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Huawei Mate 30 Pro: The new low light master

By Marcus Wong - 5 Oct 2019

The new low light master

Note: This article was first published on 25 September 2019.

The latest in Smartphone camera trickery

It’s been half a year since the launch of the P30 Pro, and that certainly blew us away with its periscope zoom lens, and various computational photography advancements. Chief of which was the 40MP SuperSpectrum sensor. That used a RYYB (Red Yellow Yellow Blue) Bayer filter array instead of the usual RGGB (Red Green Green Blue) one for better light sensitivity.

That, along with their improvements in computational photography allowed the P30 Pro to turn some stunning low-light images. At this point, you could be forgiven for thinking Huawei’s engineers would call it a day and hold back onto their set of technological goodies till next year. But no. They’ve instead gone and upped the ante once more with the Mate 30 Pro.

You see, where the P30 Pro is chockful of photography magic, the Mate 30 Pro is pushing forward with video ones. With the Mate 30 Pro, Huawei is claiming the world’s highest frame rate on a smartphone and the highest low light sensitivity for video on a smartphone. And that’s all thanks to their new Ultra-wide Cine camera.

This uses a larger 1/1.54 inch type sensor that supports ultra-wide angle video at ISO 51,200 and Ultra Slow-motion video at 7,680 fps, as well as 4K Ultra-wide Angle low-light time-lapse video. Pair that with what looks to be the same 40MP SuperSensing camera found on the P30 Pro, and you get what Huawei calls a 40MP Cine Camera system. It does up to 4K 60fps recording, can add Real-time Bokeh effects to video, and has Dual OIS (Optical image stabilization) and AIS (Artificial Image Stabilization) for more stable recording.

Top left: 8MP Telephoto Top Right: 3D Depth sensing Bottom Left: 40MP Supersensing Wide Bottom Right: Ultra-Wide Cine

Here’s the entire camera system for the Mate 30 Pro:-

  • 40MP (18mm, f/1.8) Cine camera
  • 40MP (27mm, f/1.6) SuperSensing camera
  • 8MP Telephoto camera (80mm, f/2.4, OIS)
  • 3D Depth Sensing camera.

The camera system has a 45x Zooming range – Ultra-wide, 3x Optical, and 30x Digital – and covers the equivalent of an 18-80mm lens in 35mm full-frame terms. Maximum ISO for stills is 409,600.

At this point, it’s worth noting that the regular Mate 30 (non-Pro) has an upgraded camera system too. It has a SuperSensing Triple Camera system that includes a 40MP SuperSensing Wide Camera (27mm, f/1.8), a 16MP UltraWide Camera (17mm f/2.2), and an 8MP Telephoto Camera (80mm, f/2.4, OIS). It gets a Laser Focus Module instead of the 3D Depth Sensing one found in the Pro, and boasts the same 45x Zooming range but with a lower maximum ISO for stills of 204,800 and a minimum focusing distance of just 2.5cm.

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