Is Honor Magic4 Pro a cinematographer’s dream?

After Honor break up from Huawei, it needed to impress with its first flagship, the Magic3 Professional. The digicam was one of many firm’s largest boasts, saying it is adequate for correct film capturing. Armed with one, we’ll all be turning into mini Tom Cruises, capturing TikToks as in the event that they have been destined for multiplex. Sadly, the cellphone by no means left its native China, however Honor makes use of the identical pitch as its successor, and Magic4 Professionalthat reached Europe.

Honor has actually distinguished itself with its spec checklist, which reads like the corporate tossing the kitchen sink, then the kitchen, then the eating room right into a cellphone. The Professional mannequin has a 50-megapixel major digicam paired with a second 50-megapixel ultra-wide digicam with a 122-degree discipline of view. On high of that, there is a 64MP telephoto with 100x digital zoom and an 8×8 dwell time-of-flight sensor, giving it quick focus.

The cinematic credentials of the “IMAX-enhanced” cellphone go additional: Honor enlisted the assistance of knowledgeable colorist to create particular coloration palettes for video. Brian McMahan He created a collection of lookup tables (LUTs) for the cellphone that act as an Instagram filter to your video. These vary from a sunny mode that makes your pictures seem like they have been taken within the top of summer season, to a dark mode that makes every thing seem like it has been by way of a bleaching lane. One among my favorites was the main target, which selects all however the pores and skin tone, at the least for my Caucasian limbs, making every thing seem like a music video from the ’80s.

However the cellphone’s actual spotlight is its purported capability to shoot in Log, the usual by which most Hollywood films are shot. Now, technically, it is a customized format – MagicLog – which Honor designed to work with cellular units, however the level stays the identical. Log is an acronym for Logarithmic, which is a technique of photographing one thing that preserves as a lot dynamic vary and tone as potential. It would protect scenes with excessive distinction, in addition to shadows, highlights, and whites {that a} typical digital digicam may try and clean out or fail to seize straight.

Sadly, it wasn’t straightforward navigating by any stretch of the creativeness—some pictures I took of my digicam cuts have been affected by flickering. It was bizarre, since my LEDs should not be on and the digicam appears to choose them up once in a while. The audio additionally leaves quite a bit to be desired and I needed to file all my audio to an exterior microphone. (Sure, that is frequent on {most professional} cameras, however the level right here is that persons are going to make use of this digicam as a digicam for his or her trip movies, proper?)

The power to shoot Log means you can even flip your pictures over to a colorist and get excellent pictures. theoretically. The primary take a look at pictures I took have been fairly flat, and it was onerous to drag off lots of the element and dynamic vary that must be there. Now, I am no skilled colorist, however my colleague, Steve Dent from Engadget is, so I despatched him the cellphone, and all my footage, to run his educated eye throughout.

He mentioned there’s an excessive amount of clipping, which suggests there’s lots of element within the footage that may’t be accessed. That is probably a results of stress since MagicLog is designed to be cellular appropriate, in any case. However it did imply that my clips, after the therapy, could not get the nice pops of coloration we have been hoping to eliminate. To not point out, Honor would not appear to supply a standalone lookup schedule for modifying software program, which suggests Steve cannot merely run it by way of the Customary Type (which is a quota schedule for different skilled cameras).

Capturing with the Magic4 Professional is, as Steve places it, tough for 2 different principal causes. First, as a result of it brings out the highlights, you need to reveal them and never the shadows, which suggests there’s some guesswork. Then there is no straightforward solution to inform in case you’re capturing secure pictures as there is no such thing as a built-in LUT show to provide you an concept of ​​what’s coming. There may be additionally no video degree show, so capturing in MagicLog is lots of punch and hope.

Now, that does not imply Magic4 Professional is terrible, terrible and a normal waste of your cash – as a result of it is not. Capturing in normal mode is straightforward sufficient and the outcomes are adequate for use as knowledgeable high quality video for Engadget. However mainly, it is as if till Honor truly finishes constructing the historical past view, with LUT rendering, video degree rendering, and making coloration correction simpler for the non-professional afterwards, it is not one thing that rookies need to play with and count on good outcomes.

All merchandise beneficial by Engadget are handpicked by our editorial crew, independently of the guardian firm. A few of our tales embrace affiliate hyperlinks. In the event you purchase one thing by way of considered one of these hyperlinks, we might earn an affiliate fee.

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