Xiaomi x Leica, this is the key point of “Mi Chong Gao”
Xiaomi, Leica, it's fixed.
The news about the marriage between the two has been circulating for a long time, and the official announcement is not a surprise, but more like a decision.
▲ Xiaomi’s European imaging expert team placed Leica’s German headquarters. Image from: Xiaomi
The image of Xiaomi mobile phone can have an additional "business card".
And Lei Jun, Xiaomi's strongest spokesperson, also revealed some details on his Weibo and public accounts, and also gave a lot of interpretation.
In the final analysis, the depth of cooperation between Xiaomi and Leica in imaging basically revolves around all the processes of camera imaging, and the purpose is to help the imaging power of Xiaomi's new flagship in July.
The final results, such as color, tone, etc., whether there is a "German flavor", and the image of Xiaomi mobile phones can be refreshing, and may have to wait for the final product to land.
From the previous rumors, Xiaomi's new flagship configuration in July is almost full, and with the help of Leica, it can be said to be a new hope for "high".
▲ Some people guess that Xiaomi's new products in July will have a physical shutter button. Picture from: Xiaomi
Whether it has a German flavor, or the "little red dot" printed on Xiaomi's mobile phone, or has a unique tone atmosphere, I hope that Xiaomi can explore the main line of imagery of its own brand through cooperation with Leica.
That is, Xiaomi images should have their own "characteristics".
On the image, the Xiaomi phone has no features
What is the biggest feature of Xiaomi phones?
Apart from cost performance and 1999, there seems to be no other impressive features.
What if it was embodied in the image?
It is the first release of Sony or Samsung XX sensor, the first release of 100 million pixels, or a very high score in DxO Mark.
For example, at the MIX2S press conference, its camera score surpassed that of the iPhone X, becoming an important page in the PPT that year.
That is to say, the images of Xiaomi mobile phones are more presented to people with more concrete and specific data.
▲ The first Qualcomm flagship processor has become an annual reservation item for Xiaomi mobile phones.
Similar to Xiaomi's digital flagship products, it basically revolves around the launch of core hardware such as the new flagship processor.
In the previous mobile phone "Blue Ocean", Xiaomi used this style of play to conquer the city and take away the corresponding market share. With more and more manufacturers in the market, core hardware is almost necessary, and the homogeneity is prominent, and "one trick fresh" is difficult to eat.
The image is also here. In the past, high-pixel and new sensors were enough to support the image power of the product. However, as the sensor gradually becomes a commodity, everyone has a high-pixel outsole, and the imaging strength has gradually moved towards a "comprehensive" strength.
In addition, with the increase in the weight of computational photography, manufacturers' understanding of imaging styles has gradually become an important factor in imaging power.
As Lei Jun wrote in the official account, the current flagship products can be "photographed clearly and exquisitely", but there is still a distance from creation.
In fact, this demand is similar to that of traditional camera manufacturers. The first solution is to "take a picture", and then "take a good picture." How to shoot well, this is the accumulation of images by various manufacturers.
For example, what kind of "color" should be used to express the blue sky, big trees, and red flowers under the illumination of various angles to appear natural, rather than simply adding saturation.
▲ The tone of Xiaomi Mi 12 Pro has been optimized compared to the previous generation.
Previously, the stacking of Xiaomi products on the hardware was more like solving the problem of "getting pictures" from the source, and the subsequent camera functions and algorithms actually solved the problem of "getting pictures".
As for the color tone, there was no unified description and presentation method at the Xiaomi conference or in the product before.
This cooperation with Leica, German filters, and Leica's watermark may only be secondary. It should be the core that Xiaomi can find its own brand image features with the help of Leica.
Cooperation with traditional image brands is not a panacea
To enhance the image strength, Xiaomi has tried almost all methods before collaborating with Leica.
▲ From left to right are the ultra-wide lens, the 100-megapixel HM2 main camera and the telephoto (liquid lens).
The earliest launch sensors, outsole, large aperture, etc., followed on the MIX Fold, also launched the "liquid lens" and "independent ISP", but the effect is not obvious enough, shelved for the time being.
Xiaomi has done almost all the video "trends" that should be on the market, but every time it seems to be just a taste. With the rapid iteration of products, if the corresponding technology has no obvious effect, it will be "hidden".
Cooperation with traditional imaging brands may not be new among mobile phone manufacturers, and the dividends brought by the joint name are gradually weakening.
▲ vivo X80 Pro.
Among the existing joint names, Huawei and vivo are the most successful. The former has established the dual status of imaging and high-end in one fell swoop, while the latter is "icing on the cake", and its imaging features are deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.
Indeed, in the early cooperation, the video brand brought a lot of attention, but in the follow-up, more attention was turned into an advantage by relying on the research and development and efforts of the mobile phone brand itself.
Huawei's P and Mate series are deeply cultivating on RYYB sensors, and vivo has mastered the micro-gimbal anti-shake technology. These exclusive technical advantages, supplemented by the additions of traditional manufacturers, have promoted their product image advantages.
▲ The standard micro-gimbal technology of the vivo X series.
It is undeniable that the Leica brand itself has a full influence in the imaging industry, and has already broken the circle, and its recognition is far better than other brands.
And compared with other brands, Leica is not only unique in products, but also has a unique height in evangelistic photography culture.
Almost every photography forum will have a discussion that dominates the list, "Is Leica the end of the 135-frame?" This is also the unique existence of Leica to other imaging brands.
Combined with it, even though the current "joint brand" dividend is fading, it can still be exchanged for a high enough attention, especially Xiaomi, which is an Internet brand.
However, whether it can convert high attention to users is the next challenge for Xiaomi.
And, how to create some unique advantages (including hardware and software) around the Leica brand, and then become the main line of the long-term development of Xiaomi's product images, is also something that Xiaomi needs to consider carefully.
Xiaomi mobile phone has one less main line
From "Born for Fever" to "Black Technology" to "The Coolest Company in Mi Fan's Heart", Xiaomi's slogan has always been more imaginative.
Up to now, Xiaomi's products are still making a fuss around "cost-effectiveness", the latest processors, the best screens, high-power flash charging, and so on.
When all products are summed together, it is difficult to have a clear evolutionary route, and it is more to follow the main theme of the market.
The first processor on the hardware, 2K high refresh screen, high power fast charging, 100 million pixels and so on. The design of the fuselage, each generation has its own insistence.
The true core MIUI has also been a little lost lately. In the critical years of Xiaomi's high, MIUI 12 dragged its feet, forcing Xiaomi to adjust quickly, the launch of MIUI 12.5, and the rapid recovery of MIUI 13 with simplified functions.
Huawei's P series is mainly about images, vivo's X series is also based on design and images, and OPPO's Find X series is also about design and exploration.
In the eyes of many people, Xiaomi's digital series is still dominated by "cost-effectiveness", and it is difficult to extract a set of product evolution lines for Xiaomi.
The image strength of the previous generation Mi 11 Ultra was already at the forefront of domestic production, but the subsequent unreliable price control caused the price of Mi 11 Ultra to dive, and eventually lost user reputation.
The new products that will be launched in July may be the follow-up to the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, and the better "image" will once again become the main selling point of the Ultra series, which will also be the main line of this series.
And will other digital series also get the help of Leica "image" and become the main line of long-term update of Xiaomi products?
In recent years, Xiaomi has been trying to get rid of the "cost-effective" label, and even used Redmi to share the shipping pressure.
However, the Redmi K series finally became popular. After not focusing on cost-effectiveness, Xiaomi's digital series was a little confused and lacked a foothold.
This time, the cooperation between Xiaomi and Leica may be the best time for "transformation" in recent years, and it is also the most suitable foothold for Xiaomi's digital series. In addition, the new products to be released in July are also the most critical products of "Mi Chong Gao" in recent years.
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