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Christmas Gift Guide

Sprint's LG Optimus G takes great outdoor shots

Setting the scene

Sevilla close-up

San Diego plant life

Full resolution succulents

Flowers after the rain

Plushies

Look him in the eye

Double fisting

Searsucker bottles

Frayed ropes

Steak salad

Menu

Dinner time

Toothbrush fail

Indoor convention center shots

Apples, full resolution

Cuppa joe

Coffee close-up

Not really in focus

Full resolution

Photos of a photographer

Point of focus

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
It has just rained in the late morning hours in San Diego, with the sun playing hide-and-seek and plenty of natural light. The awning of this restaurant came in clear. Unless stated, all photos in this collection have been resized, but are otherwise untouched.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

There was little noise around the full-resolution sample of the Cafe Sevilla sign.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

This planter box near the convention center caught my eye. Colors were balanced and true-to-life, even the brilliant greens.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

This sample, taken from the full-resolution image, looked pretty good.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

This photo of downtown flowers was clear and well-defined.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

I stopped by a kids' store to photograph these plush toys. The owl is the best-defined of the bunch.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Here we have the full-resolution sample of one stuffed animal's eye.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
Again, my patient indoor shot of ropes overhanging a table disappointed. My eyes see a warm orange glow sharply emanating from the filaments of the old-timey bulbs, and the rope decoration has much more contrast between light and shadow, and much more definition.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
The room was very dark, but the Optimus G's brilliant flash illuminated the Cafe Chloe menu just fine during CNET's MobileCon team dinner. Yum!
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

The flash handily burst forth again to snap this photo of dinner.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
Here's a sampling from the full-resolution shot.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
The resized photo turned out OK.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
And here it is up close at the focus point.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
This image of Sprint spokeswoman Danielle Babbington looked terrific on the Optimus G's screen, but proves much "softer" off the phone.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
Now again, with full resolution.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
I wish I had taken this shot of CNET editor Lynn La a second time to make sure that the lack of detail I'm seeing is the camera's fault and not mine.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
I focused on Lynn's hands holding the camera when I took this shot. Here it is in its full resolution.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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