In May of this year, Xiaomi, one of the world’s leading smartphone companies, and Leica Camera AG publicly announced their strategic partnership in the mobile imaging segment. Now, the first products jointly developed by the two companies, the Xiaomi 12S series ‘co-engineered with Leica’, have been presented to the Chinese market.
For more than 100 years, Leica has stood for photographic excellence, best picture quality, and the fine art of German precision engineering.
‘For almost a decade now, we have been successfully incorporating our know-how into camera systems in the smartphone segment, thereby repeatedly demonstrating our expertise and activities in future-oriented technology fields such as image processing, image quality tuning, and computational imaging. Today, we and Xiaomi have come together to present the beginning of a new era in the world of smartphone photography. In particular, the jointly developed flagship model, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, illustrates the innovative power of both companies and will delight our customers with a camera module that offers them exceptional imaging quality, the classic Leica image look, and unlimited creative freedom’, explains Matthias Harsch, CEO of Leica Camera AG.
Within the framework of the collaboration with Xiaomi, Leica contributed its expertise in the development and realisation of the camera module for the Xiaomi 12S series smartphones.
Here, particular attention must be called to the flagship model, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra. A special highlight of the flagship model, and entirely new to the smartphone segment, is the choice of two different image profiles in the camera module.
Consumers can select the options ‘Leica Authentic Look’ and ‘Leica Vibrant Look’. Developed especially by Leica, the ‘Authentic Look’ profile will delight Leica fans in particular and fascinate all other customers with smartphone images with the iconic ‘Leica Image Look’. In the creation of the ‘Authentic Look’ profile, Leica imaging experts attached particular importance to an aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking rendition of colours, good definition in shadows, realistic local contrasts and the excellent reproduction of finest details. In addition to this, the ‘Authentic Look’ profile features a reduced compensation of vignetting to ensure minimal darkening between the centre and the corners of the image and lend it the typical look and character of a photograph captured with a Leica Summicron lens.
The ‘Leica Vibrant Look’ profile was jointly developed by Xiaomi and Leica. Through the combination of Xiaomi’s experience in the field of smartphone photography and the visual aesthetics typical for Leica images, photographers can use this style to perfectly capture the emotions of a moment in vibrant yet realistic colour.
Featuring a 50-megapixel Sony IMX989 1-inch image sensor and a Vario-Summicron 13–120mm f/1.9–4.1 ASPH. lens with a zoom range of 13mm to 120mm, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra delivers brilliant pictures in JPG, DNG and HEIF format that impress with highest quality and true-to-life detail, especially in large-format prints. To enable consumer-friendly postprocessing, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, the Xiaomi 12S Pro and the Xiaomi 12S all support the Adobe Labs-calibrated 10-bit RAW format.
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra smartphone starts at 5,999 Yuan, which is about $892. It and the other smartphones in the 12S series are launching first in mainland China and the company has not provide any information on when to expect it in other regions.