My Photography Experience with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Updated: Nov 3, 2020
It took me a really long time to finally decide on a phone that is worth owning, photography-wise. Throughout the past few years, many phones have been launched and have offered really promising features for photography enthusiasts and serious photographers. However, no phone has drawn my attention until the Huawei Mate 20 Pro was launched, and for good reasons!
Regardless of the Pro Mode that is offered by the Mate 20 Pro, its RAW support and its luring 40 megapixels, the first and foremost feature that attracted me to this phone was the ability to shoot long exposure images without the need to use any filters. Those who shoot cityscapes and landscapes know very well how expensive it is to buy filters and use them on DSLRs and professional cameras. However, the Silky Water mode has made that possible by using a certain algorithm that seamlessly blends images in a way that does not over-expose them at day time. Here are a few examples:
Some of the drawbacks of the Silky Water mode include no RAW support, its small resolution (maximum of 10 megapixels), and its inability to shoot at night since the image will be severely under exposed. However, the best time to use it is at day, and you can shoot exposures as long as you want.
Night Mode - Another Strong Feature
The first thing I tested after I got the Huawei Mate 20 Pro was the Night Mode, and I was truly blown away by its sharpness and incredible details. After testing the Night Mode in many places and situations, I think it can showcase amazing details that even some DSLRs cannot do without overexposing the image. Here are some examples:
Just like the Silky Water mode, the Night Mode has its own drawbacks as well, including its low resolution (maximum of 10 megapixels), and no RAW support.
In order to get clean and wonderful night shots on this phone, it is better to use a tripod and a base 100 ISO, while leaving the shutter on AUTO. I have tried shooting night images hand-held, but many images can get really noisy because of the higher ISO value.
One thing I noticed about the Night Mode is that it cannot register light trails for some reason. Light trails can add a beautiful touch to night images, so it is better to use the Pro Mode for this to happen.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro offers many other features and modes for photography and videography, including Aperture, Portrait, Pro, Video and others. I have not used those extensively as I have been mainly focused on using the Silky Water Mode and the Night Mode.
What I also like about the phone is its massive battery that enables me to shoot images all day long without worrying about the phone dying at the end. In addition, I love using the wide angle lens in my cityscape and landscape shots, even though it causes some distortions at the edges, but this can be fixed with Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.
Areas for Improvement
I think the Huawei Mate 20 Pro can be greatly improved in terms of photography if RAW support is provided to other modes and if the resolution is bumped up from mere 10 megapixels (apart from the Pro mode that offers 40 and 20 megapixels, depending on the lens). These improvements will significantly enhance image quality.
This is by no means a review of the phone. You can find so many reviewers on YouTube who provide extensive tech details and comparisons. However, this blog post reflects my personal experience with the phone in terms of photography.
Let me know what you think in the comment section!