One of the things that I look when checking a phone's camera performance is how good the colors look in JPEG image format (the default one, unless the phone supports unprocessed RAW image format as well). Most people, including myself, shoot in JPG most of the time. Not anyone want to shoot in RAW and "develop" its pictures on his home computer. Most people just want to capture a shot and move on to the next one.
I've seen many camera samples from the Huawei P10 which were posted online. I have to say that I am very pleased with what I've seen so far. There are few things that I look for when analyzing the color:
1) I want the camera to produce images with punchy vivid colors.
2) I want the image to look natural.
3) The green and reds are really important for me because I love shooting nature and landscape pictures. Having said that, wrong color reproduction for these two color can yield images that look unnatural, synthetic.
4) The dynamic range is important, I want to see that there is a wide range of color spectrum and I can see the details in the dark tones and bright tines in the image.
The Huawei P10 main camera answers all those I think almost perfectly. The colors coming out of this camera are extraordinary, yet they look so natural. I highly recommend checking out phonearena.com camera samples from their review, so you can see what I am talking about. I can't recall the last time I enjoyed looking at green leaves so much. The green color reproduction is just incredible. There is not doubt that the images have gone through some vividness boost but the great news is that the image still look very natural. Some people might prefer a more subtle image, but I am a color freak and enjoy viewing vivid images much better than plain ones. Every image just comes to life with the P10 camera.
Even the reds are really good, maybe slightly more saturated than I would have liked, but again, it still look amazingly food. It worth nothing if the colors are shifted way off the chart and if the shifting isn't uniformed. This can lead to really undesired results. The Huawei P10 main camera performs amazingly well in this regards. Outdoor images look so authentic, believable and bursting with vitality. Blue sky look vivid yet very natural, not too bluish and not to plain that makes the sky look pale and boring.
The dynamic range is also very good. Usually when the dynamic range is low, the image look dull with higher contrast and shadow and highlight area lack of details. This is not what I observed with the Huawei P10 images. The exposure was really uniformed and the histogram really showed that. There was good details in the dark tones and I couldn't even notice any issue with blow highlight, unless the photographer intentionally shot the image with additional exposure. I did observe some photos with blown highlight, bu nothing that can indicate that the camera has a tendency to produce photos with blow highlight, not at all. My impressions were actually completely the opposite. Most of the sample images that I've seen look really well balanced. Images with trees shown good details in the shadow areas. Those areas looked dark green instead of rendering as pitch black.
This is exactly the color reproduction that I want my phone to have. I've read many reviews about the latest phones, but I think that some reviewers sometimes forget to mention this very important aspects of what makes a camera great. I think that the collaboration with Leica was the main reason we can see such great results. I think it was just tuned like that and that is why the images are turned so lovely. Of course the sensor and the optics need to be of a high quality to be able to support the desired results that Huawei and Leica were after.
As I mentioned, this is by far one of my most favorite color rendering that I've seen on any camera to date. Some people might not like it, but I do. Super impressed with the JPEG colors. I'm seriously considering buying this phone because of how I like how the images look.