Check out these photos: The phone’s new camera takes really good DSLR-like photos that are impossible to take on an iPhone or Galaxy S23 Ultra

We’ve all been waiting for this phone to take the next-generation leap in phone camera quality and show us meaningful innovation across the Galaxy S23 Ultra, iPhone 14 Pro Max, and Google Pixel 7 Pro, and now it’s here.

But maybe not in the way we expected. The recently released Xiaomi 13 Pro makes no secret of its huge aspirations for the camera, but most of the talk was actually about the main camera sensor which is much larger than the competition.

Xiaomi is one of the first companies to bring a 1-inch type sensor to its main camera, which is an order of magnitude larger and more powerful than what we have in the iPhone, Galaxy and Pixel.

Surprisingly, however, just days after the phone’s launch, Xiaomi 13 Pro owners are actually sharing less photos from their 1-inch dream camera sensor and more photos from… one of its other cameras!

The Xiaomi Mi 13 Pro has a triple camera system with primary, ultra-wide and telephoto shooters, and it is this innovative new telephoto camera that surprisingly turns out to be the star of the show.

Instead of using a long-range zoom camera like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Xiaomi 13 Pro uses a traditional zoom camera with a zoom range of 3.2X, or about 75mm.

And if that was the whole story, it would be… well, completely unremarkable! But this new camera actually comes with one superpower that we haven’t seen before in a zoom gun: It’s ability to focus until far away Close distances!

Xiaomi Mi 13 Pro close-up zoom photos

Users on the Chinese microblog Weibo (via Notebookcheck) is thrilled with this new camera, and the photos they took are really a testament to the amazing looks you can get from this shooter. It doesn’t actually look like a smartphone photo, it has the dreamy bokeh you’d normally expect from a professional camera paired with an expensive macro lens!

Being able to get up close with a zoom camera opens up a whole world of possibilities. Close-ups of pets, beautiful photos of bees and other insects, it all lends itself perfectly to this new camera.

The innovation behind this close focus ability with a telephoto camera is a floating element inside the lens that moves as you shift focus. Conventional cameras use a fixed lens and cannot achieve such close focus.

There are a bunch of Xiaomi 13 Pro photos uploaded by many new owners on the Weibo microblog all the time, and if you want to see more, you might want to search there.

Xiaomi 13 Pro Telephoto camera in low light

One of the big advantages of using a relatively close telephoto range like 3.2X is that you can use a larger aperture, which allows more light to enter the sensor.

Many flagship phones can’t use zoom cameras at night simply because the combination of slow aperture and small sensor makes this impossible. But not Xiaomi 13 Pro. As you can see above, you can use the 3.2X zoom camera in various low light and even night conditions and get some great shots.

Colors are also something that Xiaomi has been working on in collaboration with its partner, the legendary camera company Leica.

In fact, the lens in the Xiaomi 13 series bears the Vario-Summicron brand name, where the “Vario” part denotes the presence of a zoom feature and the “Summicron” part denotes the Leica badge for maximum lens quality.

And it’s notable how Xiaomi has already switched to this lens after using a longer 5X periscope zoom on the 12S Ultra from earlier this year. This closer zoom range may be more versatile and people use it more often, plus it will come in handy for portrait shots as well.

Xiaomi Mi 13 Pro close-up zoom video

And of course, you can use the same close-up focus in video recording as well.

Here’s what the super zoom video looks like:

This is very impressive, the detail, color and general cinematic look 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 full-fledged flagship! In case you missed its main characteristics, here’s a quick summary.

Highlights of Xiaomi 13 Pro specifications:

  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip
  • 6.73-inch curved OLED screen with the latest Samsung E6 panel
  • The latest LPDDR5X RAM, the latest UFS 4.0 storage
  • Triple rear camera system with 1 inch main sensor
  • 4,820 mAh battery
  • 120W fast wired charging, 50W wireless charging, 10W reverse charging
  • MIUI 14 with Android 13 on board
The phone also features a solid build with four different models. black, white, and green that use ceramic instead of traditional glass, and ceramic is a more premium material that has better scratch resistance than glass. Our favorite, however, has to be the blue leather version that uses a new type of nano-coating that protects it from dirt. A Xiaomi demo recently showed it being sprayed with graffiti and tortured in every possible way, and if you act quickly before the paint dries, you can just wipe this off easily with a cloth and keep the material clean.

Xiaomi 13 Pro: where and when can you buy one?

The Xiaomi phone already impressed phone camera enthusiasts with the 12S Ultra earlier in 2022, but this phone remained exclusive to the Chinese market, while the Xiaomi 13 Pro will be available outside of China. Company president Lei Jun teased that the global launch is expected to happen earlier than what we saw last year with the Xiaomi 12 series, so this could mean that the phones will arrive in the UK and Europe in 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 a phone. Amazon sells old Xiaomi phones, so this is one place to take care of after a few months, just keep in mind that an imported phone may not have all of the 5G connection bands suitable for the US market.

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