore some clipped highlights. It also improves the colors by making them more natural and less yellowish.
LG V50 16MP Night View ultrawide photos
Finally, the 2X zoomed photos are not taken with the dedicated telephoto shooter at night - no matter if you are using Night View or not. The LG V50 shoots with its primary camera and then it digitally zooms and crops the center.
LG V50 12MP low-light 2X zoomed photos
LG V50 12MP Night View 2X zoomed photos
Here's how the 12MP unit on the LG V50 ThinQ stacks against the rest of the competition in a more controlled environment.
LG V50ThinQ against the LG G8X ThinQ and the LG V40 ThinQ in our Photo compare tool
The LG V5 snaps portraits with its main 12MP snapper, and those turned out pretty good. The images are detailed, with lively colors, and the subject separation is accurate for the most part. You can adjust the strength of the blur if you don't like the default setting, and whatever you decide - the effect is rather convincing.
LG V50 12MP portraits
Storm born pdf free download. The LG V50 has dual-selfie shooters - an 8MP f/1.9 25mm primary and a 5MP f/2.2 21mm secondary for wide-angle photos.
The 8MP selfies have enough detail, but far from the best we've seen. The contrast is good, as well as the colors, while the HDR will kick in if needed and will restore clipped highlights if necessary.
LG V50 8MP selfies
Portraits are available on the 8MP selfie snapper, too, and while the separation is pretty good, they won't shine with photo quality.
LG V50 8MP portrait selfies
Now, if you want to fit more people into your selfie, you should switch to the wide mode and the 5MP comes in handy. It also can't excel in detail and sharpness but will get the job done.
LG V50 5MP wide selfies
The LG V50 can do 2160p videos in 30 and 60fps, and the same goes for the 1080p mode. The primary and the ultrawide camera support all these resolutions and frame rates, while the telephoto shooter can't do 60fps on any resolution.
The sound is always captured stereo at 156Kbps bitrate.
Regarding quality, the 4K videos from the main camera and ultrawide cameras turned out to be nice - the dynamic range is remarkable, the noise is kept low, colors and contrast are simply excellent. The image isn't shining with detail - mediocre in the 60fps footage, and good enough in the 30fps clips.
The [email protected] footage from the main and ultrawide snappers is superb in every aspect - detail, sharpness, colors, contrast, and dynamic range. The detail is halved in the 60fps video, though, and the picture is pixelated and pretty much unusable.
The telephoto camera offers 4K and Full HD at 30fps options and the quality is consistent with what we observed on the main camera. The 4K clips are average in detail but excel in everything else. The 1080p footage is excellent across the board.
Electronic stabilization is available on all modes ([email protected] included), you just have to enable it from settings (Steady Recording). The EIS works on top of the optical stabilization that's available on the main camera and tele cameras.
The LG V50 also offers a Super Stable mode, which uses the ultrawide camera, captures at 1080p at 30fps, and provides even more stabilized picture, action camera-like.
Once you are done with the real-life scenarios, take a look at our video compare tool to see how it competes against other phones.
2160p: LG V50 ThinQ against the G8X ThinQ and V40 ThinQ in our Video compare tool