Camera Operation

The LG G2's camera app follows familiar patterns: shutter button and video switch on the right, settings, mode, flash and front/back switch button on the left.

Like most phone manufacturers, LG has customized the G2's version of Android with its own UI. It's similar enough to other makers' versions and Google's stock Android to make it easy to get your head around if you've ever used some version of the OS before. However, whether you like LG's flavor of Android is pretty much a question of personal taste, so we recommend you try before you buy.

At Connect of course we focus on the camera features and in this department LG pretty much sticks to tried and tested formulas. You can place a shortcut to the camera app onto the lock screen but long-pressing one of the volume buttons is arguably the quickest way to directly access the camera app from the lock screen or sleep mode.  

These are all the settings you get on the G2 camera.
The mode button gives you access to a range of special shooting modes.

Once in the camera app the layout follows familiar patterns. Shutter button and video/stills switch are on the right, settings, mode button, flash settings and the front/rear camera switch can be found on the left. There are no direct access buttons to any shooting parameters. All settings, including exposure compensation and ISO, have to be accessed via the screen that opens after pressing the settings button. This makes the app easy to navigate but also means it takes longer than it should to modify some settings. Essentially the G2's camera app is very simple and most suitable for point-and-shoot operation. 

The mode button opens up a screen from which you can select the G2's special shooting modes, such as Shot & Clear, Dynamic Tone, Panorama, VR Panorama and more. We'll have a closer look at those modes on the features page of this review.

The camera focus works continuously but you can also tap to focus on a specific area. There is also a manual focus mode which allows you to control focus via a virtual slider. This can be useful when you want to focus on a very small subject that the tap-focus cannot lock on to.

Metering is not linked to the focus point though and you cannot choose from different metering modes. The G2 is using a center-weighted metering mode and the only way to to control exposure is by modifying the framing or applying exposure compensation. 

Overall, compared to competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One, the G2's camera app feels a little limited in terms of options and ease of manual interference. On the plus side, it's coherently structured and straightforward to use, even for novice mobile photographers.