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LG Optimus G cameras battle it out: Sprint vs. AT&T

With Sprint's LG Optimus G boasting a 13-megapixel camera and AT&T's sporting an 8-megapixel one, CNET conducts a photo shootout to answer the question: Does it matter?

Sprint's LG Optimus G camera
Sprint's LG Optimus G has a 13-megapixel camera, but does that automatically mean it takes noticeably better pictures? Josh Miller/CNET

Save for a few features, both AT&T's and Sprint's LG Optimus Gs are nearly identical devices with identical price tags. But while Sprint's version has a 13-megapixel camera, AT&T opted for an 8-megapixel camera. That left us wondering: Did AT&T totally drop the ball on this one?

Though we already know that having more megapixels doesn't necessarily mean better pictures (indeed, sensors and image processors play equally important roles), we wanted to find out what those extra five megapixels can actually get you.

In terms of how much information was captured, Sprint's camera was the clear winner. Not only does it obviously produce bigger photos (its maximum photo size is 4,208x3,120 pixels while AT&T's is 3,264x2,448 pixels), but it excelled with dim lighting and small details, like grains of sand on a shuffleboard.

However, this didn't automatically mean we preferred every picture taken on Sprint's camera. AT&T's camera isn't bad by any means, and when it came to displaying colors with real pop, there were times when we liked AT&T's photos over Sprint's. The richly saturated hues from AT&T's photos pleasantly stood out more than Sprint's, even though Sprint's photos had colors that were truer to life.

In general, if you're deciding on which Optimus G to buy, it should come down to network coverage. We don't believe AT&T blew it with the 8-megapixel camera, and considering how most people use their camera phones, it'll do perfectly fine taking that photo of your friends losing their dinners on Friday night, or capturing that cup of artisanal coffee you're sipping.