The Xiaomi 13 Pro has a triple camera on the back that's reminiscent of the one on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra. The primary camera uses a 50MP 1" sensor, then we have a 50MP telephoto for 3.2x optical magnification and telemacro purposes, and finally, there is a 50MP ultrawide camera with AF capabilities.
The main camera is identical to the one on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, while the rest follow a similar logic, though they use different sensors and lenses. All lenses were allegedly developed to be up to Leica's standards, and there are two Leica color profiles to choose from when taking photos.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro is the second Xiaomi phone to use 1" sensor, the same Sony IMX 989 we saw on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra. We have already explained what the 1" means in our 12S Ultra review - it's not the actual sensor size, but a legacy concept that refers to the diameter of the video camera tube needed to project an image that would cover the size of the sensor. You can learn more about that here.
The 50.3MP Sony IMX 989 sensor is the largest sensor available on a smartphone with 1.6µm individual pixels and Quad-Bayer RGB color filter. The sensor sits behind a 23mm f/1.9 stabilized 8-element lens with aspherical elements with HyperOIS stabilization. The sensor features Octa-PD autofocus, Sony's Dual Pixel implementation for Quad Bayer sensors.
The telephoto camera uses a 50MP Samsung (S5K)JN1 1/2.76"" sensor with Tetracell filter and 0.64µm pixels. It offers 3.2x optical zoom over the main camera via a 75mm f/2.0 Leica floating lens. Optical stabilization is present on this camera, too. The interesting bit is that it has a close focusing distance of just 10 cm and that's why the telephoto also acts as a Super Macro camera, too.
The ultrawide camera relies on the same 50MP Samsung (S5K)JN1 sensor as the zoom one, but it's coupled with a 14mm f/2.2 lens. There is support for autofocus, but as we said - the Super Macro mode uses the telephoto camera.
Finally, the selfie camera is similar to the one on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, and a rather disappointing one. It has a 32MP 1/3.14" OmniVision OV32C sensor with 0.7µm pixels and a 4-cell filter array (OV's Quad Bayer). There is one change since the 12S Ultra, and that's the wider 21mm f/2.0 lens (vs. 25mm f/24 on the Ultra). The focus is still fixed.
The camera app on the 13 Pro is more or less the same as on other Xiaomis, but with a twist - the accent color here is red, presumably in honor of the Leica collaboration.
Another Leica-related touch is the processing 'mode' you need to choose the first time you launch the camera. The two options are Leica Vibrant (default) and Leica Authentic (color accurate), and once you're past the welcome screen, you can switch back and forth between them all you want. You do have to be in one or the other - there's no 'generic' non-Leica auto mode.
There is an 'AI' toggle in addition to that because, of course, there needs to be. It usually increases contrast and saturation depending on the scene.
There is a new function in Video mode - Teleprompter. You can paste your video script here and read it easily while you capture your video.
Aside from that, the app functions like on any other recent Xiaomi. Basic operation for changing modes works with side swipes as expected, and you can also tap on the modes that you can see to switch to those directly. You can add, remove, and rearrange modes in the main rolodex by going to the More tab and navigating to the edit button, and you can access that from the settings menu as well.
At the far end of the viewfinder, you have a flash mode switch, an HDR switch, and the AI toggle. There's also the hamburger menu which contains additional options like aspect ratio, self-timer and grid lines, the Super Macro switch is here, plus the shortcut to the settings. You won't find an option to set the output resolution for any of the cameras (not that we particularly care), besides the 50MP mode that outputs at full res.
On the near end, you have the camera zoom switch that operates in one of two fashions. The first one is simply tapping on one of the four dots that represent the ultra-wide (0.6x), primary (1x), primary (2x digital zoom), and telephoto (3.2x optical zoom) options. Or you can tap on the active magnification and reveal even more zoom modes - 2x, 10x, and 70x (because why limit yourself to sensible digital zoom magnifications).
There's a nicely capable Pro mode, where you can tweak the shooting parameters yourself. You get to pick one of 4 white balance presets or dial in the light temperature with a slider; there's a manual focusing slider (with peaking as an option), and shutter speed and ISO control with ranges depending on which camera you're using - yes, you can access each of the three cams in Pro mode.
There is also a Super Moon mode, where you can add various photo elements to your enhanced moon photos.
Night Mode is available on all four cameras, and there is even Night video for the primary cam.
Finally, the Portrait mode uses the telephoto camera by default, but you can switch to Full Body mode (main camera), if you want. There are different effects for those wanting more artsy portraits.
The photo mode defaults to Leica Vibrant mode with AI turned off, and we adopted this mode as a default one for our tests, too. It offers more vivid photos with vibrant colors, higher contrast, and a somewhat more processed look. These photos look livelier on both small and big screens.
The Leica Authentic mode saves color-accurate photos with a slight dynamic range boost and a less processed look. The Authentic Leica look also brings a vignetting effect, which may not be everyone's cup of tea.
Let's start with the default photos - those are saved in 12.5MP. They offer plenty of resolved detail, there is no visible noise, and the sharpness is just great. Random detail and foliage have this over-processed look at times, which is not our favorite - they aren't exactly over-sharpened, but they surely seem artificial.
The colors are nicely saturated, and the contrast is high - typical for the Leica Vibrant profile. That's why some of the shadows may appear darker than what you've seen in other photos.
The dynamic range is good, but not over the top, and overall, we liked these photos despite the minor caveats.
Now, here are some of the scenes shot with the Leica Authentic profile. These have spot-on white balance and color rendering, as expected. Some of them also appear of a bit higher dynamic range and a tiny bit lower contrast.
But the most important change other than the color presentation is the less-processed and more natural look, especially in areas of random detail such as foliage. It's also easy to spot the vignetting effect on our image thumbnails, as it's not as apparent when you look at the photos fullscreen. We also suspect there is some brightening of the image center.
We are glad the Authentic mode is present on the Xiaomi 13 Pro, and we can see why many people would prefer it over the Vibrant. Stylistically, it creates moodier photos.
Thanks to the large sensor and the high resolution, the main camera also offers 2x lossless zoom, and there is a dedicated zoom toggle on the viewfinder.
The 2x zoomed photos are alright, they use some sort of advanced digital zoom, maybe a crop from the 50MP output, and they offer satisfying detail for this mode to make sense even if it's not on par with a 2x telephoto camera. The other properties - noise reduction, colors, contrast, dynamic range - are a match to the default output we already talked about.
And you can use Leica Authentic on 2x zoom as well if you prefer that look.
You can shoot in 50MP resolution with all cameras, and the photos coming from the primary are excellent - they are as vibrant as the regular 12.5MP pictures with likable colors, contrast and dynamic range. There is no visible noise.
The detail isn't impressive, but it's more than other 50MP modes can offer to date, probably to the large sensor size.
Let's talk about the telephoto camera. It also saves 12.5MP by default, and those are great with plenty of resolved detail, top-notch sharpness, well-cleaned noise, and lovely rendition.
The Leica Vibrant photos are more saturated, with higher contrast and good dynamic range.
The Leica Authentic samples offer accurate colors and slightly more dynamic range, at the expense of a minor drop in the contrast. Their processing is also toned down and they once again present a more natural rendition with less processed look, especially in areas of high complexity.
The zoom camera also doubles as a macro shooter. Thanks to its floating lens, it's able to focus from as close as 10cm away. And the closeups we shot with the telephoto are outstanding - they are the sharpest ones we've seen lately with outstanding rendition, excellent detail, and easily likable vivid colors. The dynamic range is often spectacular, too.
The autofocus is proficient, and it won't fail you as it did not fail us. Our only complaint is that the Super Macro switch is hidden in the advanced menu on the viewfinder instead of being put on the Modes page.
The zoom camera also supports 50MP shooting, but the results are not the same as on the primary cam. These 50MP samples are average in detail and a bit noisy. Resizing those to 12.5MP reveals no real benefits, unless we count the less processed look. But, as we established, we have Leica Authentic switch for that.
Moving on to the ultrawide camera. Its photos also come from a 50MP sensor and are saved in 12.5MP resolution. And unlike on the other cameras, here, both Leica Vibrant and Authentic photos look identical.
The samples we shot on the ultrawide camera are great - there is plenty of resolved detail, higher than what we get on most UW cameras these days. The noise is minimal if any, and the corners are strengthened out rather well (this can be turned off if you prefer).
The photos offer accurate colors, good contrast and high dynamic range. The rendition is natural-looking even when it comes to foliage and similar random detail.
Overall, the ultrawide camera offers solid performance and delivers excellent photos with, well, ultra-wide field of view.
And here are the scenes shot with Leica Authentic. As we said, these have little to no difference with Leica Vibrant.
The 50MP photos taken with the ultrawide camera are rather poor - their detail is average at best, and they are incredibly noisy. The colors and the dynamic range remain good, though.
Xiaomi and Leica offer a powerful Portrait mode with a few options to choose from - default (75mm, no enhancements), 35mm Black and White, 50mm Swirly Bokeh, 75mm Portrait, and 90mm Soft Focus. There is also a Full Body mode, which shoots portraits with the primary camera.
The default portraits are taken with the telephoto camera and are impressive. The subject is detailed, well-exposed, and free of noise, with natural rendition and likable colors. The natural bokeh is lovely.
And these are the portraits taken with the 75mm mode - they seem almost identical to the non-enhanced ones, but the bokeh has been enhanced with some sort of swirly highlights.
The full body mode shoots portraits with the main camera and its 23mm lens. The images are great, with excellent subjects, proficient separation and likable blur. Colors, contrast, and dynamic range are excellent, as usual.
The 50mm zoomed portraits are shot on the main camera, and we still consider them excellent even if the subject's detail isn't top-notch.
We liked the dramatic 35mm B&W portraits shot on the main camera. Those are quite artsy, with excellent monochrome presentation, more than enough detail, proficient subject separation, and likable blurry background.
The 90mm soft focus mode is, well, not for everyone. It zooms over the telephoto camera, and everything is soft, as promised.
The 32MP selfie camera on the Xiaomi 13 Pro uses a Quad-Bayer sensor, just like on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra and the vivo X90 Pro. It saves 32MP pictures instead of 8MP, which makes the situation worse.
This year, Xiaomi used a wider 21mm lens, and you have 0.8x and 1x (crop) zoom levels.
The full resolution of 32MP means the detail will be rather average. And it is, indeed, you can almost tell those looked like upscaled from the 8MP images.
Everything else is superb, though - contrast, dynamic range, and color presentation. The subject is rendered well and in a natural way, and the noise is low.