Exploring the Xiaomi 13 Pro's camera potential with Leica integration
First impressions of the Xiaomi 13 Pro driven by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC with Leica camera tuning.
Collaborations between smartphone and camera/lens manufacturers have long been the standard. After all, Sony supplies the majority of phone sensors and optics. However, larger camera makers have been integrated more deeply by smartphone manufacturers. Vivo+Zeiss, OnePlus/Oppo+Hasselblad, and now Xiaomi with Leica are some examples. One of the most recognizable camera makers is represented by the last name on the list. For many "serious" shooters, the Leica is the "dream" camera they would most like to own. And Xiaomi is wishing for some of those customers to adopt its Take the Xiaomi 13 Pro carefully as a suitable substitute. After all, it is designed to combine the ease of a smartphone with the "experience" of a Leica camera.
For still photos, the Xiaomi 13 Pro aims to provide an "authentic" Leica experience. According to personal preference, users can shoot in either the Leica authentic or Leica vibrant setting. I photographed my roof on a beautiful, sunny day with blue skies using both, and the contrast is clear. The shadows in the Leica authentic are more prominent, and the sky is not oversaturated. It is undoubtedly a little "darker" than the original.
But even the Leica "vibrant" mode produced one of the most realistic phone pictures I've recently seen.
The image is brighter, the sky is a vivid blue tone, and there are fewer shadows. In both images, the tone contrast is obvious. It resembles adding two distinct filters to the same image. I prefer the Leica vivid over other cameras. Additionally, I was struck by the contrast between the azure skies on this phone and those on my current phone, the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The blue on the S23 Ultra (review) is vivid, almost giving the impression that one is in California or Europe. There is a more "natural" appearance on the Xiaomi 13 Pro.
The portrait setting on the Xiaomi 13 Pro camera is another feature that draws inspiration from Leica once more. Xiaomi offers a number of lens settings, including B&W at 35mm, Swirly Bokeh at 50mm, Portraits at 75mm, and a 90mm soft focus mode for portraits. In my limited experience, the black and white portraits are without a question beautiful. My son, who is frank to say, never remains still, makes for excellent photos. Even photos taken in 75mm setting turn out beautifully. Although precise, the segmentation of the topic and background doesn't appear artificial. Yes, the retention of detail is superb. Even the skin's pigmentation is apparent, but it doesn't detract from the picture.
My interest is definitely drawn to the portrait option. As I continue to test the device, I intend to shortly take some more portrait pictures. Later, I'll have more to say about I'll be covering the camera in detail in my evaluation, so I'd advise holding off.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro appears to have one of the most promising smartphone cameras I've tried in recent years, at least for the time being. Yes, particularly when it comes to cameras, certain standards have become expected in the premium smartphone market. Therefore, it can be difficult for reviewers to become enthusiastic about yet another gadget. But there's no denying that, at least in terms of cameras, the Xiaomi 13 Pro is not your typical smartphone.