How to take pictures of the stars with a phone

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Going for a walk on a beautiful night and seeing that the stars are in perfect alignment. Of course, you want to take the opportunity and take a picture that you can post or just want to have it on your phone so you can see it from time to time to remember how beautiful our planet really is. But there is one problem your pictures will turn out as black images that is because the sky is too dim to register it in your phone sensors. Well, if you are having any problems then let us offer a few tips on how to take the best pictures of the stars with your phone.

For iPhone:

  • First, turn off your flash because this will only leave you will a black image. Your HDR should also be off since it will lower the performance of your phone. The iPhone 8 and iPhone X enhances the details capacities in the low light to makes sure that pictures have good quality even in the dark.
  • Zoom in to capture only the one part that you want on your picture but also make the stars look more prominent. Although do not zoom more than 2x since it will only lower the quality of the image. The iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X have an optical zoom which will help you get better results.
  • Change the exposures on your phone so that your pictures won’t turn out blurry.
  • Try not to move your camera a lot since this will only downgrade the quality of your picture.
  • Click a few times on the screen to make sure that your camera is in full focus for these pictures.
  • Put your phone lens against the eyepieces of a large telescope.
  • You can try using something like Adobe Lightroom CC
  • Avoid using JPEG
  • Put your exposure to 30 sec (bulb) Choose aperture. f/11 to f/16
  • Choose shutter speed. Shutter speed around 1/60th to 1/125th.

For Android:

  • If you have an android then you can customize the camera settings by tapping the three lines in the top left corner and clicking manually
  • Use the S option to increase the shutter speed by choosing the longest option. This will be an advantage for you since it will take some time but will make sure to be in full focus so the picture turn out great
  • Switch to RAW JPG since it will allow your phone to take the best quality picture by making a few corrections
  • Select a low exposure by choosing the EV option
  • Choose a value of 80 to 100 in the ISO

Taking a beautiful photo of the stars also requires having good apps. The best apps for photography are Camera FV-5, Candy Camera, and ProCamera.

These are tips that we recommend but things that are required are only three:

  • A full-frame camera (for better ISO capabilities),
  • A wide-angle lens (for the widest view of the sky),
  • A tripod (for stability during 15-second photos).

Although even with tips given up the pictures won’t be quite detailed as with a camera.

Reasons why the picture may not turn the best

  • The camera sensor is in a small space and doesn’t get sufficient cooling.
  • The phone has a low ISO and it’s only meant to capture everyday activities. The higher the ISO the better the captured images are.
  • The phone camera doesn’t have a wide aperture so you will have to increase the bulb exposure a lot in order to receive a decent picture. For example, in comparison to a DSLR you would need a bulb exposure of 15 minutes but sometimes even more and the phone’s battery isn’t actually going to last that long if you even want to complete one exposure.
  • The aperture of the lens is too small to capture something that is in really low lighting and especially astrophotography.

Researches have shown that the best phone camera for these type of pictures is the iPhone 12 Pro Max due to its wide main camera which can even record videos from ProRAW mode so yourself flexibility to your editing. But the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max is also great since it has the iPhone Night mode which shows the colors and details on sky pictures.

Editing the photo

You got the best picture that you could take but here comes the next part –Editing. Every picture can look 10x better if you know how to use it.

For example, the moon is also in the picture but around it, you can see a type of green-ish or purple-ish, don’t worry that is just the chromatic aberration effect. This usually happens with lenses that are unable to correct different colors from different types of angles. Although the main question is how can I fix it well, you have lots of programs/apps for example the two most known ones are Photoshop and Lightroom.

Best phones for night pictures

These were all the tips that we had on how to improve your phone quality when taking pictures in the dark but if they weren’t helpful enough then no worries we have made a list of 5 phones where taking pictures in the dark is their specialty.

  • Redmi Note 8

First on our list is the Redmi Note 8 is one of the smartphones that offers many high-end features. One of them being a Night Mode feature which takes really good pictures in dark conditions when sometimes can even look like it was taken with a camera. Some other offers that this smartphone offers is an ultra-wide lens, macro lens Led flash, and many more.

  • Huawei P30 Pro

This smartphone has been really know for its photography conditions being on another level since day one. It has the capabilities of zooming to 50x and has a really high ISO sensitivity. So with its fantastic camera, powerful processor, and vibrant design, this phone is a dream come true to many people out there.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is currently one of the most popular smartphones in the field of dark photography. It has a main camera of a 26mm lens a 52m telephoto and a 13mm ultra-wide lens. Its amazing capability is able to record high levels of details and accurate target exposure indoors/outdoors with a wide dynamic range.

  • Google Pixel 3 XL

The Google Pixel 3 XL is on the pricier side but the quality of its camera is seriously amazing. It may not be the newest phone but the qualities that it has are one that not too many newly launched phones have. Even though it uses a single camera the phone has a 12.2Mp, ½.55 dual-pixel sensor. Many people also believe that its camera is slightly better than the iPhone 11 Pro.

  • Samsung Galaxy M21

The phone has an ultra-wide camera and it does a pretty good job at matching the colors and dynamic range of the main camera. It has three cameras in general which offer  Live Focus, Night Mode, Pro Mode, Super Slow-Mo mode, Food mode, etc. The wider perspective also offers to make up the less satisfactory image qualities.