How can you make possibly the best smartphone for photography an even more capable cameraphone? Accessorize it!
That's exactly what Xiaomi did for the 13 Ultra with the Photography Kit - a quirky set of accessories for the everyday phone user, but an invaluable work tool for the enthusiast photographer and videographer.
The Xiaomi 13 Ultra Photography Kit features a quality protective case with a lens cap, a 67mm filter adapter, a camera grip with Bluetooth, and a lanyard.
You can just snap the case on the phone and put the cap on top. It protects the cameras from dust and other potentially-harming objects and it looks cool. The lens cap attaches with a push.
The grip accessory is pretty neat. You slide it onto the bottom of the case and it has a convenient locking lever to stay in place. The grip has a USB-C port so you can charge its built-in battery, a lanyard hole, and a full-on shutter button - it has half-press focusing and a zoom ring.
Press and hold the shutter for a second and the remote grip initiates pairing with the phone. From there it can launch the camera from a locked phone, control the zoom, and take pictures.
With the case and grip attached, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra becomes a photography powerhouse! It's very easy to fall into a rhythm of waking up the phone and moving between the different cameras using just your index finger. Taking the phone out of your pocket by grabbing the grip is very convenient too.
If you want to take your imaging further, twist on the 67mm filter adapter on the back of the case. This is the most popular filter thread on the market and you'll get the widest selection of ND and circular polarizing filters around.
We happened to have a CPL lying around and we attached it to the phone to take some photos. Using a filter on the Xiaomi 13 Ultra feels fully professional. And it's nearly impossible to twist the adapter off the phone's case.
We found that the best use case for the Photography Kit is action shooting. It takes capturing your friends playing beach volleyball to a whole other level. Put the phone in either 3.2x or 5x, half-press to focus, and then wait for the ideal moment.
Here are a few samples we shot with the Xiaomi 13 Ultra with the Photography Kit attached.
It's hard to find the Xiaomi 13 Ultra Photography Kit online. It seems your best option is to import it from China. Prices range from around $130 to nearly $300. It's a quality set of tools, but not amazing value for money.
The joy we get from using such accessories with a phone may well make it worth it, however. It brings us back to a few years back when phone and accessory makers were more imaginative, more daring. Remember LG and Friends, those were some fun days.
Now phones have become clinical tools. They perform a million tasks and they excel at most of them. Being great at photography is one of their key strengths. Using something like the Xiaomi Photography Kit can elevate one of the best phones around to a full-on professional tool.
Okay, so you essentially then posted photos taken with the trigger being external being the only difference? Essentially not using the point of the kit, which is the ability to use filters. Then why does the photos look like garbage compared to ...
No irony, but also no fanboyism only liking one brand or thinking that all models from one brand are awful. There is not need to be so one-dimensional.