Installation

The app is available from the Google Play Store:

DeepSkyCamera in Google Play Store

Please click on the icon after downloading. After the successful installation you see a new icon on one of your home screens.









Taking pictures

After the start you can see the most important settings. The large area is the preview function and it is visible directly after start. During daylight the preview is overexposed of course. You can adjust the exposure time of the preview with a seekbar. During nighttime you can see the brightest stars and you can put the phone in the right direction.























Below the preview are are the important settings. You can choose the type (lights, flats, darks, bias). You can type in the exposure time in seconds. Please pay attention to the exposure time. Most of the phones and the image sensors do not allow to use more than 30 seconds. The max exposure time is limited by the firmware of the camera sensor. The app can not change that. Its the same thing with the ISO value. The max ISO value is limited by the firmware of the camera sensor. The app can not change that. The spinner ISO lists the supported values. Or go to the menu and choose Info. You can see the supported ISO as well as the supportued exposure time.

The aperture and focal length are mostly fixed so you can not change them.

Press Start to start your plan.



Storage of your pictures

DeepSkyCamera stores the pictures on your phone. The default path is as follows:


Android/data/de.seebi.deepskycamera/files/Pictures/


You can change the path to whatever you want, e.g. DCIM. You change the path in the settings menu.

Please check your memory. You must have enough free space on your sd card or internal memory. Because the DNG files can become large (on my LG phone a DNG file is about 30MB) you need enough free space. A sd card is highly recommended. When you take 100 pictures you'll get 3GB in total. When you take flats, darks and bias frames you'll get 12 GB! An upload to the cloud or to your own HTTP-/HTTPS-Server is planned.

The field progress lists the number of pictures taken as well as the estimated end of the session.



Camera support

Please check the menu Info to get the supported ISO, the maximum exposure time and the resolution.
































Focus

There are three options in the menu "Settings" to get the correct focus position:

  • Infinity: app focuses automatically to infinity
  • Hyperfokal: app focuses automatically to hyperfocal
  • manual: you can set your own focus position. It appears a seekbar in the preview area where you can change the position easily.

Autofocus doesn't work because the stars are to far away. It depends on your phone which option "Infinity", "Hyperfocal" or "Manual" you must use. On LG G4 to G6 you can use "Infinity" - the focus is good. On other phones "Infinity" can lead to blurred images. On OnePlus 3 I needed manual focus with focus position 0.12. On Huawei P9 the focus position is 5 and on Huawei P20 Pro its 47.


You must test your phone with diffrent focus positions and check the images.


A good help is the zoom function for the preview area. Point the phone to a bright star and zoom with your fingers. The star becomes bigger and you can adjust the focus position. The change of the position on the seekbar changes the focus position immediately. The "quality" or the "sharpness" of the star changes according to your movement on the seekbar (hint: If you can't see stars in the preview area set the ISO value in the "Settings" menu to the highest possible value).

The best way is to take a couple of pictures with different focus positions. Check the pictures and you can determine the best focus position for your device.


The following table lists some devices with their focus position. I determined the fous position with lots of tests. Your phone can have other values!



Phone Focus position
Google Pixel 2 XL0.88
Google Pixel 3 XL0.52
Google Pixel 40.1
HMD Global Nokia 7.20.09
Honor 7X5
Honor 8A0.6
Honor 8X202
Honor 9175
Honor 20 Lite85
Honor View 10234
Honor View 20-87
HUAWEI Mate 10 LiteInfinity
Huawei Mate 20 Pro-170
Huawei Nova 5T-200
Huawei P9 Lite100
Huawei P95
Huawei P10199
Huawei P10 Lite100
Huawei P20 Lite-28
Huawei P20 Pro47
Huawei P30 Pro-27
Huawei P40 liteApp version 1.7.0: -27, App version 1.7.5+: 1.8
LG G4Infinity
LG G51.25
LG G6Infinity
LG G7 ThinQ-0.2
LG G8s ThinQ2.2
Motorola One Vision0.24
OnePlus 30.05
OnePlus 6T0.11
OnePlus 70.16
Realme C31.5
Samsung A51 4G (2019) 0.5
Samsung A710.54
Samsung S90.2
Xiaomi Mi80.32
Xiaomi Mi9T0.1
Xiaomi Mi A31.55
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 (rooted)2.0
Xiaomi Mi Note 100.03
Xiaomi Pocophone F1MIUI 10.2:0.1;MIUI 10.3:0.5
Xiaomi Redmi 92.5
Xiaomi Redmi Note 70.76
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro-0.34
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T1.16
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro0.05



Limitations

  • The maximum exposure time depends on the image sensor. The limit is mostly 30 sec due to the sensor.

  • The maximum ISO value depends also on the sensor.

  • Check you battery before you take pictures. Use electricity or a powerbank.

  • The app is executed in portrait mode. The landscape mode is currently not supported.

Hints

  • Set your phone in airplane mode before taken pictures. In case of a phone call the app terminates.
  • Check you battery before taken pictures. Use electricity or a powerbank.
  • Store the pics on sd card if possible

In case of problems....



Please report problems to me. Tick the checkbox Log file in menu Settings4 Produce the error again and send me the log file via app ("Report your phone").