In recent years, as consumers pay more attention to phone photography, major smartphone manufacturers have gone down in R&D. in this sense, Xiaomi’s advantages in the photo-taking capabilities are obvious. Last month, an internal mass e-mail sent by Xiaomi’s CEO, Lei Jun, has been leaked online. Lei Jun stated that it is necessary to set up a camera department in Xiaomi and use Xiaomi’s resources to take pictures. Shortly, the manufacturer wants to bring the top-level camera modules to its phones, such as the new Xiaomi Mi 8.
As for now, the company performs quite well and some of its models already ranked high. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S launched in March scores 97 points in DxOMark, with 101 points for the camera, which is equal to the iPhone X. The newly announced Xiaomi Mi 8 uses the same camera module. But it comes with some adjustments that make the phone score 99 points, with 105 points for the camera.
This simply means the same camera module can perform differently on various models. So what factors determine the camera’s shooting capabilities – camera hardware, imaging algorithms or software tuning? We are going to explore everything concerning the Xiaomi Mi 8 camera.
Also Read: Xiaomi Mi 8 Review
In terms of specifications, the Xiaomi Mi 8’s rear camera adopts the same camera module as the Xiaomi MIX 2S. The main camera sensor is the Sony IMX363, with a pixel size of up to 1.4um. It supports Dual PD’s dual-core high-speed focusing technology from SLR.
However, the final picture quality of the phone depends on the camera hardware specifications, software algorithms, and the combined effects of subsequent adjustments. Xiaomi has set up a professional camera testing laboratory and 35 types of quality testing projects, including more than 90 challenging test scenarios. The number of single phone test shots was 51.200.
After continuous professional adjustment, the Xiaomi Mi 8 scored 105 points on the well-known camera evaluation site DxOMark, ranking fourth in the world. Compared to the 101 points of the MIX 2S using the same processor and rear-mounted camera module, the Xiaomi Mi 8 is relying on professional tuning.
The professional evaluation is to see what kind of standard a phone can achieve. For ordinary users, it is more important to achieve the highest possible level of photographing during daily use. After all, not everyone is a professional photographer or video post-production staff. With the rapid development of AI technology, using AI assistance, even ordinary users can easily use smartphones to shoot large-scale photos. The camera of the Mi 8 is such a product that uses AI technology in an all-around way.
Xiaomi Mi 8: AI scene camera
The Xiaomi Mi 8’s rear AI dual-camera can intelligently identify up to 206 kinds of scenes when taking pictures. Plus, it supports real-time optimization and adjustment. Therefore, everyone has the potential to become a photographer. For example, under the AI camera, when the system recognizes the backlit portrait scene, it will automatically perform HDR processing to make the backlit face clearer while ensuring that the background image is not exposed, and the portrait silhouette mode can also be used to achieve artistic light and shadow effects.
The treatment of plants by the Mi 8 AI scene camera can even be subdivided into different categories such as grass, green plants, fleshy, and flowers, making the autumn leaves redder the grass greener, and the flowers more attractive. The phone’s front camera can also be used for scene recognition.
AI studio efficiency
Based on the AI portrait mode, the Xiaomi Mi 8 added a studio lighting function. There are up to five kinds of lighting effects, including the window lighting, leaf light, mottled light, rainbow light, and movie light. They all are comparable to professional studios, just like the user is equipped with a personal lighting expert. The machine learning with multi-sample big data allows the Xiaomi Mi 8 to capture depth-of-field data accurately.
The studio lighting effect can automatically adjust the direction of the big light according to the direction of the face, the size of the face, the position of the face, and the position of the eyes. So you will always be at the center of special effects.
The Xiaomi smartphones’ front cameras have a long history of self-portrait beauty feature development. There are four eye-catching models that got an overhauled camera. They include the Xiaomi Mi 3, Mi Note, Mi Note 3, and Mi 6X. In this sense, the Xiaomi Mi 8 is the fifth smartphone from the Mi line that comes with an enhanced camera. It supports so-called 3D micro-plastic surgery.
By collecting thousands of feature points of a human face for 3D modeling, the Xiaomi Mi 8 can use different beautification methods for different self-shooting angles to create a natural beauty-free 3D micro-plastic cosmetic effect. Based on the deep learning of big data from various angles (180 degrees, 90 degrees, and 45 degrees), the Mi 8 can carry out the carving process for the facial features of Asians with flat facial features and regain facial beauty.
AI short video
There is a built-in AI short video editing function in the Xiaomi Mi 8. After recording video with a frame rate of 120fps or higher, the user can select one of seven preset styles in the album. All operations such as auto-tuning, music distribution, and intelligent editing of background music are implemented with one click.
Now we can say the powerful camera hardware, subtle image algorithms, and professional software adjustments are all important factors for the Xiaomi Mi 8’s high score. AI makes its camera take the ordinary shooting to the next level. So we can say the Xiaomi Mi 8 is the best phone in the company’s history when it comes to the camera.