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printed October 24, 2014
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Review: LG Optimus S

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Photos

Photos from the 3.2 megapixel camera on the LG Optimus S ran the widest gamut I've seen from a cameraphone. Some images were truly wonderful, and some were downright awful, with plenty of variety in between. The camera needs plenty of light, and there is no flash on the Optimus S, so it's best to shoot outside. Indoors, images looked washed out, with obvious oversharpening that caused a blue outline around bright spots and a look reminiscent of a video still frame.

Outdoors, pictures looked much better. I took my samples below on a bright, but overcast day. The camera had a hard time focusing properly on my shots, and the auto focus often wanted to aim for the background. But with a few tries, I was able to shoot some very nice pics. I was especially impressed with the macro mode on this camera. The Optimus S let me get closer than any other cameraphone in recent memory, and the sensor brought out some details that I've missed in plenty of other similar sample shots. Check out the arm on the thermometer / clock to see what I mean.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Video

Video quality on the LG Optimus S was not as good as the still image quality. Videos had the wavy effect I've come to associate with low end camcorder phones. At best, there was a nice level of detail and some real depth of field, but overall videos still looked garbled and somewhat fuzzy. The camcorder took its time switching from dim to bright light. Sound quality was also mediocre through the built-in microphone, and my voice sounded distant and muddled.

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