Huawei P20 Pro pics from digital vs optical zoom

Started 10 months ago | Photos
Phil Photo
Phil Photo Contributing Member • Posts: 878
Huawei P20 Pro pics from digital vs optical zoom

Just got a P20 pro.

Bit disapointed in the picture quality. its good for a smartphone, but I was hopeing for better.

(the "raw, 40mp" output isnt really very useful. )

Anyways, heres two pics: one from "pro" mode with 3x zoom clicked... and the system chose DIGITAL zoom.

Then one with 3x zoom clicked in regular mode.. and the system chose to use the tele lens.

You cant see much difference from the preview, but if you click in to look at the text on the bottle, theres a noticable difference.

Also: note that the stupid phone misreports the focal length. the "longer" lens, is actually the wideangle.

The F2.4 is the actual zoom.

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_vlad Senior Member • Posts: 2,435
Re: Huawei P20 Pro pics from digital vs optical zoom

Phil Photo wrote:

Just got a P20 pro.

Bit disapointed in the picture quality. its good for a smartphone, but I was hopeing for better.

(the "raw, 40mp" output isnt really very useful. )

Anyways, heres two pics: one from "pro" mode with 3x zoom clicked... and the system chose DIGITAL zoom.

Then one with 3x zoom clicked in regular mode.. and the system chose to use the tele lens.

You cant see much difference from the preview, but if you click in to look at the text on the bottle, theres a noticable difference.

Also: note that the stupid phone misreports the focal length. the "longer" lens, is actually the wideangle.

The F2.4 is the actual zoom.

You are correct - there is a bug from FW 156 which records incorrect EXIF data (focal length), hope it will be repaired soon (FW 161 bug is still there).

The images you show cannot be compared because second them is unsharp (probably hand shake). However when in PRO mode (10MPix and no RAW) camera always uses 3x optical - same as in regular mode. I tried it right now - there i no difference in PRO 10MPix 3x zoom compared to standard 3x mode.

RAW 40MPix is much better then either 40MPix JPG not to mention 10MPix - it is important however to manage the process of development. You probably missed this shot

https://1.img-dpreview.com/files/p/E~forums/61914738/65f0100413fe4446bc4ee1b4534e7e9c

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Vlad

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Phil Photo
OP Phil Photo Contributing Member • Posts: 878
Re: Huawei P20 Pro pics from digital vs optical zoom

_vlad wrote:

You are correct - there is a bug from FW 156 which records incorrect EXIF data (focal length), hope it will be repaired soon (FW 161 bug is still there).

The images you show cannot be compared because second them is unsharp (probably hand shake). However when in PRO mode (10MPix and no RAW) camera always uses 3x optical - same as in regular mode. I tried it right now - there i no difference in PRO 10MPix 3x zoom compared to standard 3x mode.

maybe that was a firmware fix.

it definitely did NOT use telephoto in 3x mode, when I was in pro mode. and other poeple have posted elsewhere that this is what the camera did for them also.

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ChuckTa Senior Member • Posts: 1,454
Re: Huawei P20 Pro pics from digital vs optical zoom

Phil Photo wrote:

Just got a P20 pro.

I checked that your P20 image is shot using firmware 130. There are many iterations of firmware since 130 (mine is 155). You should try to update your firmware and redo the test.

Pro mode tele is always digital . Standard "Photo" mode for tele is better .

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ChuckTa Senior Member • Posts: 1,454
Re: Huawei P20 Pro pics from digital vs optical zoom

Here is test shot with firmware 155. 1st is digital zoom with Pro mode, 2nd is with Photo mode 3x optical zoom. The optical zoom image has more details for sure. IMO, this is image from a tiny zoom lens on a phone. The quality is very acceptable for me.

Please download the file from flickr instead of looking at DPR 100% as DPR will enlarge it to over 150%.

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Jarno-Germany Forum Member • Posts: 76
Re: Huawei P20 Pro pics from digital vs optical zoom

I,m on Firmware 161.

The 3x tele on photo mode deliver more detail than the 27mm crop, but the image is not fully usable if you view it on a PC Monitor  (32" 1440p) with some magnification. Only viewing in Fullscreen mode (4MP) is good.  There is a huge amount of processing, and some guys @HUAWEI like painting filters obviously.

Also the hyped night mode is somewhat disappointing.  The image is completely noise free but also fine detail free.

By the way, on 400ppi phone screen or probably @100% on an 27" 4K Screens all looks fine.

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Phil Photo
OP Phil Photo Contributing Member • Posts: 878
Re: Huawei P20 Pro pics from digital vs optical zoom

ChuckTa wrote:

Phil Photo wrote:

Just got a P20 pro.

I checked that your P20 image is shot using firmware 130. There are many iterations of firmware since 130 (mine is 155). You should try to update your firmware and redo the test.

Pro mode tele is always digital . Standard "Photo" mode for tele is better .

thats funny, becuase another guy in another thread insists tele in pro mode is doable.

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Try_and-try_again Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Huawei P20 Pro pics from digital vs optical zoom

Hi ChuckTa:

I am fairly new to this (I believe September 2018 issue of the) P20 Pro, Model No. CLT-L04. Like others, I have seen inconsistent image results from systematic tests, and got unreliable and incomplete EXIF info, handheld or on a tripod, albeit the images were  generally not shot in brighter light (we have had nothing but gloomy weather here for weeks).

So please pray tell: Where can I check for what the firmware version number is on my particular model, so that I can update it if possible at all? I have gone to Settings>System>About phone - no luck finding it there.

I have also seen it mentioned that the when-eventually-available Pie Android OS may remove inconsistencies in the camera functions of this smartphone; does that really make any sense in your opinion?

Thanks, Andy.

Try_and-try_again Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Huawei P20 Pro pics from digital vs optical zoom

Hello ChuckTa:

Thank you for the two construction site photos. Very exemplary for the topic.

To wit: I found to my disappointment that the PHOTO (default) mode images (a.k.a. STANDARD mode in other parts of the world) turn out to be much better than those taken in the so-called PRO mode. Quite counterintuitive. I bought the P20 Pro specifically to allow me to make decisions based on a subject etc. etc. (as when photographing with a DSLR), to achieve results to my liking, but as it turns out, that is not necessarily the case.

The APERTURE mode has the great feature of allowing the focal point and the depth of field to be very effectively (almost miraculously) adjusted post-exposure, but regretfully the edited version does not then present itself as a separate file in the photo gallery. And these resultant APERTURE mode images are not as good (e.g., underexposed) as those in the PHOTO mode, in my tests.

I am amazed at the relatively very good results in the NIGHT mode, considering taken handheld for 3 to 5 seconds long. Colours etc. a bit crass perhaps at times, but great for souvenirs nevertheless, for me anyway. Ideal for when no DSLR available, nor the time to take HDR multiple exposure shot on a tripod; a great alternative. Kudus to Huawei.

My HDR mode shots turned out no too badly, albeit they resulted in a relatively low file size.

To date, I have not run into unacceptable chromatic aberration, which is good news. Excessive sharpening, yes. I would rather do my own sharpening in Photoshop, or in the Huawei's own editing option, thank you. I do appreciate for now that when, as an exposure is taken and filed, there is an indication that the image is being sharpened automatically.

I do wish that in all modes the 'info' data would subsequently distinctly identify an image as to in what mode it had been taken.

I found that when adding a note to a file, that file then does not necessarily any longer get arranged chronologically back to its original location, making for great confusion (I believe that removing that note does not return a file to its original location either).

I have not yet actually converted any RAW files, based on the various negative comments I have read about lack of available apps suitable for Huawei DNG files. If anyone can please correct me on that issue, I am all eyes.

I know I am writing about a cellphone, not a full frame DSLR etc., but since Huawei have thrown the gauntlet to Apple and Samsung and Google in this camera function, I am hoping that they will make improvements to this product based also on user feedback, and very soon, so that it really shines!

If you, or others, have any comments, feel free to shoot this messenger .

Bye, Andy.

ChuckTa Senior Member • Posts: 1,454
Re: Huawei P20 Pro pics from digital vs optical zoom

1. Under System  menu below "About Phone" there is System update. But normally it should notify you for updates?

2. For precise exposure, you can long press on screen inside the circle and there will be additional "Sun" icon showing up and you can move the sun icon to desired spot for more accurate spot exposure. You can separate focus point and exposure point.

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Jarno-Germany Forum Member • Posts: 76
Re: Huawei P20 Pro pics from digital vs optical zoom

From my experience, lightroom CC Mobile can handle the p20 pro raw file quite normal.

So simply try it out for your self and don't trust only comments from others!

The Results are often breathtaking for a phone camera😉

But beware of the memory consumption due to Lightroom saves a whole copy of your always hefty raw files additional on your phone.

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