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Astrophotography - with a camera phone

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  • Astrophotography - with a camera phone

    My last couple of phones have been Google phones: originally I had the LG Nexus 5, but upgraded earlier this year to the Pixel 3a almost as soon as it was announced. I was lucky and picked up a secondhand one not more than 2 weeks after the launch (I think it was an unwanted upgrade).

    So I was used to the Google camera app, but the pixel had new features to me: the "night sight" is excellent. I noticed that the new Pixel 4 had an astrophotography feature, and had heard that a lot of the new features were available on the older versions.

    I had my first attempt on the 22nd - although the astro feature is not listed, if you select night sight and point at the sky, a notification comes up that it's switching to astrophotography mode.

    I took a couple from my son's balcony but there were a lot of buildings about, so had a second attempt from mine. I was initially drawn to trying because Sirius is so bright at this time of year, but what you mostly see is Orion.

    Ian has already seen this from a share on Facebook, and has already spotted from the palm fronds that I was away when I took it!
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20191224_005333.jpg Views:	0 Size:	27.5 KB ID:	152826
    Last edited by Caz; 4 weeks ago. Reason: Accidentally added same image more than once!
    carolannphotos.smugmug.com / webleedmusicmedia.com

  • #2
    Crikey that is clear, Caz.
    I know darn well my old mobile wouldn't be capable of that. Must try it though.
    Canon 7D 50D 400D Canon 300mm f4 L IS Canon 70 - 200 f2.8 L IS Sigma 150 - 500 f6.3 OS Sigma 50mm f1.4

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    • #3
      The exif data on the shot also has the location it was taken at thanks to it being a smartphone shot - so Caz was just south west of Malaga

      Isn't one of the Orion stars Betelgeuse? There is some speculation it may be about to go nova...

      Ian
      Founder/editor
      Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
      Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
      Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
      Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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      • #4
        Click image for larger version

Name:	
Views:	0
Size:	115.4 KB
ID:	152951

        "Just south west of Malaga" is pretty much spot on: I was in Torrequebrada, a suburb of Benalmadena. The only time we went to Malaga was arrival/departure and we also had a morning at the Jardin Botanico - it was incredible what was still in flower.

        I really decided to travel light: I used the Pixel phone a lot (as did my son in law); the rest of the family had various Samsung Galaxy Phones (s8 and s10) which also took excellent images. My main camera was my old Canon EOS-M (I still have the mark 1) with the 22mm f2 pancake and (slightly larger) a 50mm f1.4.

        I'm really pleased with the performance of the Pixel in low light. However, if there are bright street lights you can get a lot of flare.

        I've attached a panorama I took on Boxing Day as we walked along the beach to see the sunset

        https://photos.app.goo.gl/iVnDbJB1qv6phj3N7



        Originally posted by Ian View Post
        The exif data on the shot also has the location it was taken at thanks to it being a smartphone shot - so Caz was just south west of Malaga

        Isn't one of the Orion stars Betelgeuse? There is some speculation it may be about to go nova...

        Ian
        Last edited by Ian; 2 weeks ago.
        carolannphotos.smugmug.com / webleedmusicmedia.com

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        • #5
          Hope you don't mind me displaying your pano in fullsize?

          There is a bit of a slope there How many margaritas had you consumed beforehand ?

          Ian
          Founder/editor
          Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
          Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
          Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
          Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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          • Caz
            Caz commented
            Editing a comment
            I didn't mind at all Ian, thank you - I couldn't put it in the post so it was much appreciated.
            Margaritas? I'll have you know that during my week in Spain, I consumed 3 glasses of wine and probably about 4 beers - and no meat. We were visiting the vegetarian wing of the family.

          • Ian
            Ian commented
            Editing a comment
            Both my daughters have given up meat and we've cut down. Sign of the times!

        • #6
          Fabulous ! My sort of image, Caz. Ok. Slight slope as Ian mentioned. But I like evening and natural light scenic shots.

          Looks even better after logging in and seeing it on the black background of the dark theme.
          Canon 7D 50D 400D Canon 300mm f4 L IS Canon 70 - 200 f2.8 L IS Sigma 150 - 500 f6.3 OS Sigma 50mm f1.4

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