Lucas Riechert - Saturday 12 November 2022

Xiaomi shows concept for interchangeable real camera lens for smartphones

Cool news: Xiaomi has actually developed a smartphone that you can screw a real camera lens onto! As smartphones get thinner and thinner and get better cameras, we do start to hit the limits of what is actually possible. That's why Xiaomi is experimenting with an interchangeable lens. Read more about this development here and watch the video here!

Xiaomi shows the 12S Ultra with real camera lens 

Currently, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra already has one of the best cameras the Chinese manufacturer can currently offer, with an impressively large 1" inch camera sensor. However, this was not enough, as Xiaomi has developed a variant where you can screw on a real camera lens from Leica. With this, the quality of your photos could take a big leap. Around the camera body is a kind of thread on which you can screw a lens, the Leica M-mount. 


The 1" inch large sensor is not exposed like system cameras but is protected by sapphire glass. The prototype has put a second 1" inch sensor in the center of the camera island, which acts as a kind of "mount" to which you can attach the lens. Xiaomi has made the bezel quite a bit sturdier so it should be able to support the weight of a heavy lens. Sapphire glass, by the way, is known for not scratching or breaking. Whether this Xiaomi 12S Ultra concept phone will actually hit the market remains to be seen, of course, Xiaomi made no statements about that. For photos very cool, but probably not so practical because it doesn't fit in your pocket! 

Next step for camera devices?

Cameras on smartphones are, of course, getting better and better. Mainly the sensors, because they are getting bigger and bigger. However, this does not apply to the lens, which has an important part in the quality of the images taken. If that gets too thick on a smartphone you run into limits because the smartphone is simply not big enough. That's why Xiaomi has thrown this concept into the air, which certainly offers a solution. With such a real lens you can manually adjust the aperture, which allows you to take nice depth-of-field photos or make sure that every part of the photo is razor-sharp. It also allows you to switch between a wide-angle lens or a telephoto camera, for example. Because these types of lenses are a lot larger, they let in a lot more light. This also makes it easier to take pictures in the dark. The downside, of course, is the size; it doesn't fit in your pocket just like that. By the way, Xiaomi is not the first company to work on a smartphone to which you can attach a camera lens. Years ago, Sony came out with a somewhat primitive version of the same concept, which, incidentally, was not a success.

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