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Photography

Xiaomi Mi 8 128GB (Global version) photo facilities, part 2 – photo quality, zoom and macro

Xiaomi Mi 8 zoom and macro features

Xiaomi Mi 8 part 2 - zoom and macro features

 

Welcome again! Continuing our walk through the photo facilities in Xiaomi Mi 8 6gb 128 GB (Global version). The camera sensor 1/2.55″ works very well. It is similar to a pretty good compact camera (Pic. 1), so pictures are really good, which you could see in my previous article.

Standard sensor chart for cameras and smartphones

Pic. 1 The standard sensor chart (akiwiretrospective.wordpress.com).

Let’s have a look for general picture quality in this Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone. I have taken into account especially a chromatic aberration and sharpness, which are the most important elements comprising of general picture quality. I have embedded a few examples below (Pic. 2 – 8), which has been also cropped in order to show the details. Bokeh is a good feature, that Xiaomi Mi 8 can boost. I have described it previously, in the case of the Portrait mode, however, it is also perfect for another object (Pic. 2, 3).

Hydrangea Citiline Parish shrub

Xiaomi Mi 8 bokeh example

Pic. 2, 3 – A bokeh example in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone: 2 – normal picture, 3 – cropped. Hydrangea Cityline Paris shrub.

Sharpness works really good. A big sensor hides a lot of defects, that have been visible in earlier smartphones, like Samsung Galaxy S5, which I had occasion to test before. Images can be easily mistaken with typical pictures taken by a moderate compact digital camera (Pic. 3,4).

Wimpole Hall area Cambridgeshire

Wimpole Hall Cambridgeshire Xiaomi Mi 8 cropped

Pic. 4,5 – An example of a sharp picture taken by the Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone. Wimpole Hall area, United Kingdom.

Chromatic aberration remains practically invisible in normal photos. This bad feature can be spotted once you decide to take a picture with filters. Filters enhance some colors and faint other ones, which in effect emphasize some bad features. Anyway, this is a not big issue, unlike cheaper smartphones, where it is more discernable, even in typical photo modes.

Xiaomi mi 8 chromatic aberration issue Cambridge Colleridge Road

Xiaomi Mi 8 chromatic aberration issue, cropped

Pic. 5, 6 A chromatic aberration in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone as seen mainly only in photo filter conditions. Red arrows indicate a color deviation lines adjoining to the more darker areas in the photo frame. These features are to be seen in the cropped pictures only.

Now is the time to enclose the information about zoom, provided by Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone. The 6GB 128GB model has pretty much the same zoom feature as its other Mi 8 smartphones. A main optical zoom reaches 2x, which is still far better than in cheaper smartphones. Taking into account, for instance, Samsung Galaxy S5, the optical zoom was not provided there and the user could use only a digital one up to 4x enlargement.

The optical zoom in Xiaomi Mi 8 can be used in all modes, except the Portrait and Manual one. In Photo and Square modes, this zoom can be supplemented by much bigger, however at least partially digital zoom, but let me show a few things first.

Firstly the zoom option you can find in a white circle, just above the imaging modes near the bottom of the screen (Pic. 7).

Xiaomi Mi 8 zoom option

Pic. 7 A zoom option in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

You can use the zoom option in Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB smartphone by touching the area inside this white circle. The optical zoom will automatically change to 2x magnification. I will show the 2x enlargement examples in the sequences below. Before it, I would like to say frankly, that I was very glad to use the optical zoom in Panorama mode (Pic. 8 – 10). Due to enlargement user might have created a picture with double width (Pic. 8, 9), regardless of the total angle of the panorama.

Panorama1x Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Hemingford Road Cambridge

Panorama2x zoom Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Hemingford Road Cambridge

Pic. 8, 9 Panorama made by Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone in 1x and 2x enlargements. Pictures differ from each other by size. Due to compression, the enlargement is gone. 8 – 1x zoom, 9 – 2x zoom.

To see the real difference between these 2 panoramas, I have cropped both pictures and places them below (Pic. 10). There is a very important place, indicated by red arrows. Namely, some of the parts during the panorama preparation were not sharp enough. probably I was moving the camera too fast and autofocus had not enough time to set properly. The result is poor in some middle part of the cropped picture, which looks more blurred.

Xiaomi Mi 8 panorama cropped details

Pic. 10 A cropped fragments of the panoramas taken in 1x and 2x optical zoom by Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone. Red arrows show the border between blurred and sharp areas, which was a result of too fast panorama preparation.

As we came through a standard optical zoom offered by Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB global smartphone now we can discuss bigger enlargement possibilities. To make your zoom bigger, you must click on the white circle, shown above and hold it until you get the vertical zoom scale. Then you will be able to set the zoom value.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) 5x zoomed image

Pic. 11 The 5x zoomed image in the Xiaomi Mi 8 screen.

To be fair they are not as good as we could use in compact cameras, but at least exist. Being honest I would like to say, that the optical zoom really works up to 2x. Next, up to 4x users can still enjoy the optical zoom, which works by the pixel interpolation. If you don’t know how it works in practice, read one of my previous articles. When enlargement is higher than 4x, the digital zoom takes hold, which becomes clearly visible not only in cropped pictures but also in normal ones. See the examples of the zoom below. I prepared in order: zoom into the close object (Pic. 12, 13), zoom into far, remarkable object (Pic. 14, 15) and zoom into far, thin object (Pic. 16, 17).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Zoom_close 1-8x Romsey Mill memorial stone Cambridge

Pic. 12 Zoom for the close object. Romsey Mill memorial stone, Cambridge, UK.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Zoom_close_cropped 1-8x Romsey Mill memorial stone Cambridge

Pic. 13 Zoom for a close object, cropped. Romsey Mill memorial stone, Cambridge, UK.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) zoom on remote object, Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge

Pic. 14 Zoom into a remote object, located 2,5km ahead. Coleridge Road with view on the Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) zoom on remote object, Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge cropped

Pic. 15 Zoom into a remote object, located 2,5km ahead, cropped. View on the Addenbrooke’s Hospital chimney, Cambridge, UK.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global Version) zoom on closer object

Pic. 16. Zoom on a remote thin object, located about 100m ahead (the yagi antenna).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) zoom on closer object cropped

Pic. 17 Zoom on a remote thin object, located about 100m ahead (the yagi antenna), cropped.

The zoom option in Xiaomi Mi 8 can offer also a macro feature. Basically, the quality appears to be the same. A minimal distance to the object can be similar to some DSLR lenses and compact cameras. This is about 25 – 30 cm, however a bit better effect you will gain when increasing the distance a bit. In general, a macro quality can compete with macro offered by some DSLR lenses, which doesn’t have highlighted a macro as a feature (Pic. 18).

Xiaomi Mi 8 vs Nikkor 18-105mm macro comparison

Pic. 18 Macro comparison between Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) and Nikkor 18-105mm lenses, all cropped. Peat moss.

Knowing a general macro feature, which the Xiaomi Mi 8 device offers let’s come through all zoom options and consider the macro photos taken from the minimum possible distance (about 25-30 cm)(Pic. 19, 20) as well as a bigger one (around 50 cm)(Pic. 21, 22).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) macro image 25-30cm distance

Pic. 19 Macro image was taken by Xiaomi Mi 8 from the minimum distance to the object, about 25-30 cm. Peat Moss.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) macro image 25-30cm distance cropped

Pic. 20 The macro image was taken by Xiaomi Mi 8 from the minimum distance to the object, about 25-30 cm, cropped. Peat Moss.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) macro image 50cm distance

Pic. 21 The macro picture was taken by Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone from about 50 cm distance. Dicranum moss.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) macro image 50cm distance cropped

Pic. 22 The macro picture taken by Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone from about 50 cm distance, cropped. Dicranum moss.

Looking at the aforementioned examples we can spot, that macro picture taken with a bigger distance to the object looks better for lower enlargements, but much worse for bigger magnification. Bear in mind the focus set and give your smartphone camera some time to adjust the sharpness before you start taking this kind of picture. Sometimes can be good to stabilize your device properly also. Autofocus plays a vast role when your zoom is running. Every vibration is multiplied by zoom value.

See other examples of macro photos below:

Ants photographed by Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version)

Pic. 23 Ants.

Blackberry photographed by Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version)

Pic. 24 Blackberry.

Gueldel rose photographed by Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version)

Pic. 25. Gueldel Rose.

The zoom feature provided by Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) gives possibilities to take a picture of remote objects as well as basic macro images. However, as it is in the example of the smartphone, also here is a lot of things to work out in future Xiaomi models. For the time being it appears to be one of the best from the smartphone environment.

Mariusz Krukar

 

Links:

  1. Smartphone sensor
  2. Smartphone sensors overview

 

Read also:

  1. Take a photo by Samsung Galaxy S5

 

 

 

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