LG G4 Manual Controls – Why You Want To Shoot in Manual Model

May 6, 2015

The LG G4 camera is one of the best out there. In this article I want to talk about the LG G4 camera manual controls. So why you ever want to shoot in manual mode if the camera can shoot in auto? — In this article you’ll get an answer for this question.

Manual mode, LG G4 camera


So what is all that fuss about the LG G4 manual mode anyway? Well, ‘manual mode’ in most part, means that you are given a wide variety of control of the camera settings, instead of letting the camera adjust those settings automatically for you.  The most important settings are those who allows you to have a direct control over the exposure, which are: the sensor ISO sensitivity, the Shutter speed and the lens aperture.

By changing the ISO, shutter speed and aperture, you can achieve different type of results, which otherwise you wouldn’t be able to. Why?, let me give you an example. If you want to take a photo of  your kid riding on a fast swing carousel at the park. You are shooting it in the evening when its dim and there is little amount of light lighting up the scene.

If you decide to shoot in auto mode, the camera will do it’s best to use the best combination of the three to make the image have the optimal exposure. It depends on the algorithm that the camera use in ‘auto mode’. For example, it can use a medium ISO sensitivity, not to high so images won’t be too noisy. Use the aperture so more light can pass through the lens. And it might use a relatively slow shutter speed so again, more light can pass through.

But that’s where the problem lies. If the camera uses a slow shutter speed, you kid which is swinging fast on the carousel will appear blurry. This is because the shutter is opened for a relatively long period of time, so the light hitting the subject  in several places on the sensor as it moves across the frame at that time period the shutter was opened.

swing carousel in the evening. Subjects appear blurried

Swing carousel in the evening. Subjects appear blurried (shot at 1/15 sec shutter speed)

This might not be the results you expected. If you change to manual mode you can solve this problem quite easily. The image above was shot in 1/15 sec shutter speed and ISO 400. Let’s assume that it was shot with aperture of f/1.8, although it was originally shot with a DSLR camera, but let’s leave it aside.

We want to use a faster shutter speed in order for the subject, your kid, to appear sharp.  So in manual mode we can use a faster shutter speed, let’s say 1/125 sec shutter speed. This will certainly helps us freeze the subject much better than before. The problem is that the shutter is opened for a very short time, and therefore the image will appear darker. To be exact, there is 3-stops different between the previous settings and the current settings, which means that we get approx. 8 times less light than before.

We need to make changed to either the aperture or the ISO. The aperture is already set to f/1.8, which is the maximum (the widest opening possible, and from my knowledge, the LG G4 has a fixed aperture of f/1.8, not a variable aperture). So we need to use a higher ISO, which provide us with 3-stops more light to we can have the same exposure as before.  So we set the ISO to ISO3200. Now the subject appears sharper, but out image is noisier because it was shot in higher ISO sensitivity. The LG G4 has maximum ISO of 2700 from what I’ve seen, I used those numbers just for the sake of explanation. Each camera has its own ISO, aperture and shutter speed range.

This is just one example and I can give you many more. The idea is to experiment with different settings to achieve the desired results.  Some mobile phone cameras offer semi-auto mode and allow you to change only one settings, either the ISO, aperture or shutter speed.

The thing is that the camera in auto mode will be optimized for a single type of image based on the scene that it’s optimized for. Some cameras offer ‘scene modes’, which behind the curtains are applying different values to the ISO, aperture and shutter speed. For example, ‘Sport mode’ will give priority a higher shutter speed, while ‘Night mode’ will give priority using a faster aperture.

If you shot the same image in daylight, there was enough light, so you can shoot at a faster shutter speed without needing to use a higher ISO sensitivity.


To sum things up. Manual controls give us more precise control and the ability to fine tune the image as we ind fit. We don’t rely on the camera to do it for us, because the results might be different than what we want to achieve.

Manual mode on the LG G4 gives more much more control, not just the ability to change ISO, aperture and shutter speed, but also use exposure compensation, set the white balance manually, choose between JPEG or Raw format, toggle the flash and other settings.

You have the option to choose between Simple, Auto or Manual. The next time you capture some shots, make sure you check out the ‘Manual’ mode in the LG G4 camera app. I will write more in-depth guides soon, where I’ll explain about all this stuff in-depth.

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