Xiaomi Mi 11 and Oppo Find X3 Pro have kicked off a new phone camera craze Oppo Find X3 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 11

First they came without a camera. Then they came with a camera. Then secondary and tertiary cameras started popping up, sporting ultra-wide or telephoto lenses, or with auxiliary depth sensors, all in the name of helping your smartphone take better pictures. And now, at the beginning of 2021, it seems a new kind of photography mode for smartphones might be all the rage.

The Xiaomi Mi 11, launched in February 2021, and the Oppo Find X3 Pro, shown off the month after, both have notable macro-photography modes, using bespoke hardware and smart software to take such photos. These aren’t just extra modes thrown in to bulk out a feature list, but complicated modes that marry hardware and software.