Huawei recently announced the newest photo-oriented smartphone series, the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro. Both versions of the phones focus more on photography but the P30 Pro’s camera is touted to be a game changer in the world of smartphone photography.
We previously wrote about the keys specs of the phone including its four rear cameras. This piece will shed more light on why the Huawei P30 Pro could be a game changer.
Google’s Pixel 3 is still believed to be the king of smartphone photography due to its quality image processing. But Huawei seems to be chasing closely after Google. Huawei previously packed into the P20 a versatile software coupled with a giant camera sensor and triple lens setup. This phone remained unmatched a year later and was at the top of DxOMark until the P30 series was announced.

Major changes

This obviously says the P30 series is definitely coming for any smartphone with a top-notch camera system. In particular, there are two big changes in the P30 Pro’s camera system.
Here’s why Huawei P30 Pro’s camera could change smartphone photography


The first major killer feature is the telephoto “periscope” lens. This cool thing here allows for 5x optical zoom, which simply means little to no sharpness degradation. Although Huawei is not the first to bring up this idea, it is the first to put it in use.
This lens uses a mirror to fold like a periscope instead of the traditional glass stack. This technique allows the camera to have a greater zoom value than what the physical smartphone camera setup can allow.
In comparison, the telephoto lens on the iPhone XS and Galaxy S10 only provide a 2x optical zoom. They are called telephoto lenses but they really don’t deserve the name with respect to traditional photography. They actually fall in the “normal” range since their equivalent focal length is approximately 52mm.
On the contrary, the Huawei P30 Pro has a lens range equivalent to a 125mm. Sure, Huawei is raising the bar up.
It also uses a 10x “hybrid” zoom, which combines optical zoom with data from the other sensors to produce photos with virtually no degradation. And with the 50x digital zoom, you wouldn’t care about image quality when zooming to shoot. You just zoom and shoot! Actually, the 50x digital zoom “lets you get creepily close to strangers hundreds of feet away”, TNW’s Napier Lopez funnily puts it.
With all these, the ultrawide feature isn’t even playing a part. The ultrawide makes the P30 Pro’s focal length range a mini DSLR.

Primary 40MP sensor

The second major update has to do with the primary 40MP sensor. In the 40MP lens, Huawei uses a new type design called the “SuperSpectrum sensor”. This helps it to capture more light than previous lenses. Huawei claims the SuperSpectrum sensor’s light capturing ability could challenge full-frames cameras.
Looking at the ISO ratings, the average smartphone camera goes around ISO 6,400. The previous Huawei P20 Pro had 102,400 rating. Definitely, the P30 Pro will go higher. It reaches ISO 409,600. Now, that’s clearly in the range of a full-frame DSLR. The P30 Pro’s ISO rating is higher than that of a Canon 5D Mark IV and matches SonyA7s II (which is a low light king).

Other improvements

Huawei didn’t stop with all those upgrades. There are other improvements Huawei brought on the P30 Pro’s camera.

  • Huawei has widened the aperture from F1.8 to F1.6
  • Huawei added OIS to the primary sensor
  • The P30 and P30 Pro use AI to improve HDR performance
  • Macro mode lets you get as close as 2.5cm
  • A time-of-flight depth sensor improves AR tricks, and the P30 Pro can now do measurements using AR.
  • Huawei claims portrait is good enough to (finally) work around odd chunks of hair. Portrait mode now applies a more detailed multi-layer depth map that’s closer to a DSLR or mirrorless camera
  • You can also now simulate slow shutter effects – such as silky water effects – without a tripod.
  • Video has been improved in both stability and low light performance.

Confidently, Huawei has set a new bar. And though with their security risks accusations — which shouldn’t be taken for granted in this era — the company should be applauded for its tech advances, especially in smartphone photography. In a nutshell, the Huawei P30 Pro is really up for a fight.

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