The Mi 12 Ultra’s 200 MP camera isn’t as major as you think

Xiaomi is known for being one of the most experimental smartphone manufacturers in the world. For instance, last year, they patented a phone design that would allow users to hide the device’s notch by splitting its display and twisting it backward. Now, according to a new leak, Xiaomi’s upcoming Mi 12 Ultra smartphone will feature an insane 200 megapixel (MP) camera.

First reported on by TechRadar, the leak comes from Digital Chat Stations, a leaker that has some clout behind them. The leaker posted the information to Weibo (a Chinese social media platform), suggesting that the phone will either have a 192 MP or 200 MP camera.

200 MP doesn’t automatically mean better image quality

Like with dedicated cameras, an impressive megapixel count doesn’t ultimately determine the overall image quality a camera’s capable of. That’s determined by the camera’s sensor, not the megapixel count. Instead, the megapixel count determines the amount of detail a camera’s sensor can theoretically collect. So, if the Xiaomi Mi 12 Ultra does feature a 200 MP count but doesn’t have a quality sensor to match it, it probably won’t look any better than what you can already get with a smartphone that has a lower megapixel count. Additionally, smartphone bodies usually have a limited amount of space. Xiaomi may shrink the size of the pixels to fit more of them into the standard smartphone body. This can also affect the image quality.

Who is the camera for?

For the general public, 200 MP is overkill. Not many would need this many megapixels to capture good-looking photos. However, professionals would find the feature more useful. The Xiaomi Mi 12 Ultra may have a sensor that can utilize all the 200 MP, increasing the phone’s image quality. A higher megapixel count allows more flexibility when cropping and pixel binning (combining pixels to capture more light). Though, we wonder how many professionals are looking for a smartphone to capture their photos on. We’ll have to see when the phone officially releases somewhere down the road.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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