Zoom Zoom: Testing 10x Hybrid Zoom in Dublin with the Huawei P30 Pro and Oppo Reno 10x Zoomby Ian Cutress on May 22, 2019 10:30 AM EST
Ultimately my main use for zoom in the future is going to be at press events for AnandTech, just in case I don’t manage to get my usual front row seat. In those instances, where it is always a rush to get the photo and do the live blog, having presets for the zoom features is critical.
In this case, the Reno wins a point by virtue of having a 2x zoom preset. I should assume that adding a preset could be a simple addition for the Huawei device, or in fact, they could allow users to have custom zoom level presets in future. This would be ideal. But the large jump from 1x to 5x on the P30 Pro isn’t as seamless as perhaps Huawei would like it to be. Nonetheless, for me, any phone with any zoom feature in future should have a series of presets.
At a distance, in auto mode, the P30 Pro does make anything not in direct light a little darker than I would have liked. This isn’t a critical issue, given that a user can apply post processing, but ultimately I suspect only a few will. The Reno does this a little better, however the Reno certainly has difficulties in its 10x hybrid mode. A number of times we saw the images come out a little blurry, however text was easier to read compared to the P30 Pro. I’m not sure if this is a great trade off, however we were told by Oppo that the Reno 10x Zoom will be coming thick and fast with camera updates, so that may change in the future.
In the grand scheme of things, this is a tough comparison. The Reno has the slightly better interface, and the 6x optical zoom does have benefits over the 5x optical zoom in the P30 Pro. However, Huawei’s 10x mode is certainly better than Oppo’s, and it’s a mix up on which one is better with processing based on the situation of the photo at hand. One of the key differences here is going to be price, and the Oppo is nearly 30% cheaper than the Huawei P30 Pro. If one of the next battlefields of the smartphone industry is zoom cameras, then I hope these make their way into the more mainstream soon. We’re already seeing upper-mainstream phones come out with 3x optical / 5x hybrid zooms, and it will be interesting to see how the software adapts to improve the hybrid zoom modes.