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The cam hardware isn't the same on all models, so phones with better camera hardware will of course produce better IQ.
Having said that, the cam software plays a major part in it too. I can see differences between each camera app I use.
Personally I prefer the LG software (combined with XCam) but I use the Google one for all the fun stuff, the panorama modes, photosphere etc.
Yeah - the only one I know is the paid one.
It's actually free to try and you can side load it via XDA here and then you can pay for the settings app in the Play Store to unlock more features (like shooting in RAW and other settings)
Here's the setting app [link]
Yup you can change a lot of settings and it has lot of "auto" options as well, like sports, night etc.. Plus raw! Which if you have lightroom and like to edit that's huge.
It's 2 parts, the XCam (camera) and the XCamlgsettings app which is where you change all settings. Couple bucks but well well worth it imo
XCam has a paid companion app called XCam LG Settings from the same developer that works with XCam to let you adjust all sorts of parameters for the camera. It even enables shooting in RAW (dng) mode. You have to open the settings app to enable RAW so it's not a simple toggle in the camera app, but the option is there. Sorry I don't remember the cost because I paid for the app so the Play Store doesn't show me anymore.
If you do not use a ROM, and stick with stock KitKat, rooting can actually make your camera better.
Check out XCam LG
I am rooted like you, but I decided not to use a custom ROM because I read that it really pooches the camera. Instead I stuck with KK, and use this app for my camera XCam LG.
It is a suped-up version of the stock LG camera app. It lets me choose a higher framerate (60fps) for video, and I can set the camera to 13mp, instead of the stock 10mp, plus some other things.
Why not go with whatever rom you want and run xcam? [link]
Good settings and you can even shoot RAW. It's what I do.
XCam LG Settings
Yep, it's an app. Here's a previous thread. And a link to the original XDA forum. There's also a paid app for the settings in Google play.
I haven't tried it personally, but I have heard and seen great things from it. YMMV.
Settings app (automatically notifies you of updates and links the newest apk): [link]
Settings app beta: [link]