Will My New iPhone Mean Better Moon Photos?

Will My New iPhone Mean Better Moon Photos?

September 10th, 2022, 12:11 a.m. local time

After nearly four years, I decided it is finally time to upgrade my smartphone.  Though functionally my iPhone XS is still perfectly fine for my needs, the battery has been giving me scares for over a month.  It no longer charges wirelessly at an acceptable rate, and several times the battery power has “dived” unexpectedly where I found it below 40% by midday.  The phone lists its battery life at 86%.

A lesson I have learned over the past several years: when technology starts giving you warning signs it is failing, replace it.  Three years ago during Winter, I noticed that my old (but not really old) furnace was gradually taking longer to kick-in, like a car having problems turning over, though it was always fine when it did finally start.  In mid-March of that year, it outright failed.  Thankfully that night, late Winter temperatures were nowhere near freezing, and the fireplace sufficed for one evening until the replacement furnace could be installed the following day.

As the latest iPhone 14 models were announced this week, I decided to pre-order my new phone from Apple’s new lineup.  Normally, I wait on such new tech, but the opportunity and window here seemed too ideal and aligned to pass up, if only this time.  I chose the iPhone Pro, mostly for the significantly improved camera over my XS.  The main camera is 48 MP versus my current 12 MP.

I am, of course, eager to try that new camera for a variety of astrophotography applications, which I will document on my blog.  But in the meantime before the new phone arrives, I used my XS to take the Moon photo accompanying today’s article.

The camera is not the only variable when it comes to astrophotography.  There is the telescope, telescope lens and/or eyepiece, and even the camera mount.  Will I have problems with the bulkier, bulging camera area on the new iPhone 14 Pro, when I attach it to my telescope mount?  And don’t forget about image post-processing.  Questions and scenarios for another time.

Today’s Moon photo was taken shortly after midnight with my 127mm Mak-Cass.  The Moon was almost centered between Jupiter to the East and Saturn to the Southwest.  More Jupiter photography will be coming soon as well, as we approach opposition later this month.

Equipment Used:

  • 127mm Mak-Cass telescope
  • 23mm eyepiece
  • No eyepiece filter
  • iPhone XS
  • Smartphone telescope eyepiece adapter
  • Nightcap app on iPhone
  • f/1.8
  • 1/4000 sec exposure
  • ISO 24
  • Focal length: 4mm
  • Minor touchups in PaintShop Pro and AfterShot Pro


I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have over 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

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