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A40farinagolf

Simple software - What to use / buy?

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Apologies if this has been asked before.

I have loads of kit - cameras, mounts (EQ and AZ), scopes etc and have dabbled a little at AP after receiving advice from this forum but I've never really achieved anything of significance mainly because of time limitations and a lack of IT skills. I've never taken flats or bias frame or anything else like that either.

What I'm looking for is a software package that would capture the image and then perform simple processing step to achieve an image that is subjectively good.

It needs to be intuitive and easy to remember so that I can pick it up again quickly if there's a long period between uses.

I am willing to buy a license if it's not freeware.

Ideally it would manage moon + planetary ZWO camera videos, DSLR stills  and also DSO.

Please let me have your suggestions.

 

 

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I would suggest APT,for image acquisition, it's a very nice program with a lot of features, you can use the trial version for as long as you want and it's really worth the full price. To stack the dso images i recommend deep sky stacker(free)

To stack planetary images i use autoskkert2 (also free). For image processing you can use gimp, photoshop, etc. I use stsrtools, not free but it's quite affordable, you can use the trial version to see what you can get out if your image, but it won't allow you to save the results. 

Those are the ones that i use, hth.

Edit: sorry, i overlooked the part you said you wanted an automated processing. 

Edited by Atreta

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As an idea what about using SharpCap and getting it to create the images like you see in the EEVA section. I don't know any details but it might offer the level of automation you are after to create images to look at.

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AstroArt will do your image capture, guiding, and processing but I'm not aware of any magic bullet software that does everything in the way that I'd like or can work with.

For example, I use AstroArt 5 and for preprocessing it's mostly excellent and very, very fast.  But to guide I still use PHD2 even though AA can do it.  And for processing I find I use AA and PI and PS...

So, if you want to accept the limitations of a one-stop-shop programme then go for it... but in the end you might find that you need a spectrum of software in order to get the most out of your imaging.  The good news is you can do a lot of it for free (PHD, Stellarium, DSS, SharpCap etc., etc)

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+1 from me for AstroArt - it does all my acquisition, guiding, preprocessing and post processing.

check out the free download - punches well able it’s weight.

 

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Maybe the poster will clarify but I thought the question was a package that would start, do and produce an image automatically with little user input, rather than one package that does everything but needs lots of user input.

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I don't think that single piece of software can do it all.

There is a bunch of alternatives out there as seen by previous posters (everyone has their own favorite piece of software for particular purpose). I can give you decent freeware / open source list that you can try out:

- SharpCap for planetary capture

- Pipp for manipulating planetary videos (calibration, pre processing, etc)

- AutoStakkert for stacking planetary images

- Registax for wavelets sharpening of planetary images

- NINA for long exposure capturing (not sure if it handles DSLR though)

- Deep sky stacker for calibration and stacking long exposure images

- Gimp for processing (of both planetary and long exposure images) at the end

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So ask a seemilngly simple question, and get 10 different answers OP.

It really does depend on what you are doing. If you're going all faint and fuzzy, get Astroart or Prism etc, process with Pixinsight and climb that learning wall. 

Planetary, then, as Vlaiv says, go Autostakkert to stack the .avi and Registax to perform wavelet magic on those results. GIMP is an awesome free (as good as Photoshop) imaging software to polish your images.

In all honesty, NINA has ben pushed around lots but I've had nothing but badness from it, use SharpCap.

 

As an aside, I'd recommend the Steve Richards book "Making Every Photon Count" to help with the small stuff - https://www.amazon.com/Making-Every-Photon-Count-Astro-Photography/dp/B00J5PL6JK.

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This answers so far on this thread kind of confirms the real picture.

No software in existence achieves everything for all circumstances.

Planetary and DSO are completely different challenges and specialist software is available for both. There is no magic bullet I am aware of.   

In the end the more you put in the more you get out; a user needs to learn the techniques a software package offers to get the best out of it.  

 

 

 

Edited by wornish
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On 04/12/2019 at 08:39, happy-kat said:

Maybe the poster will clarify but I thought the question was a package that would start, do and produce an image automatically with little user input, rather than one package that does everything but needs lots of user input.

I appreciate the feedback and it sounds like what I'm looking for doesn't exist as I'd prefer one intuitive software package that would allow me to capture and process a range of images, I'm not looking to achieve Sky at Night quality images, just something that is pretty good (whatever that means) - 

Edited by A40farinagolf
Added more info.

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