The main camera that does most of the heavy lifting uses Samsung's Bright HMX sensor measuring 1/1.33" in size and featuring 0.8µm pixels in size. Since the sensor supports native 4-in-1 pixel binning technology, the actual pixel size is 1.6µm, and the actual resolution of the stills is 25MP, not 27MP, as we expected. The sensor is aided by a fairly large f/1.69 aperture and optic image stabilization. And when we say "heavy lifting," we mean that the phone crops from the main 108MP sensor due to the lack of proper telephoto. Arguably, the cropped 2x images come out better than from most of the budget telephoto units. But more about that later.
The ultra-wide features a 13MP sensor coupled with an f/2.4 aperture and 1.12µm pixels. The advertised viewing angle is 123˚, which is pretty wide.
The third camera is a dedicated 5MP unit with f/2.4 aperture and, more importantly, autofocus. This does a great deal for macro photography.
The selfie cam is the same 20MP, 1/3.4" unit with f/2.2 aperture and 0.8µm pixels. In the Mi 9T Pro, this camera was attached to the motorized pop-up mechanism.
We found the slightly altered default camera app of MIUI 12 to be super easy and straightforward. Most of the important additional settings are found in the so-called hamburger menu accessible from the camera viewfinder.
You can also re-arrange the camera modes from there because the Night mode, for example, is hidden in the More tab. Oh, and to our surprise, the Macro mode is in the hamburger menu in the standard Photo mode. We guess the dedicated macro camera isn't getting its own camera mode.
As one would guess, the phone produces great daylight photos at 25MP. Subjects come out sharp with quite a lot of detail, even fine detail can be seen from afar. Colors are natural-looking, definitely not over the top and the dynamic range is wide - no clipped highlights. Turning on the AI will boost the colors and make the images a bit more contrast-y looking.
However, there's noticeable softness in the dark parts of the scenes as well as noise. It becomes more apparent in indoor shots, even with good lighting. Softness can also be observed towards the left edge in the majority of photos. Still, the edge softness isn't severe, so it probably wouldn't attract unwanted attention, and it could be due to our particular unit too.
The 108MP samples are not impressive by any means. They offer similar processing but with noticeably more noise, hardly any gain in detail while sharpness drops. We can't see a reason for you to shoot in the 108MP mode.
Since the 2x zoom mode still uses the main camera, the same pros and cons that we've mentioned above apply. And, of course, zooming in on those photos amplifies some of the issues.
But our main complaint lies with how the software handles the cropping. Instead of merely cropping the center of the 25MP photos, which are the product from binning the 108MP camera output, it does that and then upscales the cropped portion to 25MP. The same goes for the 108MP mode - the software crops from the center and then upscales to 108MP, creating a softer image overall in both cases.
Going beyond 2x and 3x zoom isn't advisable. Here's a 5x zoom sample to attest for our words.
Now that we took a more critical and closer look at the zoom photos, a proper telephoto unit would have been better.
We weren't expecting flagship-grade ultra-wide camera performance, but we can't say we are satisfied with the performance of this one either. The images come out rather soft with lacking detail - notice the grass and the foliage. The narrow dynamic range is also an issue judging by the clipped highlights in the majority of the scenes.
Colors do look nice, on the other hand, and are slightly punchier than on the main camera without AI turned on. The lens correction is doing a fine job too, especially considering the wide 123-degree field of view. No excessive color fringing or edge softness too, which are both prominent issues with ultra-wide cameras at this price range.
Pleasantly surprised by the macro camera. The autofocus helps a lot, and in most photos, the subject comes out in focus. The amount of detail and sharpness it captures is pretty impressive for a small 5MP sensor, while colors are natural, and contrast is good. Definitely one of the good macro cameras out there - it definitely saves face for the numerous meaningless macro cameras on phones out there.
The first thing to notice is the wide dynamic range without having to turn on the dedicated Night mode. There's definitely some HDR at work here because there's a fair amount of detail in the shadows while the highlights are rarely clipped - only around strong light sources. Sharpness is okay for the most part and contrast is good. Noise is kept to a minimum even around the darker areas of the image. You can definitely depend on the standard Photo mode if you are in a hurry and don't wish to wait for the Night mode to finish.
Which, by the way, improves the overall quality of the images quite a bit. It brings out even more detail out of the shadows without introducing additional noise. The light sources are well-contained, and gone are the clipped areas around the lamps. In fact, you can see some fine detail on the buildings' facade. Subjects look considerably sharper while color and contrast remain unchanged.
All in all, we would recommend taking the few extra seconds to wait for the Night mode to do its job as it will benefit most low light photos taken with the phone.
Strangely, the Night mode produces far inferior 2x zoom shots that lack detail and sharpness, and are straight up smudgy.
Zoom shots are definitely usable and would look great on social media platforms.
There's no Night mode for the ultra-wide camera, so there's nothing that can fix the apparent issues. The samples taken with the ultra-wide snapper look soft, muddy, with no detail and narrow dynamic range. Light sources are often blown out along with a small area around them, while noise can be seen in uniform backgrounds.
Once you are done with the real-life photos, take the time for some pixel-peeping using our photo compare tool.
The edge detection is doing okay most of the time and can handle more complex backgrounds. Nonetheless, fine detail around the subject is often blurred out - notice Will's earrings and his hair. The detail is good, though, the skin tone is natural, and colors are pleasant overall. Maybe a bit more sharpness wouldn't hurt when there's no sufficient lighting. And the camera shoots in 12MP for some reason.
Selfies are looking sharp with plenty of detail even in challenging lighting conditions. Noise can be seen only under close inspection, and the skin tone of the subject is natural. Interestingly, switching over to portrait mode, the resolution drops down to 5MP - similar to the main camera's Portrait mode - but retains the good clarity of the photos. The edge detection is excellent, and we even find it more adequate than the one on the main camera.
Other shooting modes
Here's a sample shot using the so-called Clone feature, which lets you clone a person in a single photo. The mode is super easy to use, but the downside is the rather uninspiring image quality. The resolution drops to 12MP.
The long exposure mode lets you catch professional-looking low-light photos. That's, of course, if you are looking from afar. We tried out the Neon Trails sub-mode, which turned out to be pretty neat only to be plagued by the low-quality and lower resolution.
Although we pointed out a couple of small issues with the stills, the videos, on the other hand, look amazing. The phone can even do 8K at 30fps since the main 108MP camera and the Snapdragon 865 chipset allow it.
We are hard-pressed to find any issues with the 8K video. Colors are punchy, dynamic range is wide - notice the detail in the shadows - it plays smoothly, contrast is great, and there's no noise. Sharpness and detail are impressive.
Similar things can be said about the 4K video with some rather small differences. For instance, the 2160p footage offers somewhat punchier colors and higher contrast, which sacrifices details in the shadows. The sharpness and detail are slightly less impressive compared to the 8K.
Zooming 2x times is also an option in both recording modes - 4K and 8K. The amount of detail on the 2x zoomed 8K video is downright amazing. Not that the 4K looks bad, but the difference is night and day.
The ultra-wide camera can also capture 2160p videos, although less impressive. The dynamic range seems to be narrower, losing quite a bit of detail in the shadows. The clips are generally soft and lack detail. Colors are punchy, and there's plenty of contrast, though. Still, if you are looking for that added dramatic effect of the ultra-wide camera, the videos are usable.
When it comes to stabilization, the phone can do so only in 4K and Full HD. Stabilization can be turned off if you are using a tripod to make the field of view wider, but in this case, we would recommend opting for the 8K video then. Shooting videos without a tripod requires competent EIS, and the phone offers one in 4K.
It starts to look choppy only when you compare it side by side with the so-called Steady video mode, which caps at 1080p and offers smooth, gimbal-like stabilization.
Here's a non-stabilized 8K footage to draw comparison.
To see how the Mi 10T Pro fares against some of its competitors, take a look at our video compare tool.