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Huawei P30 Pro Smartphone Full Review - Performance

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Huawei P30 Pro Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

 

Huawei P30 Pro Sample Photos

Sample Photos - It's hard not to be impressed with the image quality of the P30 Pro with accurate colours, good dynamic range and reliable exposure levels. Look a little closer and image detail can, sometimes, be a little soft but for those who simply want to share their images on social media, the shots captured with the P30 Pro are certainly Instagram ready. The architectural shots are particularly sharp and the overall colours in the images are definitely more accurate than they were on the P20 Pro which had a tendency to oversaturate skies and greens but flick on the AI mode and you do get slightly bright blues which some won't like. Personally, I think it adds a level of 'pop' to the shot. 

Close-focus is excellent with good detail in the daffodil shots and a good amount of background blur to ensure attention stays on the flower. 

As for the 32MP selfies, skin tone is accurate, eyes are sharp and, more impressively, there's hardly any clipping when using the bokeh modes. A tiny bit can be seen on the edge of the leather jacket but overall, it's pretty good. You can add different levels of skin softening, change the tone of your skin and slim your face which, when done with care, can further enhance your selfies/portraits and there are various bokeh shapes to choose from, too, which is fun. Selfies with the sun to your back can confuse the camera and as a result, they don't 'pop' from the frame as much but they're still pretty good. 

Portraits have excellent colour, good levels of detail and skin colours are, again, accurate. The added bonus of blurry backgrounds make them even better and, just like when taking a selfie, there's hardly any clipping and your subject really does stand out from the frame. Detail drops off a little in lower light but still, results are impressive when all you've really done is hold the phone up, framed, focused and clicked. 

 

40MP vs 10MP 

The Huawei P30 Pro uses the 40MP sensor to create 10MP images with lots of detail by combining 4 pixels into 1. Click the images below to compare the 40MP image with the 10MP result and if you use the zoom feature of your browser, you can see just how much detail the 40MP image captures, too. Having said that, auto HDR, and what seems to be auto processing, has produced an image with less noise and a better dynamic range in the 10MP shot. The 10MP images are a little sharper, too. 

If you do want to capture images with the 40MP sensor, it's worth noting that this is a fixed lens so you have to use your feet to zoom whereas the 10MP sensor gives you access to the wide, 1x, 5x, 10x and beyond zoom range. 

 

40MP
40MP
10MP
10MP

 

40MP | 1/2584 sec | f/1.6 | 5.6 mm | ISO 50 10MP | 1/3012 sec | f/1.6 | 5.6 mm | ISO 50
40MP 10MP

 

 

Huawei P30 Pro Lens test images

Lens Performance - Overall, lens performance is good with no signs of CA, minimal purple fringing and no noticeable vignetting/distortion. Images taken in good light show low levels of noise and focus is quick and reliable. 

The 20MP f/2.2 16mm equivalent (wide) lens captures plenty of detail in images but some images do show pincushion distortion and purple fringing does creep into some shots, too. As the focal length suggests, it's particularly useful for landscapes but you can't use the 40MP sensor when working with this lens (we've spoken about the 40MP f/1.6, 27mm equivalent lens above so won't repeat ourselves). 

There's an 8MP f/3.4, 125mm lens that improves on the 80mm lens found in the Huawei P20 Pro, producing better results with the 5x optical zoom than the P20 did and there's also an impressive 10x hybrid zoom. In fact, if you stick to the 5x zoom, you won't have any problems with image quality. You can even use the 10x hybrid zoom in most situations and detail levels are still fine. Go beyond 10x and detail does fall off fast with the shot of the tree at 50x zoom showing high levels of purple fringing and a significant loss in detail. It's also pretty hard to keep the P30 Pro steady when using the 50x zoom so if you do want to try it, pop the smartphone on a tripod. 

Still, if you compare the three shots with the Eiffel tower in them, how much reach you get on the Huawei P30 Pro is impressive and detail is still good enough at the telephoto end for buildings to be sharp and colours accurate. Plus, optical image stabilisation is built in which helps massively when it comes to ensuring images are sharp. The smartphone often tells you to 'keep still' while it sharpens images, too, after capture. 

Take a look at the serious of images captured below to see how the optical, hybrid and digital zoom performs in more detail. 

 

1/799 sec | f/2.2 | 2.4 mm | ISO 50
 

1/799 sec | f/2.2 | 2.4 mm | ISO 50
 

 

Huawei P30 Pro Low-light images

Low Light Performance - Ok, going outside, at night, and just hitting the shutter button on a smartphone that can capture very low light images without much thinking is pretty cool. And, if you don't look too closely, results are great but when you start to look at the detail, you can see some smudgy edges and a loss of definition. Still, these images were captured hand-held in the dark which is still impressive even if some do have a little bit of noise and a loss in detail. Plus, it's not in all images as the detail in the water featured in some of the shots is excellent. It's just a shame the background detail looks a little more like an oil painting! 

There is a Night Mode built in which counts down how long you have to stay still for while it builds up detail (like a painter with a brush) in the frame. It does bring more detail out in textures and can be excellent but if you use it where light pollution in the sky is a problem, it can create lovely foreground detail but the sky doesn't look quite as great. However, if you do a bit of post work and blend a night shot with a normal shot of the same scene, you're probably onto a winning combo. 

 

 

Huawei P30 Pro ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance -  The ISO range goes from 50 to a whopping 409,600, with select ISO levels only accessible in really low light situations (for obvious reasons). ISO800 is where detail loss starts to creep in (marginally) with ISO6400 and beyond showing more falloff. Having said that, the really high ISOs, used in almost darkness, have done a good job at keeping noise to a minimum. 

 

Huawei P30 Pro White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance under mixed lighting has done an excellent job but this mode has produced a touch darker image under Tungsten and under Fluorescent, shadow areas really do creep in. The Fluorescent Preset is a little pink while the Tungsten Preset is a touch warm but not far off the Auto White Balance result. 

 

Huawei P30 Pro Digital filters

Digital Filters - Plenty of Digital Filters are built in which you can apply once you have captured your images. Above are just a few examples, of what is, an extensive list of filter choices. 

 

Huawei P30 Pro Panoramic images

Panorama mode - There are no stitching issues, colours are accurate and detail is good throughout the image. 

Video - Video can be captured in 4K UHD 2160p at 30fps, FullHD 1080p at 60/30fps and 720p at 960fps while the selfie camera shoots 1080p video at 30fps. You can also use AIS plus OIS to steady handheld footage. Overall, video quality is good but detail does drop off when light levels get lower. 

 

 

 


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4 Apr 2019 1:19PM
Just a pity about the over-processed look, when one opens the 40mp shot of the trees, the branches and foliage look quite unnatural due to heavy processing, was really hoping Huawei would start dialling back the processing for a more natural look like the age old Nokia 808 which had very natural looking details...

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