Can a smartphone be used for professional-level documentary reporting? Judging by the photographs by the photojournalist Giuseppe Nuccitaken on the Maiella with the new Xiaomi 13T Pro, the answer is undoubtedly “yes”.
The Chinese company asked the photographer, documentary maker and Leica Akademie instructor to tell us about his favorite places armed only with the new smartphone instead of the professional camera. The photos were then selected and printed in high quality: the result is an exhibition, presented to accompany the presentation of the new smartphones in Berlin Xiaomi 13T e 13T Proin which the images demonstrate the photographic quality and versatility of the company’s new smartphones.
“Surely many photographers will remain tied to the camera, which still provides a different experience, but the distance has now become much shorter – Nucci told us – However, the experience with this smartphone has shown me that today you can tell a story through photography using a device like this, which sometimes allows you to enter the scene even more effectively than the camera.”
Looked at closely, the high-quality prints of Nucci’s images are truly surprising. The details, the grain, the depth of field are an excellent testimonial of the level achieved by the cameras of these smartphones. Of course, we notice details that reveal some still insurmountable optical limits, or other artefacts and aberrations attributable to the computational process of processing the photographs. But overall the point is clear: placed in the hands of an expert photographer like Nucci, the Xiaomi 13T Pro tool proved to be adequate for the mission.
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Nucci’s collaboration with Xiaomi is not limited only to documentary and promotional project. The photographer will in fact hold some workshops sponsored by Xiaomi and Leica at the University of Barcelona. The initiative is called Story in Sight and aims to teach aspiring photographers the basics of photographic practice: which has more to do with the storytelling skills visually than with the instrument used by the photographer.
“Thanks to the technical level they have reached, Smartphones are perfect photography learning tools for those approaching photography”, explained Jordi Hernandez, representative of the University of Barcelona, in a conversation with Xiaomi’s Global PR director, Daniel Desjarlais, during the presentation of the exhibition and the educational project. “For this reason we believe that Xiaomi can be an adequate partner, together with Leica, for an educational project like this which can contribute to the knowledge and diffusion of photography”.
The partnership with Leica
There is an unavoidable risk, however, in entrusting the task of a professional photographer demonstrate the photographic quality of a new smartphone with his shots. Nucci’s photos are surprising not only because they were taken with a Xiaomi 13T Pro, but also and above all because they are real photographs, which create a unique and cohesive narrative network. The photographer, with his hand, his head and above all his experience, could have used any other tool to take these shots, from the film camera to a very expensive Leica (but also the smartphone of a competing company).
And so why an aspiring photographer should rely on a 13T Pro to explore your passion? For Xiaomi, the partnership with Leica is precisely the answer to this question. The collaboration has already borne fruit on previous models, in particular on the excellent Xiaomi 13 Ultra. With 13T and 13T Pro, the company brings back some of its most important winning cards. First of all the software optimizations of the image, with the Leica Authentic and Leica Vibrant profiles, which modify the color rendering taking inspiration from the well-known Leica look. There novelty here is that in Pro mode users are no longer limited to two styles, but can create a custom preset by adjusting colors and texture rendering.
The photographer’s tool: Xiaomi 13T Pro and Xiaomi 13T
At the basis of the computational processes (which make the difference) there must however be one high level technical equipment. Xiaomi 13T Pro and 13T have a triple camera with Summicron lenses co-engineered with the German photography brand. The main camera features a 50MP sensor and has a focal length equivalent to a 24mm. The second camera is a telephoto camera, again with 50 MP and 50 mm equivalent focal length. An ultra-wide-angle camera completes the triptych 12 MP with a focal length of 15 mm.
The most significant technical difference between the two models it does not concern photos but videos: on Xiaomi 13T Pro you can shoot videos up to 8K at 24 FPS, as well as 10-bit LOG videos with the possibility of applying LUTs during color correction; on the 13T model, the maximum resolution is 4K 30p, with support for HDR10+.
The distinction must be ascribed to the abilities of the different people chip Mediatek dei due smartphone: on the 13T we find a Dimensity 8200-Ultra with Arm Mali-G610 GPU, while on the 13 Pro there is the more performing Dimensity 9200+, with Arm Immortalis-G715 GPU. The amount of RAM available and the memory sizes are also different: 8/256 GB on the 13T, versus 12/256, 12/512 or 16/1TB on the 13T Pro. The size of the battery does not change (5000mAh), but on the basic model fast charging only goes up to 67W, while it is the 120W soul Pro (19 minutes for a full charge). Another detail that makes the difference: on the 13T model there is Wi-Fi 6, while on the Pro it goes up to Wi-Fi 7.
Other features to take into account, common to both devices are the display with 144Hz refresh rate6.67” Amoled and (fortunately) flat edges, protection from water and dust with IP68 standard and the fact of being Dual Sim.
Il design of Xiaomi 13T and 13T Pro is finally almost identical: on both it is not surprising for its lines and originality, but it is elegant and discreet. There are 3 colors available (Alpine Blue, Meadow Green and Black): on both models the back of the Alpine Blue color body is made of soft and non-slip vegan leather to the touch, which seems like a good choice (if you like the color) to avoid easily smearing the back with fingerprints.
Prices and availability
Xiaomi 13T Pro and 13T can already be purchased (online and in stores): the 13T Pro starts at 799.90 euros for the 12/256 version and reaches 999.90 for the highest performing version; the 13T, in the 8/256 configuration is available starting from 699.90 euros.
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The new wearables
At the Berlin event, Xiaomi also presented the new one Watch 2 Pro and the Smart Band 8. The first is a smartwatch based on Android Wear with Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 processor and 1.43″ Amoled screen. Equipped with LTE connection, it can also be used without a smartphone: it is designed for fitness enthusiasts thanks to more than 150 integrated training modes, as well as a dedicated function for measuring sleep quality. It costs 270 euros in the Bluetooth-only version and 330 in the version with cellular connectivity. The Smart Band 8, on the other hand, is excellent for those who just want to monitor workouts and physical activity without spending the money necessary for a smartwatch: it is equipped with measurement of SpO2 levels and heart rate and can monitor 150 different workouts. AND it costs just 40 euros.