Video Mode

Control over video capture is very limited.

Video recording on the G5 is very simple, though probably too simple if you prefer having some control over the process. For starters, you have to be in Auto mode to get a video button on your screen. Neither Simple or Manual mode allow video recording. After tapping on the record button you can stop or pause recording and refocus the image by tapping anywhere on the screen. However, the latter can lead to unsightly focus jumps, so this feature is best used with caution.

You can't capture any still images during recording and unfortunately you cannot apply any exposure compensation either. Video resolution is set in the settings menu as long as you are in Auto mode. On the G5 slow motion video is a separate mode that you can access via the Mode button in Auto mode.

Overall the G5's video mode is a little too bare-bones for our liking – at least some control over exposure would be essential if you are serious about video capture. Of course, video can be captured on both camera modules. 

Video resolution can be selected in the Auto mode's settings menu.

Video sample 1: 1080p video in bright light

Saturation and contrast in video are similarly strong, as they are with still image capture, which makes for punchy footage but can also lead to some highlight clipping in contrasty scenes. Like in stills, at full size view noise is quite noticeable in blue skies. As a result of strong sharpening, close-up footage can look a little over-processed. In bright light the AF is stable and the stabilization is working very efficiently, making for smooth panning. Sound quality is decent as well.

Video sample 2: 1080p video in low light

In low light, image quality deteriorates very noticeably, with high noise levels, softness and reduced detail. For the night scene below a slightly darker exposure would have been beneficial. On the plus side, the autofocus is very stable. 

Video sample 3: 4K video

Recording 4K video captures noticeably better detail than 1080p and is well worth shooting if you have an adequate screen for watching. There is some noticeable smearing of fine low-contrast detail and again noise in the sky, but overall footage is decent and also useful for capturing an occasional video still.

Video sample 4: Slow motion video

When editing a slow motion video you can adjust playback speed for specific sections.

Like the G4, the LG G5 comes with a slow-motion video function that records 720p footage at 120 frames per second. However, a closer look at the clips reveals a lack of detail and pixelation, suggesting the output video might have been up-sampled from a lower resolution source file.

As before, you can't pick a slow motion factor during recording but instead select a playback speed in the gallery app where you can slow the video down to 1/8th of its original speed. If you download the movie file directly to a computer it will play at normal speed. To export a slowed-down clip you have to open it in the editor, apply slow motion to the entire video or parts of it and save it. As you can see in the sample below, the speed change is quite abrupt though and the slowest 1/8th speed is not quite as smooth as on the iPhone or other devices that record 240fps slow motion video.

Video sample 5: 1080p video on the wide angle camera module

Of course it is also possible to record video on the wide angle module, but the wide angle effect is quite significantly reduced by the cropping of the digital video stabilization. Image detail, especially in low light, is not on the same level as the main camera, as you can see in the sample below. It's arguably best to limit wide angle video to use in bright light conditions.