I was really excited to see a dual-lens color+monochrome camera in the P10. Although I am really excited about the look of it, I really wanted to see how it performs. Luckily, soon after launch, some websites have posted sample images taken with the Huawei P10, one of the was phonearena.com. There are some full resolution Huawei P10 sample images there which you can see for yourself.
Daylight image quality
I've open up the image in full resolution and inspected the images carefully. There are some low-light and daylight images. I was overall pleased with the image quality in daylight. There is an image of a motorcycle taken with ISO160 and 1/506s shutter speed. So that image gives us a good representation of what the P10 is capable of. I've also inspected the other images, some taken at base ISO50 and some at ISO100.
I think it's important to note, and I've seen this across all the images, that even at base ISO, there is still visible noise in the image. You won't notice it if you look at a scaled down version of those sample images, I thought that the monochrome sensor suppose to enhance the clarity of the image and help improve the noise performance. Maybe it does, but I believe that the P10 uses the same sensor as its 'predecessor, the P9, which means small 1.25-micron size pixels. This is probably the reason it performs quite poorly in the image noise department.
That being said, looking at the motorcycle sample images taken with the Huawei P10, reveals a very sharp lens. If you are looking at the sample images taken by phone arena, take a look at the breakage of the leather seat, just look how well the P10 camera resolves the details there. If it wasn't for the noise, it would have look even sharper. That being said, the image get substantially software towards the edges of the frame.
I've checked some other P10 sample images to see whether it's because of poor optics or just something regarding that particular image. Other image show much better results. Details in the edges look much better and very sharp (look at the Super Mercat image). I was expecting the Huawei P10 Leica lens to perform well in the corners, after all, it says LEICA SUMMARIT-H 1:2.2/27 ASPH. at the back of the phone. Which means that the camera utilizes at least on aspherical lens. So overall, high-quality optics.
The color reproduction look great and images look very natural. The camera seems to be prone to overexposure and I've seen this in some images. This is nothing to be concerned about, and I need to see more sample images taken with the Huawei P10 to determine whether this is a problem or not, but I don't think so.
The Huawei P10 comes with F2.2 aperture lenses and OIS. The Huawei P10 Plus has a faster f/1.8 aperture and better optics so the performance there should be better. I put my expectations accordingly and I knew from the beginning that with f/2.2 aperture lens, I can't expect an awe-inspiring performance, and I was write.
The noise issue become even more prominent in low-light, because the camera shoots at higher ISO sensitivities. When shooting in low-light, noise is very visible (at least in full scale) in shadow areas and it gets worse at higher ISO. The problem is that with a f/2.2 aperture, the camera will be forced to use a higher ISO compared to f/1.8 aperture. The OIS and the monochrome sensor should help in that situation, but again, it didn't translate to an image quality that I could have said that it stands out from the rest, it's just isn't.
Don't get me wrong here. The image quality isn't bad. you can still get some really nice indoor low-light shots, and they will look pretty good at lower resolution. I am analyzing the full scale images, because this is the only way to tell the difference between different cameras. At lower resolutions, many images just look the same and it's hard to notice the imperfections. The dynamic range is also mediocre, not bad but not impressive either.
To sum things up. I think that the Huawei P10 performs well with very sharp images, especially when shooting in optimal lighting conditions. If you want a better performance, you probably want to take a look at the Huawei P10 Plus which comes with better camera specs. I love the colors, the sharpness and the natural color reproduction, so overall a very good rear camera, but not extraordinary in any way.
Check out the sample images on phone arena here.