Advertisements
Advertisements

An original point of view

Photography

Xiaomi Mi 8 128GB (Global version) photo facilities, part 1 – general photo modes

Xiaomi Mi 8 Global version head

Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version)

 

I would like to show you my test of the newest, recently announced phone Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB RAM 128GB (Global version). My wife ordered this smartphone in August, when the Xiaomi Mi 8 has been released. Traditionally my test will cover the photo & video facilities, which are really wide in this model. Interestingly the user is able to take macro pictures and night photography. Moreover, this smartphone gives you the ability to capture the night sky and zoomed remote objects. All this stuff I would like to present to you in the following articles. The 20MP front camera is awesome. It is supersaturated like cameras from Samsung and has good sharpness and dynamic range. Thanks to this the camera performs well in nearly every situation. The rear camera has 12MP, although the portrait mode still leaves a lot to be desired. A front-facing portrait mode is very well. Both cameras don’t have an extreme amount of contrast, but instead focuses on tonality.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 has also perfect video facilities. You can make a slow-motion and timelapse movies. More details about this I will bring you in the next article.

The first part of my test includes an overall insight into photo facilities of the Xiaomi Mi 8 128GB (Global version).
Once you open the Camera app, you have basic options, as you can find in each modern smartphone (Pic. 1).

Xiaomi Mi 8 general photo interface

Pic. 1 A top interface of the photo app on Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version).

Option 1stFlash and 2ndHDR (Pic. 2) are commonly known.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Picture square option

Pic. 2 The HDR options in Xiaomi Mi 8.

Interesting can be option 3rd – the AI camera (Pic. 3). The AI-powered camera is a new kind of camera, which makes up for the smartphone’s lack of zoom lenses. Because smartphones don’t have the same optics as digital cameras do, so the computational photography solution is needed. In practice using the AI camera helps to smooth the skin, remove some blemishes, etc.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Ai camera

Pic. 3 The AI camera in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone: 1 – switched off, 2 – switched on. Hemingford Road, Cambridge, UK.

With the AI camera, also 4th feature is associated, where the user can select a professional image on the app and apply the same white balance, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO (Pic. 2).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Ai camera and photo filter selection

Pic. 4 Filter selection in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

Basically, the Xiaomi Mi 8 photo app offers 12 colour filters and 2 grey ones. The 5th option represents photo settings (Pic. 4).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) basic photo settings

Pic. 5 Basic photo settings in Xiaomi mi 8 smartphone.

At this stage focus on the Settings option in the top left corner (Pic. 5), where you can find all preferences, ready to adjust for your needs (Pic. 6).

Xiaomi Mi 8 9Global version) camera settings

Pic. 6 Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) camera settings.

Let’s take a look at the options at the bottom of the screen, where you have a few main options to choose from. Firstly, leave the video options, because they will be described in the next article. Secondly have a look for main photo options, as I said before. The user has a few ways to take a good picture of the Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone. There are: Photo, Portrait, Square, Panorama, Manual (Pic. 7).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) main photo options

Pic. 7 Main photo options in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

Now I would like to come through each option, showing you all the details of the Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) photo features.
A simple photo (Photo mode) taken by Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone looks like this below (Pic. 8).

Colleridge recreation ground in Cambridge

Pic. 8 Coleridge Recreation Ground, Cambridge, UK.

To help set the picture sharpness you can use the autofocus, which is to be seen as a white circle with a white smallish circle inside. When setting your camera onto some object you can adjust the focus by touching your finger on the screen. Then this white autofocus circle should appear. By hanging your finger certainly on this circle you can lock the autofocus (Pic. 9). This option can be useful when you are taking a photo in low light conditions. I will describe it more in further article. To unlock the autofocus you need just press the yellow circle.

Autofocus options in Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) smartphone

Pic. 9 The autofocus in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.  A white circle means, that it can change depends on both the distance to some object and manual setting by the user, when pressing the screen in some place. A yellow circle with a padlock inside means, that autofocus has been locked. Always a the moment of lock the comment as per at the bottom of the screen appears. Hemingford Road, Cambridge, UK.

Next to the autofocus, you may have seen two opposite (up and down) arrows. You can use them by clicking and dragging up & down. Then the picture brightness is to be adjusted (Pic. 10). You can use it also when your autofocus is locked. This option is available for all imaging modes, except the Panorama mode.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) brightness adjustment

Pic. 10 A photo brightness adjustment in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone. Corrie Road, Cambridge, UK.

Returning to filter selection, as shown in the pic. 4  and also pic. 11 the option is available for normal photo mode, Square and Manual modes in every single setting. As I wrote above there are 12 colored filters and 2 greys for these 3 modes.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) photo filter selection

Pic. 11 Filter selections in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

See some example photos with filters below:

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) vivid filter photo

Pic. 12 A vivid filter, Coleridge Recreation Ground, Cambridge, UK.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) photo with Amour filter

Pic. 13 An Amour filter, Mill Road, Cambridge, UK.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) photo with Cookie filter

Pic. 14 A Cookie filter, Mill Road, Cambridge, UK.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) photo with Calm filter

Pic. 15 A Calm filter, Mill Road, Cambridge, UK.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) photo with Gourmet filter

Pic. 16 A Gourmet filter, Mill Road, Cambridge, UK.

Other options, as you can use for Photo and Square mode are Tilt & shift and Straighten. The Tilt & Shift option contains two settings, which are circle and parallel (Pic. 17, 18).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) the parallel and shift mode

Pic. 17 The parallel tilt & shift mode in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) circular tilt & shift mode

Pic. 18 The circular tilt & shift mode in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

The Straighten mode allows you to take a properly rotated picture when you keep your device at some weird angle (Pic. 19). Remember, that only a framed section of your screen produces the image. In the effect the image size is lower as well as the photographed area, which has been cropped automatically by the device.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) the Straighten mode

Pic. 19 The straighten option in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

The Photo, Portrait and Square modes can also enhance the picture with Beauty and Beauty Pro setting, which adds up some tints and better focus (Pic. 20).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) the Beautify mode comparison

Pic. 20 The beauty feature in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone: 1 – Beauty Pro, 2 – Beauty, 3 – Beauty switched off. Hemingford Road, Cambridge, UK.

A good feature provided by photo app in Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) is the Timer mode, available for all modes except the Panorama. You can use the timer in the purpose of a 3-sec or 5-sec picture delay (Pic. 21).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) the Timer feature

Pic. 21 The timer feature provided by Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

Next jump to the general picture settings, as shown in the pic. 6. Amidst a lot of options to be adjusted by the user, like camera frame, picture quality or auto exposure settings we can find a very useful option, like Gridlines (Pic. 21, 22), assuring you, that you are taking a photo under a right angle.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) gridlines

Pic. 22 The gridlines in Xiaomi Mi 8 helps to rotate your field of view correctly. Coleridge Recreation Ground, Cambridge, UK.

It’s good to look at other options: Saturation and Contrast. Using them you can adjust your picture on the entry step already. Both saturation and contrast can work with each other, giving you about 50 combinations (Pic. 23 – 26).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Contrast setting examples

Pic. 23 The contrast changes setting examples: 1 – highest, 2 – normal, 3 – lowest. Argyle Street, Cambridge, UK.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Saturation setting examples

Pic. 24 The saturation settings examples: 1 – lowest, 2 – lower, 3 – normal, 4 – highest. Mill Road, Cambridge, UK.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) the saturation levels

Pic. 25 All saturation settings available in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone: 1 – highest, 2 – higher, 3 – high, 4 – normal, 5 – low, 6 – lower, 7 – lowest. Ginko Biloba tree.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) contrast levels

Pic. 26 All contrast settings available in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone: 1 – lowest, 2 – lower, 3 – low, 4 – normal, 5 – high, 6 – higher, 7 – highest. These options have been checked with the “lower” saturation settings. You can do it also for another 6 saturation settings and another way round, totaling 49 all combinations. Ginko Biloba tree.

See another example photos below:

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) lower contrast example

Pic. 27 The lowest contrast example in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone. Rustal Road, Cambridge, UK.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) the highest contrast example

Pic. 28 The highest contrast example in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone. Cumulus clouds above Greville Road in Cambridge, UK.

It’s time to jump to the next mode, which is a Portrait. This is another the most often selected mode in order to take a picture of the people. The portrait mode contains a few different options to take photos. First of all, your object must be placed at least 2,5 m from the device. Otherwise, the shutter won’t work at all. Some facilities will work with using a front camera, although for other options you will have to switch into the rear camera. These options will represent all amenities with face correction (Pic. 27).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Beauty face and remodelling options

Pic. 27 Beauty and remodeling options for rear camera in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

Filter selections are different for the Portrait mode. They correspond to the portrait session (Pic. 28).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) the Filter options

Pic. 29 Filter options for Portrait mode in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

In general, the Portrait mode allows you to select 12 colored filters and 1 grey one (Pic. 29). As a result, you can get a portrait photo like below (Pic. 30).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) my own photo

Pic. 30 An example of a portrait photo made by Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

The Portrait mode in Xiaomi Mi 8 can perfectly distinguish the closer, portrait object from further elements in the background. It results in a nice bokeh provided (Pic. 30, 31). Bear in mind, that your autofocus can behave incorrectly when a photographed person is a bit further. As a result the person outline might be not sharp enough (Pic. 31).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Portrait with bokeh option

Pic. 31 Perfect bokeh created by Portrait mode in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone. The photo was taken from a few meters, so autofocus was not perfect enough, leaving a blur outlines in places.

Well, we came through the Portrait mode then. The next one is Square one. This mode is exactly the same, with the same options and settings provided as for Photo mode. The only difference is, that the Square mode takes square pictures. The typical size of the picture taken by the smartphone is usually in frame 3:4 or 16:9. This mode can change the picture frame to a square shape (Pic. 2, 32-33).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) the Square picture option

Pic. 32 The Square mode shows a square-looking picture on your screen.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) the Square picture example

Pic. 33 An example of a square picture taken by the Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone. Romsey Mill memorial stone, Cambridge, UK.

Another, very useful mode is the Panorama mode. In this case, there is no option to set various options and settings, as we could do in other modes. When deciding to take panorama pictures you have the only choice from the main camera settings and not all, unlike other modes (Pic. 34).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Panorama photo settings

Pic. 34 The camera settings are available for the Panorama mode in Xiaomi Mi 8.

The panorama pictures are quite good. The big advantage is, that you can stop your panorama in any place. Moreover, the device better copes with the parallax, so even when we move a bit, the vista will remain smooth (Pic. 35). However, once you are close enough to some object and you move a bit, then some discrepancies at the stitches can be discernable (Pic. 36).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Panorama mode

Pic. 35 An example of a panoramic picture taken by the Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone. The device is handling well with a parallax, giving a smooth vista. Mill Road, Cambridge, UK.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) panorama mode movement issues

Pic. 36 When your movements are too big, then the device cannot handle properly with a parallax. The result is pointed by red arrows; an electric line, which is thin, looks like a cut, separate objects. In case of bigger objects, like a car on the middle bottom, might be totally misshapen. Hemingford Road, Cambridge, UK.

The aforementioned picture (Pic. 36) is a good example of the issue, that we shouldn’t do making panoramic photos. We must avoid objects, being in motion. Otherwise, we get some deformed elements. It refers to every device with Panorama mode.

Last mode, which can bother the user is the Manual mode. It seems to be very good developed in the Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) due to a multitude of options to be set manually. Firstly – a white balance. There is a lot of options for this, beginning on the automatic setting, finishing at a very wide temperature range scale from 2000 to 8000 K (Pic. 37).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) manual settings light balance

Pic. 37 A white balance manual settings in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

The aperture manual settings are also amazing, with a range up to 100 (Pic. 38).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Manual settings_ aperture

Pic. 38 The aperture manual settings in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

The shutter speed provided in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone is simply amazing! It can compete with some digital cameras without hesitation. The maximum shutter speed starts from 1/1000 s, but the minimum reaches 32 s, which allows the user to take awesome pictures during the night. This phone can be also used for astrophotography, which I will say more in the future article. Remember, that this range is achievable for a wide lens. When you have a telephoto (tele) lens selected (marked with a red circle), then a minimum shutter speed reaches 1/2 sec only.

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) manual settings_ shutter speed

Pic. 39 A shutter speed manual settings in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

The ISO range is from 100 to 3200, which is also amazing! (Pic. 40).

Xiaomi Mi 8 (Global version) Manual settings_ ISO

Pic. 40 ISO manual settings in Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphone.

I have presented all photo features offered by Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) smartphone. This is only general information for all users and people planning to buy this device. In the next articles, I would like to focus on the Zoom and Macro facilities as well as the night photography and videos. The section of image retouching is also to be developed at the summary stage. See some example photos taken by Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) below.

Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) photo example coffee time

Pic. 41 Coffee time, 1/25s, f1.8, 4mm, ISO 900.

Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) photo example Trinity Holy Church Tattershall

Pic. 42 Inside the Holy Trinity Collegiate Church in Tattershall, UK. 1/250s, f.1/8, 4mm, ISO 900.

Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) photo example Tattershall Castle

Pic. 43 A beautiful Tattershall Castle during the autumn. 1/400s, 4mm, f1.8, ISO 100.

Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) photo example Blue Bell Inn Belchford

Pic. 44 The Blue Bell Inn in Belchford, Lincolnshire. 1/500s, 4mm, f1.8, ISO 100.

Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version) photo example biscuits

Pic. 45 Would you like a biscuit? 1/25s, 4mm, f1.8, ISO 900.

Mariusz Krukar

 

Links:

1. What is AI camera?
2. Xiaomi Mi 8 review
3. Xiaomi Mi 8 128gb – specification
4. Gsmarena.com: Xiaomi Mi 8 – specification, details
5. Xda-developers.com: Xiaomi Mi 8 nowe comes with 8GB and 128GB storage model
6. Xiaomi Mi 8 review detailed
7. Xiaomi Mi 8 – Preview

 

Youtube:

 

Read also:

1. Take a photo by Samsung Galaxy S5

Advertisements
Advertisements
Follow

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

%d bloggers like this: