Leica Explains How 20MP Color Pictures Work on Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9 Leica AH 1

The Huawei Mate 9 was finally unveiled today in Munich, Germany, after many leaks which turned out to be mostly spot on. The Huawei Mate 9 is a pretty large 5.9-inch device, even though it feels pretty small. But that’s not the feature that everyone is talking about. They are talking about the dual cameras on the backside of the device. But why? It’s not the first time Huawei has done a dual camera setup. This is actually the second time (the Honor 8 does do dual cameras, but Huawei and Honor are technically separate companies) with the Huawei P9 being the first dual camera smartphone from the company. The Mate 9 features a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and a 12-megapixel RGB or color sensor.

That’s cool and all, but something that caught our eye is the fact that you can still shoot 20-megapixel images in color. Even though the color sensor is just 12-megapixel. How is that done? Well according to the Leica representatives they fuse the images taken with both sensors to give you 20-megapixel color images. How Leica does this is by taking several pictures at once. Now they used the term “super resolution” which essentially makes a 40-megapixel picture and then it downsizes it again. Basically this allows them to get all of the details needed to output a high-resolution image.

Huawei is big on bokeh in the Mate 9, and it’s even existent in the video side of things. Leica did inform us that whenever bokeh effects are being done, that both cameras are being used to give that effect. Remember that you can change the focus point after you’ve taken the picture, and you can also change the aperture as well. Going down to as low as f/0.95, which produces some incredible results actually. We did some testing with the Mate 9 following the event, and it took some pretty amazing shots. Of course, we’ll be putting it through a much more in-depth process as we get started with the review process. Huawei hasn’t announced when the Mate 9 is going to be available but Europe and the Middle East are in the first round of markets. It will be coming to the US, but many details are not finalized yet, so don’t expect to see it in the next few weeks, sadly.