Let's start with daylight samples, as usual. The ones coming from the primary camera of the Mi 10 Ultra are saved in 12MP, though it is possible to opt for 48MP output, too.
The photos we snapped with the Ultra's main camera are simply outstanding. The resolved detail is plenty, the contrast - superb, while the white balance and the color reproduction are spot-on - among the most accurate we've seen in a while.
The dynamic range is rather impressive, too.
The defects we noticed include some unnatural looking textures in the grass and foliage and the maze artifacts here and there.
But everything else looks great and the low level of noise is most impressive.
A dedicated 48MP is available, but we cannot recommend it. The photos are upscaled versions of the 12MP default images and when downscaled to 12MP - you will find them identical with the default sources.
The 20MP shots from the ultrawide camera do fit a lot in the frame - this is among the snappers with the widest field of view we've encountered lately. The photos are detailed enough, with excellent white balance, colors, and contrast. The dynamic range is quite good, too.
There is significant geometric distortion in the samples below despite the automatic distortion correction. Still, this must be one of the widest ultra-wide cameras on a phone so that's probably expected.
The Mi 10 Ultra has a dedicated Macro mode, which uses the ultrawide camera for the closeups. Unfortunately, the photos aren't that good - they lack in detail and often lack a proper focus. They are nowhere near what you can achieve with a crop from the main camera.
Let's move to the tele shooters now. We start with the regular telephoto that offers 2x optical zoom over the main camera. This one also snaps 12MP pictures, and they are flagship-grade - the resolved detail is great, the sharpness is just right, the colors are matched to the main camera, and the dynamic range is once again high.
This is also the (only rear) camera that shoots portraits and those are perfect - the subject separation is stunning, and the blur is very natural looking. The samples are quite detailed, though the sharpness deteriorates rapidly as light becomes less than ideal.
And now let's look at some 5x zoomed photos shot from the second, long-range telephoto - the 48MP one. Quite expectedly, the photos are saved in 12MP resolution, and this time around, there is no trickery to achieve the 5x zoom. Unlike the Mi 10 Pro, the Ultra does come with a lens with the proper focal length (120-127mm depending on your source) and thus provides real 5x optical zoom over the main camera (24-25mm, again depending on the source of info).
The photos with took with this camera are brilliant. The detail is abundant, colors and white balance are once again very accurate, the dynamic range is pretty good, and the noise is kept impressively low.
Overall, these are probably the best 5x zoomed shots we've seen to date.
Just like with the main camera, you can also shoot in 48MP with this long-range telephoto. And once again - the images are looking as upscaled versions of the default 12MP ones, and you will not get more detail if you shoot in 48MP and then downscale to 12MP.
With these, our first round of photos samples is done. Come nightfall, and we were out to do a second one, and the images we snapped are quite intriguing.
The 12MP night photos from the main camera look flawless. The snapper captures even the slightest traces of light, and the photos are plenty bright even without Night Mode, with balanced exposure, preserved and true-to-life colors and saturation, outstanding contrast, and impressively low noise.
Looking through these photos we can't even imagine why we would ever need the Night Mode. You can even see stars on some of these photos.
What we can, well, complain of, is that some of these snaps are a lot brighter than the scenes were in reality. Normally - making the night a day is a job for the called Night mode (isn't that some irony) - but the Ultra's regular mode is brighter than many competitors' dedicated Night Modes. This processing may not be everyone's cup of tea, just saying.
Then what does the Night Mode really do? Well, it restores blown highlights (look at the buildings' windows) and reveals more detail in some shadowy areas. It's a good thing it doesn't attempt to brighten the photo exposure even further.
The ultrawide low-light photos are quite noisy and even blurry at times, so there is no point of using this camera past sunset. The images are brighter than we expected, yes, and even retain good colors, but the noise and smudged spots still ruin them.
If you want to shoot with the ultrawide camera at night, then you should do it using the Night Mode. It does get rid of the noise and brings back a ton of detail, and of course - it also acts as HDR - restores highlights and reveals more detail in shadows.
The images are far from sharp, but very much usable.
The Mi 10 Ultra uses both of the telephoto shooters at night, unlike many other phones, though Night Mode is not available on either of them.
The 12MP pictures we took with the 2x shooter are quite nice - the detail is enough, they retain good colors, and in fact, do represent how the scenes really looked at nighttime. There is quite some noise that's untouched by the noise reduction processing - it is not that big of an issue, but it is the one thing Xiaomi can tweak via a software update.
The 12MP 5x zoomed photos coming from the long-range tele camera are impressive. Given the f/4.1 aperture and the lack of light in almost all of the scenes, the photos turned out to be excellent - there is a lot of detail captured, even in areas of high complexity, the colors are nice, contrast is very good. You cannot just see what's there - you can brag with that shot among your friends.
There is visible noise that's left by the processing and it can be tweak via an update, but even if left as is - the photos are exemplary.
The Pro (manual) mode works with all four cameras. We played a bit with the Pro mode on the 5x camera at this absurdly challenging to shoot scenes. Here is what we got.
Supermoon mode is present, and by default, it shoots Earth's natural satellite at 10x zoom. The first two photos are shot at about 10x, and they are pretty impressive. The third one is shot at 40x.
You can also add some cool textures to the zoomed Moon - like birds, trees, climbers, among others. They are shot at about 40x or 50x zoom so they are pretty pixelated, but they look sweet on Instagram.
And here are a couple of Long Exposure samples - Neon trails and Stary Sky.
Once you're done with the real world samples, head over to our Photo compare tool to see how the Mi 10 Ultra stacks up against other phones.
The 20MP selfies cannot be sharp because of the Quad-Bayer sensor. They still turned out nice though - the HDR works great when needed, and the images have good colors and contrast. We would have been just fine with the processed 5MP stills, too.
The selfie portraits show good enough though not flawless subject isolation, while the background blur is convincing.