Why can’t my phone take detailed pictures of the moon when my eyes can see the details clearly?



Saw this picture and was interested in why this happens: https://i.redd.it/x2cwp3ieq8861.jpg

In: Technology

Because assuming you have 2020 vision eyes provide a much clearer resolution than most cameras ever could. Especially one on the back of a phone

It’s a super well-lit object surrounded by a lot of dark. Phone cameras have a problem with that. The camera sensors measure the general level of light and set exposure (i.e. the time during which the incoming light will be recorded) accordingly. Since the general level of light during the night is quite low, the camera sets exposure to “long”. However, since the Moon is quite bright, its light overwhelms the sensors in the area of its image during long exposure, producing that characteristic white blob in photos.

If your phone camera software allows for manual exposure settings (they often don’t) you can try making a photo with short exposure.

However, the Moon is also quite small. The level of detail that you can see with your eye may be unavailable to the phone camera. Just because human eyes + brains are actually that good. But hooking the phone to a telescope or binoculars (they make gadgets specifically for that purpose) will greatly improve the result.