A tripod for smartphone astrophotography

As an amateur astronomer, Astrophotography mode is one reason I got my old Pixel 4 XL and my current Pixel 7 Pro.

But there’s another essential piece of gear for taking long-exposure photos of star fields or astronomical phenomena, a tripod. The one I bought for the Pixel 4 XL and now use with the Pixel 7 Pro is a Phinistec photo tripod, here with some of the included accessories:

Phinistec photo tripod with accessories: carrying pouch, smartphone adapter, Bluetooth shutter.

I do all my astrophotography from an apartment building in Milan, Italy, where I live. It’s a light-polluted urban area but these days I can’t wander around much.

I observe the sky from the apartment’s small balconies, which have the area of a medium-sized carpet. This constrains the camera holding gear I can use. I wanted a full-height tripod that can extend to at least waist level, not a tabletop tripod, as I can’t use tables or other elevated surfaces to set the photo equipment on.

The Phinistec tripod reaches a maximum height of 125 cm. It’s cheap, compact, and very light. It comes with a smartphone adapter, a Bluetooth remote shutter, a carrying pouch, and a Gopro adapter I don’t need.

Although the product specs mention compatibility only with iOS, the Bluetooth shutter works fine with Android. To pair it with your phone turn on Bluetooth discovery on the device, power up the shutter, and follow the prompts on Android.

The tripod is perfect for Astrophotography mode with the my Pixel. I can quickly set up the tripod and bring it to a balcony.

There’s a minor inconvenience, though. Even at full height, when pointing areas of the sky at high angular altitudes, viewing the phone’s screen is not much practical. I have to uncomfortably crouch or bend behind the screen.

#astronomy #Android

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