Kudos for Huawei
Now let me start with a full disclosure.
I’m in no way associated with Huawei, in fact I’ve tried to contact them a few times in the past to do something for them with the P20Pro and although my contact was very nice it actually always stranded where it does with most big companies…. no real results. That doesn’t take away that from the moment I used my P20 pro I was sold, finally a camera that can make calls too (and run apps). Maybe a bit of back history, as many creatives I always was a huge Apple fan boy and although I don’t own any Apple products anymore myself I still like the company and it’s “old” imago, so I guess I’ll always be a little bit of a fanboy. My first non Apple phone was a Samsung Note8 and although I like Android I never really 100% connected to the phone, battery life was nothing I could work with (recharging at least once a day) and the camera…. well let me put it this way.
Every time an new iPhone was released there was this amazing, magical, amazing, magical etc. keynote about how much better the camera was, and in all honesty I’m not a consumer, I can label myself (I think) as a relatively knowledgeable photographer. And when I compared cameras I always saw hardly any difference, of course there was a little boost in the forward direction, but to call it amazing or magical would be absolutely ridiculous. Still using the Note8 I saw an advert for the P20 pro which would redefine photography… ok I’ve heard that before LOL, sure, but my interest was peaked non the less, mostly because what Huawei was telling was actually very true, don’t cram more megapixels on the same sensor but make the sensor bigger…. and that is 100% true. When you make a sensor bigger you can keep the same amount of pixels and get more light and dynamic range, or you could easily double the amount of pixels on double the sensor size and still get a lot more light and dynamic range with for example the new mobile Sony sensors (I had a bit of inside information (slightly confirmed idea) on what they were using to be fair).
So I ordered a P20 pro at an online retailer with a 30 day money back guarantee, in 100% confidence I would send it back, so I kept everything nicely packaged and installed it as a new phone, never having the intention to keep this phone. After a few moments it already became a bit clear that indeed this camera was special and long story short… I sold my note8 and kept the P20 pro.
Fast forward to the P30 pro.
Faster, now also stabilized 4K video, dual view (to be released soon), VLOG (create vlogs from highlights, not something I will do a lot but still its cool to have during trips and wanting to get something out really fast as a teaser) and now also a wide angle with enough MP (20), a better selfie cam (yep we sometimes use that too and with 32MP you can finally see if I shaved or not) and the promise of even better performance in the dark without using nightmode. Now this last one is why I actually always upgrade my phones, I take a lot behind the scenes images mostly to show you guys what we do or send to manufacturers who support our work and that’s where all cameras struggle let alone phones, and I’m not going to tell you the P30 Pro solves this, no way, but it’s a step up from the P20 Pro and combined with nightmode (still think that is sick) you get something I can use and actually get results I’m not afraid of to share with you guys.
Much to my horror however the images that came out of the P30 Pro were stunning on all settings, except the 40MP main sensor in RAW, due to the new sensor design RYYB instead of RGB it messed up the color a lot. I looked for every review and no-one mentioned this (do take note this is important). I wrote two articles on this issue on my blog :
Remember when I said that no-one noticed this?
This is why I actually wrote the following article
Long story short.
We live in an online society, you can try to deny it, but it’s true, just look at your kids or friends during a party, instead of interacting with each other you see them probably spend more time on a phone. This also means that we live in an age where there is an overload of social media content, to stand out you have a few choices.
- Stun people with your work
Almost impossible because to stand out between a gazillion images/video/articles uploaded every day it’s almost like being the nicest tree in the forest but nobody will ever see you because well…. there are so many trees.
- Shout louder than anyone else
And it seems we are in that stage at the moment, if you scream loud enough in the end people will notice you. This leads to click-bait, reviews that are done incorrect (again you can’t do a review in a day, or a week) so we end up with “characters” online that scream and shout and often don’t even know what they are screaming about.
The problem with number 2 is that inadvertently you are hurting the companies from which you review gear, and this works both ways. If I as an “influencer” tell you something is amazing and you buy it to find out that it’s a piece of junk you will probably blame the company and not the “influencer” and as a result in essence the “influencer” is actually hurting the companies they “work” for.
This is why in reviews I’m never 100% positive, let’s be honest it’s fricking impossible to create anything that’s 100% perfect (except of course chocolate but that’s magical and amazing), and I did the same thing when I got my P30 pro I immediately posted about the problems in RAW/DNG but also told you guys that even with that issue I would run out and get one because it’s an amazing phone/camera.
Now of course I did contact Huawei, I know a guy via social media that works at the main office and I did address my findings with him actually counting on the fact that I probably would get a reply back in the trend of “thanks for your concern, we didn’t hear anything about this before, please try reinstalling your device” and let’s be honest this is what you hear from 99% of the companies, especially the larger companies. Normally it will take months, and in most cases until the next phone is released before something is solved. Do remember that this is a very specific problem, the phone/camera itself works like a charm as long as you don’t shoot RAW/DNG in the main 40MP setting, which I think hardly anyone does, so on a scale of 1-100 this might be alarm mode 10 or below for most. Meaning I didn’t really expect Huawei to solve this soon, let alone look at it because I told them, and seeing no other reviewers picked this up I was not in the opinion we would see a solution. However I did send them the article about what was going on (probably, I’m not a tech) and how to “probably” solve it, I also offered my colorprofiles for free to you guys for both lightroom and ICC based converters, meaning everyone could use the RAW/DNG files on the desktop, and this solved 99% of the problems for me, as soon as you set a profile in Lightroom or Capture one, the next image from that camera will use that profile so from there on out it’s “easy peasy” and for me that was it, it was now workable and although I would love to be able to edit RAWs with snapsneed or Lightroom CC it’s not a big deal, as long as it works on the desktop I’m fine.
Much to my surprise I just hang up the phone after a call from Huawei.
And ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls …. and everything in between (hey we live in 2019) they solved it.
Yes you read that correctly, they solved it.
I can’t tell you how surprised I’m actually that it went that fast. With a company that’s a lot smaller you would expect something like this to take a short time but with a mega company like Huawei I actually counted on several months before they would actually look at it, or maybe even after the P40 Pro was released.
Now I’m not allowed to give you a release date yet, but it will be solved by a firmware upgrade (so you don’t have to send in your phone) and it will be soon. The new firmware is being rolled out now (153, which I still haven’t got in the Netherlands) so don’t expect that one to solve it when it hits your phone but it’s coming.
So why this article?
is it to please Huawei?
No way, I don’t post anything to please anyone. But the reason I’ve been giving so much attention to social media lately and the role of “influencers” is because I see a lot of brand bashing, and yeah I also sometimes post something that I find stupid from brand X or Y, but I will never bash a brand just to get views, I see it more as a way to get a discussion started about things that people might not think about. A good example is for example a recent post I made about a brand that omitted the center contact on the hot shoe in their new camera, meaning it’s useless in almost every studio in the world, it’s something that people need to know before they buy it, and not just for that camera/brand but I hope people have read it and realize how important that contact is and they will now take extra notice when they buy a camera. In essence one could label it “brand bashing” but the intention is education/realization and not hurting a brand although sometimes unintentionally it can happen.
This firmware bug was something for me personally that I could have used for a lot of click-bait articles especially because a lot of people didn’t pick this up, however I strongly believe that it’s much better to be fair and contact a company to reach out and offer your help, I always tell people “bugs can become hugs”.
Every piece of kit on the market is a combination of hardware and software and humans created this, with today’s cutting edge technology and stiff competition it’s important to get stuff out there as soon as possible, and this means we as the users are somethings literally “guinea pigs” meaning the bugs that are still hidden somewhere are solved as the product evolves and get’s more mature. I’m very active as a beta tester for some software/hardware companies and can tell you that even gold master releases are sometimes released including bugs that will be solved within 1-2 weeks after release via an update, you might say “wait for another 1-2 weeks” but that’s simply not how it works, and I fully understand that and I think if you’re not involved in this process it’s hard to grasp but trust me, everything you use and think is bug free it littered with bugs, patches etc. welcome to the real world.
The fact that I write this article is because I do feel that a lot of people did read about this and were holding back on purchasing the P30 Pro, from the start I did mention that this was not necessary because I got it working on the desktop (this is also why I gave away the profiles away for free) and seeing that the JPGs were fine it had to be something in the firmware, I also know my article was linked to several times on forums and even adverts from Huawei by consumers so that’s why I asked Huawei if I could let you guys know in advance that a solution was coming.
Huawei did not ask me to make this public, I asked them if I was allowed to do this, this is also why I can’t yet give you a release date for the update.
Be nice online, don’t use bugs or things that can be solved, or expected for a certain price point to bash or hurt a company. It might get you some followers in the end and your channel might explode by people going for that instant sensation, but in the end it’s about building trust, and that trust goes both ways to you the “followers” (Oh I hate that word) but also towards the companies you mention.
In the past I could have never imagined to switch from Apple to PC.
People often accused me of being an Apple fan boy, my answer was always the same “yes I love Apple, but if there is something better, trust me I’ll switch in a heartbeat, it’s just gear that makes my work more easy”.
Social media is awesome, social media is amazingly/magically powerful.
Use it wisely, point out bugs to companies and as long as you do it in a fair way I’m pretty sure companies will listen, IF they take their customers seriously, if they don’t after repeatedly pointing out bugs from many sides…… at that point be a bit more persuasive.
I still love the saying “with great power, comes great responsibility”
Not saying I have that power, I’m just a photographer that loves to share his work and ideas with you guys, and if my channel grows that’s awesome but I will not buy followers or use bugs to get click-bait.
I started this article just to let you guys know Huawei called me to say they solved it, and see what it brought me. Hope you guys liked the read. Trust me I’ll try to keep the social media articles to a minimum from now on (it’s just something that fascinates me sometimes).