A Practical Guide to Pro Mode

  1. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Feb 25, 2020

    cdnfarmer , Feb 25, 2020 :
    photo by cdnfarmer on OnePlus 6 using Pro Mode

    Pro Mode
    Pro Mode is a secret or not so secret weapon for photo enthusiasts that want to control the pictures they take. There are many functions to enhance pictures. Once you learn how to use it and understand the bases for each function, using Pro Mode is fairly straight forward and gives you lots of flexibility. You can use Pro Mode to help capture that award winning picture.

    There is an excellent tutorial on Pro Mode settings (Basic Guide). However, there have been repeated questions from people new to photography or Pro Mode asking how to use it, what settings to use, and what does each setting affect. Therefore, this practical hands on tutorial was developed to help you learn about photography concept and master or enhance your photography using Pro Mode. If you are new at photography or with Pro Mode, concepts are reviewed with examples along with practical tips. Let's begin with the basics, then review the settings, followed by a discussion on additional features.

    1. Familiarize yourself with the Basic Guide to Pro Mode and this tutorial to understand each setting / concept.
    2. Determine what you what to capture, purpose or any special effects needed such as low light, macro, trail lights, slow shutter speed, fast or moving object photography etc.
    3. Look at the environment, the settings in which you are taking pictures... how much light, direct into sun (flares), golden hour, full sun (overexposure), night and low light. All these (and more) will affect the various settings used.
    4. Next, try and explore the various settings in similar conditions (e.g. one after the other) then review and compare. When you start, you may want to write notes on the settings and environmental conditions (e.g. temperature, sun, humidity, light etc) that can affect the picture. Learn by trial and error to help you pick the best settings for the next time.
    5. Now let's put it all together. Let`s look at each setting then combining some to enhance the output. For comparison purposes, I am using the OnePlus 6.

    Pro Mode Settings


    ISO will affect amount of light in the picture and whether you get a picture in the dark vs a dark unclear image (e.g. light sensitivity). There is a trade off. Higher ISO means the pictures tends to be brighter but grainy vs lower ISO produces a shaper but darker image. However ...
    if the ISO is low that means more light needs to come in whether it is from an external source of light or slower shutter speed. For the best ISO, you need to find the balance point that works in your current situation. I have found that an ISO between 400-640 works best in most of my low light situations. In fact, closer to 640 seems to allow a good amount of light while minimizing the grainy texture.

    Example 1:
    ISO: 800
    ISO 640
    Note that the first picture with ISO at 800 increase light to the sensor. The logs behind the fire can be seen eventhough they are blurry. Meanwhile in the second picture, the ISO is 640 and the background is dark, the logs cannot be seen. Notice that an area closest to the actual source of light (i.e. flames) is what is visible when the ISO drops. The colour in the second (ISO 640) is a bit more bland as well. If the desired outcome is the look of the first picture, try to enhance the colour with the WB, see below.

    Example 2 :
    ISO 4000 (default setting) Shutter Speed 1/8
    ISO 640 Shutter Speed 1/10
    These two pictures were taken subsequentially with the same lighting condition. Again, with the lower ISO, the area closest to the light is highlighted while the background is darken. While the high ISO (4000) is too high producing a grainy picture thereby reducing the quality of the picture.

    1. Using a lower ISO will produce a darker background and the "bright area" will be close to the source of light.
    2. The higher ISO (especially what the camera offers as default/Auto for dark pictures) produces grainy pictures.
    3. If you want to highlight an area with a dark background, this approach may work well for you especially in already dark or low light conditions.
    4. If you want to focus the observer's attention to one area or highlight a particular area or do not want to negatively affect the picture with grainy texture, then use a lower ISO: preferrably under 800.
    5. A small change of ISO (i.e. 100-200) can make a big difference especially when combined with shutter speed.
    6. Note that the exact ISO and shutter speed may vary from the examples provided and by device due to the aperture (set and cannot be changed by the user on 6T and earlier phones) and may not be exactly the same as provided in the above examples. You need to try the ISO and shutter speed that works with your device in your situation.

    White Balance

    White balance (WB) changes the colour from either a yellowish to a bluish tint or vice versa. This may help capture the right tone in the picture. For example ...
    when the moon is an orange colour (alter WB towards the yellow/orange end of the spectrum) but be careful to not go too far on either end. Too much on either end of the spectrum can give a bad taste to the picture. For star pictures, I would leave this setting alone. If there is an orangish moon may be alter the WB a bit. See comments in Shutter Speed for more details. A slight change in WB may affect more than the one desired object. Give it a try and see if you get the desired effects.

    Example 1: colour of clouds around the moon.
    ISO: 640, Shutter Speed: 1/10 WB: 3500K (towards bluish tint).
    ISO: 640, Shutter Speed: 1/10 WB: 6400K (towards orangish tint).
    The first picture has the WB as Auto. However in real life, the moon and the refelection were orange. Because I wanted to affect more than just one object (i.e. the moon AND the clouds) I altered the WB towards the orange tint. The change in colour tone occurs in real time. As the dial was moved, the change was automatically seen and when the desired effect was achieved, that WB setting was selected.

    1. Use this feature when the colour tone of more than one object needs to be altered.
    2. Move to the dial to the desire value.
    3. This feature is also useful when taking pictures and it is too blue tint and you want to even out so it looks more natural. Consider this setting when you are in artificial light and the time / colour seems off.

    Shutter Speed

    Shutter speed. This will alter how much light enters the sensor. Shutter speed goes from fast (<1/8000) up to 30 secs on the stock camera app. It actually is 30secs! Slower the speed (e.g. towards 30 sec), the longer the shutter remains opens allowing more light into the sensor. In the star pictures ...
    this is where you can get a tail look on a shooting star or solid lines from the lights of moving vehicles. For auroras, this will allow you to capture more colours when the lights move and see what the naked eye may miss or barely sees. A cautionary note: any moving object (such as the grass) may look blurry at slower speeds. Use a sturdy non moving surface and be extra cautious when touching the screen or phone to take pictures. Minimize all movent so there are no slight movements. Better yet, use the timer function. Set the phone on a solid stable surface, select timer and 5 seconds, click the button (on the screen or volume) and careful move away your hand.

    Example 1: Auroras.

    Auroras can move fast yet using slower shutter speed may produce solid lines, get different colour hues, trails, and level of brightness.

    ISO 500, shutter speed 8 sec

    ISO 500, shutter speed 30 sec

    Above you can see that the slower shutter speed (i.e. 30 vs 8 sec) produced:
    1. Solid lines
    2. Gave purple hues towards the tip of the flares.
    3. The moving grass is blurry. Something to be aware that moving objects with slow shutter speed may turn out blurry. In some cases, you may want for the lights to combine and provide a steady stream or light trails.
    In this case the longer exposure produced a slightly more "visible" picture as the stars and other features including the power tower are easier to see. In the first picture (8sec), the green flares are captured more individually but the overall picture is a bit dark. Having been on site, I could say that the view of the sky was not that dark. In this case, I suggest increasing the ISO to 640 or 800.*

    Example 2: Auroras Continued

    A higher ISO was used with different shutter speeds.

    ISO 800 Shutter Speed: 8 sec

    ISO 800 Shutter Speed: 30 sec


    Another example of
    ISO 800 Shutter Speed: 30 sec

    At the higher ISO and the slower shutter speed, the sky is much lighter. Notice the difference in the sky colour when the shutter speed was reduced to 8 seconds. The trick with auroras is to have a slower shutter speed. Eventhough 8 seconds doesn`t seem very long, it does give the slight red and purple hues (at the higher ISO). At an ISO of 500 and shutter speed 8 sec, the settings didn`t allow enough light into the sensor to capture the red or purple hues. Actually, these settings (ISO 500, 8sec) resembled closer to what was initially seen by the naked eye. Therefore, your pictures with appropriate ISO and shutter speed can capture more of the colour spectrum enhancing your view and pictures.

    Example 3: Orange Moon. Finding the right colour balance.
    The following pictures were taken with the same ISO but different shutter speeds.
    ISO 640 Shutter Speed: 1/161

    ISO 640 Shutter Speed: 1/640

    ISO 640 Shutter Speed: 1/1667
    This moon was a vivid orange colour closest to the middle picture. ISO was kept the same. As previously mention ISO at 640 seemed to give the best balance between light and smoothness. WB didn't give the orange colour for which I was looking, ironically. I know that is what I thought. So I played with the shutter speed. This produced the best result. With the slower the shutter speed, more light entered the sensor producing a moon with a lighter orange compared with a faster shutter speed (1/1667) as seen above.

    1. Shutter speed affects the amount of light entering the sensor.
    2. The slow shutter speed allows you to keep an lower ISO and reduces the grainy texture in pictures.
    3. This setting along with ISO and ambient light allows you to capture trails of lights and the effects of lights as seen with the auroras. The slower shutter speed (and in combination) are great for increasing light to the sensor which enhances what is barely visible to the naked eye. Ensure the device is completely still.
    4. It is very important to hold the device steady, i.e. use a tripod or solid object to hold the phone. Use the timer function for slower shutter speeds. Even the slight movement caused by tapping the screen capture button can cause a blurry picture. Make use of the timer!
    5. Sometimes when there is a specific object like the moon (and not the entire picture) that you want to alter the colour tone, try the shutter speed along with ISO to achieve the desire colour. Yes WB may play a role but it will alter more than the one object so depending on what is around the main subject, WB may or may not give the desired results.
    6. *Note that the exact ISO and shutter speed may vary from the examples provided and by device due to the aperture (set and cannot be changed by the user). You need to try the ISO and shutter speed that works with your device in your situation.

    Manual Focus

    Manual focus is useful when capturing close up pictures. For close up (e.g. macro) pictures, set the focus near or on the flower. You will then need to manually move the phone near or further away from the object. For pictures with far away objects pictures (e.g. stars) set to mountains or long distance. You may select Auto yet the camera may focus on an object that may or may not be what you want. Keep an eye and adjust as needed.

    As mentioned above, the distance at which the phone is held from the object will also make a big difference when the focus is on macros or flower. Below are pictures showing when the device is too close, just right, and too far away using the `flower`or macro setting.

    Too close

    Just right. Notice the coin is in focus.

    Too far produces a blurry picture similar to the too close position.

    1. Even after selecting the macro or close up focus, you must adjust the distance between the device and the object.
    2. Scroll the dial to get appropriate focal distance to get the desired clarity and move the device accordingly.
    3. Try and see what works best for what you are trying to capture.
    4. You may need to capture the picture then crop it accordingly.

    Exposure Compensation

    Exposure allows you to control how bright or dark the picture appears. This feature becomes useful if you want to lighten or darken the entire picture. A possible good time to use this feature is ...
    when there is lots of snow or highly reflective light surface in a bright sunny sky. Reducing the exposure may help capture a picture that is not "washout or too bright in tone. Conversely, when the overall environment is dark, increasing the exposure can help capture details but becareful not to overexpose the picture. In the night sky pictures with enough light etc, this feature can be left as is in Auto. This feature is one that may be best used in combination with other settings like ISO and WB. Note that you can reduce or enhance the brightness of the picture with ISO and shutter speed as previously described. You can also alter the exposure effects in the post editing process.

    The following three pictures have the same ISO and WB.

    ISO 100 without any changes to exposure

    ISO 100, Exposure -1 (reducing the light)

    The image with a higher exposure:
    ISO 100 exposure +1 (increase light)

    I would not recommend the increase exposure for this kind of picture. The image looks washed out.

    Interestingly, the shutter speed was set to Auto but it changed on its own depending on the amount of light entering. This happens because the exposure compensation will affect ISO and shutter speed. So when one of these parameters is set manually, the exposure compensation will affect the other setting. When ISO and shutter speed are set to Auto, the exposure compensation will affect both parameters.

    1. Use the exposure setting when you need to either lighten or darken the entire picture. But first try using the ISO, WB, AND Shutter Speed for better results.
    2. You can also alter "brightness" of a picture in post editing process.


    Every setting in Pro Mode has an Auto or default option. The focus and exposure are by default set to Auto. The remaining three will adjust to the environment or what the camera is focusing on and that is why these numbers change accordingly. The Auto feature is very interesting ...
    If you found the stock camera app produces a picture that is too saturated or the colours are not quite right, try Pro Mode and leave all settings on Auto, take the picture, and notice the differences. Generally, the colours and tone are closer to real life and in some cases "bland."

    1. Use when you want to capture close to reality colours.
    2. The first three settings (ISO, WB, Shutter Speed) automatically adjust to what the camera sees. If the picture is too grainy, manually change the ISO, adjust the shutter speed, and perhaps the WB.
    3. See above settings and adjust accordingly and to capture your desired outcome.

    The Dance / Partnership
    Earlier, I mentioned that there are relationships among the various settings: ISO, Shutter Speed and Exposure Compensation (EV). There are two other factors: the lighting of a scene (how bright is the scene) and Aperture or the size of the opening allowing light in. Aperture is not discussed above because currently it is fixed and we cannot change it on our OnePlus devices. Aperture, often expressed as F value or F stop, will vary among the different OnePlus devices so this may affect the shutter speed or ISO needed to get the same effect as on the OnePlus 6.

    All of these factors allow you to increase or decrease the amount of light entering the sensor and in the picture. There are many good resources online that go into details. Thus, I will give a basic explanation. ISO and shutter speed are "linear in their adjustments."(ref) For example: an ISO of 200 is twice the exposure or light in the picture than 100 (ref). For shutter speed, fractions are often used. Therefore a shutter speed of 1/60 is twice as fast as 1/120. If you want to increase the light, you can keep shutter speed and exposure the same but double the ISO (note: assuming the lighting of the scene and aperture remains the same). Similarly, keep the ISO and EV the same, and increase shutter speed (i.e. faster) by doubling its value.

    Ok. How does this look like on your device? The aperture remains the same. ISO changes so then the shutter speed will change accordingly. You can trial and error the exposure or calculating that simply doubling the ISO will reduce the shutter speed by half. (Thanks @Bouncer71 for suggesting this part of the discussion). Numbers are taken from the shutter speed examples above.
    For allthe examples presented below, the starting ISO is 4000 and shutter speed is 1/8 of a second

    Example 1:
    Reducing the ISO by half to 2000 requires 1/4 of a sec.
    (4000/2000)*(1/8)=0.25 sec
    With this shutter speed, the picture can be taken without a tripod. However, the picture may be too grainy or noisy for your liking. Previously mentioned, an ISO 640 gave a good balance. Let's look at what that does:

    Example 2:
    Reducing the ISO to 640 requires 0.8 sec.
    (4000/640)*(1/8)=0.8 sec
    Again a stable surface holding the phone is needed. Moving objects will be blurry. Let's try, for illustration purposes, to reduce the ISO to its lowest value currently on Pro Mode (100):

    Example 3:
    Reducing the ISO to 100 would require a shutter speed of approximately 5 seconds.
    (4000/100)*(1/8) = 5 sec
    Important to note that a tripod or a stable surface is needed and any motion would create a blurr.

    Under the Exposure Compensation (EV), I mentioned about shutter speed changing. I'll briefly, explain the rationale here. When ISO is set then EV is increased by 1 (+1) then shutter speed is divided by 2. For brighter or increased light (+1 or +2 EV), less light is needed so the shutter speed is reduced. Converserly, when decreasing the EV, longer shutter speeds are needed.
    ISO manually set at 200.
    +1 EV = shutter speed / 2
    +2 EV = shutter speed / 4
    -1 EV = shutter speed * 2
    -2 EV = shutter speed * 4
    Changing the Exposure Compensation by 1 doubles and by 2 quadruples the effect.

    If you want to calculate there is a formula found on Photo Stack Exchange.
    aperture × shutter duration × sensitivity × light = exposure

    Good references:
    Relationship between ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed
    Shutter speed increase with increase ISO and lowered EV
    Sunny Rule f/16

    Pro Mode App Set Up
    We talked about the settings and their functions; now let's briefly look at the setup of the Pro Mode App.

    Accessing and Using It
    1. Access by opening the stock camera app and swiping up. Click on Pro Mode.


    2. On the bottom, there is the menu with the various settings. Click on one setting.


    3. A circular sub menu appears where you can scroll to the left or right to get the appropriate setting. Note that the view in camera area changes simultaneously (e.g. lightens, darkens, colour tone changes, blurry vs clear) which may help you get an idea what the setting will do and what value to use. There is also a histogram at the top of the screen to help guide your settings selection.


    4. Once you select the desire value for one of the settings, then you can move to the next one. You can change one or multiple settings. You may also leave some settings in Auto.

    Additional Functions such as RAW, timer etc
    In Pro Mode at the top of the screen, there are additional functions:
    1. Set and access saved settings.
      • Saving a default WB for artificial light and for sunlight may help you quickly enhance the tone by selecting the appropriate option for when you are inside or outside.
      • Saving your favourite settings for a certain situation or type of picture.
    2. Shoot in Raw format.
      • File sizes are alot bigger than jpeg. But you have lots of control in post editing including manually adjusting colours.
    3. Timer, and
    4. Ratio.

    These features allow you to access commonly used settings faster, get details, and process the picture in an editing software. Be aware that file size for RAW pictures and carry a battery pack because it uses more power than non RAW or Auto mode (at least that is my experience). The timer is very useful essential when taking long exposure pictures. It minimizes the blurriness that occurs by clicking the capture button. Ratio aspect allow you to shoot in 4:3; 1:1 or full screen (16:9 on devices 6T and earlier).

    Pro Mode contains lots of functionalities and options to enhance your pictures. Take time exploring Pro Mode and the various settings individually and in combination. You will gain many insights. Remember to keep track of what you are altering on the phone and the conditions in which you are taking pictures. After hundreds pictures, it is difficult to remember what exactly were the conditions. Or Is it perhaps my youthful dementia causing me to forget.. :p

    There is therefore no definite answer to the question: "what settings to use" because there are many external factors that will affect the picture captured. And for that question, there is a simple but not easy-to-do answer: try and explore. Take the time to try various settings in different locations. You will see how each setting affects certain circumstances, how the environment can affect the settings used, and how the settings dance together. It is therefore important to have a vision or a goal for the picture you want to capture. The settings can then be adjusted accordingly. Over time, you will see trends and you can then program Pro Mode to help you used certain features efficiently. Now, have fun, explore the world around you with Pro Mode.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020

  2. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Feb 27, 2020

  3. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Feb 27, 2020

    cdnfarmer , Feb 27, 2020 :
    Feel free to add your findings in the comments. This area is to help those interested in Pro Mode make the best use of it. Let`s keep this tutorial clean. Please post random pictures in the appropriate monthly threads. All non related pictures will be moved or deleted.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020


  4. #4
  5. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Mar 13, 2020

    cdnfarmer , Mar 13, 2020 :
    Thanks @jlasensiofi . It was a long time in the making. Hopefully, people can make better use of Pro Mode. it's a great feature. I love using the slower shutter speed when capturing Aurora's... and playing with ISO. I was surprised the quality and could capture awesome Auroras that gave the impression of a DSLR ( though my excitement for the northern lights or my youthful dementia:p... Love that phrase... I forgot the timer feature which is essential). Auroras seem to be more rare the past 2 years... or I'm sleeping when they are out Soo... Good times when I see them.

  6. jlasensiofi
    KitKat Mar 13, 2020

    jlasensiofi , Mar 13, 2020 :
    I imagine. It's a good wordy job :hearteyes:

    The truth is that the use of Pro Mode is wonderful, I love it. When I did those works for OnePlus Spain on the use of the Pro Mode, I had a great time, I discovered the number of things that can be done with it. As you say, it gives the impression of using a DSRL, saving distances. Therefore, the implementation of the controls that I proposed in the IDEAS post is of great importance to me. Hopefully one day we can have them.

    Oh yes, the timer is essential, if you don't already know what can happen.

    So are you also starting with juvenile dementia?... :D. To me, it is accentuated every day, although it is true that it happens because every day I am younger :tonguewink::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy::tearsofjoy:

    What luck you have being able to see the northern lights. I love them and would be very happy to see them live and direct. Take advantage of those occasions and enjoy them!

    A hug :);)

  7. hennes
    YaImCo Developer Mar 13, 2020

    hennes , Mar 13, 2020 :
    This is a awesome and great work from @cdnfarmer. Thank you for this guide and for the perfect implementation.
    I am glad and feel honoured to know you and read your wonderful awesome description.
    Thanks for sharing.

    meatandy, Cheetosdust, script and 2 others like this.
  8. SaiVinodK
    Gingerbread Mar 13, 2020

    SaiVinodK , Mar 13, 2020 :
    Thanks for the tutorial @cdnfarmer, It's too good. Explained very well regarding each and every control that we have in pro mode.

    I need some inputs regarding astro photography with pro mode, I've tried many times by applying 500/600 rule which gave me shutter speed between 20-24 sec, F1.6 (as I'm using OnePlus 7T), ISO 3200, focus set to Infinity but every time I've managed to capture some stars but it feels like too grainy and noise

  9. bagufix
    Gingerbread Mar 13, 2020

    bagufix , Mar 13, 2020 :
    old photos, oneplus x manual settings on Sultan HAL camera, what do you think?

    Attached Files:

    cdnfarmer likes this.
  10. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Mar 13, 2020

    cdnfarmer , Mar 13, 2020 :
    hi @SaiVinod .

    A quick response right now as I'm going to meetings... I'll edit post later with more suggestions. As I read your message, sounds like the noise is primarily caused by the high ISO. Have you tried ISO of 800? Depending on your location, a lower ISO make work better for reducing noise but may not be "bright" enough to capture the scene. My initial suggestions are:
    1. Reduce ISO to 800, you can see if 640 or 600 works too.
    2. Increase shutter speed to 30sec.
    3. Make sure your device is on a fixed and stable surface. And user the timer function.
    4. If that doesn't work, you can try the +1 or 2 Exposure Compensation but you should see depending on your location and the light around. I would say try the first two with using procedure in 3 and see what happens. If you feel like you need more light try EV +1 THEN +2.
    When noise is an issue, I'd start by selecting ISO then adjust shutter speed. I would likely try the longest or slowest shutter speed setting whether or not if that is what the calculation would give me. But note that I live where there there are limited external lights.

    Edits: finding the right ISO and then adjusting shutter speed to allow the appropriate light in would be a good place to start. See more in comments below.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2020

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  11. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Mar 13, 2020

    cdnfarmer , Mar 13, 2020 :
    I like the pictures. Just a quick look and they are nice. What did you think of the Sultan Hal camera?

    script likes this.
  12. bagufix
    Gingerbread Mar 13, 2020

    bagufix , via OnePlus 7 Pro , Mar 13, 2020 :
    i think this is the best cam and rom for opx
    is 120% better than the oneplus camera

    script likes this.
  13. Bouncer71
    OnePlus 7 Pro Sample Shot Photographer Community Expert Mar 13, 2020

    Bouncer71 , Mar 13, 2020 :
    Very detailed and comprehensive Guide to Pro-Mode @cdnfarmer...!

    Perfectly showing that going Manual isn't easy but by no means Rocket science.. ;)

    Thanks for the mention btw :D

    script, puccellino and cdnfarmer like this.
  14. maarten_lisboa
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Mar 14, 2020

    script and cdnfarmer like this.
  15. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Mar 14, 2020

    cdnfarmer , Mar 14, 2020 :
    yes may be wordy.. why so many sub sections. Fewer words from the first version .

    I agree Pro Mode is great. lots of flexibility. I think the foundamentals are good. Yes, I see your suggestions and could improve the app. I think it would be good to review in photography department. Definitely, the timer is very critical with slower shutter speed. Yes, I think some days... the youthful dementia seems to be prominent.

    Northern lights....ahh they are magical. Honestly have not seen them since last July and it was nearly 2 years before. But they are soo beautiful. It seems like they are less often but magical when they are out. I love it when I can see. Maybe after corona, you could come this way to see some (sometime).

    :) Thank you for your kind words and all your support. The honour is mutual.

    I appreciate your input.

    Thank you. It means alot to me.

    script and Bouncer71 like this.
  16. SaiVinodK
    Gingerbread Mar 14, 2020

    SaiVinodK , via OnePlus 7T Glacier Blue , Mar 14, 2020 :
    Sure @cdnfarmer and thanks for the input I'll definitely try [e]1f60a[/e]

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  17. TibiTibi
    Photography Expert Mar 14, 2020

    Kleb32, cdnfarmer and script like this.
  18. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Mar 15, 2020

    cdnfarmer , Mar 15, 2020 :
    Have you tried lowering ISO and moving the circular settings part? As you get to lower ISO it will get darker. This is where shutter speed makes a big difference. In theory, if there is enough light with a high ISO (and you just want stars with no special effects), the shutter speed doesn't need to be as slow but when does this happen? Enough light for star pictures? And high ISO is going to given you grainy/noisy pictures. This is why I say try 800 and less. Keep shutter speed at 30 sec and use the timer function when phone is secured on a stable surface (e.g. tripod or homemade device). I'm serious about the timer function with slower shutter speeds... By experience.. I was so excited to see auroras that I completely forgot about that feature and got many blurry even slightly blurry shots by the slight movement of clicking the capture button.
    There is an older but interesting article.
    Milky way... He is using the OnePlus One ... Only 1 camera, different f/value, he used with a high ISO

    please share your what you tried and results along with the conditions (e.g. external light , moon too may influence output, humidity/temp ). Oh.. do you find a difference in the result when you hold your phone in different orientations... With three cameras.? With the cameras on top of eachother, by flipping the phone so the cameras are closest to the ground.. you get a different perspective. Another thing to try.

  19. Kleb32
    Gingerbread Mar 15, 2020

    TibiTibi, otto2, woSch and 3 others like this.
  20. cdnfarmer
    Photography Expert Community Expert Mar 15, 2020

    cdnfarmer , Mar 15, 2020 :
    Thank you for your kind words @Kleb32 .

    TibiTibi, woSch, script and 1 other person like this.