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What are the best settings to take pictures of the APR 2024 Total Solar Eclipse with my phone?

(Topic created: 01-02-2024 01:32 AM)
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donronz
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I have a flat solar filter and a stand to keep things steady.  What are the best settings to use?  Should I set it to manual control, or perhaps "fireworks" mode...?  Probably applies to most Samsung phones, but I have an A52 5G.  Thanks for any suggestions. 

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pseddonxvi
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Hey, Amateur Astrophotographer here.

For capturing an eclipse, or anything Astro for that matter, you should use manual mode.

For the Eclipse you'll want to focus mainly on your ISO value. Since you have an A52, getting a good zoomed in/telephoto shot will be hard and won't yield the best results. I think unless you plan on taking wide-angle landscape shots during the eclipse you will be better off using an old DSLR/point-and-shoot with a long lens or just enjoying the 3-4 minutes of totality to its fullest. Photographing eclipses and the sun is very challenging, but best of luck to you and clear skies!
LongHiker
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@donronz If you are going to point at the sun, you definitely want to use a solar filter so the sun won't damage the camera sensor in your phone. @pseddonxvi provides some good advice. 

donronz
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Thanks for the fast reply!  I just wanted to get the best possible pics with my current phone, to remember the experience.  I had hoped that the phone camera would be "good enough".  Maybe I can resurrect the old Canon PowerShot SX700HS that I haven't used in years.  It does have a pretty good 30x optical zoom.  One more thing to carry on the trip, but if it will take dramatically better pics, I guess it would be worth it.  Any specifics for ISO & Shutter speed?  Thanks again.

Solution
pseddonxvi
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I can't really get all that specific in terms of exactly what each value should be at, but take loads of practice shots (filter on) the next time it's sunny out, and experiment with what works best for your camera in order to get a feel for what you need. What I can say is that you're going to want to keep your shutter speed pretty low and focus mainly on ISO since the sun moves in the sky due to the Earth's rotation, along with the movement of the moon in front of it, having a long shutter speed will just cause either motion blur or an overexposed image.

You'll want to keep your ISO at a low value too because of just how bright the sun is, but keep in mind that the brightness will change as the moon covers more of the sun.

The exposure settings needed at totality though will be completly different than any of the partial phases before and after and you'll want to have your solar filter OFF for this portion due to nearly all the light from sun being blocked out naturally, you'll also want to have a much higher ISO than what you had with the solar filter to capture the solar corona.

Be sure to not get too caught up in taking pictures, as you only have a few minutes to directly look at the sun. I'd personally prioritize 1/2 to 2/3 of totality for just watching it as it is a truly wonderful and rare occurrence. There are plenty of YouTube videos from astrophotography channels that go over this stuff in more detail if you're interested in knowing more.
donronz
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Thanks for all this.  It helps.  I'm pretty rudimentary in my knowledge of cameras.