Did you know that smartphones can click the night skies pretty well? Nowadays, smartphones have such high-resolution cameras that have professional camera settings. There are also some settings that enable you to click on the mesmerizing night sky.
But which phone works best for capturing the stars? In this article, we have mentioned some of the best working smartphones that you can use to cherish these extraordinary phenomena. So let us get started now!
Best Phones for Night Sky Photography
A great smartphone goes a long way! So, invest in a good smartphone; be it Android or iOS, because you can do so much with great phones, and astrophotography is one such feature.
Let us see some android and iOS phones that work amazingly for such activity:
- Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
- Google Pixel 5
- Google Pixel 4 XL
- Apple iPhone 12 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
- Huawei P40 Pro
- OnePlus 9 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy S20
I have mentioned some fantastic models from branded companies equipped with low-light and pro camera settings. You can use these features to click amazing night sky pictures.
Night Sky Photography Apps
Have you ever heard that android phones have apps with unique settings for clicking pictures of the sky? It is naturally challenging to click photos in the night light and think capturing the atmosphere is difficult.
Therefore, android phones have unique apps that can locate the stars in the sky and do the work for you. Let us see what apps can do astrophotography:
Sky Safari Plus
If you need an app that tells you about the stars and their positions so that you can click pictures in those positions and angles, check sky safari plus.
It is the iOS version of Sky Safari Plus, which is made according apple phones. You can locate different stars and constellations through which you can click pictures with cameras of professional settings.
This app is available for both Android and iOS smartphones. You can locate celestial objects with this app, such as the moon and its position according to the day. If you are looking for a full moon or a crescent moon to capture, you will know with this app’s geolocation settings.
If you’re looking for an app that is available for Android as well as iOS smartphones, get photo pits. You can capture the milky way with this app with a DSLR or your smartphone with professional camera settings.
HD Camera Pro
This app is exclusively for Android only. The app offers excellent customized features for the camera with settings like Exposure, ISO, etc. also, you click high-definition photographs with the app.
It is only for iOS smartphones only. The app changes the setting of your smartphone’s camera into professional mode. There is software included with the app that allows you to edit those pictures and make them look more professional.
Night Sky Photography Phone Settings
While professionals know how to operate a DSLR with those complex settings, you will have to follow the steps below to use your smartphones in a professional camera setting mode:
- Keep the ISO of cameras between 800 and 3000 (set it to the level that your phones support)
- The aperture has to be around f/1.2 – f/5.6. The focus you get on this set is the best
- Shutter speed is crucial since it will be responsible for a crisp and clear image. Therefore, you should keep it around 15-20seconds
- If you want to zoom in on the stars, use the “live view” option
- Adjust the brightness level of your phone to an optimal level so that you can clearly view the sky as it is
- Never use auto flash because it ruins the lighting of the actual environment
- HDR should stay closed since it will slow down the camera, ruining the photos’ quality
How to Take Great Night Sky Photos on iPhone?
iPhone is known for its camera quality already, but can you click pictures of the star with it? Read below to find more:
- Once you open the iPhone’s camera, go to settings
- Locate the low-light settings option and look for Night Mode. Enable the option
- Now, select the moon icon present on the top left of the screen
- Now adjust the exposure with the help of a slider
- You can set a timer to click your pictures. A remote shutter is also a good way of clicking pictures.
- Edit your photos every time you decide to post them or send them anywhere
Editing is crucial for a good photo since it increases the aesthetic beauty of the picture, and you can achieve the exact type of photo you are looking to capture.
How to Take Night Sky Photos with Android?
I know it sounds challenging to click pictures at night, but smartphones nowadays are really some of the best phone devices to ever exist. So I am going to explain how you can click photos with an android smartphone.
- Choose a place where there is no extra light, such as a street light or lights from a building, so that you can get a clear photo without any light disturbance
- Buy a tripod if you have to because it will come in handy. For a clear shot, it’s always better to rely on a tripod because it will help the camera focus better
- Apps are another feat altogether! Nowadays, apps come with a specific setting that helps you locate celestial bodies such as the moon or night stars and click pictures with it. You can even get access to professional camera settings with such apps. Some examples are SkySafari Plus, Celestial, etc.
- Do not use flash; I repeat, never use flash for night sky photography. Flash will kill the light that the stars reflect, which should be the very thing you are capturing
- Just like a flash, HDR should not be used as well. HDR settings naturally slow down the photo-clicking process, and that will lead to a slow camera
- Do not Zoom into the sky to click pictures because that will distort the pixels of the photograph. You can always crop the image if you do not want a particular part in the picture.
Best Apps for Night Sky Photography with Android
Android phones are versatile in their features and modes, and you can install such apps which will increase the quality of your night sky photos. Some of the best apps for night sky Photography are below:
- Camera FV-5 Lite
- SkySafari plus
- HD Camera Pro
- Pro Camera
All the cameras I mentioned above are great working apps and have fantastic reviews. You can use these apps to increase your photography skills.
Editing with such apps is more accessible, too, as the apps come with specific settings such as adjusting brightness, setting the shadow levels, balancing the color of the photo, etc.
Photography is no easy task! Of course, you can click a picture and be done with it. But to really capture a moment in your photos is true art. You can be an artist only if you plan ahead. So, be prepared if you have planned to go on an expedition to click the best pictures of the stars and the galaxy.
You will have to find the best place to shoot and carry the appropriate tools with you to maximize your experience as a photographer novice. I wish you luck in your journey to great Photography!
Justin Parker is a professional photographer and has been in the industry since 2007. He attended the University of Georgia. Justin combines his passion for photography and his interest in writing to give life to this blog which talks about photography in order to help and inspire young photographers.