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Huawei Accused of Faking P30 Pro Moon Mode Images

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Huawei p30 pro moon mode presentation
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With Huawei’s latest flagship still winning the hearts and minds of humans all over, one camera feature has been sparking a bit of talk and dubbed as controversial.

It is undeniable that Huawei has come up with one of the best rear cameras ever and anyone who would oppose that is one who doesn’t share in the historical paths of camera systems in smartphones. The P30 camera is great evidence of that journey and has even been made more fun to work with as it involves different modes such as the night mode that you can take beautiful images with, in total darkness. I would not bore you with the list but another fun feature happens to be the Moon Mode.

The Moon Mode is basically used to help one take close-up images of the moon with no tripod or zoom lens whatsoever. This did spark popularity as it appeared to be the “peak” of smartphone cameras as far as zooming capability is concerned. Apparently, the feature is made possible by the use of its super zoom lens in collaboration with an AI algorithm to make the image sharper and more detailed.

With the moon being 384,000 km from earth, having a phone that can take images of it and make it clearer is bound to make a whole lot of people pounce on the device without question. So to some tech analysts, this seemed more like a marketing tool and obviously, it was tested to the limits and now, it has been claimed to not work as advertised.

But how does the Moon Mode even work for the P30 owners who haven’t tried it yet?

According to Huawei, users hold the phone with the camera facing directly to the moon and then zoom in using a pinch gesture. The AI that is always active helps the P30 identify the object you are pointing at as the moon and suggests the Moon Mode to the user who would then be required to select it. The camera system using algorithms then helps you capture a clear and detailed photo of the moon.

Huawei-P30-Pro-Moon-Mode

Photo of the Moon shot through Huawei P30 Pro Moon Mode | Source: Huawei

Huawei is Allegedly Faking Moon Images

One Wang Yue at Zhihu, claims that the manufacturer may not have told the entire truth as tests he did, reveal that the images taken are not what the user is presented with after the AI has worked its magic,  he says that the photo is not the exact replica of what the shot moon looks like. This has brought the question of whether the mode actually replaces the image shot with an already existing image of the moon from a database to make it look finer.

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A number of people claim to have tested this out and found different results but what they all seem to agree on is that the photo you get is not the exact image of the moon but a combination of the raw image and some augmented details, probably enhanced by the AI.

The P30 Pro, arguably, already has the best camera on a phone, but why are these claims of faked moon images so concerning?

[Moon Mode] does not in any way replace the image – that would require an unrealistic amount of storage space – Huawei

I would not say that I support or disagree with the test’s findings but let’s face it if the Moon Mode does actually help to “adequately capture the beauty of the moon” then there’s no need to go up in arms. Yes, enhancing an image is not an issue as it is almost the same thing as what happens with your favourite phone’s beauty modes – you capture an image but it is not the authentic photo of what you took.

The problem comes out from Huawei presenting this as a mode that makes you take the original beauty of the moon. If they had said that the image is enhanced by augmentations brought about by the system then no one would even dare to test out how genuine the image is. This may not be a big deal to many but for those who care about honesty in marketing, it is.

Huawei, however, did respond to these claims, through Android Authority, dismissing the accusations and making their stand that Moon Mode works as advertised;

Moon Mode operates on the same principle as other master AI modes, in that it recognizes and optimizes details within an image to help individuals take better photos. It does not in any way replace the image – that would require an unrealistic amount of storage space since AI mode recognizes over 1,300 scenarios. Based on machine learning principles, the camera recognizes a scenario and helps to optimize focus and exposure to enhance the details such as shapes, colors, and highlights/lowlights. This feature can be turned on or off easily while taking a photo. While there is a Moon Mode, the shot can still be taken without AI mode because of the periscope lens.


Gadgets Africa’s Take:

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What do you think? Did Huawei fake the whole Moon Mode? Or are people just looking for stains on a white cloth? Android Authority did say that they were unable to replicate the claims of a faked image and we don’t have a P30 Pro in possession to test it out for ourselves, so let us know what you think.

Dennis Waweru

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