Advertisements

MkrGeo

An original point of view

Photography, Video

Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128 GB (Global version) test, part 1 – all daytime photo & video facilities

Xiaomi Mi 9 Lake District National Park head

Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) - Ullswater Valley in the Lake District National Park.

After a short adventure with Xiaomi Mi 8 128GB global version, bought by my wife I decided to get a newer model – Mi 9.
The smartphone is pretty much similar to his previous counterpart, although it has been upgraded with a few useful options. Traditionally I would like to cover the photography facilities in this device, although it won’t take as long as previously, because most of the stuff is pretty much the same as in Mi 8 Global Version, presented more than half a year ago. I will focus on the things, being recently implemented to the Xiaomi’s world of photography. At the finish you will be redirected to the recorded screen grab, presenting all features both here and previously in Mi 8. Let’s crack on then.

  1. GENERAL PHOTO MODES

Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global version) have mostly the same photo modes as the previous model Mi 8. Exactly the same is also interfaces, so someone, who previously had Mi 8 will get around very easily. Apart from stuff literally copied from previous model Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB Global Version there are new options available.
An undeniable feature in Mi 9 is a 48MP image option, which blew minds all users wanting to have this device on their own. Unfortunately, this is a dummy advantage, because the 48MP image is produced by pixel interpolation from the 16MP front camera (Pic. 1-5).

Xiaomi Mi 9 48MP photo example Waterbeach

Xiaomi Mi 9 48MP photo example Waterbeach detailed1

Xiaomi Mi 9 48MP photo example Waterbeach detailed2

Pic. 1 – 3 An example of a 48MP image from Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global version), where: 1 – general image with close-up views; 2 – close-up view 1 with sensor issues shown by red signs; 3 – noisy pixels spotted on the sky (close-up view 2). Waterbeach, United Kingdom.

Xiaomi Mi 9 48MP picture example, Lubnya

Xiaomi Mi 9 48MP picture example, Lubnya detailed

Pic. 4,5 – Another Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global version) 48mP image example, where: 4 – general view; 5 – detailed view with pixel interpolation effect. Lubnya, Ukraine.

To be fair, the detailed view of the 48MP image doesn’t look bad. This is the effect of good sensor 1/2″ instead of 1/2.55″ in the previous model. Nevertheless, the interpolation is still visible, especially on plain-colored areas, where the image doesn’t look perfect. It disappears once you make your picture smaller.

I don’t want to complain about it anymore, because using a 48MP photo option has another, a very important feature, not really mentioned by producers. It can be used as a kind of wide-angle image (Pic. 6).

Mi 9 ultra wide angle vs 48MP screen

Pic. 6 Xiaomi Mi 9 screengrab from an ultra-wide-angle and 48MP image options.

Even if is still a long way to achieve a serious wide-angle mode by 48MP image, it’s still wider, that normal one, especially in the vertical axis (Pic. 7).

Xiaomi Mi 9 image size comparison

Pic. 7 Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) image comparison between 48MP, wide-angle mode, and normal image. Waterbeach, Harding Close, United Kingdom.

The Xiaomi Mi 9 wide-angle mode offers a 117-angle field of view. However, sadly I can say, that it cannot be really used in full-frame. The most external regions of the wide-angle image are blurry and unnaturally elongated (Pic. 8).

Xiaomi Mi 9 wide angle mode example2 Waterbeach

Pic. 8 Xiaomi Mi 9 wide-angle mode with areas unfit for use. Red arrows show a direction of increasing image elongation. Waterbeach, Harding Close, United Kingdom.

So, the producers of Xiaomi Mi 9 happily announced the wide-angle mode as a brand new feature, although everything is incredibly flawed. Watching the image above (Pic. 8) as well as the next few underneath (Pic. 9-12), we can quickly conclude, that wide-angle won’t be really useful in this model, unfortunately.  That’s why I propose to use 48MP instead to get an image a bit wider than the standard one (Pic. 7).
Going through flaws of the wide-angle image in Mi 9 I would like to show you some details (Pic. 9-12).

Xiaomi Mi 9 wide angle mode example2 Waterbeach 2

Xiaomi Mi 9 wide angle mode example2 Waterbeach 3

Xiaomi Mi 9 wide angle mode example2 Waterbeach 4

Xiaomi Mi 9 wide angle mode example2 Waterbeach

Pic. 8 – 11 A wide-angle defect in Xiaomi Mi 9 pictures: 8 – General image with crop (closed-up) regions; 9(1) – the most affected area; 10(2) – the best, clear middle part of the image; 11(3) – left, less affected part of the image. Waterbeach, Harding Close, United Kingdom.

Other features are the same as in Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global Version)Xiaomi Mi 8 128GB (Global version) photo facilities, part 1 – general photo modes, so you can read more about them under the link above or watch the Mi 9 screengrab movie on my Youtube channel (see below).
At the finish of this section, let’s see some example images underneath:

Cergowa, Łęki Dukielskie, Polska

Pic. 12 Cergowa Mt. seen from Łęki Dukielskie village, Poland. 1/900s, f/2.2, ISO 100.

Czeremcha z Łubnii, Ukraina

Pic. 13 View on the Czeremcha Mt. from the way to Lubnya, Ukraine. 1/900s, f/1.8, ISO 100.

Lubnya, therkva, orthodox church in wide-angle

Pic. 14 Orthodox church in Lubnya, Ukraine (wide-angle mode). 1/30s, f/2.2, ISO 300

Plishka landslip Mi 9 wide angle

Pic. 15 Landslip underneath the top of the Plishka Mt. (Ukraine), captured in wide-angle mode. Exif: 1/600s, f/2.2, ISO 100.

Xiaomi Mi 9 48MP christchurch castle

Pic. 16 Xiaomi Mi 9 48MP picture example, Christchurch castle ruins, United Kingdom. Exif: 1/5000s, f/1.8, ISO 100.

Xiaomi Mi 9 48MP Lulworth castle

Pic. 17 Xiaomi Mi 9 48MP picture example, Lulworth Castle in Dorset, United Kingdom. EXIF: 1/2000s, f/1.8, ISO 100.

2. ZOOM AND MACRO FEATURES

All zoom and macro features in Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) are pretty much the same as in its predecessor – Xiaomi Mi 8. The difference lies in the digital zoom factor, which has been extended up to 10x (2×5) instead of 8x (2×4) in Mi 8 device.
Considering the macro picture possibility, it can be achieved even by 48MP image (Pic. 19-20). There is completely no option to gain it by wide-angle mode (Pic. 18).

Mi 8 wide angle macro

Pic. 18 Xiaomi Mi 9 the best macro example, as we can get in wide-angle mode. Common Ivy (Hedera Helix).

The minimum distance, as we can put our device a front of an object is about 10cm. That’s good and much better than in Mi 8, where we were able to take images from about 25-30cm distance. It means, that even normal images can bring a better view, than in the previous model (Pic. 21,22).

Xiaomi Mi 9 macro 48mp image

Xiaomi Mi 9 macro 48mp image 2

Pic. 19,20 Macro 48MP image example in Xiaomi Mi 9 device: 19 – normal picture; 20 – cropped.

Xiaomi Mi 9 macro compilation

Pic. 21 Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) macro compilation.

Xiaomi Mi 9 macro compilation2

Pic. 22 Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) macro compilation, cropped.

Zoom factor works exactly the same. Because Xiaomi Mi 9, as well as its predecessor, Mi 8, have only 2x optical zoom camera, there is no possibility to have a better image. I even would say, that this 2x optical zoom is even bit worse in Mi 9, than in Mi 8. Anyway, the biggest downside of Mi 9 zoom is its disappearance in the Panorama photo mode! If you jump to my Mi 8 zoom camera test, you see, that there is a 2x zoom option also for panoramic pictures, which correspond to the optical zoom factor in hat device. In Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) this feature has been switched off, unfortunately.
Despite lack of zoom option in Panorama mode, and a bit worst optical zoom camera in Mi 9 it remains a still useful option, as long as you remember to set your focus correctly! Seeing my 8x zoom image below you have the best example of wrongly adjusted focus, which can make your image blurry, in spite of the camera quality (Pic. 23 – 25).

Xiaomi Mi 9 zoom factor screen grab

Pic. 23 Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global version) zoom factor example screen grab.

Xiaomi Mi 9 zoom example

Pic. 24 Zoom compilation in Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) device. Harding Close, Waterbeach, United Kingdom.

Xiaomi Mi 9 zoom compilation cropped

Pic. 25 Zoom compilation in Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) device, cropped image. Harding Close, Waterbeach, United Kingdom.

See also another example below (Pic. 26, 27).

Xiaomi Mi 9 zoom compilation 2

Pic. 26 Another zoom compilation in Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) device. High Street, Waterbeach, United Kingdom.

Xiaomi Mi 9 zoom compilation2 cropped

Pic. 27 Another cropped zoom compilation in Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) device. High Street, Waterbeach, United Kingdom view on the One Stop Store shop.

See also a couple example images below(Pic. 28, 29):

Mi 9 7spot ladybird

Pic. 28 Seven-spot ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata) captured by Mi 9, zoom 10x.

Chyrowa Beskid Niski

Pic. 29 Chyrowa mountain in Beskid Niski (Low Beskid), Southern Poland.

As a summary these both chapters, see the Xiaomi Mi 9 screen grab video below:

3. VIDEO FACILITIES

The video facilities in Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version), likewise image options, are very similar, comparing to the previous Mi 8 device. However, some of them has been developed, thanks to this we can look on it mostly on the plus side. The biggest upgrade has been done with Slow Motion and Macro modes, which comes separately in this device (Pic. 30), unlike to Xiaomi Mi 8, where they appear together in video mode.

Xiaomi Mi 9 main video modes

Pic. 30 Main Video modes in Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version).

The Slow motion video is worth big attention, because producers offered 3 kinds of slow motion in this instrument. You can make the slow-motion with 120FPS, 240FPS and 960FPS. “The fastest” slow-motion match to 120FPS and “the slowest” to 960FPS. We must remember, that under 960FPS the device is able to record no more, than 10sec of the footage (Pic. 31-32). In the last one, the slow-motion starts once the button will turn into a white dot (Pic. 30). Be prepared a bit earlier if you want to catch some moment.  It applies to all Slow motion modes in Mi 9. You must start recording a few seconds earlier, which can be a bit awkward sometimes. Personally, I would rather have a similar Slow-motion technique to previous, Mi 8 mode, where the slower movie starts from the very beginning, just after press the red button. On the plus side, in Mi 9 we can use three Slow motion modes instead on only one.

Xiaomi Mi 9 slow motion 960FPS example

Pic. 31 The most slowest “Slow-motion” mode in Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version), which activates once “timer reaches a white dot” and allow user to make a record up to 10s.

Mi 9 slow motion mode 240FPS

Pic. 32 Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) slow-motion mode 240FPS, which features an “average slow mode”.

Using the Slow-motion mode in Mi 9 can be tricky for new users, because unlike to previous, Mi 8 device, the footage is not been saved right after stop recording!
The crude slow-motion footages are saved in the drive with extended default names, showing the “FPS” feature used when recording your movie (Pic. 33).

Xiaomi Mi 9 crude files with slow motion footage against converted ones, ready for play.

Pic. 33 Xiaomi Mi 9 crude slow-motion footages with extended default name against processed ones, ready for play.

The output files come in pairs, where one counts exactly 10s and another one shows a rough time of recording (i.e 18s). To get the slow-motion useful we must combine them together. Otherwise, you will see a static image only, which changes after clicking on the timeline in your movie player.
Fortunately, we can do the processing right after recording in our device. To do it, we should click anywhere on our screen to populate our slow-motion features (Pic. 34).

Xiaomi Mi 9 Slow motion properties

Pic. 34 Xiaomi Mi 9 Slow motion mode properties, where: 1 – “Save” option; 2 – Timeframes with normal speed!

Before I start to describe all edit & save options available in the Mi 9 device, I must flag up another feature, not really good in my opinion. There are external timeframes not covered by Slow-motion mode sensu stricto. As I told above, considering a 960FPS mode, which runs after a white button appear. It works analogically in another 2 modes too. Wanting to cover some important moments in your slow-motion feature you have to predict them before. Usually the best time is 10s (according to the one of crude file length shown above in Pic. 33). Throughout this time both after the start and before the end of our footage, the Slow motion doesn’t exist. Mi 9 covers it as an ordinary video. The green boxes show exactly what parts of our footage includes a Slow motion mode. There are more rare dots in the section between the external ones, more congested.
Every single movie recorded in 120 and 240FPS Slow motion mode will include this feature, unlike to 960FPS, which have it only at the beginning.

Before saving our slow-motion video it’s good to make some simple adjustments, available in the “Settings” option (Pic. 35, 36).

Xiaomi Mi 9 slow motion fotage settings

Xiaomi Mi 9 slow motion fotage settings, brightness

Pic. 35, 36 Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) Slow motion settings; 36 – the brightness settings.

Personally, I would rather avoid changing your footage feature on the “full screen” mode, because it may come unpleasingly stretched.

Once you are happy with your slow-motion footage, you can press “Save” in order to process your video.

Xiaomi Mi 9 slow motion video processing

Pic. 37 Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) slow-motion video processing.

In the 960FPS we have an exception because our files don’t need to be saved in the device (Pic. 38). What you can do is only changing the settings, volume or take a snapshot. The same options you have after your slow-motion movie processing in this device.

Xiaomi Mi 9 taking a snapshot

Pic. 38 Taking a snapshot in Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) Slow motion mode.

If you wish to see sample videos made by Xiaomi Mi 9, see below:

4.  IMAGE PROCESSING OPTIONS

This section remains the same as in Mi 8 device, so the description is not needed. If you want to know more details about the image manipulation options available in these both devices, visit this link or watch the screengrab below:

At the finish, I would like to show you a few example pictures processed by Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version), a bit more than previously in Mi 8.

Xiaomi Mi 9 image processed Cambridge Research Park

Xiaomi Mi 9 image processed Cambridge Research Park 2

Xiaomi Mi 9 image processed Cambridge Research Park 3

Xiaomi Mi 9 image processed Cambridge Research Park 4

Xiaomi Mi 9 image processed Cambridge Research Park 5

Xiaomi Mi 9 image processed Cambridge Research Park 6

Xiaomi Mi 9 image processed Cambridge Research Park 7

Xiaomi Mi 9 image processed Cambridge Research Park 8

Xiaomi Mi 9 image processed Cambridge Research Park 9

Xiaomi Mi 9 image processed Cambridge Research Park 10

Pic. 39 – 48 Xiaomi Mi 9 6GB 128GB (Global Version) processed image examples. Cambridge Research Park, United Kingdom.

Mariusz Krukar

 

Links:

  1. https://www.dxomark.com/xiaomi-mi-9-camera-review/
  2. https://www.techradar.com/uk/reviews/xiaomi-mi-9
  3. https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/xiaomi-mi-9

 

Read also:

  1. Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global Version), part 1 – general photo modes
  2. Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global Version), part 2 – photo quality, zoom and macro
  3. Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global Version), part 4 – video
  4. Xiaomi Mi 8 6GB 128GB (Global version), part 5 – photo image & retouch and summary
Advertisements

Theme by Anders Norén

Follow

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

%d bloggers like this: