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Here’s everything that the Huawei P30 Pro’s four-camera array can do

Here’s everything that the Huawei P30 Pro’s four-camera array can do


Every trick in the smartphone camera playbook, plus a few new ones

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Huawei just announced its latest flagship, the P30 Pro, and more than ever, the company is emphasizing the camera as the major standout feature. Fortunately, it’s also brought a spec sheet to match, including a new four-camera array that packs basically every major smartphone camera trend into a single package. Here’s everything Huawei says it has.

New sensor: Starting with the basics, Huawei has a new RYYB “SuperSpectrum” sensor for the main camera that replaces the usual RGB sensor found in most smartphones. By using yellow sub-pixels instead of green, Huawei promises that the new sensor will let in up to 40 percent more light than an RGB one.

Zoom to the Moon: The standout spec on the P30 Pro is the new periscope zoom lens. There are a few tricks going on here, but it starts with a 5x optical zoom (thanks to the extra space that the periscope mechanism allows). By combining that with additional data from the main sensor, Huawei claims to have achieved a lossless 10x hybrid zoom. The company is also touting a massive 50x digital zoom, although, obviously, you’ll take a hit in quality at that point. 

AI: It wouldn’t be a new camera without some mention of AI-assisted photography. Huawei’s push here is AI HDR+, which the company says should identify elements in the frame (like faces, grass, or the sun), create an exposure map, and intelligently apply that to both minimize blown highlights and brighten up shadows.

Night mode: Like the Pixel 3, Huawei is offering a night mode for the P30 Pro, which promises similar results as the Google’s nearly magical night-to-day shots. The sample shots Huawei showed off were impressive, but the company only compared the feature to the iPhone XS and Galaxy S10 Plus, so we’ll have to wait until we can get more time with the phone to see how things measure up compared to the Pixel 3. 

Time-of-flight: The newest addition to the rear-camera array is a smaller, time-of-flight (ToF) lens used for depth maps. It’ll mainly be used for enhancing portrait mode pictures, offering better separation of subject from the background, and a more gradual bokeh effect. Huawei also plans to use the sensor for AR purposes, allowing the P30 Pro to measure height, depth, volume, and area of real-world objects with greater than 98.5 percent accuracy.

Dual-view video: The P30 Pro can shoot video with both the main sensor and the telephoto sensor at the same time, and then combine the two feeds in a side-by-side view to give you different perspectives on the action. It seems a bit less useful than the rest of the things on the list, but it certainly shows off the technical capabilities of the P30 Pro.