Using the “Star Trails” Application on the Sony A7II

I love photographing the night sky! I recently have discovered  while digging through the Sony A7II camera menus that you can download applications (apps) to select Sony cameras. I created a Sony Entertainment Network account and bought the “Star Trails” app. for under $10. There are not many apps to choose from.. yet, but I was told that the information is “Open-Source” and hopefully that means More and more things on the horizon. I fumbled through the application without reading the instructions and tried the two “presets” my first night. After seeing the clips made, and realizing that there is a custom setting, I went out the very next night and did things that produced better results. See the results here: Star Trails Clip

First I will talk about the application. It is new in the app store and its good at what it does, however, it does have some room for improvement. There are currently two “themes” (dark sky and light sky), and one “custom” feature in the main menu. The basic instructions can be found here: Star Trails.  Here are a few things I wish I had more control over or could change:

  • I would love to actually keep the stills captured so as to be able to modify and really customize the output in Photoshop or a stacking application if I desired. As the app is now, the images are just used to create an AVI file and then are discarded. There is no trace of them on the memory card and the AVI file is in it’s own file folder. It would be nice to be able to choose between just image files, image files and AVI, or just AVI output.
  • I would also like to be able to set my own exposure time past 30 seconds – maybe up to 99 seconds so I can actually capture some of the star movement in each image.
  • One other thing to change is to make clips that last more than the application limits me to. The longest clip I have been able to make was about 45 seconds.

I would Love to give this feedback to the actual app developers, but cannot find a link to do so on the Sony Entertainment Network site.

I also have ideas for future development of several applications – I just wish I had the knowledge and time to do so! 🙂

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