Xiaomi Mi 8

By: Adam Łukowski

Not so easy to be assessed

Photography, video

Times when Xiaomi users (even the flagship ones) could complain about the quality of photos are coming to the past. In Xiaomi Mi 8 we have the camera known from the Mix 2S model, based on the Samsung module with an f/2.4 telephoto-lens and the main Sony module with a mechanically stabilized f/1.8 lens. Both matrixes have 12 megapixels. There are high expectations, but it turns out that Mi 8 does not fail us.

During the day it offers colourful, clear photos which lack major drawbacks. But in this price segment, every smartphone can do this, and problems, as always, appear in weaker lighting. But even here Xiaomi Mi 8 works pretty good.

If the shot is being lighted by lanterns or any other source, which gives only the slightest glow, we can be sure that the photo will be successful. However, if we are on the field and there is dusk, we can clearly see noises – then it is worth suing a tripod and manual settings. They will “draw” something more from the shot than the auto mode.

It is best to use the stabilized lens, which captures more light, and the telephoto-lens is best to be left for daytime shots. The telephoto-lens, which is easy to predict, works much worse in weaker lighting. What more can I complain about? There is a problem with connecting panoramas. We just need to slightly shake our hand and the software has problems with connecting frames.

The camera has of course an artificial intelligence. In an everyday usage it is difficult to see effects of its work, but if we will place two identical shots next to each other and compare them, we will notice that the intelligent auto will underline colours and the contrast between them more clearly then the “usual” one.

Whether we will consider its work as a worthy and necessary, is the matter of our own taste, I recommend trying this, but if you really care about a particular shot, I encourage you to try both options. Just like in the HDR mode – sometimes it gives a great result, other time the shot looks better without it. It is worth trying and “learn” how the camera works in different conditions.

The background blurring works great. I have no concerns towards the precision of cutting out the foreground objects, I will commend Mi 8 for the possibility of using additional effects, including the background blurring animation, saved in the GIF format. Here, however, we need to remember about the lighting. If there is not enough of it, the phone will show an appropriate message – and the portrait will not come out great.

The additional telephoto-lens allows us to make a small zoom of the distant background, but – as I have mentioned – it is best not to use it for night time photos. The digital zoom is here as well, and what is interesting – it gives decent effects, though of course it will not offer a level of details as the optical one.

I have no concerns towards the video recording. The image is sharp and smooth, we can record in 4K, we can even choose between one of two codecs. The sound is recorded appropriately, the exposition does not “jump”, we can sometimes see that the stabilization did not work – but basically, it is pretty good. To make it more interesting, we can record in slow motion. Here the maximum is 240 frames per second in Full HD. Nice.

Videos from Xiaomi Mi 8
video: GSMchoice.com, via YouTube

The front camera can be assed less positively. Basically – it takes nice photos, but it has an awful tendency to overexpose the background. We just need a bit brighter sky – and we will see a white spot behind us. There is no LED nor a possibility to lighten up the scene with a display – which could decrease the overexposure to some extent. It is a pity, because shots themselves are decent, just like the multi-level beautifying.

The camera has a simple interface, known from other Xiaomi models, based on gestures. By swiping our finger, we can switch to video, background blurring, square shot, panorama or a short clip. In the same way we can move to manual settings, where we can control sensitivity, exposure time, exposition, white balance or focus. The interface has a separate button that activates the AI or switches lenses. I commend the integration with Google Lens and still complain about the access to advanced settings hidden in a sub-menu with programs, which change depending on the selected mode.

Source: GSMchoice.com; viewed: 1861 times.


By: Adam Łukowski

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