/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

Shooting London with Huawei P20 Pro's three cameras

How do three cameras help in snapping cool urban shots of one of the world's busiest cities? We find out.

andrewhoyleheadshot2013-2.jpg
Andrew Hoyle
p20-tomatoes
1 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Huawei P20 Pro has not one but three cameras on the back. The company claims this gives sharper, richer shots in daylight and much better images when the light goes down.

I took this new flagship across London to see what I could get from it.

I started in Borough Market near London Bridge. The colours of these vegetables are vibrant, without being overpowering or looking unnatural.

p20-cauliflower
2 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The rich pink of the rhubarb looks great here.

p20-garlic
3 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

And there's tons of detail on these garlic bulbs, making the shot look pin sharp.

p20-5x-zoom-artichoke
4 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There's a combined optical and digital zoom function which gives 5x magnification. It certainly helped me get a much closer view on this sign, but the quality has noticeably dropped.

p20-doughnuts
5 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Focus, exposure, colours -- all spot on on this shot of these amazing doughnuts. Which were, by the way, delicious.

p20-aperture-flowers
6 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

I attempted to use the aperture mode, which aims to simulate the bokeh you'd get from a real DSLR by blurring the background. Unfortunately, the phone failed to achieve a proper focus on the flower, giving a blurry look to the whole scene.

p20-aperture-paint
7 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

On this paint can however, it's another story. I love how I was able to focus on the can in the foreground, giving a lovely out of focus look to the wall of graffiti in the background.

p20-shard
8 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

This shot of the Shard building is brilliantly exposed.

p20-graffiti
9 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Tons of detail here.

p20graffiti-zoom
10 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Using the 3x optical zoom only, I could get closer in on this guy planning out a new street art mural.

p20-low-light-graffiti-wall
11 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Despite being in a low-lit tunnel, this shot is very well exposed, with accurate colours and very little image noise.

p20-aperture-bird
12 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The aperture mode didn't work well on this bird picture. I hoped to keep the bird in sharp focus with the city blurred in the background. Instead, it's all a bit messy.

p20-coffee
13 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

No journey around London would be complete without a coffee stop.

p20-salt
14 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The light was much lower in this part of Borough Market, but this stall of different-flavoured salts looks well exposed.

p20-manual-tube
15 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

I used the phone's manual mode to slow down the shutter speed, giving a really cool blur effect to the tube train speeding past.

p20-old-street
16 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

I like the balance of exposure the P20 achieved between the bright sky and the shadowy walls.

p20-maccheese
17 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Good exposure and sharp focus. Well played.

p20-night-street
18 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

At night, the phone really performs. A 'night mode' takes a series of shots over a several second period and, using the AI skills of the Kirin 970 processor, stitches the shots together to increase the exposure but also reduce the blur from your hands.

It's worked incredibly well here, with this dark street looking well lit. 

p20-low-light-tunnel-graffiti
19 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Back in the graffiti tunnels, the night mode again performed well. The wall art is clearly visible, while the colours remain vibrant and punchy.

p20-night-lloyds
20 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Looking up at the Lloyds building, I'm extremely impressed by how bright the image is, despite it being at night. Details remain crisp too, with no noticeable image noise.

p20-night-bus
21 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Sometimes the night mode does give a dramatic 'HDR' look to images which not everyone will appreciate. For this shot however, I think it makes this urban scene look more punchy and gritty.

p20-night-entrance
22 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Another night-time building shot. Well exposed and pin-sharp. 

p20-selfie-dark-flash
23 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There's no night mode on the front camera, but the screen will turn white to act as a flash, which has helped light me up in this dark bar.

p20-selfie-dark-noflash
24 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Without the flash, this selfie is pretty much what I'd expect from any phone -- a bit dark, with mushy details thanks to image noise.

p20-espresso-bar
25 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Using the night mode, the phone's again snagged a photo that's well exposed, even managing to keep the bright neon sign under control against the much darker surroundings.

p20-low-light-chocolate
26 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Huge blocks of raw chocolate in a night-time cocoa bar? Of course I'll take a photo. 

p20-inside-night
27 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The white balance is spot on in this covered market at night.

p20-pizza-rossa
28 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Night mode has again delivered a very 'HDR-style' shot by brightening the shadows on the buildings but keeping the brighter lights of the alleyway from blowing out. 

p20-bar-table
29 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Inside a dark bar. I love the almost 'film noir' look the phone has achieved here. Notice again how there's detail in the shadows, and the bright neon signs are perfectly exposed. 

p20-night-bricklane
30 of 30 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

If an object or person moves too quickly during a night mode shot, it will result in blurring. In this case, I think it adds to the shot, giving a real sense of motion from the car.

More Galleries

2023 Toyota Sequoia debuts bold new look

More Galleries

2023 Toyota Sequoia debuts bold new look

57 Photos
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is ready to catch big air

More Galleries

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is ready to catch big air

55 Photos
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is one cute ute

More Galleries

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is one cute ute

38 Photos
2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

More Galleries

2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

64 Photos
The best Nintendo Switch games to play right now

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play right now

41 Photos
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor: My, what big everything you have

More Galleries

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor: My, what big everything you have

75 Photos
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class gains S-Class tech and swagger

More Galleries

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class gains S-Class tech and swagger

49 Photos