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Milkyway Photography with Smart Phone & MSM



Introduction

Photographing the night sky was always a challenge even with the best DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras in the market before. Since sensor technology is developing rapidly fast in the last couple of years, recent smartphones have also been involved in the game. Today, it is easily possible to achieve pleasing results with most of the recent smartphones when it comes to landscape astrophotography. This gives everyone a great opportunity to shoot the night sky, even the first-timers or beginners. Maybe in the near future, we will be able to pack less with the development of technology, who knows :). In this article, we will have a deeper look inside how to photograph the Milkyway with a smartphone and Move Shoot Move 2in1 Rotator.


Gear List

The gear list is quite easy to acquire, all you need is;

  • Smart Phone with Manuel Camera Controls

  • Sturdy Tripod

  • Move Shoot Move 2in1 Rotator




Most of the recent smartphones come with Pro Mode or Manuel Mode which allows us to control camera settings manually in the camera apps. While some phones have presets in their camera apps called Night Mode, Night Sky Mode, Starry Skies Mode, etc. we do not usually recommend people to use these modes as they do some post-processing work inside the camera app and gives you the final result. The algorithms in those apps are not quite perfect yet nowadays and way better results could easily be achieved manually (there may be some exceptions).


As for the smartphone selection, you could go with any phone that has a Pro or Manual Mode and also shoots RAW. Though, some smartphones have bigger and better sensors like Xiaomi Mi10T Pro which is the example we will be focusing on today.


As the tripod selection, any sturdy one which could handle the weight of your star tracker and the smartphone would work. On the examples of this article, we used Benro TMA47 AXL (which is quite big, heavy, and sturdy :)).



When it comes to astrophotography, a star tracker unarguably improves the results, though the Move Shoot Move is a game-changer. Traditional trackers are usually heavy and hard to set up but MSM is pocket-sized and easy to set up. As we are packing less and not using big, heavy DSLRs with big lenses, MSM would be very handy and easy to carry for smartphone astrophotography purposes.


Technique

Multiple different techniques are used in landscape photography, none of them is wrong,

most of them are used to improve the quality (to achieve a better signal-to-noise ratio, more detailed data) you can choose any of those to achieve pleasing results. It only depends on your way and the composition you want to acquire. These techniques are called;