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adder001

Wondering about a Huawei P30 Pro

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Hi Everyone,

Not posted for a long time due to not having any gear but still keep popping in checking whats going on because once you have the bug it never leaves I think.

Anyway its almost time for my phone upgrade and I have been looking at the specs of the Huawei P30 pro, the main interesting thing is that it has a lens that can go upto 5 x optical which according to the literature that makes it 125mm focal length equivalent and it also is capable of shooting raw and has a maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds also F3.4. Also the price remains the same on my contract so it feels like a free astronomy tool as well as something that I use anyway.

Now I know this is like comparing a Ferrari to a Robin Reliant but I remember when I still had my canon 1300D I got some pretty good images of Andromeda, M42 and all the easy big DSO targets at about 150 to 200mm standard kit lens about F6 as well I think and that was only on a EQ2 mount that was motor driving on RA only, also my polar alignment wasnt brilliant either I just used drift as best as I could because with an EQ2 as there is no polar scope.

So I was wondering what would be possible with this tiny phone camera. I realise that the lens is tiny and so is the sensor when compared to the DSLR that I used to have but I have been excited by some of the pics that people have taken of the milky way and constellations etc but I wonder if things like Andromeda and Orion nebula would be possible even if only tiny.

I was thinking I moght get a cheap tripod or even a bean bag to rest the phone on and see what I can get using short exposures and stacking

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Hi, bit of a late reply, sorry. I have the P30 pro and it's absolutely brilliant for daytime / general, even nighttime terrestrial photography. I did experiment with it a bit for astro.  I realise the attached cygnus picture is a bit horrid, as it's jpg and did not do any gradient removal etc, I just wanted to use it to demonstrate the camera's sensitivity, I think you can make out NGC7000. The colour gradient is due to using a nebula filter in front of the lens, picture taken from light polluted area, and it is a single shot. People have been posting much better milky way pictures from dark locations. Unfortunately, there is a but, it has in my mind a 'showstopper' bug:

https://forum.xda-developers.com/huawei-p30-pro/help/manual-focus-to-infinity-results-blurry-t3937296

 which was reported some time ago, and I'm still not aware of a workaround. Basically in 'auto' mode the camera can focus to infinity, but it's a bit hit and miss, when you try to focus on the sky. So, then you would of course use manual focus, however, the P30 cannot be set to infinity focus in manual mode, it's stops just short of it. It's clearly a SW bug as the HW can do it in auto mode. This is very annoying as I'm sure the camera HW would be able to produce quite nice results using stacked raw images.

Attached some other pictures also taken with the phone for fun.

cygnus.jpg

venus.jpg

teide.jpg

cherry_blossom1.jpg

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Thanks for your reply, thats really inspiring I am imagining what I could do by using multiple exposures and stacking. definitely looking at getting one although the Samsung S20 ultra looks good as well

 

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