Darkness into Light - comparing the Huawei P20Pro and a DSLR
I was up early this morning for the annual Darkness Into Light walk at 4.15am in Kilgobbet Park between Cabinteely, Ballybrack and Killiney in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Co. Dublin. It’s the main fundraiser for Pieta House, the Irish hope and self-care charity that’s now spreading around the world. As I walked around the 5km course, I took some shots with my Huawei P20Pro - and also with my small DSLR, a Canon 760D.
To start with, here's the first one with the phone in a four-second night-mode – this doesn’t like moving subjects, but for me, the movement blur tells the story.
Next a shot of Minister of State, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, with the organizers just after the start – it didn’t look too bad on the phone but good and all as the P20Pro is in night mode, it couldn’t get this sharp - or maybe it was me! This is followed by one of a local group of musicians keeping peoples’ spirits up.
Next is a series of three tripod-mounted long exposures at 4.30am with the DSLR and the 17-85mm lens at 85mm – THE shutter speeds are 20 seconds, three seconds and one second. If there’s not enough light to get it sharp . . . then use motion blur to tell the story! In the fourth shot, I switched to the 70-200mm at 168 to get a closer 1-second view.
Next a couple of low angle night shots with the phone – it’s starting to get bright at 4.50am but there’s still a lot of motion blur.
Twenty minutes later, it’s a lot brighter, and the phone is coping fairly well in automatic mode.
Here's a short video clip with the phone - not bad for handheld in low light.
By 5.20am, 10 minutes before sunrise, I can handhold the DSLR/70-200mm combo at speeds of 1/30th to 1/125th of a second at f4 and ISO 3200.
To balance things politically, here at the finish is Cllr. Cormac Devlin and local election candidate Michael Clarke (3rd & 4th left) from the other big political party.
And finally – proving you did it for social media!
Photographically, I learned that good and all as the P20 Pro is for static low light shots it still struggles with slow action shots in the dark. As I’m on a two-year contract with this phone, maybe next year’s P40Pro will be up to it! I'm fairly pleased with the DSLR shots – even if it takes longer to get the shots - although shots to camera club quality levels would require a lot more care and attention. But I don’t think I’ll be relying totally on my phone in difficult conditions for a while yet!
Keywords: 5km-walk, Ballybrack, Cabinteely, charity, Co. Dublin, counselling, Darkness into Light, dawn, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, fund-raising, Ireland, John Coveney Photography, Kilbogget Park, Killiney, Pieta House, self-care, self-harm prevention, suicide prevention
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