The quality of smartphone cameras has increased so much in recent years that compact camera sales have plummeted. At the same time, thanks to increased miniaturisation, the falling cost of camera hardware, and improved software image processing, it’s now possible for smartphone makers to put multiple lenses and sensors in their handsets. Which is great for consumers, because the quality of the camera is one of the key factors most consider when deciding which phone to buy.
Dual rear cameras are now the standard for all high-end devices, but in squeezing a third camera onto the rear of the P20 Pro, Huawei isn’t merely trying to outdo its rivals’ specification sheets, it’s offering greater flexibility to mobile photographers without sacrificing image quality. So, how does it work?
Huawei’s relationship with legendary German optics company Leica started with the P9’s dual camera in 2016. The P10 improved the setup, and now the P20 Pro has created a triple-camera setup that’s arguably the first to truly match the hype that accompanies the Leica marque.
First up, there’s the 1/1.7in 40MP RGB sensor that’s paired with a f/1.8 aperture lens. Key here is the size of the sensor (bigger is better, and 1/1.7in is huge for a phone), the number of megapixels (how many individual points there are to capture light), and the aperture which controls how much light is able t...