Huawei Y7p Camera Review: 48MP On a Budget

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huawei y7p
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The Huawei Y7p is Huawei’s latest budget smartphone and it is their first sub-Kshs 20,000 smartphone with a 48MP main camera.

We first saw 48MP cameras back in 2018 and they were midrange phones with a $450 price tag. This camera sensor has finally trickled down to cheaper phones over time. Huawei had this camera sensor on the Y9s last year which retails for under Kshs 28,000.

Well, it is present on the Y7p and we have a chance to take a close look at it.


The Y7p’s main camera system is arranged in a vertical fashion. The main 48MP camera is in the middle, the 8MP wide-angle camera at the bottom and the 2MP camera at the top.

Starting off with the main 48MP camera, this is a Sony IMX582 sensor with a 1/2.25″ sensor size and pixels that are 0.80 μm wide. It also has an f/1.8 aperture to let in lots of light for photos.

Just like every other 48MP smartphone camera on the market, this camera sensor is designed to be used in 12MP mode. The phone shoots 12MP by default where it combines data from 4 pixels to make one superpixel. The idea here is to improve the light-gathering capabilities of the sensor. This is good for low light photos.

The 12 MP photos from this camera sensor tend to be typical from Huawei. Huawei phones tend to take brighter shots than necessary and are quite oversharpened. They still look good if you do not zoom in.

The interesting thing is that the 48MP shots look similar at first glance (sharpening and colour rendition) to the 12MP ones. However, the 48MP photos retain more detail, especially in fine detail as shown in the crops below.

12MP crop vs 48MP crop. Notice the extra detail on the sign on the 48MP one

However, the 48MP files are usually 3 times bigger than the 12MP ones and no one crops that much anyway so it is better to stick to the default 12MP mode.

There is a ‘Pro mode’ under the ‘More’ settings and it gives you more control over other camera settings like white balance, ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation and more. I wish Huawei added an option to shoot RAW photos so that people like myself can tweak the photos to their liking.

ultrawide

The 8MP ultrawide camera is also pretty wide and it has noticeably worse photos compared to the main camera. However, it is still good enough for that moment you’d want to take a photo of an enclosed space or of a landscape in its entirety.

Huawei also uses AI to influence how the photos look. Huawei says that it can identify over 500 scenes and 21 categories in real-time. It will show you on the display when it identifies the sky or a face or a room.

Extreme low light shot using Nightomde

Huawei’s night mode is also pretty cool. You need to be steady while taking shots in low light and the results are quite good for a phone of its price. If you are more experienced in photography, you can also fiddle with shutter speed and ISO settings in Pro mode to take better night mode shots in ‘Pro’ mode.

Aperture mode is just great

Weirdly, my favourite mode is Aperture mode. Aperture mode tries to mimic how traditional cameras use lenses with wide apertures to have a shallow background. The result is pretty neat as you can see. It also has portrait mode for taking portrait photos of your friends but I tend to avoid it. Use Aperture mode instead, it is much better.

The 8MP selfie camera is pretty much standard at this price range. It will take the occasional selfie from the camera app or on apps like Instagram. It is not as good as my 16MP selfie camera on the Y9 Prime 2019 but they had to cut corners somewhere to hit this great price.

This phone also shoots video in 1080p at 30fps or 60fps maximum and you can choose to either encode these videos in H.264 or the more efficient H.265. You cannot shoot wide angle videos or use filters at 60fps. If you want to use beautification effects, these are capped at 720p. Selfie videos are capped at 1080p at 30fps maximum.

Conclusion

The 48MP main camera takes pretty standard 12MP shots that look good if you do not zoom in. You will get better detail if you shoot in 48MP but at the expense of bigger files.


Aperture mode on this phone is great and I may use it more than I should to separate my objects from the background.

It takes better night mode photos than most photos of its class. It even bests my more expensive Y9 Prime 2019. This is partly due to the larger sensor of the main 48MP camera which gathers more light.

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