There has been something about being able to shoot stars at night. And while a number of photographers have managed to give us some stunning images using some rather sophisticated cameras and equipment, phone cameras for all their megapixel counts have had rather limited success in this regard. Most mainstream phones struggle to capture, although they can manage the sun and the moon to an extent – Huawei was especially good at it but by and large, the stars have proved to be a tougher proposition. You often get shapeless blobs that look nothing like celestial bodies.
Realme launched the Realme X3 Superzoom, which took some fantastic snaps of the moon and soon, but when it came to the stars, its Starry Mode did not quite work for us. In fact, while it is technically possible to take pictures of stars using a phone with a good camera, it requires a fair amount of setting up – you need to fiddle with settings, get a tripod, keep the phone steady for a while (generally a few minutes at least), have some nifty photo editing apps handy and of course, most important of all, ensure that you have a clear view of the sky complete with stars and not disturbed by any city lights. Quite a lot to ask the normal smartphone user, right?
Well, Vivo seems to have found a way around it. Its X50 Pro phone focused mainly on photography and while the gimbal-based stabilization system got most of the attention, we actually think its Starry Sky mode is a, well, star. And that is because it lets you take pictures of stars without asking for any technical adjustments. And it does so in literally a few seconds. It has started working especially superbly after a few software updates.
Starry Sky mode is available in “More” options in the camera app. It is right at the end so look out for it. When you start shooting in it, it will advise you to use a tripod, but we do not think you really need to bother. For the mode literally takes the snap in a few seconds, processes it fast and gives you the result in no time at all.
And this is where it gets interesting – the results are not great, but they are very good indeed. You are not going to get a plethora of stars on your shot, unless all of them are visible of course. But it is a fair chance that you will capture what you see, and while a slight greenish tint does accompany some of the shots, you will get to see the stars that your eyes could see. And this even when you shoot in a polluted environment with street lights on. With no editing, no tripods, and no additional equipment whatsoever. If you can see the stars, there is a decent chance the Vivo X50 Pro can shoot them.
It is not perfect. But it works. And if that is not classic smartphone photography, we do not know what is.
Happy World Photography Day.