The LG V40 is shaping up to be all about its cameras, just like the LG V30 before it, but we’re expecting five cameras in this year’s phone, according to the latest rumors, and we can officially confirm it’ll have a brand new cinemagraph mode.
Cine Shot is LG’s trippy cinemagraph mode that’s built into the default camera app. It allows you to capture a short six-second video and subsequently select which parts will remain animated and which will be frozen in time.
This creates the illusion of movement within a still shot, and it works on all three rear-facing cameras. We also found it to work on the two front-facing cameras.
We tested this new mode on the LG V30 in a demo room while observing an old-fashioned record player on a table. Almost everything that would normally be moving is at a standstill, including myself and the bustling New York City traffic behind me through the large window. It’s a photo, surely. But if you look closely, you’ll notice that the record is still spinning as if this were a video.
We got here by recording the six-second clip in Cine Shot mode, and that turned into a still image after some stabilization processing. I used my finger to ‘paint over’ what I wanted to see animated and could erase anything I messed up while painting with an eraser tool. There was also a helpful back button to undo mess ups.
Options to loop the video going forward (on by default) or bounce it back and forth are available on the edit screen, though none of this is available after you save the Cine Shot (so I couldn’t make the traffic in the background move unless I re-did the capture). You also can’t import old video clips for the cinemagraph treatment.
Another instance had us testing Cine Shot on a public street using one of the front-facing cameras. The ceaseless yellow taxi cabs of New York City behind me flowed through the street toward Grand Central Station, but I remained frozen in this photo. It creates a cool effect if framed right and timed right. It took a couple of shots to get this one right, but I’m happy with the result.
We were able to export the LG V40 Cine Shot two ways: through an MP4 movie file that was 15.6MB, and a GIF that was a smaller, easier-to-pass-around 8MB. However, we imagine that many people will be able to upload the file straight to Instagram, where video auto-plays. It’ll seem like a normal photograph to your friends – until they see it moving as they scroll.
Cinemagraphs are nothing new. You’ll find cinemagraph apps available through the Google Play Store (and the Apple App Store on iOS 12), and you’ve probably noticed that Google Photos sometimes auto-generates cinemagraphs on its own.
The benefit here is that LG built Cins Shot into its default camera app – the one most people use – and it’s not randomly generated. It’s all under your control, and so far, it’s better than the one we saw on the Moto Z3 Play.