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Taking Your Cellphone Photography to the Next Level

babylonstoren cactus garden huawei p10

Let’s be honest, everyone wants to know how they can take the most beautiful photos possible for Instagram. How to take better photos is one of the questions I get asked most frequently, and although my answer is normally to invest in a proper camera, that’s not really realistic for people who aren’t interested in pursuing photography. Not everyone needs, or has the cash to buy a DSLR. And normally, all people want to do with their photos is post them on social media and maybe print a few for their house. If they want to film professional videos I can see a reason for making the big spend and even purchasing microphones and gimbals featured in this article to make the quality of their shots even greater! Especially for travelling, investing in a camera that you don’t know how to use, and will probably end up leaving in your hotel most of the time or shooting on Auto is a pretty big waste. I know that what most of you really want is just tips for taking your cellphone photography to the next level.

Taking Your Cellphone Photography to the Next Level

babylonstoren nest shot on huawei P10
A Babylonstoren bird’s nest, shot on the Huawei P10 and edited using VSCO

How I shoot for Instagram and my blog

Bread and Wine dessert shot on Huawei P10
Food shots are some of the most important photographs I take, so the fact that I can get such pro-looking shots on a cellphone camera is amazing

I normally shoot all my photos on my Fujifulm XT-10 camera, which has built-in wifi so I can send photos straight to my phone. Getting good photos is a commitment, and it’s not always and quick process. I take several photos per shot, so that I have options to choose from. Then I edit them in Snapseed or VSCO before I post them to social media. For my blog, I edit the photos in Lightroom. I don’t do much editing, straightening the horizon, adjusting the brightness and the saturation if I need to and adding a filter (which I bring down in intensity) before posting. My camera kit cost around R25 000, which is far too much for the everyday social media user who just wants to be able to take great selfies, food shots and sunset shots.

So what if you just want to take great photos on your phone?

portrait shot on Huawei P10
The way the camera captures the light without blowing the whole image out is really awesome

Most people don’t want to commit to carrying around a camera and several lenses when they’re out and about and would prefer to shoot exclusively on their phone. I haven’t been shooting on my phone for a while now, but recently I was offered the Huawei P10 to play around with, specifically to try out the camera. I agreed as soon I heard that Huawei has worked with Leica (a high-end camera manufacturer known for their excellent quality) to develop a dual lens system for the P10’s camera. I was really interested to see if a phone camera could capture the depth of field that I can get on my camera, since it’s one of the effects people try to replicate with their phones most often.

Shooting on the Huawei P10 Dual-Lens Camera with Leica-Certified Lenses

Huawei P10 Portrait Mode
You can really get unbelievable portraits on using the Huawei P10’s portrait settings

I wasn’t sure what to expect, since I’ve been shooting with a camera for so long now that I haven’t really stayed up to date with cellphone camera technology. For me, there are a few key features that would make a cellphone camera really appealing, because carrying a camera around can be a lot of work. It’s heavy, bulky, expensive and sensitive to dust, rain and fog. I would actually love to swap it out sometimes with a cellphone camera that had everything I need: a long battery life, a good light sensor, good depth of field (especially for food shots) and a really good front-facing camera (for selfies, obvs). The Huawei P10 seriously blew me away in all those categories. I took it to one of my favourite photo destinations near Cape Town for a little test shoot, and this is what we got.

bird houses shot on huawei p10
Awesome depth of field, shot using the phone’s aperture settings, which help you play with focus
Orange tree shot on Huawei P10
The portrait setting is one of my favourite things about the camera – and look at that beautiful blur in the background
Yellow flower shot on Huawei P10
I love that you can adjust the aperture all the way down to 1.8 – which is something that you can normally capture on an expensive 50mm lens on a DSLR
Babylonstoren shot on Huawei P1p
This photo could easily have been taken on my camera. I edited on VSCO on my phone

Some of the features that make the Huawei P10 a must-have gadget:

  • Dual lens camera with a 20-megapixel sensor
  • 3D intelligent facial recognition technology that uses identification nodes to identify and focus on facial features
  • Portrait enhancement algorithm that can identify different face shapes and skin colors and accurately detect facial features and apply customized effects for more professional-looking portrait shots
  • Dynamic illumination algorithm that monitors changes in the ambient lighting conditions and automatically adjusts the exposure of different parts of the image to add an artistic flair to portraits
  • Bokeh effects developed in collaboration with Leica, creating DSLR quality depth-of-field
  • The fancy dual-lens configuration with 2x optical zoom means zoom in without compromising on image quality (FINALLY!)
  • The world’s first 8 MP Leica-certified front camera that detects the number of people in the viewfinder and automatically switches to wide-angle mode for group selfies
  • 3,200mAh for the Huawei P10 battery, which means incredible battery life – supercharging ability means you can get a full day’s usage on 30 minutes of charge, and battery power can be enhanced with Huawei SuperCharge technology

Would I get the Huawei P10 for the cellphone camera? 

Huawei P10 social media photography
I’ve never been able to capture this kind of effect with another cellphone camera

Honestly, I would. I’ve been an iPhone user for years, and I literally never use it for photos, but if I didn’t have a professional camera and I really wanted to up my social media photography game, I would absolutely be shooting on the Huawei P10. The image quality and professional effects that you can capture on this phone are truly unique to the P10 and if a camera is not within your budget or needs, I would highly recommend getting this guy with your next upgrade.

Let me know what you think of the pictures we took on the Huawei P10 in the comments below.

*Thank you to Keenan for being the most patient photographer. I normally ask him to stand in for the shots I want, so that he has a reference for how to shoot me. And he almost never complains. This post is sponsored by Huawei. As always, my opinions remain genuine and what I tell you on the blog is what I tell my closest friends IRL.

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5 comments

  1. This is my upgrade in September. Just in time for France! 🙂

    1. Yes! This is going to be perfect for the trip!

  2. These pictures are absolutely stunning!

    1. Thank you so much! I couldn’t believe what stunning pictures a phone camera can take!

  3. These photos are stunning! Love the crispness and clarity.
    I completely agree with you regarding getting a professional camera. I have wanted one for a while but would probably struggle to take it with me and all those settings give me a headache. I am an iphone user but this phone/camera looks interesting…