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This Robotic Camera Telescope Wants to Bring Astrophotography to the Masses


Astrophotography is one of the more difficult and expensive genres of photography you can get hooked on, especially if you want to capture deep space imagery. But a new robotic camera/star-tracker/telescope called Stellina wants to change all that.

Stellina was developed by French company Vanois, and they call it an “app-enabled telescope.” That’s not entirely accurate. What we have here is an app-enabled camera with a 400mm lens sitting atop a robotic star tracker. There’s no eye-piece, no fiddling with aperture and exposure values… no expertise required at all.

Here’s a quick introduction to Stellina from the brand itself:

And here’s a look at the Stellina from all angles:

The gadget is fairly large at 24lbs, but the sensor inside it is quite small. It uses a 6MP 1/1.8-inch BSI CMOS sensor from Sony that sits behind a 400mm f/5 lens. When you take an image, Stellina uses “Live Image Stacking” to combine multiple exposures and reduce noise, much the same way as Apple’s Night Mode or Google’s Night Sight. The whole process is controlled from the “Stellinapp” that’s available on both iOS and Android.

The idea is to bring deep space astrophotography to the masses, making it a hassle free process with social media sharing built in (obviously).

As for the images, the sample photos that Vanois sent over seem quite compelling, but we do have to wonder how Stellina would cope with the kind of light pollution that’s so prevalent across the world today (it does have a light pollution filter built in, but that can only do so much…)

The Stellina is an intriguing creation, and one that may very well expose a new kind of consumer to the joys of deep sky astrophotography… but we don’t think it’ll convince any astrophotographers to sell their star trackers and hang up their cameras in favor of a robotic solution.

At a whopping $4,000 for the whole setup, the Stellina seems to be designed as more of a “statement piece” that can sit on your lavish deck and, when the time is right, be used to earn a few oohs and ahhs from the guests at your lavish dinner party.

To learn more about Stellina, or if you want to give it a try for yourself, head over to the Vanois website by clicking here.