The Xiaomi camera app isn't the worst app around, but plenty of users find its iOS-style interface a little obtuse. If you ever wondered about the apps more advanced options, or even its basic functions, we've got some advice for you.
The basic viewfinder options
When you launch the Xiaomi camera app on your budget phone, you’ll be greeted by the viewfinder, with several icons dotted around the window.
The large white button at the bottom is the shutter key. The icon to the left (holding the phone in portrait) takes you to your previously taken shots. The red icon to the right of the shutter key is the video recording mode.
Just above those main buttons sits three more buttons. From right to left, there’s a camera toggle button for quickly switching between the main and selfie camera, an “options” menu button, and a filter menu for applying various effects before taking a shot.
Finally, the flash icon sits in the top-left corner (tap it to enable the camera flash) and the HDR toggle in the top-right corner (tap it to enable HDR mode). You’ll want to enable HDR for scenes with both bright and dark elements. That way you can make out detail in the shadows without blowing out the clouds.
The camera app on many premium Xiaomi phones usually differs a little from the budget devices. The more expensive phones tend to use a hamburger button instead of the “options” menu, usually containing shooting modes and settings menus. These more premium phones also copy the iPhone by allowing you to scroll laterally through the camera modes from the viewfinder.
Tapping the “options” menu (or the hamburger menu) will bring up a list of all the Xiaomi camera modes. If you want to take a panorama or dabble with manual mode on your cheaper phone, you need to visit this menu first.
A single-camera budget Xiaomi phone usually has roughly nine modes here:
More expensive dual-camera Xiaomi phones usually have a few more modes, too:
What other settings are available?
Tap the gear icon in the top-right of the options menu will open a menu with settings for saving location info for photos, disabling or enabling camera sounds, a pocket mode (disabling touch gestures if you put the phone in your pocket while the camera app is open), a time-stamp option (showing the time and date of the photo), and more.
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Try adjusting exposure like this
When actually taking photos, the Xiaomi camera app has an alternative way to adjust exposure. Simply tap to focus, then hold on the resulting icon with arrows pointing up and down. From here, drag the icon up for a higher exposure and down for a lower exposure.
Use the fingerprint scanner
If you’ve got a Xiaomi phone with a fingerprint scanner, you’ve also got an extra way to take shots. The Xiaomi camera app lets you take photos by simply tapping the scanner. You might find this handy for taking selfies, when the main shutter key is in an awkward spot.
Take photos while recording video
Many phones can take shots while recording a clip, and it’s pretty easy in the Xiaomi camera app. Simply start recording, then tap the circular icon next to the “stop” button. The photo won’t be high-resolution at all — it’s more like a screengrab — but it’s still a useful trick and shows you don’t necessarily have to choose between video or photo. If you’re not seeing the feature, you might have to enable it via settings image capture while recording.