Last time we did a camera showdown, we took the Galaxy S6 and pitted its well-received shooter against a renowned dedicated camera – the Sony RX100 (Mark II). The overall comparison showed a very interesting result – smartphone cameras aren’t as far off from real cameras as one might suspect.

Well, now it’s time we take the RX100 up against another contender. LG has been right on Samsung’s tail since the debut of its new 16MP f/1.8 camera on the G4 this year. The sensor is essentially a Sony IMX234 module, modified with LG’s own lens, laser auto-focus, and white balance sensor. And of course, it made sense to carry the stellar camera over to the V10.

So now it’s time to see if LG’s work paid off and and can hold a candle to a dedicated camera. The Sony RX100 has gained a large fan base for the superb image quality from a compact body. In my opinion, the RX100 is the highest reasonable level to compare to a smartphone camera, because past this point you’re in DSLR territory.

We’ll have three categories in this comparison: Backyard, Indoors, and Town. I’ve dropped the RX100’s capture down to 16:9 and 17MP (close enough to the V10’s 16MP resolution), and I used Auto Mode on both cameras. Also, I’ve implemented a side-by-side image preview this time, for easier comparing. The LG V10 images will be on the left and Sony RX100 on the right (you can pop up the full images via the links below each image pair). Let’s begin!

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Backyard

I have a forest in my backyard, so this gives me lots of opportunity for foliage shots. I picked the most interesting ones out of my set to show you guys.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

I caught this forest shot early in the morning and wanted to see how well both cameras responded to the sun’s light. I felt like the V10 did an overall better job – the RX100’s image looks slightly faded due to the light (and a blueish tint). The V10’s colors are deeper.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

My dogs were nice enough to help with the shootout. Here, I prefer the RX100’s image. If you zoom in on Ian’s fur, detail was captured better on the RX100. The V10’s image came out slightly brighter and less contrasted.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

I loved this shot, for both the artistry and the complexity that the sun adds. There was a pretty drastic difference between the cameras. One important note is that the RX100 focused on the pot while the V10 appeared to focus on the concrete ledge (not sure on why LG’s camera wouldn’t focus on the object directly in front). You can also see the sun’s rays cut into the V10’s image more. But that slight blueish tint makes a return on the RX100 image (I like the contrast in the V10 image better).

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

The detail in both of these images are the same as far as I’m concerned, but overall coloring is definitely different. I would say that the coloring on the RX100 was most true to the actual of that scene.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

This was another early morning shot – a cold, frosty morning actually. Again, these images are very close in detail to me. The big different I see is that the RX100 is more aggressive with depth of field (de-focusing of the surrounding), which makes for a more dramatic image.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

I noticed a good opportunity to catch differing detail as the sun melted the frost that morning. Both cameras reproduced the moisture detail on the lounge chair fantastically. What’s interesting is that the RX100 captured a vertical rainbow effect. If you look at the de-focused area on the back, the contrast and colors of the RX100 is much better.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

I did a close-up on a leaf that had frost on it. I prefer the RX100’s shot here. If you zoom in, the frost detail is definitely resolved better. Also, the color on the rock is more accurate.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

Stepping away from the close-ups, this patio shot shows the sunlight dominating the V10’s image a bit too much. It looks slightly hazy and not as contrasted as the RX100 image.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

I got the cameras to focus at about the same spot in this image. You can see again that the overall coloring is slightly different. A common occurrence I’m seeing is that the V10’s camera prefers to produce a brighter image at the cost of some color accuracy. We’ll see if that behavior continues in the next set.

Indoors

Indoor shots tell a lot about a camera’s abilities – lighting is different at every angle. Let’s check out how the V10 fares in varying conditions.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

Got my wife some Fall flowers for our anniversary and saw a picture opportunity. Going along with my previous observation, the V10’s image is brighter. It may come down to preference, but I just like the RX100’s image better. The extra brightness makes the V10’s image bland in comparison.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

I brought in my little orange Android to help out. The color on the RX100 image is so much better to me (the V10’s image looks pale in comparison). But the Android’s detail on the V10 image is clearer (maybe because the RX100 focused on the table).

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

Mmmm, ham and cheese croissant. The detail on both images are great, but I like the contrast and color accuracy on the RX100 image better.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

Here, I tried to focus both cameras on Intel logo on my XPS 13 (the device I’m a slave to when pumping out these posts). Something I really notice is the dominant yellowness of the V10’s image (probably due to both the table’s color and lighting). The RX100 wasn’t deterred by the surroundings.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

Now for some shadows! I caught this drama happening on my dining room floor. The floor color with the V10 is pale, while the RX100’s image was truer to real life.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

This is my other dog. His name is Beau and he’s a Great Pyrenees. Fortunately, he was nice enough to pose for me (this time). We again get a brighter image with the V10, somewhat countering the shadowing in the scene. If you zoom in on his face, the RX100 image is more detailed.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

Interestingly, the results are reversed in this comparison. The RX100’s image now has a yellow-ish tint. To me, the V10 wins here.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

Tea time! Again, the V10’s image is brighter (and a bit paler) in comparison. But both are good.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

For this last one, I wanted to address the low-light struggle of the cameras. The V10 did a fantastic job pulling light in, look at how comparable these images are. May I remind you that the RX100 has a 1-inch sensor. But with that said, the Androids on the V10 image are slightly grainier. Still, I’m impressed.

Town

For variability of outdoor images, I went out to my local town and got a few good shots.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

I like how the V10 handled this scene. The RX100 blew out the lighting on the top left area, resulting in an overall paler image.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

These two images are very close. I prefer the V10 here, again. The lighting on the RX100’s image is ever so slightly overdone from the top.

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                                                             LG V10   |   Sony RX100

It’s Christmas time, so why not compare a tree? To me, the RX100 wins here. The V10’s reproduction isn’t as clear and slightly yellowy.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

These images are super close in quality. I would say that the V10’s image is slightly paler but negligible.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

Same deal here as far as I’m concerned. To my eyes, the V10’s image is still slightly paler. I can see it being up to preference.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

I have a hard time choosing which image I like more here, I see elements in both that are good. The lighting of the RX100 image looks overshot on the top left, but it looks more crisp than the V10 image.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

These are close in detail, but to my eyes the colors of the building and cars look richer on the RX100’s image.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

This pair is once again difficult to choose from. I would give a slight edge to the RX100 because I see it as more colorful.

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        LG V10   |   Sony RX100

The sunlight (and HDR processing) largely determines the reaction in this last image. It’s hard to choose one, but I side with the V10’s image. To my eyes, the sunlight causes a slight haze on the RX100’s capture.

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Final Thoughts

This was a very interesting battle. I would call the RX100 the winner, but there were times when the V10’s camera stepped forward. The repeated offenses I noticed was that the tone of the V10’s images could sometimes be thrown off into a slight yellowish tint and paler colors in some instances. But the capture of detail was consistently fantastic. And LG’s f/1.8 aperture is no joke, this thing can catch a great amount of light.

One last note. After having done the same comparison with top-end smartphone cameras from both Samsung and LG, you may be wondering which fared better against the RX100? I would say that Samsung’s camera did. I felt like that battle was closer. But nonetheless, smartphone cameras are amazing these days.

Despite my commentary, you of course be the judge. What did you think about this camera shootout? We want to know, so sound off below!

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9 COMMENTS

  1. You have done a great job. I own the fantastic

    V10. I was going to ask for a camera for Christmas but after some research on the V I will no longer need one. The auto mode is great but manual is amazing as I take night shots that turn to day, it’s a wonderful piece of equipment. Thank you for the comparison, I was looking for one that pitted this beast against a dedicated camera and I’m satisfied with the results.

    • Don’t forget the Sony RX100 II used here is two generations behind the latest RX100 IV that further enhanced the low light performance. Sony is doing some amazing things in the low light categories these days.

  2. What about editing the RAW images coming from LG V10. I noticed that its possible to pull out a lot more from the same shoot using Capture One, Lightroom or Camera Raw + Photoshop when needed. Being that LG can shoot raw, I would use that as advantage. Otherwise for web posting I liked the results, but not enough when zoomed in. Too much crunchy images, something that can be controlled if you one does RAW processing.

    • You’re certainly right, but I chose not to go that deep in these comparison. Most people just use Auto Mode and call it a day – that’s the comparison I wanted to capture.

      • Fair enough. I come from a background of being a retoucher for a living so buying that phone for me is also linked to my background. For most people, out of the box, auto mode is enough I imagine. Both the smartphone and the Sony camera shoot RAW if I’m not mistaken so I guess there is much more for those who want to dig deeper.

        • LG’s auto mode has one particular flaw – drastic over-sharpening. I mean they REALLY sharpen the crap out of their jpgs. I love shooting in raw and pulling the DNG files into Lightroom. You can really get a lot out of this G4/V10 camera! Shot this of the northern lights last night with a tripod mount. (off a $10 selfie stick … doesn’t have to be fancy to do the job!)

  3. I wonder if the G4 camera is as good as V10? Especially in low-light performance… I thinking hard at the moment whether to buy a G4 or not for its camera :/ Please help me out guys!

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