Astrophotography with the LG G4, or how I used a smartphone to take awesome photos of the night sky

In this guide, we'll show you how to take awesome photos of the night sky using a smartphone that supports manual camera controls. All of the photos we're about to share with you were captured using the LG G4 and its awesome 16MP main camera...
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52 Comments

1. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

wow, this is amazing. mobile phones usually struggle in capturing any star

2. mistercarter

Posts: 360; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

i love the G4 camera, it's amazingly good and the manual controls got no competition yet. the only downside i find with its camera is the awful blue shade the sky shows in bright daylight, if only LG could fix that, it would be the best camera in a phone today

8. nenadmitrovic

Posts: 64; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

Manual controls have no competition yet? Tried lumia?http://allaboutwindowsphone.com/images/flow/misc/procameralive.jpg

11. rsiders

Posts: 1935; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I owned the Lumia 1020 and still own the Lumia 920. The limitation of 4 seconds exposure is no match for the sheer amount of light 30 seconds can cspture especially for these types of scenarios.

24. shadez10

Posts: 427; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

I owned an Asus zenfone and Manual mode has 32 secs exposure time...

27. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Yeah And asus zenfone sensor is not at the same level of quality. But nice move on Asus side to make this available its still nice. but 2 more second on an inferior sensor wont give better result lol.

35. shadez10

Posts: 427; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

well im just saying it has 32 secs and not about image quality... zenfones takes decent images though...

3. alexvv

Posts: 165; Member since: Oct 16, 2013

sadly very very few give you proper manual controls and it's not something you can add later using a third party app.... and many of those who do, give you 2sec of longest exposure which is not enough

4. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

That's awesome. I know nothing about photography, does my Note 5's pro settings have everything I need for this?

7. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Nope its dont support all the manual setting needed.

12. rsiders

Posts: 1935; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

The Note 5 is awesome and if you are seriously asking this question and not just here to troll, yes the Note 5 has all the proper controls for this type of photography although to a lesser degree with a max of 10 seconds exposure. But that's still plenty.

16. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

We tested it and the result where underwhelming compared to the LG G4 30 sec. Its may be plenty in others cases but not in this one.

20. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

No, I was serious. I know nothing about photography. I do play with the pro settings to get better low light pics, but I just move sliders until it looks good, I don't know what the actual settings are exactly. marorun gtfo with your Samsung hate. You're laughable. Where's your HTC love now?

28. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

I love HTC as well the M9 is more fluid than the note 5 , LG G4 , Nexus 6P ect. Its also have a build i prefere in all aluminium and i prefere the design. Still i like to give credit where due and the LG G4 camera is about the best there is thanks to much more advance manual control than most phone on the market paired with nearly the best sensor on a smartphone. You are laughable with your empty comment. If you dont know photography dont talk crap plz.

33. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

hahahah B/c I don't know photography I can't talk about phones? Your simplicity is amusing. More fluid lolllll ok Merry xmas. Why don't you buy everyone you know an M9 so HTC won't go out of business.

25. combatmedic870

Posts: 984; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Yeah that's not long enough for Astro. 20 seconds at iso 1000 isn't either. But anything much longer then 20 seconds with a longer lens like a 28-30mm will create star trails.

23. crzykiller

Posts: 86; Member since: Jan 03, 2015

Don't listen to marorun hes a retard. The Note 5 has all the proper manual controls including shutter speed up to 10 seconds

29. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

crzykiller you are the retard. 10 second exposition is not enuf to get good result for taking picture of stars. Also when you use it in a city to make pictures with lighttrail of cars on the road the trails are a lots smaller and the effect less interesting. Dont be an ass each phone has advantage and disadvantage and you obviously dont work in the industry. Here we do all kind of testing as we have direct access to most phone on the market half price ( its pay to work for the carriers ) I dont understand those moronic idiot thats give empty comment just to cry like little baby because there note 5 get butthurt sometime.

5. TMHKR

Posts: 202; Member since: Dec 08, 2012

How you solved the problem of stars movement during those 30 seconds?

9. Nick_T

Posts: 184; Member since: May 27, 2011

Looking at the photos now, I do think that 30 seconds was a bit too long of an exposure. But if you don't zoom in, the trail behind the stars is barely noticeable.

15. mawi2013

Posts: 67; Member since: Oct 18, 2014

how do you set focus to infinity?

6. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

We did the same here we tested several phone and only LG G4 was able to make great result. All other phone including the nexus 6P and samsung S6 all failed. This is what a real camera is.

10. Dragan081

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 18, 2015

You doing it all wrong.Thet is a too high iso,you should never go above 400 iso because it will be too grainy,and vith the exposure of 30 second and low iso you vill get a better results. At list i did with 100 or 150 iso,you get noise free photos and perfectly visible stars. Also you have voice shutter control,you dont have to set a timer,just say the magic word :)

26. combatmedic870

Posts: 984; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Actually in Astro photography your doing it wrong. You need the sensor sensitivity to be higher to bring out the stars. Most Astro shots are actually shot at ISO3200 and higher. You need a cameras with a clean high ISO. Which no phone camera in the next 1-3 years will be.

32. ccddqe

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 18, 2015

From some dim memories, I think you're both right, because it just depends. Increased exposure time scales photons counted (which is the function of pixel) in linear fashion. Changing ISO also roughly proportional. The noise from photon uncertainty goes with sqrt; 100 photons gives 10 photons, 1000 photons gives 31 photons. More noise for 1000, but as fraction of totals we have 10% at 100, and 3% at 1000. 3x better noise stats, but needed 10times more exposure, or less 'more exposure', and more ISO. But then there's camera noise. Some cameras have quite a lot of additional noise at higher ISO settings. The key is system readout noise (RON). Compared, e.g. to one chip, at 1000iso, have say 80% quantum efficiency (QE), and have say 15 electrons (e-) RON, while another could have 60% and 6e- RON at 1000iso. Anyway, it's all etc etc. Even on back of envelope, quite few factors, takes some effort compare such things, or just to try decide on best settings just for one camera. Just try different things. Focus is often key, and no shake, none at all. The cone of light incident on the detector is spread in both cases, reducing the flux for each pixel, same total flux, but more photon noise, more pixel's RON, etc etc. Hang a plastic bag full of stones or whatever under the tripod, helps.

13. rsiders

Posts: 1935; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

With any long exposure shot like this I tend to keep my ISO in the 100-200 level but I think I'll try the high ISO levels to see what I get. These pictures are amazing though coming from our phones. No need to bash or compete for the best camera in today's market. Just go out there and make magic with what you have. Here's mine from my back deck with no edits.https://flic.kr/p/AG7hLZ

14. rsiders

Posts: 1935; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I just love my LG V10.

30. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Love the effect its gave to the cloud :)

17. mayur007

Posts: 593; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

yes thq phonearena yes lG G4 is good for astrophotography if you want to improve the image click 2 - 3 then stack them

18. vedraj

Posts: 77; Member since: Oct 04, 2013

omg u have a lot of light pollution there.....here in India u can easily see the Orion, naked eyed.
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