Mi 10 Ultra: Xiaomi reveals details behind its camera darling
Xiaomi officially unveiled the Mi 10 Ultra to great praise earlier this month. Currently, the premier device in the Mi 10 series occupies the top of the DxOMark leaderboard, ousting the Huawei P40 Pro as the smartphone to beat, according to the French website. Xiaomi has already torn down the Mi 10 Ultra, and now it has gone into depth about the details of the cameras that it included in its latest flagship.
According to the company, the primary camera is a 48 MP and 1/1.32-inch sensor. This camera has an 8P lens, which the company included in the Mi Note 10 Pro last year. Still, 8P lenses remain rarities in smartphone cameras. Additional lenses do not necessarily improve image quality but it could reduce image errors, albeit at the expense of additional cost and complexity. The 48 MP sensor also supports dual-native ISO, which supposedly reduces image noise in low light without resorting to software tricks.
Additionally, the sensor can create HDR images directly by combining photos with different exposure times. However, the Mi 10 Ultra combines these images at a more granular level than other smartphones do, which typically blend three complete photos. In practice, this should allow the Mi 10 Ultra to capture moving subjects more precisely with HDR mode enabled. The sensor-based HDR processing also gives the Mi 10 Ultra the bragging rights of being the first smartphone that can record HDR10 videos.
Xiaomi relied on the IMX586 for the Mi 10 Ultra's telephoto camera, but it encountered issues with utilising the sensor in this way. The sensor measures 1/2.32-inches, which is much larger than typical smartphone telephoto camera sensors. Xiaomi cut the IMX586 down with a D-cut lens, but it took several iterations to overcome the problems that D-cut lenses pose for OIS.
Finally, the ultra-wide-angle camera has a 128° field of view, which is wider than many ultra-wide-cameras; even in high-end smartphones. Xiaomi also used a new 7P lens here, instead of using the 6P lens design of many ultra-wide-angle cameras. As with the 48 MP primary camera, the inclusion of an additional lens supposedly reduces distortion and vignetting. A side-effect of these improvements is that it allows the Mi 10 Ultra to capture ultra-wide images in higher resolutions, as it does not need to correct distortions at the edge of images.
In short, it seems that Xiaomi actually put a lot of work into the cameras on the Mi 10 Ultra. At the very least, these innovations should eventually make their way to future Xiaomi smartphones, like the Mi 11 series.