Here’s how you can get awesome photos with the Huawei P40 Pro
6 Tips to keep in mind while honing your photography skills
As the Huawei P40 Series is now available for purchase, you probably would have already learned about the in-and-outs of these new smartphones. If not, we highly recommend that you read up before checking out these tips.
But if you already did, here is a quick summary of the P40 series’ camera systems.
Of the two P40 smartphones, the more sophisticated entry is the Huawei P40 Pro – until the highest tier model, the P40 Pro+ makes its debut later this year. Loaded on the smartphone is the all-new Ultra Vision Camera system that features four camera lenses – 50MP wide-angle, 40MP ultra-wide, 12MP telephoto, and 3D Depth Sensor. Internally, there is a 1/1.28-inch imaging sensor and the Huawei XD Fusion Engine.
These hardware features ensure that the quality of the images produced on the P40 Pro will be near perfect, but harnessing the full potential of the P40 Pro also means having to know the ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ of the P40 Pro’s native camera app.
Here are some quick tips to follow to capture that “Leica Moment – Your Point of View” for posterity:
Tip 1: Start Simple
When taking photos, don’t jump into the deep end so quickly. Stick with the basics first and snap what you think will look great as a picture. This will help with learning and understanding how the updated quad-lens camera works as you are likely to want to try all the new features.
Once you are familiar with the camera on the P40 Pro, think of a simple theme to follow. Go easy on the ideas – such as taking pictures of food, your surroundings, or the sky. Its 50MP lens is one of the best in its class and will produce beautifully detailed photos.
Can the P40 Pro help take better shots? The onboard AI cleverly makes everything better by instantly recognising scenes, optimising settings in the camera app, cleans up photos in RAW, and suggesting tips based on how you are using the smartphone.
Tip 2: Try Zoom
Simply pointing the camera at anything you come across is easy, but what if the subject is not close enough to take a good shot? This is where the 12MP telephoto lens on the P40 Pro comes into play. Offering 5x Optical and 10x Hybrid zooms, you can get that close-up shot and even create better compositions for pictures.
The adventurous sort can also try out the SuperZoom feature – a hybrid mix of optical and digital zooms with super-resolution processing that allows you to zoom up to 50x! That said, while the built-in AI Image Synthesis (AIS) and Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) will help to capture pictures at such distances, it is advisable to use a tripod for the best image output.
Tip 3: Make Videos
The P40 Pro is also well-suited to record professional-grade videos. The 40MP ultra-wide CineCamera lens can also produce low-light and slow-motion videos, stable close-ups, and 4K recording on 60fps. It can also record time-lapse videos, allowing you to create interesting content on Instagram or TikTok.
Speaking of TikTok; if you enjoy making karaoke videos, the P40 Pro has a very neat feature called Directional Audio Zoom. While recording, zooming into the person activates Direction Audio Zoom and the phone’s microphone will pick up audio at where the camera is pointed at – reducing distracting noise from the surroundings. This is most useful when also creating specific clarity moments for short films or, say, when you are doing video captures at the front of a concert stage.
Tip 4: Time to Experiment
Once you have gotten a hang of the P40 Pro’s camera capabilities, try exploring and experiment with the camera’s ‘advance’ features. For instance, you can attempt macro shots or video recording in dual-view mode with the telephoto lens. You will be surprised!
There are also various photo modes and filters, like HDR, Video HDR, and Backlit/Night Portraits, to play with too – use them in various bright or dark scenarios to create contrasting silhouettes or stunning visuals. There is truly no end to what you can do when creativity is added into the mix.
You can go wild with the front-facing dual-lens camera too. Featuring a 32MP lens and depth sensor, the front camera is capable of 4K video recording, multi-focus and distortion correction, and comes with built-in auto-focus and gesture control support. The P40 Pro is a great companion for vloggers and selfie addicts who demand great images – and you will not even need to meitu them.
Tip 5: Use the Huawei Golden Snap
The aptly-named Golden Snap on the P40 Pro takes smart photography to the next level. Using the XD Fusion Engine, AI functions and imaging algorithms, the P40 Pro offers three unique photography functions – AI Best Moment, AI Remove Passersby, and AI Remove Reflection.
To activate Huawei Golden Snap, just look for a little circles icon that looks like a target bullseye on the left top-corner. It is called “Moving Picture” and it enables Huawei’s three new photography editing tools.
With AI Best Moment, the AI motion algorithm detects and recognizes posture and expression features. It takes a 4K moving picture and then recommends up to three pictures of the best moving moment for you to choose. This saves you the time from having to do multiple retakes, because that once-in-a-lifetime shot of your dog ‘winking at you’ may not happen again.
As the names suggest, AI Remove Passersby and AI Remove Reflection literally help to remove pesky photobombers and unwanted reflections on glass surfaces. The latter works with the P40 Pro’s AI and with a little bit of trickery, with the P40 Pro’s AI removing people in the background by combining several frames into one. The result is a clean background and the focus of your photo completely stands out.
Photobombers aside, the other common frustration faced by many photographers are light reflections from windows. If you’ve ever wanted to take a nice, clear panoramic view of Singapore inside the Singapore Flyer for example, it’s almost impossible to take one without ruining it with your own’s reflection. AI Remove Reflections come to the rescue, by editing out the reflection layer in the photo. Simple as that.
For more details, we've explored these functions here.
Tip 6: Mix-and-Match
The P40 Pro has a choke-full of features found in many standalone cameras and then some. So, why not try out different ideas that use more than one function on the camera? For instance, try experimenting with using zoom in shaded areas during late evenings; have fun with the different filters available while recording a video, or make time to capture the day’s dawn or dusk on HDR with time-lapse or dual-view mode. The result might surprise even yourself.
There is no true limit to experimentations when it comes to photography – even at home, there are various objects that you can practice portraits shots. In short, there are many ways to be creative and the key is in staying curious, exploring new ideas, and experimenting with the P40 Pro to discover new and fun ways to create amazing shots and videos.
Ready to get the phone for yourself or want to find out more? Head over to Huawei's page here!