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Xiaomi Mi 8 Review - Performance

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Xiaomi Mi 8 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


Xiaomi Mi 8 Sample Photos

Photos taken with the camera show good colour reproduction, and exposure is reliable, with little need to use exposure compensation. Colour reproduction is good from both cameras, with matching colour reproduction whether using the wide-angle or telephoto cameras. (Unfortunately the same can't be said for all smartphones with multiple cameras). 


Xiaomi Mi 8 Lens test images

Lens Performance - The main 12mp f/1.8 wide-angle camera gives good results, no signs of vignetting, although when viewing at 100% it's possible to see some softness in the top left corner of photos. Some purple fringing is visible. The camera is also very resistant to flare, with this only every showing in extreme lighting conditions. There's minimal distortion, with the camera automatically correcting this. Optical image stabilisation helps keep images sharp, when shooting using slower shutter speeds.

Like most smartphones with a telephoto camera, if the lighting conditions aren't bright enough, the camera will use the wide-angle lens and 2x digital zoom. Occassionally the telephoto lens failed to focus correctly, and didn't like the idea of focusing on close objects, switching instead to digital zoom at times. However, when lighting conditions where good, results were also good. Distortion is minimal. 

AI is available - but the effect is subtle most of the time, which means any changes aren't going to be offensive or in your face. In fact, we were quite pleased with the colour reproduction from the camera, with images having pop straight from the camera, although on occassion they were overly saturated. 

Sometimes the Auto HDR will give images an artificial look, so you can get better results by switching this off at times. 

There are options for image quality (high, standard, and low), as well as options to choose between 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio. Although strangely there isn't an option to choose the resolution. 

All of the "selfies" came out at the full 20mp resolution. You can use the portrait mode with the rear camera, as well as the front selfie camera, and this does a pretty good job of blurring the background. 


Xiaomi Mi 8 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is well controlled, with low levels of noise, right up to ISO800. Detail is best at ISO100 and ISO200, with detail gradually decreasing as the ISO speed increases. Noise becomes much more noticeable at ISO1600, and ISO3200 is best avoided.  


Xiaomi Mi 8 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance performs well under tungsten lighting, under mixed lighting, and under fluorescent lighting, which means that you'll rarely need to use the white balance presets. 


Xiaomi Mi 8 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of effects available as well as tilt-shift (with additional options), and straighten.  


Panoramic Liverpool
Panoramic Liverpool

Panorama mode - The panoramic mode gives a very high resolution image, around 49mp, and the image is quite well stitched together. 


Video - The camera can record 4K video, at 30fps, with image stabilisation available, helping keep video stable. You can use the LED as a video light while recording video. You can't manually select the telephoto camera for video recording, and instead any zoom you use is simply digital zoom. The are high-speed video options where you can record at up to 960fps. 


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