Everyone in the modern age is a photographer. Once the domain of amateur chemists who spent their time puttering around darkened rooms trying not to blow the place up, the advent of digital photography opened the activity to more of the world. Adding digital cameras to smartphones just took the number of photographers on the planet into the stratosphere.
In a world where there’s a camera in every pocket, do you even need a DSLR? The answer to that is usually ‘No’, especially if you’re running with some high-end smartphone hardware. But those rocking a budget phone may have found themselves eying interchangeable lenses and bulky bags, flashes and tripods. Well, not if Huawei’s P40 lite has anything to say about it.
The Big Four
Unlike other smartphones at the Huawei P40 lite’s price point, there’s weighty enough camera hardware included with the handset to make interchangeable-lens cameras very nervous indeed. Huawei’s quad-camera arrangement sees to it that you’ve got all the tools you need to capture anything that comes across your path.
It all starts with the large 48MP main sensor, Huawei’s high resolution photographic crown jewel. This is a versatile sensor capable of capturing images in detail, while its software and AI assistance provides some extraordinary additional functions in conjunction with Huawei’s three other sensors. They combine to provide multi-sensor shots that preserve details while intelligently stitching together everything the P40 lite’s cameras can see.
Close-up on wide
There are two major secondaries in this quartet, an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 2MP macro lens that pair with the last (but not least) contender – a 2MP bokeh sensor which provides that elegantly-softened background you used to have to pay substantial amounts of cash to get someone else to figure out for you.
The ultra-wide gives stuck-at-home snappers the option to put more width into their shots than ever before, while the 40mm macro lens does the complete opposite. Get up close and personal, while remaining detailed, for intricate photography that used to only be possible with a high-end, dedicated bit of camera hardware. Best of all, you don’t really need much skill to coax the best out of the P40 lite’s cameras – Huawei’s AI is always in the back-end, reducing distortion and enhancing details.
Eyes in the dark
The skilful quartet have a few awesome talents at their disposal as well. Prime among these is low-light ability. This is a little something Huawei called Super Night Mode, a feature that leverages that 48MP 1/2in sensor’s f/1.8 aperture and proprietary 4-in-1 Light Fusion tech to increase pixel size. Translation? More light to make photos with, even in darker areas where you’d expect images to be nigh-on impossible. There are even dedicated night sky features, if you’re the type to spend more of your time outside at night looking up.
Taking on the big boys
The P40 lite packs the sort of camera you’d find in a smartphone three times as costly as the hardware Huawei is peddling. Four varied cameras, a large megapixel count and the software smarts to make sure that all of it works in concert to deliver the sort of photography you’d expect from a flagship smartphone at budget handset prices? That’s a recipe for disaster for the competition, who are still making users pay a premium for top-flight photography tech. But it’s a dream come true for any of Huawei’s customers and loyal fans, who will find themselves wielding the sort of camera tech that pros are jealous of. That sort of this doesn’t come cheap. Or, at least, it never used to.