An Android Newbie’s Hand at Concert Photography with the Huawei nova 5T
After pledging allegiance to team iPhone for most of my smartphone-using life, some thoughts…
Concert photography’s no picnic. As a concertgoer at least (and photography enthusiast at best), I’ve seen how crazy things can get in a crowd where going out on a limb for ~the shot~ is absolutely normal. By shot, of course, I mean a moment immortalized in a single photo. And by shot, it’s a given that there might be five to 10 blurred, overexposed or generally unflattering snaps taken along with it.
It’s part of the concert experience, I suppose; the same goes for trying to make the most out of far-away seats or an inadequate view with just a smartphone at one’s disposal. But granted that the need for multiple safety shots and having to relinquish personal space at times now come with the territory, I’d still do without them if I could. I’d definitely jump at a chance to get footage that’s a little less fancam and a lot more polished whenever possible. (As this post shows, jump, I did.)
Even with innovations happening over at Apple, my mobile phone brand from the get-go, I admit that Huawei has always piqued my curiosity, appealing to the gadget user in me that’s a total sucker for premium but practical. In September, when the brand released the Huawei nova 5T, the second phone in its nova line of smartphones, it officially got me thinking. Specs? Amazing. The ₱18,990 price tag? A steal. Could this be the mid-range smartphone camera to end all mid-range smartphone cameras?
With an opportunity to give the highly-regarded nova 5T a try (it’s hailed as one of the best smartphone cameras of 2019), I considered October’s Live Street Vol. 2 pop-up concert the perfect place to get the answer, not to mention test the Android waters for the very first time: a challenging, unpredictable setting where this new smartphone could go right ahead and flex all its cutting-edge features.
Huawei was certainly out to show off with this one:
Armed with just the Huawei nova 5T for the evening, what struck me immediately was the fact that I didn’t need much else. No, really. Not an additional editing app to mimic HDR photos or adjust brightness, contrast or exposure, and not a power bank for a quick recharge even after I’d been using the handset for three hours straight. (This part can’t be appreciated in photos, but anyone who has covered their fair share of events knows these are hard-hitting plus points.) The nova 5T is poised to do the legwork for you that way. Once that welcome change settles in, the real fun can begin.
At Live Street Vol. 2, I got to witness the nova 5T’s ultra-wide-angle lens, which boasts an impressive 117-degree field-of-view, in all its glory. I had this to thank for scenic photos of the full house at the Globe Iconic Amphitheatre and vast shots of the stage where Ena Mori, Nathan & Mercury, The Ransom Collective and UNIQUE performed. On the flip side, getting up close––really close––was likewise a breeze to do with the nova 5T. The phone’s 10x zooming capability meant my back-row snaps could easily pass for front-row footage with little to no effort on my end to make that happen. A nifty way, in other words, of finding the good in bad seats at a concert. Alas, this bit comes with a caveat: the more up-close the photo, the more stable your hands have to be when taking it.
The rest of the nova 5T’s built-in camera settings (they’re as extensive as smartphone camera settings can get) are what make it such a stellar piece of technology. On top of its superior night mode, lowlight capabilities and equally notable video feature, I give Huawei snaps for developing the unique AI HDR+ algorithm that automatically balances out exposure against even the trickiest backlighting. Pin-sharp is the nova 5T standard. With the 6.26-inch LCD display, too, not only could I relish in the stills and videos in the way they were meant to be viewed, but I could also easily navigate what would have been an overwhelming interface given all the elaborate camera settings that sit on the screen.
I’d say the nova 5T is extra great for being newbie-proof––and if I can say so myself, noob-proof––on all fronts. It’s definitely enough to please any photography enthusiast and definitely enough to entice non-Android users to make the switch.
Art Alexandra Lara