If you have an LG V20 phone, I made for you some Photoshop actions to get the full potential from your phone’s camera. If you have a different phone and it also suffers from the same issues that we’re going to cover in this video, you can definitely try these actions and see if they work. But keep in mind that they were made specifically for the LG V20.
My old phone died and I got the LG V20 phone because it has an ultra wide angle lens. This phone will let me travel and take some pretty awesome wide angle photos without having to lug my heavy and gigantic DSLR gear. The phone’s camera is wider than my 12mm lens on a full frame body and I think it’s so amazing how you can get such an incredibly wide angle camera on a phone. The problem is that the photos are unnecessarily bad. The colors are way overprocessed, low-light photos have terrible artifacts, and the wide angle lens… although it’s really really wide, it`s has the weirdest spherical distortion I’ve ever seen. It’s curved on the edges and straight in the middle.
So for every LG V20 owner out there who also use Photoshop, you download use my Photoshop actions to fix all these problems.
You can download LG V20 Tools for free from my store.
How to Install the Photoshop Actions
After downloading, doubleclick on the ATN file and it’ll show up in your Actions panel. If you don’t see the Actions panel, you can open it by going to Window > Actions. And to play the action, just select the action that you want to play then hit the play button on the bottom of the panel.
1. Normalize Colors
The first action normalizes the colors. Many reviewers have noticed that the colors on the LG V20 are heavily processed. They make your photo more vibrant compared to other phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7, but that doesn’t mean it’s better. And in many cases, it makes your photos look fake.
This Normalize Colors action will make the colors in your photo look normal. Most of the time, you won’t see much of a difference. The biggest difference will come in the sunny outdoor photos with blue skies. And as you can see here, the sky is way too vibrant. To fix it, play the Normalize Colors action and now the colors look more realistic.
2. Wide Angle Correction
The next action is probably the most useful one. The wide angle lens on the LG V20 is awesome. But what’s not so awesome about it is the barrel distortions. The wide angle photos have this really awkward curve to it especially when you have horizontal lines.
So to fix this, simply play the Wide Angle Correction action, and it’ll straighten the lines to make your photo look like it was taken with a professional rectilinear wide angle lens. It’ll take a small amount of time to process depending on how fast your computer is, but once it’s done, it’ll ask if you want to crop the image. And if you click continue, it’ll automatically crop image to the largest area possible.
Here’s how the image looks like before and after. As you can see, eventhough it crops the image a bit, you still get the wide angle look and the photo is much more usable.
3. Wide Angle Volume Deformation
After straightening the lines with the previous action, the next action you might want to run is the Wide Angle Volume Deformation action. With wide angle lens, the objects near the edge of your photo will look stretched out. Most of the time, it’s fine and most people won’t notice it. However, for an image like this which, by the way, has already processed with the previous action, the TV looks way too wide. I also know that the lamp is not this shape.
So to fix it, let’s play the Wide Angle Volume Deformation action. When it’s done playing, you can definitely tell that the TV and lamp look much more proportional.
4. Reduce High ISO Artifacts
For a camera phone, the LG V20 can take decent low-light photos. But they sharpen it so much that you get these ugly pixel artifacts. To fix that, play this Reduce Artifacts action, and it’ll get rid of it and make your photo much more usable.
And it’s not just blurring the image. If we look closely, you can see that it actually is removing the artifacts. If this isn’t strong enough, you can play the other version of the action which will apply the effect more aggressively. But it can make your photo look a bit soft. So it’s up to you which one you like to use.
5. Reduce High-ISO Noise
After reducing the high-ISO artifacts, you can use the reduce noise action to clean the image a bit. It’s basically the Photoshop Reduce Noise filter but with edge detection to make things look a little sharper. Here’s how it looks before and after. As you can see, it reduces the noise quite a lot while keeping the original sharpness of the edges.
6. Normalize High-ISO Colors
The final action is a normalize color action but made for high-iso photo. The high-ISO photos from the LG v20 phone doesn’t have really good color quality. The colors look washed out and sometimes you’ll get a blueish purple tint in the shadows. This action will improve the colors in your photo and you can adjust the strength of the effect by changing the layer opacity.
Here’s how it looks like before and after.
The LG V20 Has a Lot of Potential
I don’t usually make stuff for free but these actions are completely free. I know that if you can afford this phone, you can afford the $7 dollars it would usually cost to buy this. But there’s no free or pro version. The entire thing is free.
And I made these because I feel like the LG V20’s camera has so much potential and many of the flaws should have been avoided. For example, the colors would look much better if LG would chill out on the post processing or at least give us an option to turn it off. The high-ISO artifacts could be avoided if they simply made the camera only apply the sharpening effect if the ISO is low. And if it’s high, then don’t sharpen the image and you won’t get those ugly pixel artifacts.
Finally for the barrel distortion…. it would be a huge game changer in the phone industry if they had built-in barrel distortion correction like you see in a lot of cameras nowadays. It could be done completely on the software side of things and suddenly you have an rectilinear wide angle lens that’s great for travelers, landscape photographers, real estate agents and just everyone in general.
All in all, I wish these Photoshop actions didn’t have to exist. The LG V20 has so much unrealized potential.