Aug 302016

Food Pictures Clicked By Honor 5C  Mobile Phone

If you are an avid foodie like me, I am sure you like eating out. In today’s age of 24/7 Social media updates, you have not had a meal at a restaurant unless you have not uploaded it on all your social media handles, tagging at least 10 people each.  So clicking food pictures in a restaurant is now an essential part of our dining out rituals and that is where our mobile phone camera plays an important role.

Raj Kachori mobile food photography tips

Restaurants are not the best lit places for clicking food

A mobile phone with a good camera can take good high-resolution pictures that a blogger like me can use on blog as well as post them on Instagram, Facebook etc.  So when I was testing the Honor 5C mobile phone, besides travel pictures, my aim was also to see if it can click decent pictures in a restaurant or not. Even otherwise I rarely take my DSLR to a restaurant, unless I am on an assignment, as it looks very odd to click food pictures from a DSLR when you are out with friends and family. Wife jee is more condoning when I click images with the mobile phone, as it is less intrusive and almost everybody in a restaurant nowadays is clicking food pictures.

Let us revisit the Camera specification of Honor 5C from Huawei India 

The Rear i.e main Camera of Honor 5C   has 13 MP with BSI sensor, Prime ISP, flash-capable HDR mode, and SmartImage 3.0. Of special interest to us is Good Food mode for clicking food images in a restaurant. There are a few inherent challenges when clicking images in a restaurant number one is that you have no control over the most important ingredient of making an image i.e – Light. So you are totally dependent on the natural or artificial light in the diner you are in. The other challenge is that you have no time to recreate the styling of the dish and need to click it on the cluttered table with your friends and family who even though smiling are surely cursing you for your obsession of clicking food pictures from 10 different angles while the food gets cold.

Raj kachori mobile food photography tips (7)

Mobile Food photography tip: Avoid the clutter in background by filling the frame

mobile food photography tips (4)

Just by changing the angle we get a smooth background in the pic, compared to the one above

On the other hand, even the best lit restaurants do not have enough light to click decent pictures without noise.  Here the Pro Photo Mode of Honor 5C really comes handy as it allows you to control a lot of settings like

  • ISO – from 50 -1600
  • White Balance – Check the light around you and decide the white balance ranging from Tungsten to auto to cloudy to fluorescent. The good thing is that you can change the white balance using icons or actual temperature given in Kelvin.
  • Shutter Speed – (from 8 seconds to 1/4000 of a second but my suggestion would be to not go below 1/50 second for food pictures when holding the phone in your hand. )
  • EV ( 4 stops each way )
Haldiram Sohna Road

Take a well lit location, preferably next to large window even during day

Haldiram sohna road (1)

When you dine out you do not get time to style your food like you see in most images in magazines or even restaurants

Though for most people using the Photo (Auto) Good Food preset should give a mouth-watering result as we will see in some of the pictures in this post.

Idli Sambhar mobile picture

Idli Sambhar looks so yummy, check next for a warmer glow added by Good Food mode

As I was testing the Honor 5C camera from a day to the day food pictures point of view I clicked images of different dishes to see how the images appear.

Pasta in tomato sauce

Pasta and garlic bread clicked from top using Honor 5 ( click for Good Food preset pic ) Photo tip: A top shot is good for flat dishes

We were in a very busy restaurant on  the weekend  and it was not possible to click images without getting somebody in the image, so I decided to click images by filling the frame with the main dish  and going as close to the dish as possible for a crisp image. Just remember to be careful otherwise if you go very close the lens of the phone may touch food or even get foggy if the food is steaming hot. The other images I took were top down so that only the dish and a bit of table came in frame cutting down all the clutter around the hero dish. It was a dull day with overcast sky and even around 4 in the day the restaurant lights were on, so I took a seat next to a large window to get as much light as possible ( It is  always a good idea to get as much light as possible for food images without blowing the highlights out ).

Vada Pao with green chili red chutney

Vada Pao clicked with Honor 5C

Vada Pao with green chilies and red chutney

Vada Pao a popular Indian Street snack clicked with Good Food Mode on Honor 5C

 When I was clicking images with Honor 5C we were in a popular Indian fast food joint with our kids, who were patiently waiting for me to finish clicking so that they can dig into their food. So there was no time to do any kind of plating or styling of the food and all these pictures you see were clicked in less than 10 minutes.

Next day I was meeting some blogger friends who were visiting Delhi so we all met for some Chai Shai in a popular tea bar in Connaught Place and I again took out my Honor 5 C to click some pictures.  As the restaurant had no windows I was totally dependent on the lights coming from bulbs in the ceiling to click images.


Masala chai

Masala Chai clicked with Honor 5 C with auto white balance in not so bright light 

Masala Ginger Chai

Masala Chai with Florescent White Balance on Honor 5C Pro-Photo mode

Now this tea shop had no windows at all where we were sitting and all the light we got was from the bulbs above us. So I clicked the images in both Auto and Pro -Photo mode. When I was in  Pro-Photo mode I clicked the image by changing the White Balance of the image to Fluorescent that gave the image a warmer tone.

But no food pictures in India can be complete without street food pictures, so as we were coming out of the restaurant to walk towards Delhi Metro, I saw this guy selling my favorite Dal Moth and his little movable stall was decorated very systematically with Tomatoes, Green Chilies and Lemons. Quickly I clicked a few pictures, the only light available at this time was coming from the showroom windows about 10 feet away from the Stall.

Dal Moth Street Food of India

Mouth Watering Dal moth a popular street snack in Delhi – clicked by Honor 5C

Street Food Delhi Dal Moth

A close shot of Dal Moth with green chilies, lemons and red tomatoes All the colors came out nicely with Honor 5C

A few observations while clicking pictures from Honor 5C mobile

Even in not very bright light, Honor 5C camera stayed in acceptable ISO range and most pictures you see here are clicked at or below ISO 100. Even in the auto mode the camera rarely went below 1/25 second if you have very stable hands and not below 1/50 seconds if you are unable to keep your hands steady while clicking pictures.

The Good Food  Mode adds a little warmth to the pictures and they seem more lustrous making the food appear more appetizing. So if you like your images to have a bit warm tone use the Good Food mode as it is optimized for food images.

Overall I am happy with the image quality of the pictures clicked by Honor 5C phone and enjoyed experimenting with the various settings of this sturdy phone.  The earlier images clicked by Honor 5C can be seen in this post about : National Rail Museum Delhi

Note: As mentioned earlier, I received the Honor 5C phone from Huawei India for review.  You can visit the company website for more information here: Honor 5C

The Honor 5C is also available on  Flipkart for Rs 10,999 

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  12 Responses to “Mobile Food Photography using Honor 5C Phone”

Comments (12)
  1. The first pic of your blog is also clicked from Honor 5C? That is actually amazing. Complete focus on food blurring the background.

  2. Mmm… I don’t know if the phone or the photographer deserves more credit but those images are so appetizing.

  3. I have been considering Huawei Honor series but wasn’t sure if it is really great buy. Their recent P9 with dual camera is priced too high, In that price range there are certainly better offerings.I will have a look at Honor 5C as well! Thanks for posting it here

  4. Nice feature to have on your phone and very handy too! I love clicking food and completely agree with whatever you have written above! My poor husband never gets to dig in till I am done clicking a picture and often I have a minute, so forget styling…

  5. The food pictures are so tempting… They are a review of the mobile camera in itself. You always write things so clear and straight in a beautiful way -“you have not had a meal at a restaurant unless you have not uploaded it on all your social media handles.” 🙂

  6. Seems a good budget phone. Nice clicks and well reviewed, Prasad.

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