I recently upgraded my phone to the new LG G3 and wow is it a great tool for the landscape photographer!
Sure smartphones have been around for a few years, and they have improved every generation, now this phone takes it to a new level.
I upgraded from an HTV Evo. The 2010 Evo. That was a great phone. It had 4G two years before many other models did. It had a 4.3" screen that was called "too big" by several reviewers. It ran Android. It had a decent, although slow, 8mp camera.
I loved the phone. I even occasionally got some nice images from it. I also owned a very good point and shoot camera-the Panasonic LX3. Very small body, with a great 10mp sensor that shot RAW. The Evo was ok, but the Panasonic was great as photographer.
The LX3 was so small it became my ultra portable camera, for times the DSLR (or 4x5) were just too much. I liked it so much, I even did an article on it at Nature Photographer Network The Small Format Everyday Camera . The Evo was decent but there was no way I would ever have chosen it over the LX3.
The LG G3
That is all changed today. The LG G3 has taken photography capability to a new level. 13mp image that is as good and often better than the LX3. Laser auto-focus and image stabilization that gives a much faster shooting and image taking experience. Add in apps like The Photographers Ephemeris, Snapseed and Pixlr Express and I now have a photography tool that makes me forget the LX3. In fact it has been relegated to be the camera I keep in the glove box.
The LG G3 is always with me. It has gotten me great images on bike rides, walking along the river, and even from the window of a plane. It is great for snapping a quick picture of my dogs or a plate of tacos at Fuzzy's.
The shooting experience has greatly improved on phones. Advances in sensor technology have made the results far beyond what they were just two years ago. The sensor size is still very small but the results they can produce really wow me. I can see why sales of point and shoot cameras have declined. Why buy them when you can get 99% of the quality in a device that gets you so much more?
Taking speed has also really improved. Early digital cameras had an horrible lag between pressing the button and the image being taken. They improved that, but phones really languished behind. The G3 has just a bit of a lag, especially in low light but it way faster than my old Evo and pretty close to most cameras.
The end result of faster focus and a better sensor is the taking experience is just plain better. A camera is still more ergonomic and easier to hold but a phone is always with you and combines so many features, it really can be a single device solution.
Image quality is also significantly better. I am really impressed with the images right out of camera. Decent detail. Does it match what my Canon 5D Mark II can do? No. But it is not supposed to either. Can it match my LX3? Yes. It often exceeds it.
The in camera HDR is good enough it almost makes me forget RAW. Almost. I can take an image with the in camera HDR, tweak it in Snapseed and be very happy with the results. In my Google+ stream I have placed several shots comparing the results from the G3 against the 5D2, my Sony NEX6, the Panasonic LX3, and even my Nexus 7 and an iPad 2.
I use the full 13mp mode. That puts the image into a 3:4 format that I really like. Fits closer to the standard print sizes (even though I may never print them) and reminds me of the 4x5 format. I think that also lets you work more with the center of lens as the corners seem sharper than the 16:9 wide angle view at 10mp.
Say "smile" "cheese" or "whiskey" to take an image. Simple.
Want to do a selfie, it has a great way to get a timer by making a fist. Easy.
The Total Package
The G3 really shines. Great images. Great in daylight. Decent in low light. Good color and detail. An all round good performer.
A great taking experience and a camera that delivers great results. Look at your images on the Quad HD screen-wow they look great.
Into video-record in 4K.
Add in LTE connectivity and you can share your images as fast as you take them.
Awesome phone! Everything I was hoping for and then some. My new pocket and everywhere camera. Great for the landscape images I like and do.
All the images here are from the G3 and if any processing was done, was done on the phone.