Huawei have always looked to be innovative with their smartphone cameras, witness their partnership with Leica and being the first to introduce a periscope lens into a smartphone. So, when they announce a new flagship range, as they did recently with the P40, the cameras are always worth a closer look.
There are 3 models in the range the P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro+, with the Pro+ costing nearly double the base P40.
Huawei P40 cameras
The entry level model has a triple lens rear array. Like most handsets in 2020, these are arranged in a black rectangular frame at the top left of the back. They consist of the main 50MP f/1.9, 23mm wide with omnidirectional PDAF and OIS, an 8MP f/2.4, 80mm telephoto with PDAF, OIS and 3X optical zoom and finally a 16MP f/2.2, 17mm ultrawide with auto focus.
As is usual with Huawei flagships this is a Leica camera setup. The main camera has improved autofocus with increased response to horizontal details, making autofocusing better in low light. The other 2 cameras look to be the same as in the P30. The camera app has enhanced Master AI which will recognise and tune the settings for up to 1500 different types of scene.
The images from the main camera are outstanding, with great dynamic range, no visible noise and good colours. At night, the shots it produces are class leading. The telephoto camera offers a 5X hybrid zoom to complement the 3X optical and the pictures from this are vey good as well. Finally, the ultrawide camera also delivers great shots, sharp at the centre and soft at the corners (due to the distortion correction).
Videos can be shot by the rear array at 4K, 1080p and 720p, speeds ranging from 30fps to 960fps depending on which lens and resolution you choose.
Finally, onto the front. The P40, like its bigger brothers, has a dual camera, located horizontally in a pill-shaped cut-out at the top left. These consist of a 32MP f/2.0 26mm wide main lens and an infrared TOF 3D biometric sensor. This setup again produces very good images.
Huawei P40 Pro cameras
The P40 pro has a quad camera array setup in the same size black rectangular frame of the P40. It swaps the telephoto for a periscope lens and adds a TOF camera. Let’s have a look at the details. The main camera is the same as on the P40 and as discussed above, produces excellent and class leading images.
The other cameras are, a 12MP f/3.4, 125mm periscope telephoto with PDAF, OIS and 5X optical zoom, a 40MP f/1.8, 18mm ultrawide with PDAF and TOF 3D camera for improving depth measurement. The images produced by the 5X telephoto lens are exceptional - sharp, free of noise and great dynamic range. As are those taken by the ultrawide lens, which are class leading according to GSMARENA. The TOF camera is designed to speed up autofocus and improve subject separation.
On the camera app for the P40 Pro (and the p40 Pro+) is a new feature called Golden Snap. This is an AI suggestion in the gallery for when your main photo is, say blurry.
There are dual selfie cameras, the TOF being the same as the P40, but the main one is now a 32MP f/2.2, 26mm wide camera with autofocus.
Huawei P40 Pro+ cameras
Going one better than the P40 Pro, the plus has 5 cameras in the rear array. These are: the same main lens as the P40 and P40 Pro, an 8MP f/4.4, 240mm periscope telephoto with PDAF, OIS and an incredible 10X optical zoom, an 8MP f/2.4, 80mm telephoto with PDAF, OIS and 3X optical zoom, 40MP f/1.8, 18mm ultrawide with PDAF and a TOF 3D lens like the Pro. The two telephotos take care of both short and long-range zooming. Both produce excellent images, to match that of the rest of the array.
Finally, the selfie setup is the same as on the Pro.
So, there you have it. There is no doubt that all the P40 camera setups will give you great photos in all light conditions. But it is the Penta combination of the P40 Pro+ that stands out, the only thing is you could almost buy two P40’s for the same price. If you are happy to overlook the lack of Google Play services on all these phones, they offer excellent cameras that hold their own against the likes of Apple and Samsung.