We’ve all been waiting for this phone to bring the next generational leap in phone camera quality and show us significant innovation over the Galaxy S23 Ultra, iPhone 14 Pro Max, and Google Pixel 7 Pro, and now He’s there.
But maybe not in the form we expected. The just-released Xiaomi 13 Pro makes no secret of its huge camera aspirations, but most of the talk has actually been about its main camera sensor which is much larger than the competition.
But surprisingly, within days of the phone’s release, Xiaomi 13 Pro owners are actually sharing fewer photos of that dreamy 1-inch camera sensor and more photos of…one of its other devices. Photo !
A surprising new telephoto lens with close focus steals the show
Instead of using a long-range periscope zoom camera like you do on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Xiaomi 13 Pro uses a traditional zoom camera with a 3.2X zoom range, or about 75mm.
And if that was the whole story, it would be… well, quite banal! But this new camera actually has a superpower we’ve never seen before on a zoom shooter: it’s able to focus on extremely close distance!
Xiaomi 13 Pro Close Up Zoom Photos
Being able to get so close with the zoom camera opens up a whole world of possibilities. Close-ups of pets, beautiful photos of bees and other insects all lend themselves perfectly to this new camera.
The innovation behind this close focusing capability with a telephoto lens is a floating element inside the lens that moves as you move the focus. Traditional cameras use a fixed lens and they cannot achieve such close-up focus.
Xiaomi 13 Pro telephoto camera in low light
A big advantage of using a relatively close zoom range like 3.2X is that you can use a larger aperture, allowing a lot more light to reach the sensor.
Many flagship phones can’t really use their zoom cameras at night simply because the combination of slow aperture and small sensor makes it impossible. But not the Xiaomi 13 Pro. As you can see above, you can use the 3.2X zoom camera in various low light conditions and even at night and get awesome photos.
Colors are also something Xiaomi has been working on together with its partner, the legendary camera company Leica.
In fact, the Xiaomi 13 series lens bears the brand name Vario-Summicron, where the “Vario” part refers to the presence of a zoom function and the “Summicron” part signifies the Leica badge of the highest lens quality.
And it’s remarkable that Xiaomi has switched to this lens after using a longer 5X zoom periscope shooter on the 12S Ultra from earlier this year. It’s just that this closer zoom range might be more versatile and used more often by people, and it will also come in handy for portraits.
Xiaomi 13 Pro close-up video zoom
And of course, you can also use this same close-up focus in video recording.
Here’s what a super close-up video looks like:
Xiaomi 13 Pro comes with a 75mm (3.2X zoom) camera that can focus at very close distances (as close as 4 inches or 10 cm). The photo and video quality is crazy! Video Source – Xiaomi Official Weibo Account pic.twitter.com/7U9zgywgA8
—Victor Hristov (@TheVicExpress) December 14, 2022
It’s really impressive, the detail, the color and just the overall cinematic look that you can get with this lens.
Xiaomi 13 Pro: not just a camera phone
But the Xiaomi 13 Pro is far from just a camera phone, it’s a flagship in its own right! In case you missed its main features, here is a brief summary.
Xiaomi 13 Pro Specification Highlights:
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip
- 6.73″ curved OLED display with latest Samsung E6 panel
- Latest LPDDR5X RAM, newest UFS 4.0 storage
- Triple rear camera system with 1-inch main sensor
- 4820mAh battery
- 120W fast wired charging, 50W wireless charging, 10W reverse charging
- MIUI 14 with Android 13 on board
Xiaomi 13 Pro: where and when to buy one?
Xiaomi already impressed phone camera enthusiasts with the 12S Ultra earlier in 2022, but that phone remained exclusive for the Chinese market, while the Xiaomi 13 Pro will be available outside of China. Company chief Lei Jun says a global launch is likely to happen sooner than what we saw last year with the Xiaomi 12 series, which could mean the phones will come to the UK and in Europe around February 2023.
Xiaomi phones aren’t officially sold in the US, and that won’t change anytime soon (if ever), but you can still import one. Amazon sells older Xiaomi phones, so that’s a place to look after a few months, just keep in mind that an imported phone may not have all the appropriate 5G connectivity bands for the US market.
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