Pixel 2 vs. Note 8 vs. LG V30 Low-Light Camera Comparison!

In this low-light camera comparison, we take up the Google Pixel 2 vs. Galaxy Note 8 vs LG V30 in challenging low-light situations where a lot bright background lights are involved.  To conduct this test, all phones were set to 100% “auto” mode.

*Note – You can click on the photos below to see the original, full-resolution images.    You can also download all the images as a zip file here.(100MB)

Galaxy Note 8

LG V30

Pixel 2

In this first example of a street graffiti onto someone’s store front, Pixel 2 does the best overall job with details, edge-focus, and nicely-saturated image.  Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30 are not too far behind though.

Galaxy Note 8

LG V30

Pixel 2

In this next example, I thought Pixel 2 would do a lot better at exposing all of the street lights.  While Pixel 2 did well in toning down over-exposed areas, I felt Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30 were both also very good.

Galaxy Note 8

LG V30

Pixel 2

In this street shot, Pixel 2 does a helluva job of bringing all the darkness.  While over-exposed areas don’t look too great, they still did better than the Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30.

Galaxy Note 8

LG V30

Pixel 2

While Pixel 2 does usually control over-exposed lights correctly in most situations, in this photo the LG V30 does a lot better at exposing the lights of A La Turca restaurant sign.  But all 3 phones do relatively well in my opinion.  With a little tweaking in post processing, all of these photos can look similar.

Galaxy Note 8

LG V30

Pixel 2

This next photo where I focused on the “Alhambra Apartments” sign is an example where Pixel 2 starts to shine and allows the user to capture more range of highlights and shades.  You can see more of the street lights and signs than on Note 8 or LG V30.

Galaxy Note 8

LG V30

Pixel 2

The liquor store neon sign test was the ultimate low-light dynamic-range test where you can clearly see Pixel 2 doing a clean job of bringing the neon lights to life without over-exposing other parts of the photos.  Beautiful Pixel 2!

Galaxy Note 8

LG V30

Pixel 2

This low-light capture of Stella beer has really captured my heart with the Pixel 2.  While you may not notice it right away, with closer inspection, you can see the Pixel 2 picking up the minute details of the beer’s exterior with slightly warmer colors.  While slightly over-saturated with blue hues, Pixel 2 does well at keeping its job at #1 for low-light.

Galaxy Note 8

LG V30

Pixel 2

In this last photos of the liquor bottles at the bar, Pixel 2 does it again cutting out all the highlights and bringing real colors while Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30 both struggle with lighting near the top and also colors of labels on the bottles.

Overall, I would have to say Google has done a terrific job of bringing another A+ camera with great low-light performance, especially where there’s a lot of lights involved.  While this does clearly demonstrate better low-light processing powers of the Pixel 2, it does not mean Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30 are horrible.  In fact, all 3 cameras are very good in low light, Pixel 2 just happens to do better when more dynamic range is needed, mostly due to its smart image processing.  Now, we are ONLY talking about main back cameras here also, not even mentioning Note 8’s 2X zoom camera nor LG V30’s wide-angle camera, which both are additional features you should also think about.

In terms of noise levels in these 3 smartphones, I felt noise levels were actually very similar with slight advantage to the Pixel 2.  For shots that did not involve background lighting(such as street lighting), differences were much more minimal.  Still, Pixel 2 is definitely king of low-light photography, just like last year’s Pixel.  Now, my opinions are purely my own opinions of using Android smartphones and cameras but please download the original images here if you’d like to pixel peep(and do let me know what YOU think).

 

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Max Lee

Max Lee is the founder of HighOnAndroid.com. Max makes Android tutorials and review videos for people who want to get high on Android over at his YouTube channel and Korean YouTube channel.