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sooot

fire capture any good?

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So ive given up on trying to get the QG video program to work. Does anyone use this fire capture and is it anygood?

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Hi,

Both FireCapture and Sharpcap are good video capture programs and both have support for QHY cameras.

Of the two programs, FireCapture has a more complex user interface allowing greater control options over the camera settings.

It does no harm to download both programs on your PC and swap between them at will to see which one best meets your needs.

How stable and reliable either program turns out to be depends on your operating system and PC hardware.

My main imaging laptop has Win 7 64 Bit on the primary partition and I found both FireCapture and SharpCap continually caused system freezing or blue screen of death when using with a ZWO ASI120MM camera.

At maximum resolution I also see a black, interlaced, interference pattern on the left side of every ten frames or so in both programs.

I can not tell if this is a problem with the ZWO camera driver or if FireCapture and SharpCap are not fully compatible with Win 7 64 Bit or else something peculiar to the hardware of this laptop.

This was also reported to in the ZWO ASI1200 first light report in this months Sky at Night magazine where they had freezing program issues.

I have an older notebook with a tiny screen but with Win Xp 32 Bit as the operating system and this week I loaded FireCapture and SharpCap as well as the ZWO camera driver on to it.

I spent several hours on Wednesday and Thursday using FireCapture and SharpCap to capture over 4 Gb of Solar Ha images without any problems on this older machine.

I will stick with FireCapture as it seems to work well and does what I need.

I am thinking about creating a new partition on my newer laptops hard drive and loading a copy of Windows Xp 32 Bit so that I can dual-boot, the laptop manufacturer has made Win Xp 32 Bit hardware drivers available so it is worth a try as I would like to use the larger 17" screen of the newer machine.

Only advice I would give is to make sure you create a manual restore point on your machine before loading FireCapture and/or SharpCap in case you have problems and need to revert, don't rely on the software/program uninstall routine alone, also during installation take note of any pop up messages that appear saying additional software components are needed, SharpCap for example needs Microsoft Net Framework installed (free) and you may need Visual C++ 2008 redistributable (free) and also the latest version of Java runtime (free).

Link to Firecapture is here: http://firecapture.wonderplanets.de/

Link to SharpCap is here: http://www.sharpcap.co.uk/sharpcap

William.

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I've had a few niggles with FireCapture and the ASI120MM too. I did get lock-ups until I moved to the latest beta version, but even that isn't without it's problems (the most notable being that the "record" button sometimes just stops working). I think I had most success with one of the 2.2 beta versions (probably no longer available).

James

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I've used firecapture lots with my QHY5L-II and Pt Grey Firefly MV - I have it running on two laptops and one desktop (all Win 7 x 64) and have had no issues at all with blue screens - even when running the beta releases. It is certainly a bit of a resource hog, but with anything three years old or less I don't think this would be an issue - though I know of several members with netbooks who have switched over to Sharpcap due to resource issues. The developers of both applications are very approachable and proactive in resolving issues with the software and adding support for new kit, if only the camera producers where a little quicker in ironing out bugs in there drivers!

I've been beta testing Firecapture 2.3 and in regular contact with Torsten Edelmann, who has been extremely helpful in chasing down some issues with the QHY5L-II and long exposure mode - though these are clearly QHY driver problems rather than firecapture issues.

Personally, I think both Firecapture and Sharpcap are fantastic applications and we are extremely lucky as a community to have the choice - Oddsocks advice is spot on, download both and see which suits you best.

Just worth mentioning that at high frame rates on either the ZWO/QHY (or other modern cameras), you are pushing a lot of data over the USB. Quite a lot of users have issues with poor quality USB cables, contention, noise from other electrical cables, or even low voltage issues on some laptops - if you do get issues with camera hangs, it's recommended to try and rule these out before haranguing developers for driver or application bugs ;) I've also found that Wireshark and USBpCAP can be very useful for nailing any gremlins.

Edited by SnakeyJ
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I've had a few niggles with FireCapture and the ASI120MM too. I did get lock-ups until I moved to the latest beta version, but even that isn't without it's problems (the most notable being that the "record" button sometimes just stops working). I think I had most success with one of the 2.2 beta versions (probably no longer available).

James

I've the most recent beta version of Fire Capture, and I still get multiple lock ups every session. Usually takes 4-5 program freezes to get a working version. (Not sure Why)

It's not just fire capture either, I get the same issues with Sharp cap. I'm thinking the programs just don't like windows 8 very much.

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I've the most recent beta version of Fire Capture, and I still get multiple lock ups every session. Usually takes 4-5 program freezes to get a working version. (Not sure Why)

It's not just fire capture either, I get the same issues with Sharp cap. I'm thinking the programs just don't like windows 8 very much.

Ah. Can't comment on Win8 I'm afraid. I shall be avoiding moving from Win7 to any other release of Windows for as long as is humanly possible. It's bad enough having to use Windows at all :D

James

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Ah. Can't comment on Win8 I'm afraid. I shall be avoiding moving from Win7 to any other release of Windows for as long as is humanly possible. It's bad enough having to use Windows at all :D

James

I'm tempted to transfer the Win 7 operating system from the desktop to my lap top. Though the last time I did that I borked up a perfectly good laptop :p

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If its an older laptop chances are it will be supported. But Id advise checking the manufacturers site to see if they provide Win7 drivers for that model.

However looking at firecapture and sharpcap forums there are still a few issues to be resolved with drivers and sdk for both the ASI120s and QHY5-IIs. Both company's seem to be actively chasing these down, but it's still rather bleeding edge at times.

Good luck - Jake

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When I used my trusty old DMK camera I was very impressed with ' Astrovideo ' from the guys at Coaa. Does all sorts of stuff with avi files including producing fits files,highly recommended.

Steve

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