Huawei P30 Pro Camera Review

There is one feature within the new Huawei P30 Pro camera that has really caught the attention of users and reviewers. While we should really be focused on the features that make this a smartphone, many of us are more interested in the camera. Critics have called this camera a game changer for the smartphone industry. In theory, competitors should be taking notes to make amendments to their own design. For now, Huawei stands out from the crowd. So what is it about this new Huawei P30 Pro camera that is so appealing to users?

Huawei P30 Pro Camera Features

Before we go into all the details about the Huawei P30 Pro, we want to point out that that this isn’t really one camera. This is actually a quad-camera system. The jump in megapixels between the cameras is noticeable at first. But, each camera has its own capabilities and they come together to create a diverse and flexible system.

Rear Facing Camera Specifications

  • Leica Wide Angle, 40MP, 27mm, f/1.6, IOS, PDAF
  • Leica Ultra-wide, 20MP, 16mm, f/2.2, IOS, PDAF
  • Leica Telephoto, 8MP, 5x zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, 50x digital zoom, 125mm, f/3.4, PDAF, Time of Flight (ToF)

Video Specifications

  • 2160p @ 30fps
  • 1080p @ 60fps
  • 1080p @ 30fps (gyro-EIS)
  • 720p @ 960fps

Front Facing Camera Specifications

  • Leica Wide Angle, 32MP, f/2.0, 0.8µm

Video Specifications

  • 1080p @ 30fps

Let’s look at some of the best features of this in-built camera system in more detail.

The Ultra-wide Angle Lens

How many times have you had to back away from a group of friends, perhaps dangerously close to the road, just to get everyone in the shot? How many times have you come across a great landscape or building and wished that the camera on your phone could do it justice? That is why so many people are so impressed with the wide angle lens on this camera. You can now get a lot in one photo without much hassle. If that wasn’t enough you can quickly go from a wide panoramic shot to something close-up thanks to the next feature.

The Zoom Capabilities

It isn’t hyperbole to say that the zoom capabilities on this camera are ridiculous for a smartphone. The only model that has come close to what this P30 Pro can achieve is its predecessor – the P20 Pro. There are two reasons for this. First of all, there is the amount of zoom on offer. This has a 5x optical zoom and a 10x hybrid zoom and 50x digital zoom. Then there is the fact that they have built on the lossless optical zoom to ensure that you can really get in close without any loss of quality. Stood at the back of a crowd in a concert? Not a problem here as you can zoom in over the heads of the people in front of you and get a great shot of the performance. 

The New Image Sensor

This is where the specification of this camera gets a little bit geeky. One sensor is just like another to most phone users. But, there is a big difference between this model and other smartphone cameras in the amount of light that is captured. That means that the Huawei P30 Pro camera may change the way that developers create smartphone cameras in the future.

Most brands stick with the usual Red-Green-Blue sensor for light detection because it is what everyone uses and those that aren’t into photography may not know the difference. The P30 Pro uses a Red-Yellow-Yellow-Blue sensor that absorbs twice the amount. This is part of the reason why those images look so great when you zoom in. It also opens the door for better night-time shots and indoor photos in low light. Anyone with a cheap phone with a basic camera knows how impossible it can be to shoot in galleries. 

However, this change and focus on low-light can have a knock-on effect on the quality of daytime photos. If you head out to the park in the blazing sun, you might find that the photos look a little washed out and over-exposed. 

Realistic, Appealing Color Reproduction

Finally, and we can’t understate this, there is also a great color palette for the photos you create. Yes, you can then go into social media and add all the weird filters you want to play with the tone and saturation. However, the original image is sharp, bold and realistic – just like a “normal” camera might produce. This isn’t the case with some smartphones that can go for style over realism.

What this all means is that this Huawei P30 Pro smartphone camera actually performs a lot like a digital SLR or mirrorless camera.

This is why this smartphone camera is so appealing to so many people. More and more of us would like to use our phones as a secondary camera because they are so much more convenient. A spontaneous moment can be captured with ease. You can head out into town without packing an expensive camera. So, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for the camera on the phone to act like a real camera. The features above show that Huawei is much closer to matching a digital camera specification than anyone else. 

User Experience.

We also can’t overlook some of the additional features within this smartphone that enhance the experience for photographers. If we want to make the most of this device as a camera – not as a smartphone with a camera included – we need to look at the device as a whole. This means looking at the feel of the phone, the AI, the battery life and the display. 

The Large Display

When you take a photo on your phone, you want to be able to see the image in all its glory – both during and after the shot. A large, clear display is essential for this. Your new, sharper photos will look great on this 6.47-inch display and it is a great way to show off your gallery to others. Some people have complained that the 1080×2340 display isn’t as good a resolution as the display for the Galaxy S10. This is true. However, the Galaxy S10 doesn’t have the same zoom or tech so you are exchanging a resolution for overall quality.

The Battery Life

The battery life of this phone is long and charges up pretty quickly. Those that have timed the lifespan of the phone while in pretty much constant use say it can last more than 15 hours. That’s almost a full day of operation. This is essential for all those that get carried away taking snaps and want to use this phone as a primary camera while traveling.

The Feel of the Phone

The best cameras are also lightweight and ergonomic so that they feel good in our hands for longer. We don’t want to get any fatigue from holding it too long or pain from the sharp edges. That is where the curved screen helps with this model. The lightweight of 192g helps too.

The Smart Processor

One of the benefits of having a camera in a smartphone is that it can make the camera smarter than a standard digital model. That is what has happened here with this Huawei P30 Pro camera. The phone has a Kirin 980 chipset with a smart AI system. This assistive tech isn’t limited to your mobile browsing and contacts list. It is also at hand to help you fine tune your photography skills. For example, it can reduce blurring. A downside of using a smartphone is that there isn’t the same image stabilization software as you would get with a top digital camera. The AI and blur-reduction of this phone help to compensate for that. This means a better chance of a sharper photograph when you are taking quick shots on the go.

What About The Front Facing Camera?

Finally, let’s not forget about the front-facing camera on this smartphone. So far we have been using this phone as if it were a regular, point-and-shoot digital camera – and with good reason. However, there will be plenty of people that prefer to use this in a more “traditional” manner with their smartphone. The phone still needs to be able to take a great selfie and offer face time options. There is a front-facing camera with 32mp so you can still enjoy all the same functions you would expect. 

The Huawei P30 Pro Camera: Revolutionary Model or One-off?

There are high hopes that phone manufacturers will learn from the feedback about this camera. There is high praise from users that are familiar with photography and those that simply want a better experience than they are used to. Many will talk about the zoom capabilities – and this may be the most impressive element – but the change in the sensor is the feature that may change the game. Some Galaxy users may feel that their phone is superior because of the instant appeal of the image on the high-resolution screen. However, they will soon see the limitations of their camera’s zoom and sensor. 

While there are still small flaws, this is still a revolutionary model. This is the first time that developers have been bold enough to take a step back, really think about what the camera needs and play around with the specification. The camera is no longer an accessory to the phone. In fact, most would agree that it is the star elements of this device.