Huawei Busted Once Again for Faking Phone Camera Capabilities Using DSLR Images

Huawei Busted Once Again for Faking Phone Camera Capabilities Using DSLR Images

Phone giant Huawei seemingly have no qualms in the face of being caught using DSLR photos to promote their cameras, as they’ve been busted again. Promotional images for the upcoming P30 Pro including a photo lifted from notorious child photographer Jake Olson.

The soon-to-be-released P30 Pro’s camera boasts a periscope zoom lens. However, as per GSMArena’s reports, the tech firm is using pre-existing images to promote their latest model, and none of the photos were taking using Huawei tech. This marks the third time the company have been publicly outed for being misleading.

It seems no lesson has been learned, despite the following statement they issued amid the embarrassment back in 2016:

The photo, which was professionally taken while filming a Huawei P9 advert, was shared to inspire our community. We recognize though that we should have been clearer with the captions for this image. It was never our intention to mislead. We apologize for this and we have removed the image.

To make matters worse, other images in use by Huawei were found to be stock photos, rather than anything they’d shot for the purposes of promoting the new phone. For although the volcano photo was taken by Tom Pfeiffer and posted to Flickr back in 2009, it’s also available as a stock photo on Getty Images, which is most likely where Huawei discovered it. Another image featured in the campaign appears to be by Jake Olson.

Since the news broke, it seems Huawei has discreetly updated their ads, adding a disclaimer which details how the images were “creative ads meant for reference only.”

Addressing The Verge, the company issued a new statement:

We’ve been made aware that there might have been some misunderstanding regarding our recent HUAWEI P30 Series teaser posters. We would like to reiterate that those are, in fact, only teaser posters, and are only intended to hint at the unique new features that will come with the HUAWEI P30 Series. Huawei has acquired the licenses to the original images and the posters are artistic renditions of said features only.

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Robert Nurse's picture

Funny and sad all wrapped up in one. Wouldn't hiring someone to use your tech to get photos be cheaper than bad press?

Motti Bembaron's picture

I don't get it. Really. I have the P20 Pro and the Leica camera and lenses are amazing! The photos are incredible. Why use others' photos? Stupid.

Ariel C's picture

Same here. But I got the p20 lite, and the camera is pretty amazing. I don't get why they'd do this.

Motti Bembaron's picture

All the latest Huawei phones take amazing photos Go figure...

cameramanDop Shanghai Hong Kong's picture

Maybe cause finding a volcano and shoot it is not juts as easy as owning a phone...
Maybe being a photographer required skills and not just owning a camera...

Motti Bembaron's picture

The difficulties of photographing a volcano would be actually getting there. Taking the photo is the easy part. It shows no particular photography skills. I dare say a volcano at night would look spectacular in a photo taken by just about anyone.

Asking really skilled photographers to take awesome portraits would have been more authentic and credible. Most of us would relate much more to a clean well taken portrait than some far away volcano.

I think it was dumb on their part.

Exactly. For the advertising dollar that Huawei use around the globe, you would think they can afford to hire a few good photographers to take some good samples for them. They are just not being smart and didn't see value in it.

I always have to laugh at the commercial videos of smarphones. I saw several documentaries in which they showed the amount of extra equipment used to make these videos. They used complete professional rigs in which a smartphone was hung. It isn't like one man and one smartphone and no other means used.

Wonder Woman's picture

Don't buy Chinese phones.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Ain't they all made in China?

Andy Barnham's picture

Long story short; Chinese brands will do anything to drive sales. And good luck trying to enforce non- Chinese, and especially Western, copyright.

user-206807's picture

Western imbeciles gave them technology and know-how.
Now they are paying the consequences.
It serves them right !

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Any phone brand will do this. The leader, Apple. May be not with photo copyrights, but the rest, they are schooling the rest of the industry. 40 plus years of water proof watches with user battery removal as standard and Apple can't do it with a phone! total joke. $$$ for forcing clients into more accessories and services represent much more revenue than lying with a photo in my opinion. I want to clear my opinion, it's not that I like the Chinese brands better, I gave a chance to Apple a long time ago and I don't have a Chinese brand phone, but Apple has reached the top and the starting of their down fall is all grid driven, not the consumer or China.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Totally in line with my view of the phone industry in general. Overpriced for products that don't improve that much from one to the next generation. lies, lies lies, but clients can't get enough of it. That reminds me of the first 5D when people said there was no way they would sell it for $5K or lower. Well they did! Most products don't cost as much as they want us to believe. They sure don't care if a few thousands of us understand they use stock images and lie about their actual product when the average consumer is totally clue less. I mean the more phones sold, the more expensive they get. Total joke.

Rick Nash's picture

I'm baffled at your comments calling out the phone industry. Where have you been? Calling out the advertising industry would have been far more truthful. Promoting products is all about over-telling non-truths. Using that brand of toothpaste to whiten my teeth has yet to win me a date with a glamorous movie star. The phone industry is no different, promoting a fictional reality where use of the product offers an improbable reward.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I've been on planet earth. Like I said, Canon came out came out with the 5D for about $3500 while most at the time predicted something about twice the price based on their own... what ever it is. I like Canon. I use Apple computers, but phone wise, ZERO.
Now, I understand your opinion, but the advertising industry is typically helping sell a product, while to me, removing access to batteries under and connections under the pretext of more water proof phones has no connection with advertising. Technically, I would think Apple would be happy to sell you a new phone if yours get wet and dies. In reality, wet phones replacement are probably not that big of a market while accessories and service are huge profit.

Robert Nurse's picture

"Promoting products is all about over-telling non-truths"

Is this what they're calling it now? We used to call this dishonesty.

Tom Reichner's picture

Some company called Huawei is a "giant"? Really? I've never heard of them.

I hear a lot about Apple and their iPhone. And I have heard a lot about Samsung. And I know that Motorola still makes phones (but I think they are a tiny company compared to "giants").

But I've never heard of any other company that still makes phones, especially not Huawie, until I found this article. How giant can they be if they're not even as big as Apple or Samsung?

By he way, I have no problem with them using DSLR images - or any other images - to promote their cell phones .... just as long as they aren't actually claiming that the images were taken with their phones. If someone is "led to assume" that the images are taken with phones, then it's the viewer's "bad" for making an assumption.

Huawei is ahead of Apple world-wide. I think you are behind the times. Samsung is number one.

Tom Reichner's picture

Michelle, If Huawei is ahead of Apple, then how come I hear about the iPhone every day, and see iPhones for sale at my local phone store, yet have never seen a Huawei phone nor heard anyone speak of them until reading this FStoppers article a couple of days ago? How is that possible?

I guarantee you that if I go to my local grocery store, or WalMart, or any other busy public place, and ask people at random if they have a Huawei, they will give me a strange look and say they don't know what I am talking about. But if I go and ask these same people if they have an iPhone, they will know exactly what I mean, and reply either "yes" or "no", with no need to wonder what an iPhone is.

It's not as if I live under a rock and don't know what is going on. I travel extensively throughout the United States. I live in Washington, but spent the past two months in Pennsylvania, two weeks in Florida this winter, two months in California last summer, and a month in Denver back in the fall. I get around quite a bit. And yet everywhere I go, I hear and see stuff about iPhones and Samsung phones, and hardly ever hear or see anything about any other brand of phone, and have certainly never heard of a Huawei ever before.

To say that Huawei is ahead of Apple worldwide causes me to have suspicions - that maybe this Huawei company caters to poorer people in underdeveloped countries, and isn't really relevant to more affluent people in places like the United States. Might this be the case?

Tom Reichner's picture

Ok, I just read the link you provided. Seems that Huawei isn't even available in the U.S. No wonder I've never even heard of them - they're some Chinese company or something. I feel like if they aren't even available in the world's wealthiest, most important nation, then they are pretty much irrelevant.

But maybe I'll look into buying some stock in them if they are growing so well in other areas. If they'd ever be allowed to sell their phones in the U.S., then I'm sure the stock would rise dramatically. Would be nice to get in on that before it happens to take full advantage.

Anybody else remember when Nikon did this during the D800 release? They used unlicensed photos shot on a Canon 5DmkII by Terje Sørgjerd.