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I’ve been looking into getting a ZWO AS224MC for planetary and Lunar photography.

Question is what is the best software to use? Is there a consensus on what is the best out of Fire Capture and Sharp Cap?

and is  Registax best for processing?

Any advice gratefully accepted

Thanks 

 

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+1 for FireCapture & AS!3/Registax6.

Affinity Photo has a good 'Clarity' tool. You can also work in 16 bit; which Photoshop can't do yet. Plus AP is way cheaper than PS.

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Another +1 for AS!3 for stacking. 

Have used Registax for wavelet sharpening in the past, but used Startools for a recent lunar image and would probably recommend that over Registax now.

Also highly recommend Winjupos for derotation of planetary images (especially useful for a rapidly rotating planet like Jupiter). Not particularly intuitive to use, but will allow you increase detail - check out The London Astronomer's website for a walk through of how to use it (basically take several videos, stack, sharpen, then go through winjupos process which essentially allows you stack your stacks, which in turn allows you do further sharpening).

For capture, honestly I find ZWOs own ASI Studio software to be perfectly adequate for lunar/planetary. Very simple interface and very easy to use. 

Edit: here's the moon image processed with Startools and a shot of Jupiter + 2 moons from last summer.

Moon Colour.jpg

Jupiter, Io and Ganymede.png

Edited by The Lazy Astronomer
Added Winjupos
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11 hours ago, The Lazy Astronomer said:

For capture, honestly I find ZWOs own ASI Studio software to be perfectly adequate for lunar/planetary. Very simple interface and very easy to use. 

Thanks I’ve downloaded this as well to have a look at.

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100 posts, blimey I’m star forming now ! 😁

this forum has been brilliant in giving support and help, I’ve learnt so much in 4 months.

thanks to all so far

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I have the 224MC although not had it long so only used a couple of times so far. I find the ASI Studio perfectly adequate for now.

My usual process is ASICap > AS!3 > Registax > WinJupos (Optional) > Photoshop.

In an additional bit of advice, ditch the USB cable that comes with it as it is a USB2/3 connection and go for one with a USB-C connection if your laptop has those ports available (or if you have a newish MacBook that is all you have available anyway). 

Edited by rob_r
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Fo rme it is FireCapture and AS!3 for capture and stacking (sometimes using PIPP to preprocess the stack before AS!3), For planets Registax 6 works best, but for lunar and solar I prefer ImPPG deconvolution and sharpening

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30 minutes ago, rob_r said:

In an additional bit of advice, ditch the USB cable that comes with it as it is a USB2/3 connection and go for one with a USB-C connection if your laptop has those ports available

Thanks I’ve got a laptop with USB 3, is the USB C faster ?

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9 minutes ago, Andy ES said:

Thanks I’ve got a laptop with USB 3, is the USB C faster ?

No, USB 3.1 is the fastest you can get at the moment no matter what the end connection is, so as long as it's a USB 3 cable then that'll do you.

It maybe worth getting a better quality USB 3 cable between your ASI224MC and your laptop though as the flat USB cable that comes with the ZWO cameras has been known to cause connection issues for some people. ;)

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