SAN DIEGO--When I first saw Sprint's LG Optimus G with my own eyes at MobileCon 2012 in San Diego, I wasn't convinced that its 13-megapixel camera had the goods. My original indoor shots, which you'll see below, were largely terrible, and the eerie conference center lighting didn't help.
I'm happy to report that taking CNET's Sprint review unit into the great outdoors proves otherwise. The camera's continuous autofocus and other tricks are great help in focusing on the screen. While there were still some imperfect shots, many were terrific, like this outdoor view of the famous Gaslamp sign downtown.
Note that the AT&T version of the phone has an 8-megapixel camera, not a 13-megapixel camera.
There was little noise around the full-resolution sample of the Cafe Sevilla sign.
This planter box near the convention center caught my eye. Colors were balanced and true-to-life, even the brilliant greens.
This sample, taken from the full-resolution image, looked pretty good.
This photo of downtown flowers was clear and well-defined.
Colors were slightly darker and more opaque than real life, as the Optimus G's camera struggled to resolve light bouncing back from the clear glass inlay.
I stopped by a kids' store to photograph these plush toys. The owl is the best-defined of the bunch.
Here we have the full-resolution sample of one stuffed animal's eye.
My lunchtime Arnold Palmer and a vintage water glass at Searsucker in San Diego, a wide-open space with a mixture of artificial and natural light. I sat directly under some warm yellow track lighting. The color of the blue glass and drink are just right, but I was looking for a little more sharpness on the glass.
You can see the flare from outdoor light behind these water bottles. I was disappointed that the Optimus G camera didn't define the bottles' edges. And yes, autofocus was working perfectly.
My lunch was delicious, but you wouldn't know it looking at this indistinct image. I'm not sure what happened, but my hands were steady when I took the shot.
The flash handily burst forth again to snap this photo of dinner.
This photo of my busted (and taped-up) toothbrush head was designed to once again test the Optimus G's 13-megapixel camera indoors. Bathroom lights were on, the flash burst, and completely overwhelmed the shot.
I took this next series of pictures indoors in the bowels of the San Diego Convention Center, which has famously poor lighting. This was the best photo of the bunch that I snapped before getting the Optimus G review unit for the previous photos. In this image, the apples were the point of focus.