|Chen introduced accessories that complement the Huawei P10 Plus.|
At a Huawei P10 Plus Masterclass in Singapore, Chen shared that he works with large Leica cameras professionally, and is increasingly finding that the mobile cameras on the Huawei P10 Plus more than deliver when it comes to personal photography.
"If I'm exploring I actually don't bring the (conventional digital) camera nowadays," he said.
"I'm starting to use it as the main camera. With a smaller camera you can walk farther. You sweat less."
Chen has put the smartphone through its paces in the five months that he has had it, bringing it on trips to Australia and Hong Kong, concluding that the Huawei P10 Plus is able to achieve what a large camera can do in a smartphone form factor. "The P10 Plus is doing some things that all my previous phones cannot do," he said, sharing that he has owned high end Nokia Windows phones and various Samsung handsets in the past. For example:
Well-designed interface, with a fine level of control
The Huawei P10 Plus camera offers the same ease of use with a Leica DSLR camera, and even uses the same font for the interface, Chen said.
Swiping left and right when the camera is activated provides quick access to additional modes functions. Swiping upwards activates the 'pro' mode, allowing manual adjustments to the image such as white balance and aperture size. The top part of the camera screen features an icon for dual-lens capabilities, which uses a dual lens system to offer the soft bokeh* effects previously only seen in professional SLR lenses.
"I like the (interface; it has) all the controls that I want for the different modes that I want," he said.
The Huawei P10 Plus beats an SLR camera when it comes to panoramas, stitching handheld pictures together seamlessly. Chen pointed out that his 6,000 x 4,000 pixel resolution images do not have areas which are clearly brighter, a typical challenge for cameras when part of a panorama has a light source like the sun in it.
In contrast, getting the same shot with a physical camera would require more post-production effort such as manual adjustment to make each each perspective of the panorama consistent before stitching them together in editing software. Getting the panorama in the first place would be less convenient as the tripod and camera equipment would be bulkier and heavier, and need to be transported to the location, Chen explained.
A dedicated monochrome sensor picks up areas of subtle brightness. "Leica is the only brand that can do monochrome and get away with it," Chen observed. With the Huawei P10 Plus he noted that "pixel for pixel it performs better than the colour sensor."
The graininess seen in pictures taken with vintage monochrome film cameras can also be reproduced on the Huawei P10 Plus.
Neon lighting reproduction
|Featured photo: Richard Chen, Huawei P10 Plus Masterclass. Excellent reproduction for neon lighting.|
Typically, focusing on neon lighting results in images where the colours of the neon lights turning white and washing out the surrounding colours and details. This is not the case with the Huawei P10 Plus, Chen said, with the neon colours very well preserved, allowing the surrounding colours and details to come through.
Beautiful colour representation
Chen said colours are reproduced well. "The reds are rock solid. Certain cameras will represent red as an orangy red or a magenta red," he explained. "I like it because it's very faithful."
Preservation of details in high-contrast photography
The Huawei P10 Plus also earned praise for faithful colour representation in situations where there are extremely bright and extremely dark areas at the same time. When presented with such a setting, a digital camera will typically end up with either turning the bright part totally white or the dark part totally black. The silhouette effect for subjects standing in front of a sunlit window are a typical consequence. The Huawei P10 Plus is intelligent enough to avoid such situations. In HDR landscape shots that Chen tried, the smartphone preserved the details and colours of bright skies as well as the colours and textures of darker cliffs.
“The fun thing is that it's on automatic,” Chen said, explaining that a conventional digital camera in auto mode would typically not guarantee such results.
Light painting mode
Chen described the Huawei P10 Plus' light painting mode, which comes with four sub-modes, as 'amazing'. The light trails effect can be achieved with a conventional digital camera, but can only be reviewed after the entire light painting sequence is completed, whereas the smartphone will show the action in real time. The Huawei P10 Plus also handles the light affecting the image differently. A conventional digital camera would absorb more light from brighter areas over a long exposure, potentially overexposing brighter areas in a picture, whereas the smartphone is less sensitive to bright areas which are stationary, resulting in a darker background that shows off the light trails beautifully.
The smartphone is also capable of producing images which can be edited with a high degree of flexibility. Chen explained that with the technology used today, a picture with more neutral parameters can be adjusted upwards or downwards easily, whereas a picture with parameters already skewed towards the high or low end cannot be adjusted as much towards the middle.
The Huawei P10 Plus features the Leica Dual Camera 2.0 Pro Edition, which carries two SUMMILUX-H lenses with a larger aperture (f/1.8) as well as 20 megapixel and 12 megapixel sensors. The collaboration with Leica has enabled 4K-resolution images, excellent optical image stabilisation, as well as superior low-light photography.
Huawei has also added 3D facial detection, dynamic illumination, and natural portrait enhancements to the bundled software.
The two challenges with phones, storage and battery life, are not an issue with the Huawei P10 Plus, Chen said. The phone comes with 128 GB of internal memory that is expandable with another 256 GB with a micro SD card, and has lasted through six hours of photography in his experience.
Chen suggests getting a rubber/foam lined tripod adapter to secure the phone to a tripod, as well as a Manfrotto mini table top tripod which will fit a wide range of situations.
"The biggest advantage your phone used to have over the camera was the social connectivity but now you're able to combine both," Chen summarised. "What is attractive to me for the Huawei P10 Plus is the big-camera functionality, the ability to have the fine controls and then you have the social linkage, so it's become one-stop. You don't need separate devices."
|Source: Huawei. This infographic shows how the Huawei P10 Plus is like carrying a studio in your pocket.|
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*Bokeh refers to the out-of-focus backgrounds in pictures where a subject in clear focus in the foreground. The most desired type of bokeh is 'soft bokeh' where objects in the background have soft, blurred edges. 'Hard bokeh' on the other hand describes situations where objects in the background are blurred, but still retain crisp outlines which distract the eye.