We have come a long way in terms of improvement and innovation of the smartphone camera. Today, clicking on the milky way, the stars, the constellations is quite possible using a smartphone. Nowadays, smartphone manufacturers are launching phones with powerful camera configurations. These phone cameras can compete with branded DSLRs. In these smartphones, artificial intelligence or AI is emitted to click and process high resolution images.
Speaking of high-end smartphones with the configuration of the high-end camera, Google's Pixel series always takes the cake. These smartphones come with unique and user-friendly features.
We know that flagship devices are expensive. Google’s Pixel line of smartphones also follows this characteristic. It is therefore not possible for everyone to own a Pixel device. However, thanks to the open-source nature of Android, we can port the Google camera from Pixel phones to another brand’s smartphone. In this guide, we will tell you how to use the Google camera astrophography mode to click on constellation, starry sky, etc.
Just to give you an idea of the night sky we've talked about so far, here is a photo that I clicked using the Google camera astrophography mode. Of course, the image you see below is clicked using a smartphone, OnePlus 6T.
What is the hype about Google Camera.?
Those who are new to technology and smartphones may wonder what makes Google Camera so special. As we said, today's smartphone manufacturers are implementing artificial intelligence on their camera setup. Google makes the best use of AI when it comes to the camera section of Pixel devices.
GCam or Google Camera comes with AI portrait mode, Topshot, smartburst, super res zoom, HDR +, etc. Now, with the release of its latest 4th generation smartphone, the Pixel 4 series, Google has introduced high-profile astrophotography. In fact, long before the official release of the phone, Gcam applications have been worn by many developers and shared in the public domain for use. It also worked.
We have set up a link for the Google Camera 7.0 app for generic Android devices in this guide. You need to download and install it.
How to click on Nightsky using the Google Camera Astrophotography mode
Let us make sure that you don't have to perform rocket science to be able to click on an image using the Astrophotography mode of the Google camera. However, you must have a few things with you. We have listed them below.
What do you need?
- Download Google Camera APK 7.0 APK
- Smartphone running Android OS (preferably Android Pie or Android 10)
- A tripod (it's a must to be able to click on a clean night sky photo)
- A place where there is less light pollution
Why use a tripod to click on the Astrophoto?
If you scratch your head about the tripod and light pollution conditions, let us explain it to you. We need a tripod to keep the phone stable. Here, stable means motionless like a rock. It will only be possible to achieve ultimate stability if we mount the smartphone on a good tripod.
The sky is far from us. The stars and other celestial bodies that we see in the night sky are even more distant. When we look at the stars or constellations, we see them twinkle. This phenomenon occurs because the light that moves towards our eyes, reflected by these objects, fluctuates due to the enormous distance between them and the earth plane.
So if we hold the camera in our hands, due to the constant rotation of the Earth and the distance of the light, we will get shaded or noisy images of the stars. We can try to keep the camera as still as possible. However, due to the rotation of the Earth, our hands are shaking and we get a noisy image with stars appearing like streaks of light in crazy shapes. So using a tripod quite easily solves this problem.
In fact, we need to manually set the focus on the Google camera to Infinity, as we have indicated in the steps below.
Light pollution explained
Now let's explain the lower light pollution factor. In simple terms, before you click on the night sky, you need to find a place where there is no artificial lighting nearby that your smartphone camera can capture. This will prevent the camera from getting a clear picture of the starry night sky.
You can use certain applications to find out less light pollution in your neighboring regions. Otherwise, you just need to go to a place where, at least for a certain distance, there is no artificial lighting all around you.
You can even see the difference between the resulting astrophotographs clicked in a darker natural environment and a place lit by artificial lights. Try it.
NightSky shooting with Google Camera Astrophotography mode
- Open yourself Google Camera app
- Swipe left until you see the option NightSight. (characterized by a crescent moon symbol)
- Above the face of the camera, you should see a small arrow. Slide it down.
- Set the timer for 3 seconds
- Press the Focus tab> press the mountain symbol which means Infinity Focus.
- Place the smartphone on the tripod and make sure the rear camera is facing the night sky.
- When the handsfree phone is on the camera screen, you should see a message "The phone is stable".
- Now gently press the shutter button.
The camera will take a few moments to capture the night sky. You should see the Camera app displaying messages like "In search of stars"and"Collect stars".
At the end, you should get the desired photo of the starry night sky.
So, if you have a curiosity for stargazing, try the astrophotography mode of Google camera on your Android smartphone. Let us know your results.
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