Huawei P30 Pro vs Oppo Reno 10x Zoom: Zoom Lens Camera Shootout


When Huawei introduced its innovative periscope zoom lens on the P30 Pro, it opened up a whole new world of photographic opportunity on a smartphone. Now, Oppo has come along to challenge it with the Reno 10x Zoom, and the clue is in the name as to where it’s taking on Huawei.

Both these phones use similar periscope zoom systems to take hybrid 10x photos. Is one better than the other? I attended two events where a zoom lens would come in handy to try them out, plus took photos with the wide-angle lens, and the phone’s respective Night modes too.

This isn’t your regular camera shootout. It’s zoom mode against zoom mode, with some special features used to mix it up. Let’s see which is worthy of an up-close-and-personal ownership experience.

The cameras

huawei p30 pro vs oppo reno 10x zoom camera shootout cameras
Andy Boxall

How similar are the two cameras? The Huawei P30 Pro has three lenses and a time-of-flight sensor on the back. The main f/1.6 aperture lens has 40 megapixels and optical image stabilization (OIS), the wide-angle lens has 20 megapixels and an f/2.3 aperture, and finally the telephoto lens has 8 megapixels and an f/3.4 aperture and OIS.

The periscope zoom lens provides both 5x optical zoom and a 10x hybrid zoom feature, and can be manually adjusted in the camera app for more precise control. Results can vary when you do this, so for the test we stuck to the included options.

Oppo has also put three camera lenses on the back of the Reno 10x Zoom. The main 48-megapixel camera has an f/1.7 aperture and OIS, and is joined by an 8-megapixel, f/2.2 aperture ultra-wide lens, and a 13-megapixel, f/3.0 telephoto lens. Oppo provides a 10x hybrid zoom, plus a 6x hybrid zoom. At 5x it’s optical, but Oppo recommends using its software to enhance the photos a little, therefore offering a 6x standard setting in the camera app.

Despite the difference between the two for this setting, it’s the one both manufacturers recommend, so we took photos using 5x on the P30 Pro, and 6x on the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom.

Disclaimer

We’re not running a scientific test here. This is a real-world demonstration of how both cameras perform in very specific areas — zoom, wide-angle, and night mode. These are major selling points for both cameras, and both are the only two phones available today to offer a 10x hybrid zoom feature.

Because of the nature of the environments, not every picture is identical. It was impossible to capture the same moving car in the same position more than once at Goodwood Festival of Speed, and the same for performers at Japan Expo. However, my own position didn’t change, and for the most part neither did the lighting or overall environment. Photos were viewed on a large, calibrated monitor before assessing them.

A zoom feature is useless if the pictures look bad. I wanted detail, as the whole point of an optical or hybrid zoom is to avoid a pixelated mess. Shareable photos need detail, color, and sharpness. The wide-angle and night mode shots were judged using similar criteria, along with other more traditional aspects like color balance, saturation, and exposure.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the photos.

Wing Tip

It’s pretty obvious where I was when this photo was taken, and approximately how far away the subject was too. The upturned wing tip on my Vueling Airbus A320 plane to Paris was taken with a 10x zoom, and although the flight was smooth it’s still a tough job to capture a good picture in anything that’s moving around.

My photo taken with the Huawei P30 Pro managed to capture another plane in superb detail, and still maintain incredible sharpness — zoom in and look at the light at the base of the tip, for example — a beautiful blue sky, and a deep yellow color on the wing. The metal has texture, and looks great.

The Reno’s photo is exposed differently, lessening the shadows and washing out the sky a little, while the silver metal on the wing does have some great reflections and depth. Zoom in and the edges are not as sharp as the P30 Pro’s photo. It’s still good, at first glance at least, but cannot beat the P30 Pro here.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro

Plane tails

After landing, I took this shot of other planes on the tarmac from some distance away, while waiting to disembark. This is a 10x zoom photo, taken through a window when the plane had stopped moving.

It’s a similar situation to the wing tip photo, where the P30 Pro excels in sharpness and detail, while the Reno 10x Zoom is blurry and less defined. The orange and reds aren’t as deliciously bright, but the sky is a more realistic color. This was mid-afternoon on a very sunny day, so neither really captured the sky’s look.

The P30 Pro’s picture is superb, all apart from the sky, which is a little too grey and dark and some slightly too dark shadows. The colors are striking, and all the text is pin sharp. Crucially, between the two I’d share this one without any edits if I had to, while the Reno’s photo immediately looks like it needs some work.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro

Concorde

On the outskirts of Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris is an old Concorde jet in Air France livery. I took these photos at 10:20 p.m., when it was getting dark, using Night mode on both phones. This was one of the hardest photos to judge, as I prefer the look of the Reno 10x Zoom’s shot, which has captured the sunset and then let it reflect off the bottom of the plane for an attractive, atmospheric shot.

However, zoom in and the image is lacking in detail, which is starkly displayed when compared to the more accurately colored P30 Pro photo. The landing gear and the shrouding around the engines overflows with mechanical detail, and the white paintwork is how it appeared to my eye at the time. While the Reno’s photo is more pleasing to my eye, the P30 Pro’s massive technical advantage makes it impossible to ignore.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro

Hotel

This is the outside seating area of the CitizenM hotel near the Charles de Gualle airport, and a photo taken using Night mode at 10:45 p.m.. Both photos are great, but the Huawei P30 Pro’s astonishing ability to not only draw in a massive amount of light, but also to balance colors so perfectly, really shines through.

The Reno 10x Zoom’s photo has a yellow tint, commonly seen on photos taken in lowlight outside, which creeps in all around the red chairs, and then affects the color of the grey paving. The P30 Pro’s photo gets all these colors right, minimizes the yellow, and then adds more detail to the building and sky in the background too. Finally, zoom in on the P30 Pro’s photo and you can see more detail on the artificial grass under the chairs than in the Reno’s photo.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro

Stage performances

I attended Japan Expo in Paris, and there was ample opportunity to try out the zoom features in order to get closer photos of performers on stage, something that phones without long zoom lenses cannot capture. Idol group We=Mukashibanashi had a Q&A after their performance, at which time these shots were taken. There was a large video screen behind them which made it even more challenging for the camera.

Multiple shots were taken, and these were the “best” with at least one of the members facing the camera. It wasn’t possible to get the ideal shot of everyone looking in one direction with their eyes open, with both phones. However, the differences between the photos are obvious. This time, the shots were taken with 5x zoom on the Huawei P30 Pro and 6x zoom on the Reno, as these are the standard mid-level zoom recommendations in the camera app.

The P30 Pro completely blows the Reno’s photo away. The skin tones and facial detail is superb and can immediately be seen. Zoom in on member Maki’s red dress and there is intricacy and texture missing from the Reno’s photo, which is far more blurred than it should be, even where no-one is moving.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro

Lego diorama

This static display was full of tiny details that were difficult to see, even standing right next to it, due to the size and depth. How did the two cameras cope with zooming in on the deck of the central pirate ship? A standard image taken with the same camera accompanies each zoom photo for some context.

Look at the zoomed out photos to see how each camera handles color differently. The blue is prioritized by the Huawei camera, while the green is more vibrant in the Reno’s photo. There’s a higher degree of saturation in the Reno’s photo too, while the P30 Pro’s picture is more subtle.

The zoom photo was taken at 10x, and neither did a great job of focusing, potentially because of the tiny elements and the crowded space. The P30 Pro’s photo has more natural colors, while the Reno is more vibrant. The blue background seals the win for the Reno here, as it has more detail, although neither performed very well.

Winner: Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

Supercar Paddock

After returning from Paris, it was off to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and more opportunities to try out the zoom lenses. However, first the wide-angle camera was used to capture the Supercar Paddock as the cars lined up to take to the track. The difference between the 20-megapixel P30 Pro lens and the Oppo’s 8-megapixel lens is illustrated very well here.

The P30 Pro’s photo immediately has more color, vibrancy, and detail than the Reno’s shot; but zoom in and the difference is immense. Up close, the Reno’s photo lacks definition and quickly pixelates. The P30 Pro’s photo could easily be cropped down and work as a standalone picture, it’s so full of detail. A very easy win for the P30 Pro here.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro

Porsche dashboard

While in the Supercar Paddock, I took this 10x zoom shot of a Porsche interior, when the car was on the opposite side of the track to me. Unlike other zoom shots shown here at this point, this was the first taken outside, and in excellent conditions, as you can see from the wide-angle shot above.

The detail wins out here, and the P30 Pro’s photo has plenty of it compared to the more blurred Reno shot. The stitching on the steering wheel is beautifully captured, the text on the dashboard pin sharp, and the deep blacks make it difficult to tell this is a zoom photo. The Reno’s picture looks like a zoomed in picture, for all the wrong reasons.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro

Cars out on track

Here’s a real challenge — capturing fast moving vehicles on track at 5x and 6x zoom. I’ve included a photo here to show how far away I was from the track, to give some context to the zoomed in photos. To capture each photo I tracked the cars as they zipped past, taking several images (not in Burst mode) and choosing the best. The Oppo Reno had a noticeable faster shutter, while the P30 Pro had a longer processing time which caused me to miss some shots.

While the P30 Pro has dominated the test so far, the Oppo Reno performed superbly here, taking photos that are much better than the Huawei’s efforts. The Huawei shot is the only one of about 20 that’s not blurred, while the Reno’s success rate was much higher, with almost all the shots being usable. The Reno’s image has more natural colors, more detail, and much less blur.

Winner: Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

Stunt bikes

Another 6x zoom photo, and again with fast moving objects, requiring a speedy shutter and quick software. The Oppo Reno was the faster of the two, and took more shots that actually had the bike in them, while the P30 Pro took more shots of the mound, after the bike had disappeared from the frame.

While both of these photos would need to be cropped down before sharing, it would be difficult to capture either with almost any other smartphone camera. Zoom in on the bike and rider and there is little to choose between the two images. Zoom out, and the P30 Pro’s colors are accurate to what I saw, plus there is more detail in the soil and the trees.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro

Bentley bokeh

Finally, a quick test of the portrait and aperture modes. The P30 Pro has a portrait and an aperture mode, and the latter was used here. The Reno has a single portrait mode. Technically, the P30 Pro’s photo is superior, with a strong natural look and masses of detail. However, the Reno’s colors are glorious, especially with the reflection of the sky in the chrome. Edge detection isn’t great, with a part of the tree in the background bleeding into the tip of the flying B.

I’d share the Reno’s photo without editing, but the P30 Pro’s photo would likely turn out better after some work.

Winner: Draw

Conclusion

Eight wins for the Huawei P30 Pro and a single draw easily secures it a victory, compared to two wins and a draw for the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom. The test demonstrates the massive amount of detail the Huawei camera provides, even zoomed in, and how much better the wide-angle camera is than the Reno’s.

Yes, you’ll pay a little more for the Huawei P30 Pro — it’s 900 British pounds (about $1,125) compared to the 700 British pounds ($825) for the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom — but if your buying decision is based around using the versatile camera to its fullest, the additional money is well spent on the Huawei phone.






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