Since Huawei first joined forces with Leica on the P9, the focus of Huawei’s P series has largely been on the performance of their cameras. And now, Huawei claim to have accentuated a new peak of smartphone photography with the stunning quad lens setup of the P30 Pro.
The headlining feature of this highly-lauded camera is undoubtedly the zooming capabilities; offering 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom and 50x digital zoom. But how does the zoom of the Huawei P30 Pro work?
Rear Camera Setup:
Super-Wide-Angle lens: 20MP –16mm (equivalent) lens – f/2.2 aperture – PDAF
Telephoto lens: 8MP – 125mm (equivalent) lens – f/3.4 aperture – OIS – PDAF
Time of Flight Sensor
The zooming is assisted by a super-resolution algorithm in which Huawei’s software merges several RAW frames into one high-resolution frame that is then cropped for zooming. Image data from both the primary and telephoto lens (at different zoom levels) are combined to create a high-quality finished photo.
This uses a system called field-of-view fusion in which the processing software is just as important as the P30 Pro’s exceptional hardware.
5x Optical Zoom (with Folded Optics)
Optical zoom: Uses the optics (lens) of the camera to bring the image closer before you capture it. This is achieved by moving different lens parts relative to each other and so image quality remains the same.
When it comes to 5x optical zoom, the Huawei P30 Pro relies entirely on the setup of its telephoto lens.
However, departing from the traditional systems that we see from most other devices, the Huawei P30 Pro manages to achieve such a feat through a periscope-style system.
We’ve seen this type of tech before from Oppo, and Huawei have used a similar system in which magnifying lens components are laid out horizontally rather than vertically to avoid a large bump on the back.
Light is reflected towards the camera via a prism, which rotates the light entering the lens by 90 degrees and reflects it onto the sensor. As stated, this therefore allows for a longer equivalent focal length than would ever be possible for a device arranged in the usual manner.
10x Hybrid Zoom
Hybrid zoom: Zoomed images are captured by combining multiple frames. This is not entirely a result of hardware lenses as there is software manipulation present. As such, hybrid zoom stands somewhere between an optical zoom and a digital zoom.
The Huawei P30 Pro achieves a 10x hybrid zoom by utilising a combination of the telephoto lens, a lossless sensor crop zoom and multi-frame photography techniques. The device takes data from multiple (optically zoomed periscope) shots and merges them into a higher resolution image with a whole lot of extra pixel data.
Hybrid zoom is the perfect merging of hardware and software. It uses various algorithms to extract as much detail as possible from lower quality images by looking at the differences between pixels in multiple frames.
50x Digital Zoom
Digital zoom: The camera takes a shot of the centre of an image and enlarges it, trimming away the outside edges. In doing so, image quality is slightly lost.
The Huawei P30 Pro captures images at 50 times zoom by magnifying the particular frame that you want taken.
The process is similar to cropping a photo. This cropped portion is then enlarged so that your result isn’t incredibly small. When the image is enlarged, so are the pixels which thereby results in significant quality loss.
Huawei’s digital zoom has another element though, in that it also filters the cropped image. In this way, AI technology is used to detect what’s in a photo and subsequently enhances and sharpens the details that might have been lost.
Huawei P30 Pro Key Features:
- Android 9.0 (Pie) with EMUI 9.1
- 47-inch OLED FHD+ Dewdrop display (2430 x 1080)
- Huawei Kirin 980 octa-core processor
- Leica Quad Camera with 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + TOF camera
- 32MP Selfie Camera with f/2.0 aperture
- 4,200mAh battery
- IP68 water and dust resistant
- Bluetooth 5.0 / Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band
- 128GB or 512GB storage / 8GB RAM / NanoSD