How to take a photo of the moon with an iPhone

Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max’s longest zoom still can’t capture accurate photos of the moon, but these tips will help you compose a beautiful moon scene.

Apple It’s easy enough to snap a photo of the Moon with an iPhone, but snapping a photo of this far-off celestial body worth sharing can be more of a challenge. Of course, distant objects are always difficult to capture in great detail, but the Moon is especially difficult because it is such a bright subject against a black background. However, there are a few tips that could help iPhone users make the most of this opportunity.

Apple’s latest iPhone 12 brought a huge camera upgrade over previous generations, with all rear cameras now supporting night mode. Pro models allow night mode when taking portrait photos that simulate bokeh blur. Deep fusion is also enabled on all rear cameras, bringing additional detail through the use of advanced image processing. Beyond software enhancements, brighter lenses let in more light, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s main camera has larger pixels of 1.7 microns, boosting low-light performance even further. Pro models also include a telephoto lens with up to 2.5x zoom compared to the main camera.

Related: iPhone 12 Camera, LiDAR & Dolby Vision Explained

The newer and larger iPhone 12 Pro Max is the most likely to capture a beautiful photo of the Moon, as it has a longer telephoto lens and larger apertures, as demonstrated Richard Vargas on Twitter. However, there are a few helpful tips that apply to any iPhone. In general, an optical zoom will provide the most detail and allow the photo as close to the Moon as possible. Apple hasn’t done any computational photography magic with digital zoom so far, so setting the camera to maximum optical zoom and then cropping the photo afterwards will allow more freedom when shooting. choice of distance. If there are any interesting foreground details, try a few photos with the main camera as well, as the clouds and trees add an interesting contrast. There are third-party lens accessories that can attach to an iPhone to give it a longer telephoto, but quality lenses can be quite expensive and still won’t compete with a point and super-zoom shot. or a digital SLR with a long lens.

Apple Camera Settings and Other Apps

Apple’s camera app does an amazing job taking great photos with few user requirements, but for difficult subjects, such as the moon, taking control can make a big difference in quality. of the final photo. Touching and holding the Moon on the iPhone screen locks the focus and sets the exposure of that bright object rather than the surrounding darkness. Photos of the moon tend to be too bright rather than too dark. If no detail is visible, try sliding a finger down after locking the focus to make the image a bit darker. A hint of the Moon’s craters could be visible with any luck. If possible, place the iPhone against a solid object to stabilize the photo. This gives Deep Fusion and Night Mode more time to capture a crisp image. When using an iPhone 12 Pro or Pro Max, switch to ProRAW mode for better editing control.

If the built-in camera app doesn’t do a good enough job, try some of the app store’s camera apps that allow manual control. If possible, reduce the sensitivity of the image sensor as much as possible to reduce noise. This carries the unfortunate acronym, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and automatic settings tend to increase this in low light to capture moving objects. Since the Moon is relatively still and the iPhone can be stabilized, it is best to set it very low. To capture the best possible lunar image, take lots of photos, play around with the settings, and stay steady. Smartphones with longer zooms will get closer photos, but the iPhone can capture one scene as well or better than others when working in the realm of what’s reasonably possible.

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