Huawei’s phones have been, for the past few years, quite popular for its premium smartphones’ cameras. Its recent predicament with the US government, however, has made those strengths moot for many smartphone users. It’s during times like these that the company may be desperate to promote the likes of the Huawei P40 Pro’s photography prowess and it may have been desperate enough to once again use a photo taken with a DSLR camera for a contest that supposedly revolves around its smartphones.
Huawei recently launched the 2020 “Next-Image Awards”, something akin to the popular “Shot on iPhone” contest that Apple regularly holds. Part of that announcement includes showcasing a couple of photos that were initially labeled as taken from Huawei phones. That was not the case and, unfortunately for Huawei, a keen-eyed mobile photographer noticed and called it out on the misleading advertisement.
Weibo user Jamie-hua (real name Huapeng Zhao), who happened to be a 2018 iPhone Photography Awards runner up, realized that one of the photos used in Huawei’s promotional video looked familiar. After some digging, he discovered that the photo was indeed taken by a photographer who used a Nikon D850 DSLR and posted the image on the 500px platform.
Huawei has apologized for what it claims was simply a clerical error. The photos, it says, were just “wrongly marked” and were supposed to simply be “taken from the Next-Image community gallery” which it says allows the publishing of photos taken with any equipment. Whether the photo was actually in Huawei’s gallery and used with the photographer’s permission is still unknown.
Despite that apology, it still doesn’t explain why Huawei would use photos taken using other equipment to promote a contest for a smartphone camera. And it’s not like this was Huawei’s first “mistake” when mislabeling promotional photos and, unfortunately for it, people have become more critical of those photos because of those previous instances.
UPDATE: A Huawei representative reached out to us with the following statement:
In a recently uploaded Huawei NEXT-IMAGE promotional video, we showcased 30 pieces of work by various professional photographers to encourage users to share their own work on their social media channels. We’ve erroneously labelled one of the featured pieces as one that had been shot on a Huawei smartphone. We have since removed that image from the video. We apologise for this regrettable mistake and will improve our editorial process to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future.