Google Astrophotography makes it incredibly easy to take amazing photos of the constellations and even the Milky Way.
Google’s Pixel phones take advantage of the company’s amazing software to deliver some of the most powerful and unique features in the smartphone camera field. Pixel phones turned low-light photography on its head with Night Sight back in 2018, but what really impressed us was the astrophotography mode that arrived a year later. It remains one of the most popular Pixel features, using the magic of Google’s algorithm to deliver amazing results. If this is the first time you are using a Pixel phone, and you are wondering how to use the astrophotography mode, then you are in the right place
What is the astrophotography mode?
Google’s Astrophotography mode is built into the camera app that comes with Pixel phones. It’s been part of the stock camera app since 2019 when it arrived with the Pixel 4, and it’s also on the new Pixel 7 series. Astrophotography mode is available on the Pixel 3 and the latest Pixel phones, so all modern Google phones can use the company’s computer imaging features to turn a boring night sky into a magical spectacle.
However, enabling the astrophotography mode is not as easy as you think. It does not appear as one of the custom modes on the phone, which you can select and start shooting. It’s a somewhat hidden feature, and here’s how to enable it.
How to enable and use Astrophotography mode on Pixel 7
- Launch the Camera app and go to night sight the situation. You can do this by scrolling through the different modes at the bottom of the app.
- select file Settings located in the upper left corner of the screen, and open the Night Sight camera settings.
- In the settings overlay, make sure that the Astrophotography option is set to to me.
The next thing you need to do is place your phone on a stable surface like a tripod or a rock. Once you do that, the shutter button will change from the moon icon to the stars. This is a critical step because Astrophotography mode will only start if you keep your device stable. Even the smallest motion will trigger an alert asking you to keep your phone still.
We recommend using a tripod to make sure your Pixel 7 is ready to take photos of the stars. We leave a link to one of our favorite tripods below, but feel free to use any tripod for the job.
Joby GripTight ONE GorillaPod Holder
The Joby GripTight ONE GorillaPod mount is the perfect accessory to pair with your smartphone if you take a lot of photos or record videos. You can use this holder with any smartphone as long as it fits the specifications.
Google Computational Photography is very powerful, but you won’t get away with good results unless you’re shooting in conditions conducive to astrophotography. The first thing you need to do is to stay away from the loud city lights to control light pollution. It is also important to ensure that there are no main light sources within 10 miles of the shooting location. Having too much light in your shot will result in images that are too bright due to long exposure times, so we recommend using apps like Light Pollution Map to find dark areas around you.
Likewise, it is important to ensure that there are no clouds between you and the stars. A cloudy sky will block out all the stars and make the whole process more difficult. You can check out the best weather apps on the Google Play Store to find the right time for this star-studded adventure.
Unlike the new Astrophoto mode in Samsung’s Expert RAW camera app, Google’s stock camera app doesn’t show you what you’re looking at in the night sky. You will definitely need a sky guide to locate the stars and constellations. Fortunately, there are apps on the Google Play Store that will do the job for you; We recommend Stellarium Mobile for this because it is easy to use and gives you all the data you need in real time.
With a tripod and a little control over a few external factors, you’re now ready to start capturing the night sky. Heres how to do it:
- put your Phone on tripodPointing the cameras towards the sky.
- Check the viewfinder To adjust the frame to your liking.
- Once you have set up the frame and the phone is firmly in place, you will notice that the moon icon on the shutter button will change to stars. This indicates that the Astrophotography mode is turned on.
- Once you’re ready to shoot, simply Press the shutter button And let the Pixel 7 work its magic.
It is best to leave the phone alone while the photo is being taken and processed. You will see a countdown timer on the screen that tells you how long he needs to take the photo. The phone will also alert you with a ringing sound when the shooting and processing are finished.
From here, you are ready to share the image or play it through an editing app to process it further. A little editing will go a long way to ensuring that your astrophotography looks perfect, but it’s completely optional.
This way you can use the Astrophotography mode on the Pixel 7. The process remains pretty much the same for all Pixel phones that support star photography, but results may vary. Astrophotography is just one of the many cool features you’ll find on Google’s new Pixel phones. You can check out our Pixel 7 review to learn more about it in detail.
Google Pixel 7
We used the Google Pixel 7 to put together this astrophotography tutorial. It’s an improvement on the already excellent Pixel 6, making it a very polished flagship phone without the hefty prices.
Have you tried Astrophotography mode on your Pixel phone? Let us know by dropping a line in the comments below.