1. Jezza819's Avatar
    I've had the G4 for a little over a year now and last night for the first time I took it to a concert. I was probably about 120ft from the stage. The pictures I took of the performer came out very blurry. I think one reason is that I had to zoom in so far to halfway get a good picture to see who it was. Either that or the G4 just doesn't do well in low lighting. The video turned out even worse. The performer just looks like a white blob up on stage. I know the video is a lost cause but is there some sort of app that might can clean up the pics just a bit?

    I've done video and photos in the daytime with no issues at all and from a further distance away than at the concert. But from where I was at default range the stage looked like it had little ants on it. Is the G4 just that bad in low light or did I do something wrong or should have changed some setting?
    11-17-2016 01:20 PM
  2. LeoRex's Avatar
    My wife owned a G4 and while it did a pretty bang up job in good lighting, when things got dark, it would struggle pretty quickly. The sensor is really just too small to be able to handle itself well in low light. As for zooming in for stills... DON'T! Just take the full frame picture and then crop in after the fact. That is, after all, what digital zoom is doing; it's simply cropping the picture and them blowing it up to fill the screen. As for fixing the pictures, there's probably not much you can do to them at this point, what's done is done.
    Jezza819 likes this.
    11-17-2016 01:59 PM
  3. Jezza819's Avatar
    My wife owned a G4 and while it did a pretty bang up job in good lighting, when things got dark, it would struggle pretty quickly. The sensor is really just too small to be able to handle itself well in low light. As for zooming in for stills... DON'T! Just take the full frame picture and then crop in after the fact. That is, after all, what digital zoom is doing; it's simply cropping the picture and them blowing it up to fill the screen. As for fixing the pictures, there's probably not much you can do to them at this point, what's done is done.
    Yeah that's just my luck. One of these days I'm going to learn to fully test things out before going to events that I might not ever get to again.
    11-17-2016 03:43 PM
  4. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    Pictures require a certain amount of light. When the lighting is low, the "flow" of light to the sensor is slow. This means the shutter needs to stay open longer to allow the required amount of light to come in. The side effect here is that the longer shutter speed will show any motion blur caused by your subject moving and/or your shaky hands moving the phone/camera.

    To counter act this problem, you need to shorten the shutter speed. This is normally done by either raising the ISO so that less light is required (giving you grainy photos if you raise the ISO too high), or by adding light to the subject. At a concert, you cannot add any light (your phone's flash is good for maybe 10-15 feet on a non-moving subject). Thus you are stuck raising the ISO.

    If you are in a really dark place, you may have to decide to get some blur (hands but not face) while limiting the ISO. However, digital noise can be fixed in post processing while motion blur cannot.

    The way you fix this it to remove some of the decision making from the phone. Take the phone out of "auto" mode and put it into manual mode. Pick a shutter speed of 1/125 or faster then adjust the ISO to get a proper looking exposure. You may need to adjust the white balance so that white objects look white under whatever lighting is being used. Practice doing this at home so that you know what do to the next time you need to do it.

    Since you will probably be wanting to do a little processing on the photos to make them look better, you should be shooting DNG files as they give you much more "room" to play with in the adjustments.

    In addition to all of that, if the lighting is too low, the camera will have a hard time focusing, but I doubt that is a problem at a concert due to the spot lights.

    If you can link us to an unedited, unresized example we can probably give some tips more tailored to your specific circumstance.
    sswitzer likes this.
    11-17-2016 04:00 PM
  5. stmax's Avatar
    I used to own both a LG g3 and a LG g4... one thing I noticed is that my pics were soft or blurry if I had Auto HDR on. Not sure if that was the case or not.
    11-17-2016 06:30 PM
  6. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    You want to turn off auto-HDR for concerts and anything where people are the subject of the picture and anytime the subject is moving.
    11-17-2016 07:51 PM
  7. Joshua Luther2's Avatar
    Anytime you zoom in using a phone camera, the resolution will suffer. It's not an optical zoom like a DSLR or point and shoot camera.
    11-18-2016 05:58 AM
  8. LeoRex's Avatar
    Anytime you zoom in using a phone camera, the resolution will suffer. It's not an optical zoom like a DSLR or point and shoot camera.
    You don't know how many times I've told my wife to STOP ZOOMING IN when taking a picture. She has no excuse whatsoever since she actually does go back in on her laptop and edit, crop, enhance, etc... I try to tell her that she can do all that after the fact and at least she still has the full res image to start with.
    ManiacJoe likes this.
    11-18-2016 08:33 AM
  9. Jezza819's Avatar
    If you can link us to an unedited, unresized example we can probably give some tips more tailored to your specific circumstance.
    You mean one of the pictures I took the other night?

    I used to own both a LG g3 and a LG g4... one thing I noticed is that my pics were soft or blurry if I had Auto HDR on. Not sure if that was the case or not.
    Yes it was on. I didn't know to turn it off

    You want to turn off auto-HDR for concerts and anything where people are the subject of the picture and anytime the subject is moving.
    Does that apply to video as well? Because I took some footage of a car race a few weeks ago and you can see the camera just keeps trying to focus over and over again.

    You want to turn off auto-HDR for concerts and anything where people are the subject of the picture and anytime the subject is moving.
    So the rule of thumb regardless if it's day or night, don't zoom?
    11-18-2016 10:00 PM
  10. stmax's Avatar
    You may want to experiment with turning off the HDR until you need it. I remember being frustrated with my low light pics. Seemed to be a lot of lag on the shutter as well. My personal layperson opinion is that the camera takes too long to decide if it needs HDR and then incorrectly decides it does sometimes causing the lag and then blur.

    HDR is brilliant when needed for highlighted scenes or still images with dark and light but not people shots in point and shoot situations.
    11-19-2016 08:15 AM
  11. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    You mean one of the pictures I took the other night?

    Yes [auto-HDR] was on. I didn't know to turn it off

    Does that apply to video as well? Because I took some footage of a car race a few weeks ago and you can see the camera just keeps trying to focus over and over again.

    So the rule of thumb regardless if it's day or night, don't zoom?
    Yes, one of the blurry pictures. That way we can see what you are seeing. Unedited and unresized so that we can see all the pixels and all the EXIF data in the file.

    In the default camera app, the HDR settings are in the sprocket panel.

    HDR has nothing to do with focus. Moving targets are going to cause focus problems for phone cameras.

    You will want HDR turned off for moving subjects due to HDR needing to combine multiple frames. No movement is best.
    You want to turn off HDR for people shots because HDR often does bad things to skin tones.

    Digital zooming is just cropping the picture (discarding pixels) that is best done in a photo editor by you.
    11-19-2016 02:43 PM
  12. Jezza819's Avatar
    Yes, one of the blurry pictures. That way we can see what you are seeing. Unedited and unresized so that we can see all the pixels and all the EXIF data in the file.

    In the default camera app, the HDR settings are in the sprocket panel.

    HDR has nothing to do with focus. Moving targets are going to cause focus problems for phone cameras.

    You will want HDR turned off for moving subjects due to HDR needing to combine multiple frames. No movement is best.
    You want to turn off HDR for people shots because HDR often does bad things to skin tones.

    Digital zooming is just cropping the picture (discarding pixels) that is best done in a photo editor by you.
    Here is one. I only took four. Once I saw how bad they were I didn't bother taking anymore. If this thumbnail is not the right format tell me how to post it properly.

    11-19-2016 07:29 PM
  13. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    Here you have two problems.

    Focus - It is not on the woman in white. It might be on the head in the lower right. Tapping the screen where you want the focus to be should improve that problem, and it may help the exposure problem.

    Exposure - The large dark background with the small bright subject is confusing the camera's auto-exposure system, which wants to make everything a nice medium gray. Tapping on the screen to set the focus will also set the camera to give a priority to that spot for the exposure system, too.

    Switching to a manual exposure system would obviously solve the problem by removing from camera control all the decision making about exposure. However, most people are not comfortable doing this (or are just too lazy).
    11-19-2016 08:04 PM
  14. Jezza819's Avatar
    Here you have two problems.

    Focus - It is not on the woman in white. It might be on the head in the lower right. Tapping the screen where you want the focus to be should improve that problem, and it may help the exposure problem.

    Exposure - The large dark background with the small bright subject is confusing the camera's auto-exposure system, which wants to make everything a nice medium gray. Tapping on the screen to set the focus will also set the camera to give a priority to that spot for the exposure system, too.

    Switching to a manual exposure system would obviously solve the problem by removing from camera control all the decision making about exposure. However, most people are not comfortable doing this (or are just too lazy).
    That's Dolly Parton. I did try the tapping on the screen when I noticed the guy next to me doing it. When I did it it's like it super zoomed or something. A sort of four way directional arrow circle thing come up in the upper right part of the screen and I had to tap that again to get the screen back to where it was originally.

    I don't know enough about how to control a manual exposure to feel comfortable doing that. It's not that I'm lazy about it, I just don't understand it and I think I would struggle trying to make a quick decision about it.

    I'm going to try going to a hockey game one night in that arena and they always do a thing where they turn off the lights and the mascots come out. I'll try to see if I can do better with the auto HDR off.
    11-20-2016 02:37 AM
  15. Mooncatt's Avatar
    Practicing manual controls on the G4 is fairly easy because you only have two exposure settings to worry about for the most part, and the live preview shows the effects before taking the picture. Shutter speed and ISO. A faster shutter speed helps capture moving objects without blur, but at the expense of darker photos. This is how long the sensor is active for capturing the image. ISO controls how sensitive the sensor is to light. Increasing the ISO will help you offset the lower light (be it from a fast shutter speed or low ambient light in general), with a trade off in more image noise.

    If you get flustered in manual mode, tap the AE-L (auto exposure lock) button and it'll revert to automatic exposure, no different than auto mode without having to actually go into the dedicated auto mode.

    I traded in my G4, but I think it also has an EV button in manual mode that's active when you turn off AE-L. This lets you slightly fine tune the automatic exposure by telling it you want the image a little brighter or darker than the app would otherwise calculate, without having to fiddle with the shutter or ISO. If you have AE-L on and adjusting everything manually, the EV button will not function.

    I typically leave white balance and focus on auto modes. The phone does a pretty good job on that front. If you shoot RAW+ jpeg, white balance can also be corrected if needed in post editing. White balance is completely a software function. Since RAW files retain all of the sensor data, you can correct white balance without hurting the overall image when using a RAW editor.
    11-20-2016 10:20 AM
  16. Jezza819's Avatar
    Ok I went to a hockey game here in town last night and took some more pictures in varying light levels. Here they are.

    11-26-2016 07:40 PM
  17. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    Ok I went to a hockey game here in town last night and took some more pictures in varying light levels. Here they are.
    ...
    Unedited photos would be better. :-)

    001 - exposure looks reasonable. Focus seems to be on the far wall. Shutter speed of 1/24, ISO 200.

    002 - same as 001. Focus seems to be on the "toc" to the left of the goal.

    003 - reasonable exposure for the ice. Focus is either on the US flag or the woman with glasses. ISO 350, 1/17

    004 - Reasonable exposure for the ice. White balance seems a little off. Not sure what is in focus. ISO 250, 1/24

    005 - EXIF data missing. The spotlight would need manual exposure to get it right.

    008-012 - Reasonable exposure value for the ice. Focus seems to be somewhere near the ice. Lots of motion blur due to a slow shutter speed.

    Your exposure settings for the hockey part were ISO 50, 1/120. That is reasonable for the light value, but not fast enough to freeze the motion. You needed 1/500 to 1/1000 to freeze the skaters, which would need an ISO of 200 to 400. (That is a fairly well lit venue!)
    11-27-2016 12:56 AM
  18. Jezza819's Avatar
    Unedited photos would be better. :-)

    001 - exposure looks reasonable. Focus seems to be on the far wall. Shutter speed of 1/24, ISO 200.

    002 - same as 001. Focus seems to be on the "toc" to the left of the goal.

    003 - reasonable exposure for the ice. Focus is either on the US flag or the woman with glasses. ISO 350, 1/17

    004 - Reasonable exposure for the ice. White balance seems a little off. Not sure what is in focus. ISO 250, 1/24

    005 - EXIF data missing. The spotlight would need manual exposure to get it right.

    008-012 - Reasonable exposure value for the ice. Focus seems to be somewhere near the ice. Lots of motion blur due to a slow shutter speed.

    Your exposure settings for the hockey part were ISO 50, 1/120. That is reasonable for the light value, but not fast enough to freeze the motion. You needed 1/500 to 1/1000 to freeze the skaters, which would need an ISO of 200 to 400. (That is a fairly well lit venue!)
    I didn't edit them at all. Straight from my phone to the computer to the image host. I haven't edited these or the concert photos.

    This might have not been a good idea either since the area is much larger because I wasn't necessarily trying to pick out anything in general to focus on except for when the spotlight was on in lower light. That was trying to simulate the concert photos as best as I could.

    It sounds like from your analysis that it's just going to be too much for me to handle on the fly unless you can work with the sliders while your looking at something and it will change the image accordingly.

    Unless I can go to another game and maybe try and sit down on the lower level to be closer to things I can focus specifically on.
    11-28-2016 10:13 AM
  19. lostchild's Avatar
    For subject far away, I usually just use manual focus and dial it to the furthest setting. I think anything that's more than 50 feet away, the furthest setting would work. That way the camera won't auto focus on someone's head moving in between. I usually start with ISO 50 and pick the fastest speed that's bright enough. If everything is too dark.. I move it up to ISO 100, 200...

    Auto mode indoor is pretty useless for the G4. I found both iPhone and Samsung phones take way better indoor pictures in Auto mode than the G4.
    11-28-2016 12:49 PM
  20. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    Actually, photography from the stands like that is quite simple.
    Due to the distance, focusing on anything on the ice will get the job done.
    For exposure, you just need to go into manual mode, set the options as needed (shutter speed a 1/500, ISO at sky high). Leave them there until something changes (like the spotlight thing).
    11-28-2016 03:05 PM
  21. Jezza819's Avatar
    Actually, photography from the stands like that is quite simple.
    Due to the distance, focusing on anything on the ice will get the job done.
    For exposure, you just need to go into manual mode, set the options as needed (shutter speed a 1/500, ISO at sky high). Leave them there until something changes (like the spotlight thing).
    Regular lighting doesn't seem to be a problem. At least looking at these latest pics. I just need to understand what to do when the light is low and when the spotlight thing happens. Of course at concerts spotlights are going to be a problem. But the last phone I had seemed to handle that a lot better.
    11-28-2016 07:02 PM
  22. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    The trick is to understand what the mini computer in the camera wants to do. The exposure system wants to make the scene look like a nice medium gray. Under normal lighting, this works well. When the small subject is a big difference in brightness compared to the large background, the system starts to fall apart.

    When the small subject is bright and the large background is dark, the camera wants to make everything brighter due to the dark background taking up so much space. This results in the small bright subject getting blown out in brightness.

    When the small subject is dark and the large background is bright, the camera wants to make everything darker due to the bright background taking up so much space. This results in the small dark subject getting even darker.

    The cool thing about the phone's camera is that it will show you the results on the screen before you take the picture. In manual mode, set the shutter speed to 1/500, which will initially be a really dark photo. Then keep scrolling up the ISO until the brightness looks right. Tapping on the screen to set the focus point will also help with the exposure as you are now telling the camera what the important part of the image is.

    When the spotlight comes on, drop the ISO down. The catch with the spotlight on the ice is that when you get the subject to look good, the ice may still be too bright; but that is OK.
    Jezza819 likes this.
    11-28-2016 09:47 PM
  23. Jezza819's Avatar
    The trick is to understand what the mini computer in the camera wants to do. The exposure system wants to make the scene look like a nice medium gray. Under normal lighting, this works well. When the small subject is a big difference in brightness compared to the large background, the system starts to fall apart.

    When the small subject is bright and the large background is dark, the camera wants to make everything brighter due to the dark background taking up so much space. This results in the small bright subject getting blown out in brightness.

    When the small subject is dark and the large background is bright, the camera wants to make everything darker due to the bright background taking up so much space. This results in the small dark subject getting even darker.

    The cool thing about the phone's camera is that it will show you the results on the screen before you take the picture. In manual mode, set the shutter speed to 1/500, which will initially be a really dark photo. Then keep scrolling up the ISO until the brightness looks right. Tapping on the screen to set the focus point will also help with the exposure as you are now telling the camera what the important part of the image is.

    When the spotlight comes on, drop the ISO down. The catch with the spotlight on the ice is that when you get the subject to look good, the ice may still be too bright; but that is OK.
    Just playing around in settings I'm starting to get a little more comfortable with going in and adjusting things. I haven't taken any additional pics yet but I see the things you're saying to adjust.

    At the concert Dolly Parton was dressed head to toe in rhinestones and when the spotlight was on her it was like nothing but a white glare due to the additional reflection. I was just glancing at the phones around me and everyone was having the same trouble.
    11-29-2016 10:41 AM
  24. Mooncatt's Avatar
    At the concert Dolly Parton was dressed head to toe in rhinestones and when the spotlight was on her it was like nothing but a white glare due to the additional reflection. I was just glancing at the phones around me and everyone was having the same trouble.
    That probably had a lot to do with the optics, especially the protective glass over the lens. It can cause direct light/reflections to blow out like that. Even in the pro-photography scene, photographers will shell out big money on "Good glass." In many cases, upgrading their lenses before upgrading the body.
    11-29-2016 11:08 AM

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