Huawei’s P20 Pro smartphone shoots Le Mans

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Burst mode panning with the P20 Pro

A job which I never thought a smartphone could be any good at was action panning. Well, the P20 Pro certainly can lock focus and track a Le Mans car passing at high speed, recording in burst mode.

It’s not perfect; because almost all smartphones, the P20 Pro included, use solid-state or electronic shutters and CMOS sensors.

Verticals moving laterally as you keep the car constant in the frame, show a lean. CMOS sensors in the cameras can’t freeze the action across the entire sensor in one instance. Instead, lines of pixels are frozen and read out one by one, hence the lean if the subject moves as each line is processed.

Shot using a Huawei P20 Pro
This demonstrates the level of sharpness you can expect if you get your panning right, here’s a view of the whole frame.

 

Shot using a Huawei P20 Pro
Here is the same frame as above, but cropped right down. It holds up remarkably well.

Nevertheless, the sharpness of the cars is when panning very good. I’d like to have seen more background motion blur. This might be something Huawei’s boffins could address with their image processing magic in the future, perhaps.

Here is a gallery of 31 burst mode shots panning from right to left:

 


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