The camera in the Mi 3 is a 13MP model, outputting its full resolution images at the 4:3 aspect ratio of 4208 x 3120. If you'd prefer widescreen shots, the 16:9 output is cropped to 4208 x 2368 resolution.
You might expect a budget model to skimp on the optics, but that's not the case here. Xiaomi's camera produces superb results, managing to capture good contrast and realistic colours quickly, and with the option of a burst mode too.
The camera app is relatively simple when compared with the feature-packed tools found inside the Samsung Galaxy series and Sony's Xperia series.
You get a toggle to switch between stills and video, with the key features hidden behind a settings button and a quick toggle to switch the flash on and off without having to trawl through menus.
The Mi 3 lets you activate an audio-trigger shutter tool, which starts a three second countdown when it hears a loud noise. It's much better than the usual self-timer feature, as it means you can balance your phone on a rock or table, then run around, get your smile right and shout at it to take a shot.
Also useful is the selection of auto-focus modes. You can have it automatically focus, or choose a manual mode that refocuses only when you tap the screen. This is particularly useful when capturing video, as you can use it to calm down the amount of refocusing you see when shooting moving subjects.
On the MIUI side of things there are more toys to play with. The camera setting lets users allocate shutter or zoom functions to the Mi 3's volume keys, and choose if the long-press shutter button input should activate burst mode or act as a cue to refocus the viewfinder.
You can also have it detect faces and add a reference line to the viewfinder, should you stress a lot about having a nice horizontal horizon in your shots.
It's a straightforward camera app that produces good results and is fast in operation, with extra usability coming via the clever MIUI additions. I like it.