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My first ever image, via smartphone!

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#1 Alex Tran

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 11:12 PM

Hello CN forum!

Yesterday was a beautiful full moon, and my first day trying out my new telescope. I was able to mount my Galaxy S4 phone and stack+process a 30 second video to produce my first picture (shown here!). I used Lynkeos and GIMP since I am on a Mac.

I have a few questions for the community. First, are there any other suitable astrophotography programs (preferably free) I could use? Secondly, I know the words "smart phone" and "astrophotography" don't exactly fit together. I would like to know what are some of the limitations of using a Galaxy S4 (13MP) camera with it's limited features (no shutter speed, etc). I love visual astronomy, and would like to see how much I can do to image the brighter DSOs, like the Orion Nebula. So, if anyone has any words of knowledge or advice, I am more than willing to hear it! Thank you, and clear skies.

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#2 Mr Greybush

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 12:15 AM

good job and the simple fact coming from a smartphone !!! IMHO I've never used a mac but I'm switching once my laptop dies cause I can't stand win8 lol I'm sure you can run a windows emulator to use registax (free) and others regards

#3 StrangeDejavu

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 12:24 AM

Nice job! Be warned though, you are standing on a slippery slope. A smartphone up to the eyepiece sparked a desire for imaging that ran wild in me. I started out with Moon shots, then the planets and solar. Before long, I realized I was spending more time snapping pictures than I was observing. :)

Here are some of my best using only my iPhone 4S
(If you right-click and open the image in a new tab, you can see the full size):

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#4 Alex Tran

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 01:34 AM

Thanks for the input John and Mitch! I am currently looking into emulating Registax 6. Also, that platter of the solar system looks delectable, Mitch!

#5 StrangeDejavu

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 01:43 AM

Have you looked into the different methods to run Windows on Mac? Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop 7, VMware Fusion 4, etc. This way you could have access to all of the editing programs offered to PC users without emulating them. :)

#6 Alex Tran

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:43 AM

Indeed I have. I don't have a license to Windows though, so I tried CrossOver to simply port Registax. However, it does not really work. Lynkeos and GIMP are giving me an okay start though, and I will do the bigger projects on my desktop. Here's my first Jupiter. I want to try other objects, but the sky has been fully cloudy for the past few days. Beginner's telescope curse.

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#7 StrangeDejavu

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 11:22 AM

Wow! You got that much detail out of Jupiter from your phone? The exposure setting on the S4 must be much lower than others on the market. When I imaged Jupiter, it was overexposed until I added a Moon filter. Even then, detail was scarce.

Nice job, needless to say. :bow:

#8 Alex Tran

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:24 PM

Thanks Mitch, and congrats on your Venus image- it's stunning! There are so many DSOs I want to look at and see what filters can do for my eyes and my phone. Unfortunately, I've had nothing but cloudy nights! Time for the waiting game, I'm afraid :imawake:

#9 StrangeDejavu

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:59 PM

Thank you, Venus is a fun one. :)

My phone can pick up the Pleiades, i'm sure yours will to. Based on the S4's fast exposure and sensitivity on Jupiter, i'd be willing to bet you could pick up the trapezium and maybe slight nebulosity in M42. I'm definitely curious to see the phones potential as my contract expires next month. I'm either going with the S4 or the Note 3, I haven't decided yet.

#10 Alex Tran

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 03:30 PM

Indeed, I am also curious on how it will perform. I can't wait to see how high-iso pictures will look compared to a stacked image from a video- and if filters will add any contrast. If only the clouds will let up!






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