Question

Huawei P30 PRO Camera2.api implementation


Userlevel 1
Hi there,

I am, or was a proud owner of a Huawei P30 pro, i purchased this device with the intent to use it for on-the-go photography and filmmaking.
I am loving the in-built camera app when taking photos and the results I am getting are quite beautiful. Although, the lack of manual controls within the video mode is rather displeasing. To solve this issue I have purcahsed the FilmicPro app under the impression that this would provide me with all the settings i need. HOWEVER, it turns out that Huawei are blocking apps from accessing the Camera2.API (the controller for all settings such as picture style, resolution and bitrate (VERY important).
I have read on this forum that there will be an update coming to the camera within the month that will bring improvements. Will this update be granting third party apps to the camera2.api? I am praying that it will because I have purchased this phone with the intent of creating beautiful videos, but the footage I am achieving is lower quality than my 2014 SAMSUNG Note 4.

Considering this device was marketed as a 'Revolutionary videography experience' I feel somewhat cheated by Huawei over this, I am locked into a three year contract with this device and already feel a large amount of regret. Perhaps you can explain why the C2.API is so locked down? And when this will be resolved.

Many thanks for your time

43 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +4
Hi and welcome to the forums!
The p30 pro is a great device for photography, in terms of video the chipset limits video output to 4k less than 30fps.

In regards to camera2api, this instance is unlikely to change, due to huawei locking their bootloaders presumably to stop hackers and hobbyists alike from interfering with the phone factory settings and reducing warranty issues arising from the above.

there was a large following in the xda forums for the p20 series and prior series tweaks but since they decided to lock their bootloaders in the last year or 2, tweaks/developments to optimise their phones have been scarce on that front since not much can be done with locked bootloader.
Userlevel 6
Badge +5
Sorry to bring a downer, but I wouldn't hold your breath. I was asking for this for the P20 Pro and gave up after about 4 months and sold mine. The thread is now 5 months old with no progress here:

P20 Pro DNG support for 3rd party apps on Camera2 api?

It's a pity Huawei don't want to act on feedback from their customers.

And if I'm wrong? Well I'd buy another P20 Pro as fast as you could say Jack Rabbit but until then, it's Flagship hardware and Barge software for me.

Cheers

Steve
Userlevel 1
If you do not unlock the ports to be able to use third-party applications, I'll change the equipment, buy the P30 Pro because I expected better results in photographic quality but I'm dismissed, blurred photos, poor focus, lack of detail. If this does not change in the next update, Huawei NEVER AGAIN !!!
Userlevel 6
Badge +5
Just to clarify - it's true that Huawei no longer support unlocking of the bootloader, but that's not the whole story. In order to use Camera2 api to its fullest extent, Huawei need to support this in their roms by allowing 3rd parties into the advanced features of the cameras.

The Huawei camera software certainly has a number of impressive tricks, but it's not all things to all people and there are much better apps out there like Open Camera.
Userlevel 6
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If anyone has the time, I'd really like to see a screen print of:

Camera2 API Probe

For the P30 Pro to see what it can do.

Cheers

Steve
Userlevel 1

Userlevel 1

Userlevel 6
Badge +5
Thanks @medge1001 are you able to post the rest of the screen please 🙂
Userlevel 2
I would really love to see the answer of an Huawei employee on this! It seems that this feature is really wanted by the community and I think its a little bit outdated to just ignore a issue that has already been brought up with the previous model of the phone series.
Will there be work on supporting camera2api on level_3 or at least full?

Cheers
Userlevel 1
I'm really fond of the quality of the photos of the main camera of this P30 pro (lack of detail, lack of focus on close-up shots, etc) I hope to enable ports to Level3 and thus be able to use Gcam, otherwise Huawei will never more!

Userlevel 1
@picitup sure! I'm trying to attach a scroll shot for you but I think it may be too big. Do you have an email I can send it to?

@Lucianocler it might be worth mentioning that the areas you have highlighted may be like that due to the natural depth of field of the lens. The lens is f/1.8 which casts a very shallow depth of field. You are close to the subject, which means this depth of field is much more noticeable. What you are essentially seeing is the real bokeh that phone manufacturers are trying to recreate with software in the 'bokeh effect'
Userlevel 1
@picitup sure! I'm trying to attach a scroll shot for you but I think it may be too big. Do you have an email I can send it to?

@Lucianocler it might be worth mentioning that the areas you have highlighted may be like that due to the natural depth of field of the lens. The lens is f/1.8 which casts a very shallow depth of field. You are close to the subject, which means this depth of field is much more noticeable. What you are essentially seeing is the real bokeh that phone manufacturers are trying to recreate with software in the 'bokeh effect'

to start the lens is 1.6 and I had other devices with same opening but they were not so bad, this is terrible! the noise reduction is very high and I do not like anything; I have more pictures as an example and they are very bad, I am very disappointed with the final result of the photos, blurry, chromatic aberrations, lack of details, watercolor and all this is given in the main lens, I give an example of a flat surface, the butterfly in the center is perfectly out of focus, but the blur from above is not even and is in parts, it is very bad.



enable the ports to use Gcam please! !! Thank you!!!
Userlevel 6
Badge +5
Hi @medge1001 I'll pm you thanks 🙂
Userlevel 1
@picitup, I've sent the picture to your address!

I'm frankly quite put-off by Huawei, this is a BRAND NEW device which has only been on the market for a short amount of time and yet there are no responses from support or moderators of this forum. If someone from Huawei could clear this up, it would be great. I say again, for a FLAGSHIP device in 2019, this should come as standard or an official explanation of why it isn't should be standard.
Starting to get very disheartened with Huawei over this.
Userlevel 6
Badge +5
Thanks @medge1001 I've got the image. I'll check it properly tomorrow as my wife has insisted I drink whiskey tonight and I don't want to disappoint :-)

I'll post it up tomorrow with comments.

Have a good evening all....

Steve
Userlevel 6
Badge +5
Here is the screenshot of Camera 2 API app kindly supplied by @medge1001. It was a pretty long image so I've broken it up into the 5 cameras. I've annotated the pics in large red text to make them easier to understand.

=================================================================
Here's the selfie camera:
=================================================================



=================================================================
The 40mp back camera:
=================================================================



=================================================================
The 20mp back camera:
=================================================================



=================================================================
The 8mp back camera:
=================================================================



=================================================================
The TOF (40mp??) camera:
=================================================================



So in brief, Huawei seem to have exposed all 5 cameras which is a good start, on the P20 Pro only the selfie and 40mp cameras were exposed. I'd be interested to see if apps like Open Camera support all 5 cameras and what the results are.

Auto focus is not available on the 32mp selfie camera.

The 20mp camera does support RAW but no other cameras do which is disappointing.

None of the cameras support Burst mode.

Personally I'd like to see RAW available for all cameras but I've been banging that drum for along while now 🙄

If they chose to, Huawei could knock the socks off all the competition, but I think they have their own ideas which is a pity.

Cheers

Steve
I did some testing with multiple apps and although the phone allows to capture 40mpx shots in third party cameras as the probe says every single shot from a third party app that i shot was is in fact an upscaled 10mpx pic. As far a I experimented only the huawei camera can take real 40 mpx shots, you can clearly noice the difference in detail if you take the same scene with different camera apps. on the bright side most third party camera apps automatically change to the periscope camera once you reach x5 digital zoom (as long as light conditions are good) or x10 (in any light condition) wich can by proved by the 3.4mm focal lenght in the exif data viewer so that confirms that third party apps can Take benefit from the other sensors, however I haven't been able to use the wide angle lens in other apps, I suspect is due to the lack of controls to zoom out beyond x1.0 in these apps, even in apps with macro mode it doesn’t seem to use the wide angle camera
Userlevel 6
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Hi @Chaosnightmare thanks for doing the testing. So I guess the 40mp are upscaled 10mp from pixel binned 40mp?

Don't think I'll be buying a P30 Pro lol. It's a real pity such excellent hardware is limited by such a poor implementation of software. As we all know, Android is the open system and Apple is the closed system. Until now......

Is this the 1970s?
@picitup yes, they seem to use the composed 10mpx picture of the main sensor for every third party camera app, upscaled or not, (depending of the resolution setting) and that’s a shame since as long as light conditions are good the 40 mpx shots from in the huawei camera have a more natural unprocessed look and better detail at the cost of sightly less dynamic range specially in shadows, however as a long runner samsung owner and also tested some pixel phones, this phone can produce better results in most conditions with or without third party apps, including some far away o dim dark scenes that for most phones would be impossible, you just need to find out the right configuration for every shot, I just wish huawei gave more support to developers.
Userlevel 6
Badge +5
Gosh. So what about the 8mp and 20mp sensors? Are they 8 and 20 mp and can you prove they work by sticking your finger over the lens?

Yes I don't think Huawei are into expert users or developers. There's a development forum with almost no participants and questions with 0 replies that are months old.

I think the core is that Huawei don't like to do support at all. They like to keep innovating new hardware, which makes money, but not do the support which costs money.

Oh well...
Userlevel 2
It really seems that there is no interest from the support side. I was also surprised, that my post to this thread was marked as the best ANSWER.... I did not answer anything, I basically asked and supported the same question as the thread owner.
Is there any interest on the side of huawei to work with the community? We are talking here about a high-end device which we payed high end money for.
Userlevel 6
Badge +5
To be fair, the admins here do their best and the best answer is probably a mistake. Hej @Amy could you unmark the best answer as it's clearly not one?

The issue is with Huawei themselves. I'm sure the admins send our questions and bugs to the developers, but there's no communication back. Huawei's official line is to wait for an update and see if your features have been implemented which is much less than satisfactory. You can't even get an acknowledgement that a bug has been accepted or any time scales.

I've already mentioned the Open Camera ticketing system which is excellent. Everyone can see the tickets so no need to ask the same question twice and it provides structure to the whole thing. I asked the developer for a feature, he acknowledged it and fixed it within a month and it's all documented for everyone to see.

Huawei could take a leaf out of their book.....
Userlevel 6
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@picitup , thanks ☺ I'm not sure why the best answer was tagged, but I've removed it.
Userlevel 6
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I thought so 😃 thanks @Danjl
@picitup the 8mpx periscope works in most third party cameras, even if you stay in 40 mpx mode if you zoom enough the zoom camera kicks in automatically and it once again upscales to a fake 40 mpx file, but yeah you can prove it by putting your finger in front of the periscope and the image gets black, but as I said before,I dont think the the 20 mpx wide angle camera works outside the huawei camera since third party apps don’t seem to have a method to launch that camera as they do with the periscope just by zooming in.

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