Stunning Milky Way photos taken with the Xiaomi Mi 9

Mobile phones evolved a lot int he past year when it comes to photography. As processing power and storage became cheaper, manufacturers needed to improve other parts of the device in order to convince people to buy their product. When it comes to photography there is still a clear distinction between a mid-range device and high-end ones. But the line between a smartphone and a camera become blurrier each year. Yes, you won’t get DSLR-level photos using a smartphone, but with the right knowledge and patience, you can get stunning photos using today’s tech, even if you are not a professional photographer. And I stumbled upon such a photoshoot that deserves a bit of attention.

Gábor Tar, a 20-year-old Software Engineer from Hungary decided to take his Xiaomi Mi 9 out for a spin at the outskirts of Hajdúsámson, his home town. He went there to minimize light pollution so that he can capture the images above. Some preparation was needed to make everything right. To further accentuate the stars in the Milky Way he went out when it was “new moon” phase, that further decreases light pollution. he used a simple Hama Star 75 tripod with a phone adapter to keep the device still and played with the ISO. The stock camera application from the Xiaomi Mi 9 was used with adjustments for the ISO between 1600 and 3200, and the shutter speed was set to 32 seconds. The phone pointed at the sky managed to capture the images you see.

All those images in the first gallery were unedited. But to further enhance the stars and the galaxy, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom was used to edit them. The Clarity and Dehaze functions were used to highlight the Milky Way and give extra color to the original photos. All this was done on the phone, without the need of a PC. No special lenses, no special equipment. Using just a normal tripod, good photography knowledge and a lot of patience, anyone can take such photos. Can’t wait for smartphones with optical zoom to have a greater presence on the market. Then we will see even more stunning images like the ones above.

I would like to thank Gábor Tar for allowing us to share his work.

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