+ Friday April 19th, 2019

Huawei’s P30 Pro camera is good, but how good? The answer is very.

Huawei should be feeling pretty content at the moment; sitting at the top of DXOMark rankings, the company’s P30 Pro represents a major step forward over past smartphone cameras, with enhanced lowlight capabilities and a 5X optical zoom that can wind out to 50X with AI/digital stabilisation.

There’s little doubt the camera is good, but it’s not enough for someone to tell you that. Some good photos help.

So, over the last week across Paris and Rome, we’ve taken the Huawei P30 Pro camera out for a spin. Here’s what we found.

For a quick refresher, you’ll find four cameras on the back of the P30 Pro, as follows:

  • 40MP primary lens, with an aperture of f/1.6 and SuperSensor RYYB sensor arrangement
  • 20MP ultra-wide angle lens with an aperture with f/2.2 and Leica spherical optics (equivalent to 0.6x zoom)
  • 8MP telephoto lens with an aperture of f/3.4 (for 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, and up to 50x digital zoom)
  • A Time of Flight lens (which doesn’t take photos per se, but assists other photo modes)

Having spent a bit of time with the P30 Pro, it excels in most situations; it can take usable photos in almost pitch dark, and can zoom in properly over a great distance. That it can handle every situation between, as well, is even better.

This stunning shot over the Uluru national park is a great capture, showing the rays of sunlight streaming through the clouds, while also lighting the foreground properly. This (like every other photo in this piece) was hand shot in auto mode. No manual adjustments were made.

This shot of Uluru, shot in the pre-dusk light, also turned out remarkably well, capturing the rich earthy tones in the foreground and the unique almost purpley-brown colour of the rock in the dusk light.

Selfie cameras aren’t really my thing, but the 32MP front-facing camera does an excellent job in most circumstances. Being that it’s fixed focus, though, you’ll find the most dramatic portrait photos will come from the rear camera rather than the front. The Pixel 3 – with its wide-angle front camera – also does a better job when you’re taking a group selfie.

These three photos we took overnight at the Uluru National Park, and though they mightn’t look amazing, let me explain.

First of all, these photos were taken in near pitch black conditions. The first two, for example, were so dimly lit that I couldn’t see what the P30 Pro camera could; I couldn’t identify the people sitting opposite the table by sight (though I knew who they were), and in the second photo, I couldn’t see anything in front of me at all except blackness. The P30 Pro, however, captured everything.

Yes, these photos are slightly out of focus, but that’s not the point. If there’s even a hint of light, enough to allow the P30 Pro  to autofocus correctly, you’re going to have an excellent photo on your hands.

The last photo, of the starlit sky, was also near blackness, but in auto mode the P30 Pro captured a great shot of the night sky. No blur, no wobble.

This photo was taken one of the main railway stations in Paris in wide angle, and captures a stunning amount of detail. It’s a very dynamic image, again shot in full auto with no tweaks applied.

Here you have two photos from the Chateau Versailles, one at 1X and a 50X zoom in on the clock at the centre of the image. As you can see, it’s virtually crystal clear. It takes a bit more effort to hold the camera steady at 50X zoom, but you can do it and the results are pretty great.

This shows off the super macro mode on the P30 Pro, using the wide-angle lens. As you can see, the edges of the object in the foreground are a little soft in some places, but it’s not over the top; it doesn’t affect the image.

Here’s the Eiffel Tower, shot at night, again with no tripod or anything special. Point, click, done. Notice the dynamic lighting on the street below, as well as the lighting on the tower itself and the light show atop the tower as well. This is a tricky shot for a camera to get right, and the P30 Pro did it well.

Here we’ve got three photos taken in Pompeii in southern Italy. I’ve got plenty more photos from the archaeological park, but these are some of my favourites; a beautiful photo of an archway, an inset garden, and the pizza and limoncello we enjoyed after a long walk around the ruins!

These last photos are from a walk around Rome, at the Pantheon and the Colosseum. They show off the exception capabilities of the P30 Pro camera, capturing the dynamics of background lit, challenging subjects and coming up with a great result.

There’ll be some more photos when we post our final review of the P30 Pro, but I think you’ll agree – these are some excellent photos which show the P30 Pro deserves to be sitting at the top of DXOMark rankings.

If you’re looking to buy a Huawei P30 Pro, it’s available from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. We’ve wrapped up the best plans for the Huawei P30 Pro too, but here’s a quick summary:

 

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Roger

Great stuff! But isn’t the Eiffel tower illegal to photograph at night?

Julian Hutchison
Ausdroid Reader

Fantastic, thanks for sharing what the P30 Pro can do at night!! Absolutely amazing!

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