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Xiaomi is taking a page out of Google, HUAWEI's books for this new camera mode

It looks like light painting and astrophotography options are coming to Xiaomi phones.

Published onJuly 7, 2020

Pixel 4 astrophotography mode in Sutherland.
  • Xiaomi is apparently working on a Long Exposure mode.
  • The mode will offer light painting and astrophotography options.
  • This follows in the footsteps of HUAWEI and Google’s efforts in this regard.

HUAWEI phones have offered a Light Painting mode for years now, dating back to 2015’s HUAWEI P8 at the very least. It now looks like Xiaomi is eyeing this mode and Google’s astrophotography mode for a feature of its own.

XDA members dug into the MIUI 12 Camera app and uncovered evidence for a so-called Long Exposure mode. The code points to the ability to capture effects like traffic light trails (e.g. from cars), star trails, moving clouds, silky water, and moving crowds around a subject standing still.

HUAWEI has offered a similar mode before, giving you the ability to create many of these effects too. But Xiaomi might be looking at Google’s astrophotography mode (see the sample at the top of the page) for more inspiration as well.

Read: Google Pixel 4 astrophotography — Tips and tricks for shooting starry night skies

The MIUI 12 Camera app code also points to a “magic star” or “starry sky” option that requires users to be in an area with low light pollution. Furthermore, the option suggests that users set their phone on a tripod due to the long exposure time.

An XDA member noted that Xiaomi’s Long Exposure mode was already live on the MIUI 12 beta for the POCO F2 Pro. Check out the screenshot via user hardziol below.

The MIUI 12 Long Exposure option via XDA user hardziol.
XDA user hardziol

Xiaomi wouldn’t be the first brand to offer an astrophotography mode after Google, as the recently released realme X3 SuperZoom offers this feature too. Nevertheless, it’s pretty impressive to see manufacturers offering a capability that previously couldn’t be done on a smartphone out of the box.

The Chinese manufacturer is also apparently working on a Top Shot-style photo feature, which sees a number of photos snapped and the phone then suggesting the best one. Either way, it looks like Xiaomi phones are set for some cool camera options in the coming months.

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