The Leica camera
Various media have criticized the smartphone because it supposedly did not have a Leica camera. This has been claimed after it became known that the manufacturer of the Huawei P9’s camera lenses was actually Sunny Optical. If Sunny Optical manufactures the lenses, what is Leica’s job to do? It was said that it was only a question of marketing, and that in reality Leica’s work had been limited to certifying that it was a good camera. Of course, this was a possibility. But it has not really been so. The Huawei P9 camera is really a Leica camera, and they wanted to make it clear through an official statement.
What Leica and Huawei say
Before talking about what Leica and Huawei have said based on the claims that had been made, it must be said that the fact that the Huawei P9 camera is from Leica does not mean that it is the best mobile camera in the world. It is true that Leica is very famous in the world of photography, and that it has been a historic company. But that does not mean that your camera automatically becomes better than the Samsung Galaxy S7 or the iPhone 6s.
However, Huawei and Leica have explained how they collaborated in the process of creating this new camera, and this is what they have said, translated from English:
- Collaboration in the development, evaluation and optimization of the optical design (lens calculation), in accordance with Leica standards.
- Collaboration in the development of the mechanical construction of the camera module to reduce the effects of diffuse light (“ghost and flare”).
- Definition of image quality in terms of characteristics such as color rendering and color fidelity, white balance, reduction of diffuse light effects (“ghost and flare effects”), exposure precision, dynamic range, sharpness and noise.
- Processing of image data with the help of Leica’s experience in optics and signal processing.
- Definition of common and strict quality standards, as well as the production requirements for mass production that Huawei must ensure in order to achieve high quality.
These have been each of the points where Leica has worked with Huawei to design the new camera. Almost all of them are remarkable. As in the case of image data processing. This is one of the most relevant factors. It depends not only on the sensor or the lens, but on the software and how to use the data that the sensor has captured. It is a key thing in any camera, and it is easy to understand that Leica has more experience than Huawei in this regard.
Finally, we should remember something that is also decisive. The fact that the lenses were made by Sunny Optical should not be misleading. In fact, in the world of mobiles it is common for another manufacturer of a component to be designed by another. For example, Sony makes some of the sensors built into the Samsung Galaxy S7, while Samsung also makes sensors for this smartphone. The sensors are almost the same, but a single company does not have the capacity to produce that many sensors. The same goes for the Apple processor. In fact, Apple does not manufacture absolutely anything, it does not even assemble its phones, but nobody doubts that the phones are from Apple, right?
The same goes for the Huawei P9 and its Leica camera.