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iOS App Review - MilkyCam Raw Nocturne

Posted: 16 November 2022


MilkyCam Raw Nocturne
yong chong loh

A new iOS app, called MilkyCam Raw Nocturne, has been released. This astrophotography app stacks images on the iPhone. The resultant image file can be saved in JPEG, DNG, or TIFF format.

The app can be used to photograph the night sky or deep sky objects (DSOs) using a telescope. In either case, an accurate tracking equatorial mount is required as the app does not do "star registration". However, it does do "field de-rotation" (except with DNG image format).

I did some limited testing of the app using an iPhone 13 Pro Max for afocal imaging on a polar mounted 12" LX600 telescope with an autoguider.

This is the user interface for the app. A live view from the camera is shown. At the top right is the image file format. Tapping on the format text allows changing the format (which did not work for me). At the bottom is a slider for focus (which works). Tapping the red box changes the slider to brightness, but this did not work for me. Once the exposure was started I could change the brightness setting, but that started a new image capture. In brightness mode, move the slider to the left to increase brightness, making the number smaller.


I took this afocal 94X image of M57 (Ring Nebula). The EXIF info shows a 30 second exposure at ISO 8000. It seems that ISO 8000 is the maximum used.


There are two files that are supposed to be saved: a stacked image and a dark frame (to show hot pixels) to allow for additional post-processing. However, the app would always crash after saving the stacked image; no dark frame was saved. There were also several crashes immediately after stopping the exposure and no images were saved.


MilkyCam Raw Nocturne has a lot of potential as an easy-to-use app. There are bugs that need to be fixed. It would be nice to have detailed information saved to the image EXIF info, such as app name and image type (stacked or dark frame). Once you have captured a stacked image, the result is actually pretty good. MilkyCam Raw Nocturne will allow you to image faint objects with your iPhone and tracking telescope.

I highly recommend watching a short tutorial video from the developer.

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