Huawei P30 Pro’s 5x optical zoom steps up phone camera wars


The Huawei P30 series of smartphones has just been unveiled at its launch event in Paris, but we managed to spend some time with it a few weeks ago in Amsterdam. The P20 Pro arguably redefined Huawei's outlook in the smartphone industry and gave its Leica cameras a degree of credibility. It'll be available in a range of colours, depending on the territory that you're in.

How much does the P30 and P30 Pro cost?

A year after the P20 Pro stunned the world with its cameras and snatched the top place on DxOMark's leaderboards, Huawei is back with a successor. By the time you get to get to 40x or 50x you'll notice a fair bit of processing in the image, but there remains great detail in an almost-better-than-the-naked-eye kind of fashion.

Both handsets will be released on April 6 priced at £899 ($1591 CAD) in the UK for the 128GB Pro and £1099 ($1945 CAD) for the 512GB model, and as is customary, the phone will not be launching in the United States. Both phones feature fingerprint recognition technology built right into the display itself.

Huawei, which also makes telecoms network equipment, has been under much worldwide scrutiny following USA allegations that the Chinese giant's products could be used by Beijing for spying.

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As well as these more straightforward modes, there are additional options, such as Night mode, Aperture, and Portrait. Compare that to iPhone XS deals, for example, and you'll be pleased by what you see. A new mode enables a "silky water" effect and works in a similar way to handheld Night mode, combining a series of short exposures together to create the effect of shooting a long exposure. For 2018's Mate 20 series, Huawei swapped the monochrome lens for a wide angle sensor. Instead of a quad-camera array, the P30 loses the ToF camera, and settles for a triple camera setup instead.

Huawei says that the super wide angle lens is now wider than that found on the Mate 20 Pro and features improved rectilinear correction, so that should see better results - again we'll need to see how it fares when we've had a chance to use it properly.

This sensor is optically stabilized (OIS) and packs AIS (AI stabilization) as well to offer a primary camera that's capable of capturing some extraordinary detail and bright images, even at night.

One of the biggest differences between the P30 Pro and the smaller P30 is the addition of a time-of-flight - or ToF - sensor just underneath the flash module, allowing for a far more accurate 3D mapping of a scene. This is used to measure light and therefore create a depth of field map.

The 40MP main camera and the 8MP telephoto lens on the P30 Pro both have OIS for better low-light performance. The RYYB sensor is able to absorb 40% more light than the RGGB sensor.