Xiaomi has skipped the triple camera within the Redmi series and jumped straight to quad-camera setups and the Note 8T has one of these large bumps on the back. The arrangement is familiar - Realme has already used the same - first (top to bottom) is the ultrawide snapper, then the primary one, the depth camera is next, and last of the three real cameras is the macro shooter.
The main camera uses the 48 MP ISOCELL Bright GM2 sensor by Samsung. It's a large 1/2.25" sensor with 0.8µm pixels, and the lens has f/1.8 aperture. Native pixel-binning is at play here, so the image output is 12MP.
The 119-degree ultrawide-angle camera has an 8MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture. There is automatic distortion correction applied when necessary, but you can opt-out of it.
Then there's the 2MP macro camera (the pixels on the sensor are quite large, 1.75µm). Its lens can focus from as close as 4cm away so that you can get really close to your subjects.
The last camera on the back is the 2MP depth sensor.
Switching between modes is like in every other camera app - swiping left and right will take you through all modes, while tapping in the upper right corner of the screen where the "hamburger menu" resides will expand the options. The real settings menu is in there as well, and it doesn't offer anything out of the ordinary.
There's also a dedicated 48MP mode as opposed to before when you had to go to Pro mode and tap on the 48MP icon to shoot 48MP resolution stills. Speaking of Pro, this one offers pretty much all the settings you'd need - white balance, focus, ISO, and shutter speed. The Pro mode works with the normal camera, the ultra-wide, and the macro. Manual 48MP pictures are also an option.
Now, let's talk about image quality. The 48MP camera naturally saves by default 12MP images, and the ones we shot with the Redmi Note 8T turned out very good. The resolved detail is plenty, the noise levels are quite low, and the colors stayed mostly true to life. The dynamic range is wide, and even though it's not the best we've encountered - we never used the HDR option.
For the nitpickers out there, there are some moire fringes noticeable in some busy scenes, and the foliage (where available) may have an oil-painting look outside the center of the image.
There is a dedicated 48MP mode if you want to shoot in 48MP, but what you'd get is not a real 48MP image. Instead of the usual 48MP photo created by debayering process, the Redmi Note 8 saves a simple upscaled image, and you can tell. There are no benefits whatsoever when shooting in 48MP, and we don't recommend it.
Even though there isn't a telephoto camera, the Redmi Note 8T still shoots some good 2x zoomed photos thanks to its large sensor. They are digitally zoomed, alright, but they still look better than any zoom done on a standard 12MP camera.
The 8MP ultrawide cam snaps okay photos with good enough level of detail for the segment. The contrast is good but the dynamic range is rather limited. The per-pixel quality is no match to the main snapper, and the images are noisier, and they are definitelty at the bottom end of what is offered by competing smartphones.
You can opt-out of the automatic lens correction, and you will get more distorted edges of the frame but with sharper output.
The 2MP macro camera shoots rather mediocre images. The detail isn't that great, the corners are soft, and the center isn't that sharp either.
The Redmi Note 8T saves surpassingly good images at night, in fact, those are excellent for this class - the noise reduction is not that aggressive, and while it leaves some noise visible on the photos, it also keeps the fine detail intact.
The Night Mode is just as conservative as on previous Xiaomi cameras. It acts more like HDR rather than full-on Night mode, and shooting takes about 2 seconds. It cancels some of the noise and restores most clipped highlights, but you will rarely get a brighter image.
The night pictures from the ultrawide-angle camera are quite usable and better than a whole lot we've seen lately from such snappers. The photos came out detailed, probably due to the gentle noise reduction. The exposure turned out not as dark as on other ultrawide snappers, and while still uninspiring, those are some entirely usable photos.
There is no Night Mode for the ultrawide camera.
Here's how the primary camera on the Redmi Note 8T stacks against the rest of the competition in a more controlled environment.
The quality of the portraits taken with the rear camera of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T depends on the available light as the resolved detail would drastically drop when the light is not good. So, when the right conditions are met - you will be rewarded with some very nice portrait shots - detailed, with good enough subject separation and convincing faux blur.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T has a 13MP f/2.0 selfie camera, and the focus is fixed as usual. On the software side, ther are 3 beatification enhancement options - skin smoothing, eye enlargement, and face slimming.
The selfies we shot are excellent - there is abundant detail, the colors and contrast are excellent, and the dynamic range is good even without HDR mode. Overall, we are quite happy with the samples we shot.
You can use portrait mode for selfies, too, and those turned out quite good. The phone does a nice job with subject separation, and we didn't get (many) clipped ears or the like.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T captures videos up to 4K @ 30fps, 1080@60fps and 1080@30fps is available as well.
It seems at first that you can capture in these resolutions with all cameras, but you can't really. The ultrawide-angle snapper records only 1080p clips at 30fps, while the macro cam is limited to 720p@30fps no matter what resolution you've picked up from the selector.
Slow-mo video is available in 1080p @120fps.
Let's talk about the main camera. The video bitrate is 40-42Mbps in 4K and about 20Mbps in 1080p at both 30fps and 60fps. Audio is recorded in stereo with a 96Kbps bitrate.
Despite the high bitrate, the 4K videos have mediocre level of detail and limited dynamic range. The noise is almost non-existent, and maybe an overly aggressive noise reduction is to blame for the loss in detail. The contrast and colors are pretty good, though.
The 1080p clips at 30fps are quite detailed and among the better ones you can get today.
The 60fps, on the other hand, have the same bitrate as the 30fps, and thus their detail is halved, which is then masked by excessive over-sharpening.
The videos from the ultrawide snapper have a bit cooler color rendition, and the detail quite poor.
EIS is available only when shooting in 1080p at 30fps, and you can turn it on or off from the settings. The digital stabilization does a great job smoothing the camera shake at the expense of minor loss of FoV.
Once you are done with the real-life scenarios, take a look at our video compare tool to see how it competes against other phones.