In 2022, find­ing a good cam­era phone is not dif­fi­cult. Many brands over the past year have released top-end flag­ships with pow­er­ful cam­eras. Wor­thy com­pe­ti­tion to pop­u­lar iPhones was the mod­el from Xiao­mi. Today we com­pare the cam­eras of both gad­gets and talk about the strengths.

Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX vs Xiaomi 12S Ultra - camera review and comparisonWith the help of a top cam­era phone, you can take great pic­tures at any time of the day. Pho­to:

Char­ac­ter­is­tics of cam­eras of smart­phones Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX and Xiao­mi 12S Ultra
Pri­ma­ry Lens
Smart­phone Xiao­mi 12S Ultra
iPhone 13 PRO MAX cam­era fea­tures
Ultra wide cam­era
tele­pho­to lens
Shoot­ing video

Characteristics of cameras of smartphones Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX and Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX Xiao­mi 12S Ultra
zoom Opti­cal, 3x Opti­cal, 5x
Flash Dual LED Dual LED
Sta­bi­liza­tion Opti­cal Opti­cal
1080p video record­ing Up to 60 fps Up to 60 fps
4K video record­ing Up to 60 fps Up to 60 fps
8K video record­ing Not Up to 24 fps
Pri­ma­ry Lens 12 MP 50 MP
Aper­ture: f/1.5 Aper­ture: f/1.9
Focal length: 26mm Focal length: 23mm
Pix­el size: 1.9 microns Pix­el size: 1.6 microns
Sen­sor: 1/1.66″, Sony IMX703 (Exmor-RS CMOS) Sen­sor: 1/1″, Sony IMX989 (Exmor-RS CMOS)
Phase detec­tion aut­o­fo­cus (Dual Pix­el) Laser aut­o­fo­cus
Tele­pho­to lens 12 MP 48 MP
Aper­ture: f/2.8 Aper­ture: f/4.1
Focal Length: 77mm Focal length: 120mm
Pix­el Size: 1 micron Sen­sor: 1/2.0″ (CMOS)
Phase detec­tion aut­o­fo­cus Phase detec­tion aut­o­fo­cus (Dual Pix­el)
Ultra wide angle lens 12 MP 48 MP
Aper­ture: f/1.8 Aper­ture: f/2.2
Focal length: 13mm Focal length: 13mm
Phase detec­tion aut­o­fo­cus Phase detec­tion aut­o­fo­cus (Dual Pix­el)
self­ie cam­era 12 MP 32 MP
Aper­ture: f/2.2 Aper­ture: f/2.5
Focal length: 23mm Focal length: 26mm

Primary Lens

Smartphone Xiaomi 12S Ultra

The res­o­lu­tion of the main sen­sor is 50 megapix­els. You can switch to it in a sep­a­rate tab or in PRO mode. In the lat­ter, the user him­self changes the shut­ter speed, white bal­ance, ISO and oth­er set­tings. By default, the cam­era shoots at 12 MP (4096 × 3072).

Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX vs Xiaomi 12S Ultra - camera review and comparisonXiao­mi 12S Ultra is a smart­phone with a very large and unusu­al cam­era. Pho­to:

Impor­tant point — The Leica brand par­tic­i­pat­ed in the cre­ation of the cam­era for this gad­get. This is a Ger­man com­pa­ny that man­u­fac­tures pho­to­graph­ic equip­ment for ama­teur and pro­fes­sion­al use.

What Leica has worked on:

  • the cam­era has an improved spe­cial aspher­i­cal lens. It is need­ed to elim­i­nate defects (glare, halos, chro­mat­ic aber­ra­tions);
  • there are new styles and a sig­na­ture water­mark from Leica.

This cam­era is def­i­nite­ly for those who like a lot of set­tings. She shoots in two pro­files: Leica Vibrant (neu­tral) and Leica Authen­tic (more con­trast and sat­u­ra­tion). After choos­ing the desired one, you can pro­ceed to oth­er set­tings. There are many modes avail­able: PRO, long expo­sure, slow-mo, time-lapse, night, etc. You can find an option for shoot­ing:

- in any con­di­tions (out­doors, indoors, in cloudy weath­er, clear);

– any objects (sta­t­ic, mov­ing);

– any type (vlog, astropho­to, short videos, etc.).

Almost every­thing has a spe­cial mode and advanced set­tings.

Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX vs Xiaomi 12S Ultra - camera review and comparisonSam­ple shots on dif­fer­ent smart­phones. Left — on the main cam­era 12S Ultra. Right — on the main cam­era 13 Pro Max. Pho­to:

At night, the gad­get well neu­tral­izes noise. But at the same time, the detail of the image remains high. It is worth not­ing the cor­rect bokeh in low light — even the area around the hair works well.

The cam­era is smart: in auto­mat­ic mode, it choos­es the opti­mal set­tings by itself. But some­times the deci­sion made by arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence may not be entire­ly cor­rect. As a result, the col­ors will turn out too sat­u­rat­ed and bright. Or, for exam­ple, noise reduc­tion will work very aggres­sive­ly at night, and some objects in the dark part of the screen will be blurred.

Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX vs Xiaomi 12S Ultra - camera review and comparisonOn the left is an exam­ple of a pho­to on Xiao­mi. On the right is the iPhone. Pho­to:

iPhone 13 PRO MAX camera features

iPhone con­fi­dent­ly holds its posi­tion in the top of the best cam­eras in recent years. The iPhone 13 PRO MAX mod­el has a 12 MP main cam­era, there is arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence. He him­self choos­es the appro­pri­ate shoot­ing mode and adjusts the set­tings so as to get a high qual­i­ty frame.

In terms of dynam­ic range, iPhone shots tak­en at night win. The col­ors come out more nat­ur­al, while the Xiao­mi cam­era can make them too cold. When shoot­ing in the day­time, the nat­u­ral­ness of col­ors on the iPhone is also slight­ly high­er, while Xiao­mi has more bright­ness and sat­u­ra­tion.

Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX vs Xiaomi 12S Ultra - camera review and comparisonAn exam­ple of shoot­ing at night. On the left is Xiao­mi, on the right is iPhone. Pho­to:

The num­ber of set­tings in iPhones is less. There is no PRO mode, which is usu­al for Androids, where you can twist and adjust every­thing. But there are many modes and auto­mat­ic set­tings that improve the pic­ture.

What has been improved and/or added:

- pho­to­graph­ic styles. There are four in total. These are ready-made set­tings for improv­ing the frame. Sat­u­rat­ed — to empha­size the shad­ows, indis­pens­able when shoot­ing indoors. Col­or­ful — to increase bright­ness, opti­mal for cloudy weath­er. Warm — more gold­en hues, helps to make the effect of the “gold­en hour” at any time. Cool — more blue tints, makes light col­ors more nat­ur­al;

- 6 por­trait light­ing options;

- deep fusion tech­nol­o­gy — the cam­era takes not one pho­to, but eight. Each shot has a dif­fer­ent expo­sure. The A15 Bion­ic proces­sor ana­lyzes them, selects the best two and glues them togeth­er. The result is a bright, detailed image;

- Cin­e­ma Effect mode — aut­o­fo­cus on faces, blurred back­ground, smooth focus move­ment fol­low­ing a mov­ing object;

Smart HDR is a fea­ture with which you can shoot even against the sun, and the frame will not be over­ex­posed.

Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX vs Xiaomi 12S Ultra - camera review and comparisonPor­trait mode on Xiao­mi (left) and iPhone (right). Pho­to:

Ultra wide camera

The Xiao­mi 12S Ultra has a 48MP sen­sor, while the iPhone has the stan­dard 12MP sen­sor. In both smart­phones, it turns on auto­mat­i­cal­ly. Each cam­era has its own advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages:

  • Xiao­mi has an ultra wide-angle cam­era that shoots worse than the main one. Many details are lost;
  • iPhone has worse work with back­light, insuf­fi­cient ren­der­ing of shad­ows (com­pared to Xiao­mi);
  • plus the iPhone — a larg­er view­ing angle, more details will fall into the frame.

telephoto lens

The Xiao­mi 12S Ultra has a 48MP sen­sor again, while the iPhone has a 12MP sen­sor. In both cas­es, the qual­i­ty of shoot­ing is slight­ly infe­ri­or to the main cam­era.

This is espe­cial­ly notice­able with Xiao­mi: it is not always pos­si­ble to focus on an object, the detail is imper­fect.

With an iPhone, you can achieve good qual­i­ty shots in day­light and a more pleas­ant nat­ur­al back­ground blur.


The iPhone has the clas­sic 12 megapix­els, Xiao­mi has 32 megapix­els. It’s hard to say which cam­era shoots bet­ter. Each has its own char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX vs Xiaomi 12S Ultra - camera review and comparisonWith the help of both gad­gets, you can take beau­ti­ful bright self­ies. Pho­to:

Xiao­mi has high­er detail, the back­ground blurs more and beau­ti­fiers work more active­ly. The face is blurred, while the frame itself is quite sharp. Because of this, it may seem that the skin is unnat­u­ral­ly smoothed. At the same time, the col­ors are more sat­u­rat­ed.

Self­ie on the iPhone cam­era is more nat­ur­al, but less detailed. And in the dark, noise absorp­tion does not always work cor­rect­ly.

Shooting video

The fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ence is that the iPhone can­not shoot in 8K. And Xiao­mi 12S Ultra can (24 frames per sec­ond).

But which cam­era shoots video bet­ter? It’s hard to say, since both shoot at a decent lev­el.

Xiao­mi has an improved focus func­tion. The cam­era does an excel­lent job of shoot­ing in the dark.

But if you need an impres­sive video with aut­o­fo­cus slid­ing behind the hero, a blur­ry back­ground, then it is bet­ter to choose an iPhone. The cam­era can shoot like in a movie: por­trait focus and blur mode will help you cre­ate a mul­ti­fac­eted, volu­mi­nous and inter­est­ing pic­ture.

Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX vs Xiaomi 12S Ultra - camera review and comparisonOn the iPhone, you can shoot cool videos with a cin­e­mat­ic effect. Pho­to:


Both cam­era phones are wor­thy rep­re­sen­ta­tives of brands. If we eval­u­ate pho­tos from Xiao­mi 12S Ultra and Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX cam­eras, we can note from Xiao­mi:

  • light sen­si­tiv­i­ty is high­er. This applies to shoot­ing in low light. In dark cor­ners, more detail;
  • more col­or sat­u­ra­tion. Review­ers believe that this is due to the adjust­ment of the optics, which was made by Leica. But the real dif­fer­ence is vis­i­ble when com­par­ing the pho­tos on both smart­phones in detail;
  • more nat­ur­al bokeh effect, espe­cial­ly at night.

It is bet­ter to choose Xiao­mi 12S Ultra with Leica cam­era if:

  • you need a cam­era that will shoot bet­ter in the evening and at night;
  • I want a lot of set­tings in man­u­al mode;
  • I like the high bright­ness and con­trast of the pic­tures.

Apple iPhone 13 PRO MAX is bet­ter to choose if:

  • you just want to press a but­ton and get a great shot, you don’t need a lot of set­tings;
  • does­n’t care how detailed objects are drawn in the dark­est cor­ners;
  • I want less sat­u­rat­ed and more nat­ur­al col­ors;
  • I want to shoot a video with a cin­e­mat­ic effect.

We hope that our review will help you in choos­ing a smart­phone.


By Yara