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Hi folks,


I've finally bitten the bullet and bought meself a DSLR (Canon EOS 1300D). Whilst waiting for the first clear night, I thought I'd ask what software people recommend for AP - I've looked online and the range of options is, quite frankly, overwhelming.


I'll be using the camera unmodded as I want to be able to use it for standard photography as well and I understand that modding prohibits this (though I'm happy to be corrected if this isn't the case).

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I have found Deep Sky Stacker (free) for stacking frames and StarTools ($50 equivalent) for processing very good. You might also want to view BYEOS/Astrophotography Tool (APT) regarding camera control, both have free trials.

Good luck with your imaging.


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Deep sky stacker (DSS) works well for me most of the time but then randomly doesn't.
I've settled on Nebulosity 4 for now, which does both camera capture and processing at about 90 euro or so.

APT is also very useful. Plenty of other options too.

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Backyard EOS or astrophotography tool for imaging. Stellarium is good for locating objects of interest. GIMP is not too bad for processing and it's free. Deep sky stacker for stacking images. Photoshop cc can be bought for a monthly price of under £10 a month but it's a 1 year contract. Then there's the expensive options of pixinsight, nebulosity etc. 

You can get your camera modded and still take daytime photography. I think it's called a full spectrum mod but my memory may be wrong.

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If you get a full spectrum mod, you will need an IR/UV filter in there somewhere or things go bad fast. If you have an IR replacement filter only, then you need a custom white balance to apply to daytime images and you need to have the sensor spacers shimmed to get things back to the right spacing so that auto-focusing still works, but this is offered by most vendors providing the modding service.

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4 minutes ago, MattJenko said:

I actually find EOS Utils pretty decent for live view focusing and running a set of multiple exposures.

I prefer Utils to anything else and its even better if the camera is WIFI enabled...


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Hmmm, For the Buck Nebulosity is worth.

Atleast dither 3 pixels on the guide camera and forget Cal.Frames.

PHD and Neb is a great choice at least in the beginning.

For some fine final processing you might need PS or PI. (Gimp)

Friendly warning,  for night sky addiction and self plundering of your bank accounts.

happy start


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Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated.


Tried photographing the moon earlier during a very brief break in the clouds. The moon was blurred as I was leaning out of my window and almost lost my balance whilst taking the photo! However, the camera did a bang up job of compensating for the light levels and, with a decent tripod (or piggy-backed in my scope), I'm confident I'll be getting some decent results in the future.

(BTW, if anyone can recommend a decent make of tripod, that'd be grand - I'm playing a gig with the band next month and plan on using the camera to film some of the set...)

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Hi and welcome to the not so bright side!

I think APT is free for how much you want as long as you are fine with a message on the screen, though is very cheap at about 20$€. StarTools also lets you do anything except saving.

SGP - sequence generator pro - is also nice and many features are free. But APT worked better with me.

DSS is cool, very useful free piece of software. Pay attention to the recommended settings. They are usually good.

PhD, again, very nice and free.

Gimp, nice and free. Get the version that works with 32 bit files.

Edit: Btw, always shoot raw for deep sky and take flats and bias frames even if you dither. You could get away without darks if you dither a considerable amount of pixels (~12) and use the bias frame as darks. Some say that you get better results this way, some others aren't convinced. However, you can try this by yourself.

Clear skies,


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