Feature Articles

Huawei Mate 30 Pro: The new low light master

By Marcus Wong - 5 Oct 2019

Imaging performance

How good is the new Zoom?

The sample photographs below were shot with the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. The photos have not been post-processed and are copyright to SPH Magazines. They are provided for your reference only and we ask that you do not reproduce them elsewhere. Click the picture for full resolution image.

Mate 30 Pro capture at 0.6x Zoom

Mate 30 Pro capture at 1x Zoom

Pretty good actually, provided you stay within reasonable limits. We took captures with the Mate 30 Pro at 0.6x Zoom (ultra-wide), 1.0x Zoom (standard), 3.0x Zoom (optical), 5.0x (Hybrid), 10.0x, (Digital) and 30.0x (Digital) just to see how the camera fared.

We’d say images taken at up to 5.0x Hybrid zoom remain very usable, with decent detail retained even at 100% zoom. We wouldn’t go beyond 10.0x Zoom though, as at this point fine detail is going to mush.

Mate 30 Pro capture at 3x Zoom.Mate 30 Pro capture at 5x Zoom

At 30x digital zoom? Well, we’d just use this as a binoculars for scoping ahead. There’s limited detail left at this point, and the image looks more like a watercolour painting than a photograph. Still, considering this is stuffing the equivalent of 810mm lens into a tiny smartphone, the result remains impressive.

 

Mate 30 Pro capture at 10x Zoom.

Mate 30 Pro capture at 30x Zoom.

Something worth noting is that Huawei seems to have fixed the colour discrepancy issues we first saw on the P30 Pro. Exposure and colour balance are pretty even as we shift between cameras, with it becoming just slightly brighter at 5.0x zoom when the darker interior of the monument takes up a bigger proportion of the frame.

 

And images in low light?

These are pretty good too. As you can see from the two frames below, the images captured are pretty much free from noise – even at ISO 12,800. That’s pretty remarkable given how much smaller the sensor is compared to a typical interchangeable lens camera.

One thing to note is that you do have to prepare to hold still for longer if you’re not setting shutter speeds for yourself as the Mate 30 Pro takes additional captures to aid in the computation of low light shots. With the shot from the aeroplane, in particular, the reflection of the woman behind isn’t even visible to the naked eye as all the cabin lights were off, so it’s impressive that the camera even picked that up in darkness.

Mate 30 Pro capture at  ISO 1,250.

Mate 30 Pro capture at ISO 12,800.