More than a year and a half after Huawei was caught passing off DSLR images as camera samples from its Nova 3 smartphone, the company has once again been embroiled in a similar row. In a promotional video showing off photographs supposedly taken by Huawei smartphones, the company included several images that were taken by professional photographers using high-end DSLR cameras, like the $3,000 Nikon D850.

Originally discovered by photography enthusiast, Huapeng Zhao, the photos are available on global online photo-sharing platform, 500px, and many of them are credited to professional photographer, Su Tie. Following his discovery, Zhao, who won second place in the 2018 iPhone Photography Awards for a photo taken with an iPhone 6, took to Chinese social media site, Weibo, to reveal his findings, forcing Huawei to issue an apology.

A screenshot of Huawei’s promo video / Image Courtesy: Huawei via Weibo

As part of its clarification on Weibo, Huawei said that the photos were ‘wrongly marked’ because of an ‘oversight by the editor’. The company further claimed that the images were only intended to encourage people to share their works on Huawei’s online gallery, and is no longer claiming that the images were shot with Huawei smartphones. Huawei, however, continues to claim that the photos were taken from its own photography community, Next Image, where users can publish photos taken with any equipment.

An image on 500px credited to Su Tie

In their quest to prove the photography capabilities of their smartphones, manufacturers have been time and again caught lying about the source of the images. While Samsung and other consumer electronics giants have also been accused of similar tactics in the past, Huawei has been embroiled in these controversies way too often for them to be simply ‘an oversight by an editor’, as the company would have us believe. Which is a shame, given that the cameras in the company’s flagship P-series phones are already among the very best, and it doesn’t have to indulge in such antics to espouse their virtues.