Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Shooting like a pro

Apr 05. 2019
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By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The Nation Weekend

6,501 Viewed

Expect praise for your stills and videos shot with Huawei's new flagship P series phone

HUAWEI has long been known for its impressive P series but it has now taken excellence a step further with the release of the P30 Pro and its top-quality Leica quad rear camera.

The camera performance of the P30 Pro comes from Huawei’s SuperSpectrum Sensor, an optical SuperZoom lens, a new Huawei Time of Flight (ToF) camera, and enhanced optical and AI image stabilisation technology.

That improved camera performance helped the smartphone score a high overall DxOMark score of 112. Established in 2008, DxOMark is an independent benchmark that scientifically assesses image quality of smartphones, lenses and cameras.

The quad rear camera system has a 40-megapixel main camera that uses Huawei SuperSpectrum sensor, a 20MP ultra-wide angle camera, an 8MP 5x telephoto camera and Huawei ToF camera.

The 1/1.7-inch Huawei SuperSpectrum sensor captures light using the very latest in technology. The SuperSpectrum sensor is a RYYB sensor that deviates from the traditional RGGB Bayer filter by replacing green pixels with yellow pixels. This allows the sensor to yield a maximum ISO rating of 409,600.

The fundamental shift in sensor technology together with image stabilisation and a large aperture of f/1.6 for the main camera, means that the P30 Pro can capture impressive quality photos and shoot high quality videos across a wide range of scenarios and lighting conditions, including extremely low light. The results are images with enhanced details and saturated colours with clarity.

And P30 Pro’s new SuperZoom lens provides 5 times the optical zoom of the average slim smartphone. The SuperZoom camera comes with 8-megapixel resolution, f/3.4 aperture and optical image stabilisation.

This SuperZoom camera is very useful when you cannot get up close to your subject. And the SuperZoom camera also provides 10x hybrid zoom with good quality.

If you like to take group photos or scenery photos, you will love the 20 MP Ultra Wide camera that comes with f/2.2 aperture lens.

For the P30 Pro, Huawei replaces the conventional depth camera with a ToF camera, which is unique to this flagship model. The ToF camera captures depth-of-field information to deliver accurate image segmentation.

It measures depth of field by emitting infrared light that hits the subject then sends lasers bouncing back to the sensor. The time it takes to bounce back is then calculated to provide depth-mapping capabilities. And precise distance measurement allows for the simulation of multiple levels of bokeh.

The information from the ToF camera is used in P30 Pro’s Super Portrait feature that captures even the smallest details, such individual strands of hair.

With information from the ToF camera, you can capture stunning subjects with a beautiful bokeh effect by using either Wide Aperture or Portrait modes.

In the Aperture mode, you have a slide bar for adjusting the level of blur for the background. 

And in the Portrait mode, you can select the blurred effect of the light source – for example neon light or streetlight – and turn them into heart shapes. You can also apply beauty effects in the Portrait mode.

If you are experienced photographer, then you will probably prefer to shoot in Pro mode that allows you to adjust several shooting parameters, including metering mode of matrix, ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation, white balance and focus mode.

You can also shoot in full auto mode, which the phone calls Photo mode, and make use of the camera’s Master AI. Huawei AI technology will ensure you get a perfect shot with ease. For example, the AI HDR+ enables front and rear cameras to combine multiple photos taken in quick succession to eliminate overexposed and backlit images. It’s really useful in complicated lighting scenes.

The Master AI can automatically identify your current photography scene including stage, beach, blue sky, greenery and text, and intelligently adjust the colours and brightness. You switch between the Ultra Wide camera, main camera and the telephoto camera by tapping the zoom icon on the viewfinder. The 1x icon means the main camera is being used. The 5x icon means the images will be shot with 5x optical zoom while the 10x icon means that the photos will be captured in hybrid optical and digital zoom. The Ultra Wide camera is labelled, quite logically, Ultra Wide.

During the test, I found the main camera captured beautiful shots in the full auto mode and its AI was really effective in identifying objects and scenes.

The 5x telephoto camera was useful and captured sharp and clean shots. The Ultra Wide camera was great for taking wide angle photos when I stood close to the subjects.

The main camera’s high ISO capability was really useful for very low light environments. It could even light up a dark room and capture low-noise shots with good details.

The P30 Pro also comes with a 32MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture lens for taking beautiful selfie shots.

The main camera of P30 Pro is also good for shooting video. It can capture 720p, 1080p and 4K video clips. Here again, the SuperSpectrum sensor comes into its own, enabling spectacular low-light video capture so night scenes appear bright and highly detailed. Huawei AIS and OIS support stabilisation for all video capture settings, resulting in steady shots. And the SuperZoom Lens allows for crisp close-ups, while the AI Video Editor enables you to add background music and special effects to your videos.

Design-wise, the P30 Pro looks sleek with curved display edges and curved edges on the back cover as well. Its back cover was created with a nine-layer nano optical colour finish, which Huawei says is inspired by the unique colour palette and pristine look of salt flats. The P30 Pro comes in Breathing Crystal, Amber Sunrise, Aurora, Pearl White and Black.

Another attractive factor is the 6.47-inch FHD+ Dewdrop Display that uses an oled panel with 2340x1080-pixels resolution. The display features a tiny notch, providing maximum display area, as well as Acoustic Display Technology that enables it to deliver high-quality audio through a sound emitting display.

During the test, I enjoyed watching HD movies from TrueID TV app and the iflix app on the display, which is large enough to watch without squinting.

The near bezel-less front glass houses an In-Screen Fingerprint sensor for quick and secure identity authentication. I found the fingerprint sensor worked fast and efficiently for unlocking the phone.

The P30 Pro has fast performance. It is powered by 7nm Kirin 980 quad-core processor with dual NPUs (Neural-network Processing Unit). The quad cores are two Cortex-A76 cores running at 2.6GHz and two more running at 1.92GHz plus four Cortex-A55 cores running at 1.8 GHz. The model that I had my hands on is equipped with 8 gigabytes of working memory or RAM and 256 GB of internal storage.

The smartphone was really fast when handling games and applications and HD video clips played smoothly.

I used AnTuTu Benchmark version 7.1.7 to measure the performance of the P30 Pro and found that it got a high score of 291,335. As of March 29, the score defeated 97 per cent of users who posted results to the ever-growing database of Android devices.

Huawei says the good performance can also be credited to Extendable Read-Only File System (EROFS), which improves system responsiveness. 

And the P30 Pro has the latest EMUI 9.1 user interface on top of the Android 9 operating system. The EMUI 9.1 also supports Share OneHop for seamless file sharing between Huawei smartphones and Huawei laptops.

SuperCool technology improves thermal performance, keeping the phone cool even during heavy use.

And the Internet connection is superfast. Applications were downloaded very fast and my snapshots were backed up to my Google Photos cloud storage in no time.

I used Ookla Speedtest app to measure the connection speed and the P30 Pro got the download speed of 109 Mbps and upload speed of 37.5 Mbps.

The P30 Pro comes with a large battery that should survive a day of use. Its battery has 4,200mAh capacity. The package comes with 40W HuaWei SuperCharge wall charger that charges the smartphone from zero to 70 per cent in |30 minutes.

Huawei P30 Pro has a suggested retail price of Bt31,990.

Key specs 

>> Networks: LTE 4G, WCDMA 3G, GSM 2G

>> OS: Android 9 with EMUI 9.1 user-interface on top

>> CPU: HUAWEI Kirin 980 Octa-core Processor with |Dual NPUs

>> Memory: 8 GB

>> Storage: 256GB

>> Display: 6.47-inch OLED display with 2,340x1080 pixels

>> Rear cameras: Leica Quad Camera: 40 MP (Wide Angle Lens, f/1.6 aperture, OIS) + 20 MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens, f/2.2 aperture) + 8 MP (Telephoto, f/3.4 aperture, OIS), Huawei Time-of-Flight (TOF) Camera

>> Front camera: 32 MP f/2.0 camera

>> Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (wave2), 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz; Bluetooth 5.0; |USB Type-C

>> Sensors: Ambient Light Sensor, In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor, Gyroscope, Compass, Proximity Sensor, Gravity Sensor, Hall Sensor, Infrared Sensor, Colour Temperature Sensor

>> Protection: IP68 splash, water and dust resistant

>> Location: GPS (L1 + L5 Dual Band) / AGPS / Glonass / BeiDou / Galileo (E1 + E5a Dual Band) / QZSS (L1 + L5 Dual Band)

>> Battery: 4,200 mAh with Huawei SuperCharge charger

>> Dimensions: 158.0x74.4x8.41mm

>> Weight: 192g


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