Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Not Sponsored User Review of Huawei Mate 9 Camera

User-Review-Huawei-Mate-9-Camera

Beginning from Jun 2017, I started to shoot only with a handphone camera - specifically a Huawei Mate 9.

User-Review-Huawei-Mate-9-Camera

Why shoot with handphone only?

I wanted to know if it is feasible to blog with just a handphone camera - the one that is always in my pocket, the one that I use for everything - make calls, browse social media, send and read mails, navigate the streets, watch movies, listen to music etc. I want my blogging experience to be as close as possible as any other diner rather than as "media" or "blogger" etc.


A post shared by Tony Johor Kaki (@johorkaki) on

I also like the idea of more seamless blogging as I can publish my pictures directly from my handphone.

Why did I choose the Huawei Mate 9?

I am sold on Huawei's approach to dual (Leica) cameras - in particular, having a 12mp full colour camera paired with a 20mp black-and-white camera. In theory, the colour image and black-and-white image are digitally merged, producing an image which is deep and rich in nuances i.e. more realistic.

Huawei's relatively wallet friendly price helped clinched the deal for me too.

Here's my review after 100+ days of travel and food blogging with the Huawei Mate 9.

During these 3 months, I have used this handphone for blogging in Singapore, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Klang, Kluang, Segamat, Penang, Ipoh, Taipei, Taichung. I have dropped the phone face down a couple of times and put the Mate 9 through its paces with over 10,000 photos shot.

The following sample photos are shot with my Huawei Mate 9 on auto mode. I do minimum editing of my photos. I use only Google's Picasa - one-click auto-contrast, sharpen, and crop where necessary, that's it.

What I like about Huawei Mate 9 camera 👉

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As a food blogger, the ability to take good food photos are of course crucial in my choice of camera phone. The Mate 9 takes good food photos under good natural light.

User-Review-Huawei-Mate-9-Camera

It takes usable photos of food under fluorescent lights which are commonly used in Malaysian budget restaurants.

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The Mate 9 also takes usable photos of food in higher end restaurants using ceiling mounted warm orange spot lighting. (For this, I colour balance with Picasa's one-click auto colour function.)

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I like to shoot portraits of hawkers and when the light is good, the Huawei Mate 9's wide-aperture mode produces likeable portrait shots with nice bokeh.

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But, the subject has to be co-operative as Mate 9's focussing is slow. Any slight movement, and we will end up with a blur shot. So candid shots are very difficult with the Huawei Mate 9 😞

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Street scene at night. Details are not sharp but the photo is usable on social media.

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Battery power is OK. On outings, I shoot up to 1,500 shots a day and have survived with one additional full charge from a power bank.

What I don't like about Mate 9 👉

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As the Huawei Mate 9 is slow focussing, it is hard to get a decent candid shot of unconscious moving subjects like a hawker in action. I am quite often frustrated about missing the special moments, especially under low light - such as indoors like kitchens, where the action is.

We can supposedly choose our focal point by tapping the screen on the desired spot but it is inaccurate, so it is more often than not, hit or miss. I often end up with a picture like the one above 😡

(I haven't done videos with my Mate 9 so far, so I can't comment on that now.)

What is your experience with the Huawei Mate 9 camera?

What is your experience with other handphone cameras such as iPhone and Samsung?

If you have been following my blog, do you prefer me to shoot with 👉

Johor-Kaki

a DSLR,

Johor-Kaki

point-and-shoot,



or handphone camera?

I am open to suggestions.

Date: 20 Sep 2017

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.

14 comments:

  1. For you, I don't mind what you use cos only the best shots will get published, I'm sure. Personally, if possible, I also want to just shoot with handphone cos light and less to carry but I can't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Emily. Why is it not possible to just use a phone camera? Is there some unwritten rule? (I may not be aware).

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  2. Good read, thnks for the review. I am a newbie blogger too. Warriorsofborneo.blogspot.com Like u I prefer using just one device, for video too. But unlike u I am not a pro photog. I use Huawei P9 lite. I blog on.Martial arts, its super frustrating that I cannot get good shots coz the subject move very fast. I dont wanna use DSLR, coz I am amateur user and I cant afford.
    Huawei have the pro settings , shutter speed and ISO, but I cant capture action sports shot well. Understand, that DSLR of course is the price u pay for what u get, but is there really no phone out there can take sports shots?

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  3. Play w the camera features of the phone. U can get DOF too n close-up macros(mincros) Matthew

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  4. my coll told me that it's not the equipment (be it DSLR, compact camera or handphone), but is the skill of the person and how well he knows his equipment.
    she took very nice pic using hanphone too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is true but there are constraints imposed by equipment limitations.

      Delete
  5. Actually, it doesn't matter which type of camera you use because I've seen your pics and you have the skill to get good shots. But when it comes to mobile phone cameras, it is quite important to use a reasonably good phone. As you have pointed out, the Mate 9 is quite slow in focusing, so I guess that may be one drawback. Does it affect you in getting good shots to accompany your blog post - only you can decide. I've previously used an HTC phone while my Xperia was under repair. The HTC's camera capability is so lacking (especially in close up shots) that I couldn't wait for my Xperia to come back from repair. I am now considering a phone upgrade and is seriously thinking of going for a Huawei P10.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Oldstock. Guess I can continue to use the Mate 9 and upgrade to a better phone camera when it is time.

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  6. I enjoy reading your reviews and it's your writing which attracts me. To me, the best camera is the one which you always carry with you, and I think your pictures are very good. Thanks for continuing sharing with us your food journey.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your encouraging remarks. :-D

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  7. I am an amateur photographer and certainly not in the best position to comment on the type of equipment that a photographer should use. Personally, I think it really depends on the situation.

    I mean you don't want to carry the heavy DSLR up the mountain when you can opt for lighter alternatives like GoPro. The wonder of smartphones these days is that they could shoot relatively good images with minimum post-shoot editing works and that's really good enough for instagram and blogging (not forgetting that there are really good photo-editing apps that you could use on your smartphones)

    I think the more important question is, "To produce commercial standard photo, are smartphones up to mark?"

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Neo. I don't do commercial photo shoots. My concern is how using a handphone camera vs a DSLR affects the experience of my blog readers.

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  8. I've been following Johor Kaki for a long time now... I see that the photos you've been taking are good... Like a previous post wrote, the best camera is the one that you always have with you... Keep up the good work...

    ReplyDelete

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints as it makes this blog better :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is unethical in the same way as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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