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This Xiaomi concept lets you use a full-blown camera lens on a phone

Xiaomi's latest concept lets you attach a Leica M-series camera lens module to the back of a phone.
By
November 2, 2022
TL;DR
  • Xiaomi has announced the Xiaomi 12S Ultra Concept phone.
  • It allows you to attach a Leica camera lens module to the rear camera.

The top smartphones today all have flexible rear camera systems, featuring a main camera, ultrawide camera, and telephoto shooter. Unfortunately, you can’t attach different lenses to these cameras as you would on a DSLR camera.

Now, Xiaomi has announced the Xiaomi 12S Ultra Concept in partnership with Leica, and it indeed allows you to attach a camera lens module on your smartphone camera. More specifically, the company says you can attach a Leica M-series lens module to the phone. Check out the video below and the image above.

The phone is also equipped with two one-inch camera sensors, including a center-mounted sensor that attaches to the lens module. We’re guessing the company is using the IMX989 camera sensors as seen on the standard Xiaomi 12S Ultra. Nevertheless, the entire rear camera module is covered with sapphire glass for protection.

Xiaomi confirmed to us after the publication of the story that the phone uses an M-mount, allowing for other M-lenses to work. But this particular lens is a Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH module. As for software features, the clip confirms options like focus peaking, zebra lines, a histogram, and 10-bit RAW shooting.

Would you buy a phone that supported camera lens modules?

557 votes

Unfortunately, Xiaomi told us that this tech will remain a concept and won’t be available commercially. Nevertheless, this is a pretty radical approach to smartphone photography and we’re keen to see what this setup is capable of.