Thursday, October 21, 2021

Xiaomi’s AI-enabled photography-loving Mi 8 Pro camera is worth your attention

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The Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro has got a lot of things right: a tasty LCD back display, fast processor, great camera. But what really I loved about the phone was the 11T Pro’s AI-enabled camera. Whether I was taking a portrait shot or landscape photo in low light, it quickly adjusted its settings to the correct settings with few taps and nary a buzz of annoying software. Using the phone as a camera was just so simple.

This shooting is powered by the same second-generation 10-megapixel AI camera that just debuted in the Mi 8 Pro. Xiaomi says this front-facing snapper – that’s got an f/2.0 aperture – is able to recognize objects and adjust its settings accordingly. The camera in the Mi 8 Pro also has an f/2.0 aperture, which Xiaomi claims allows it to deliver better low-light photos. But in reality, my iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus have both managed to get near-identical shots in pretty much all of my nighttime photos.

The front-facing AI camera also packs in a 5-megapixel secondary camera for pictures or videos where there’s no light. The rear camera also has a second 10-megapixel sensor, for this purpose.

After the 11T Pro’s AI-enabled camera tooled and adjusted my photos, it encouraged me to fully tap in and apply camera filters. Using the dedicated “Photo Editor” app, I could apply more pictures to the photos it stored on memory cards – either selecting from a handful of filters, color filters, photo effects, and skin tones.

Another fun feature is the support for real-time photo frames (think overlayed pics of cats and dogs on a desktop) that you can pair with your current photos. (“Make something beautiful out of a photo you already have!” say the promo lines.) You could record the background when you took the photo, then play it back to draw your own illustration on it.

As if the 11T Pro’s AI camera and editing tools weren’t enough, you can also use it to crop/reshape/un-skew and change the image’s exposure by simply swiping to each area. The display also lets you zoom in to give more detail to each element.

Of course, the majority of features are still just a phone’s standard camera, so other brands still have a chance to steal some of the Mi 8 Pro’s thunder.

As it stands, I can’t wait to see how these features pan out on higher-end phones.

Read the full review here.

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