The rumors were true! The Xiaomi 13 Ultra’s Dream Camera Phone comes to life with a Leica-inspired body

This is the closest we’ve come to a true camera replacement on the smartphone market: the Proprietary The Xiaomi 13 Ultra edition with Leica-inspired camera body and support for on-camera filters has been officially confirmed to be a real thing coming to the market.
Indeed, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra seen above looks like a professional photography device. It’s look and functionality you just can’t get with the iPhone 14 Pro or Galaxy S23 Ultra.
We’ve already seen a lot Leaks have leaked for the 13 Ultra, but this is the first time we’ve seen this special version apparently sold with a camera grip attachment as well as support for threaded filters, so you can install a polarizing filter or ND filter just as you would with a professional camera.
We’ve previously seen leaked images showing some mysterious connectors directly on the camera system, and it looks like they’ll be used for the threaded filters you can add to this phone. Even the filter size has leaked and the 13 Ultra is expected to support 67mm filters.

Except for hitting all the right design notes to get this modern look, we learned from Xiaomi’s camera chief that this particular model will be well tuned for street photography, where camera speed is of crucial importance. Imagine trying to catch a glimpse of someone you’re getting on the street, or in a crowded subway station. These are just moments that require an immediate reaction. You can’t waste time setting up the camera or even focusing.

Optimized for street photography just like … a Leica camera!

“You don’t have to focus is the fastest focus”

This is where the company’s collaboration with Leica helped them include Hyperfocal Distance technology on the Xiaomi 13 Ultra.

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But what is Hyperfocal Distance? This term refers to a point where everything on the camera is in acceptable focus and that’s what you need to capture those precious impromptu moments of street photography.

In the words of Xiaomi’s CEO, “No need to focus is faster focus”. For this purpose, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra is perfectly prepared. With a double click of the volume button, the camera starts up and instantly takes a picture within 0.8 seconds. You even get a streamlined interface designed specifically for street photography.

By default, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra starts with a 35mm focal length, but you have a toggle switch to go from 23mm to 50mm. The aperture is set to ƒ/4, which helps keep everything in focus.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra sample photos

The Xiaomi team also exaggerated the 13 Ultra’s camera on the Chinese microblog Weibo, and definitely Xiaomi is going for a completely different look from the current smartphone treatment as we have a lot of excessive sharpening of the images.

Colors on the 13 Ultra are definitely more lifelike, with an almost cinematic movie quality.

We also see some photos taken with zoom cameras and the fast aperture on both the 3.2X and 5X zoom cameras makes it more useful in low-light conditions.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra camera specifications are detailed

We’ve also now learned the final details of this exciting new camera phone, so let’s take a look.

Xiaomi 13 Ultra camera specifications:

  • 50MP Wide (Sony IMX 989 sensor, 1in): 23mm Summicron lens with variable aperture (f/1.9 – f/4.0)
  • 50MP Ultra Wide (Sony IMX 858, 1/2.51″ sensor)
  • 50 MP 3.2X zoom (Sony IMX 858): 75mm, f/1.8
  • 50MP 5X Periscope Zoom (Sony IMX 858): 120mm, f/3.0
  • 32 MP front camera
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The focus here is certainly on that massive 1-inch sensor for the main camera, but for the first time, it’s paired with a variable aperture lens that can go from f/1.9 to f/4.0 depending on your needs. Xiaomi also uses the highest optical quality Summicron lens on its phones to date, which is another element that contributes to the quality of the photos.

The company also talks about other sensors that it will use in the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, and we think it did the right thing by betting on the same Sony IMX 858 sensor for its ultra-wide and zoom cameras.

While the IMX 858 sensor is not the largest in size at 1/2.51″, camera experts say that previous testing of this sensor showed that it offers better image quality compared to last year’s Xiaomi 12S Ultra, and adds the advantage of having consistent colors at every focal length, which is something Also important.

Will the Xiaomi 13 Ultra be launched outside of China?

Yes! While the Xiaomi 13 Ultra comes first in China, company executives have confirmed that this is the first camera phone from Xiaomi that will be available globally.

What we still don’t know is if this particular version of the phone with grip support and screw-on filters will come globally, or if it will remain a China-only thing.

For this, and also the pricing for this dream camera system, we’ll have to wait until next Tuesday, April 18th for the official launch, so be sure to check back on PhoneArena where we’ll give you all those important details.

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