Chinese electronics giant Huawei was forced to apologise after being caught using images shot on DSLR cameras to promote its smartphone devices.

The company recently promoted a photography contest with a video featuring impressive shots, which it claimed were "taken with Huawei smartphones." However, it was later revealed that the images were shot on a DSLR camera.

Huawei photography contest
The promo video for Huawei's photography contest. Weibo

Huawei was caught red-handed when Weibo user Jami-hua, aka Huapeng Zhao, who won second place in the 2018 iPhone Photography contest, thought the photos in the Huawei video looked a tad familiar. So he decided to do some digging of his own and found that the images were actually shot using a $3,000 Nikon D850 camera and not a smartphone, as marketed by Huawei.

The images in question are credited to photographer Su Tie and can be found on the online photography-sharing platform 500px, as you can see below:

Su Tie
The image shot by Su Tie on 500px. 500px

Huawei issues apology

The tech behemoth has since apologized on Weibo, saying that the images were "wrongly marked" due to "oversight by the editor." The company said the pictures were intended to encourage people to upload their work to Huawei's online gallery.

Huawei has now updated the original video to remove the statement that says the photos were shot by Huawei phones but still mentions that the images were taken from Huawei's online gallery, though.

Repeat Offender

Over the last few years, Huawei has repeatedly been accused of using DSLR photos to promote its smartphones' camera capabilities.

In 2016, Huawei admitted to using a photo shot on a Canon EOS 5D Mart III DSLR camera to promote its P9 smartphone. The image was eventually taken down. The company also found itself embroiled in controversy when it wrongfully claimed that the device featured "dual Leica cameras," when the German company had only made certain parts of the camera but not the snapper's lens or the sensor.

Two years ago, a Reddit user pointed out that a selfie used in a Huawei Nova 3 phone commercial appeared to have been taken by a DSLR camera.

Huawei commercial
The Huawei commercial advertising the front camera of its new phone Huawei Nova 3. Reddit /AbdullahSab3

The user reveals that the actress in the scene was caught posing in front of a professional camera in an Instagram post that has since been deleted while her co-actor holds a smartphone to make it look like it was shot using Huawei's device. At the time, Huawei told CNET that a disclaimer at the end of the video outlines the images and content shown "are for reference only."

Huawei shoot
A behind-the-scenes image taken during the commercial's shoot. Reddit /AbdullahSab3

Last year, again, Huawei used a DSLR image to market its flagship P30 smartphone, as spotted by GSMArena. The company claimed the images in the teaser posters were supposed to be "artistic renditions" of the phone's camera features.