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SharpCap - free Astro Webcam Capture Software


rwg
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Hi John,

yes, yes and yes :p

To set the capture folder, use the option in the file menu.

The start/stop capture buttons are assigned to Alt-S and Alt-T respectively. If you press Alt it shows the little underline thing on all the menu options to show which hotkey they have.

You can take a single frame by pressing the 'Snapshot' button next to start/stop capture (1.4 only).

Robin

Thanks Robin, much appreciated. Going to give your software a proper whirl this weekend, skies permitting. Excited!! :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi there,

Did anybody noticed while running the ser file into Regsiatx that some frames are with different illumination than others? In the preview screen, while recording, everithing is ok, the Saturn is ok, but in Regsiatx some frames have a different exposure (Saturn is darker/lighter). I've used ver 1.3.114.

Thanks.

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Hi Valy,

can you try your .ser in AviStack too - I've not had good results from Registax with .ser files that are more than 8 bit colour depth (or grey depth) - AviStack seems to handle them better.

I would be surprised if there is a problem with the SER writing as it is very much just a case of copying the raw pixel values from the camera straight into the SER file, however I can't be 100% sure.

A couple of other possibilities :

You have auto-exposure/auto gain switched on - when these are on the camera can adjust the settings during capture

Thin drifting cloud?

Robin

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Hello Robin,

Thanks. I've tried Avistack also but only once, is slower than registax, but I did not pay attention to this aspect, I let it run in background so I did not noticed this issue.

My worries was that could be a problem from the camera. I will do a check with avistack to clear out this issue.

The only thing on auto was the fps. The gain and exposure was user defined. No cloud, the changes are very visible, alternating from correct exposure to overexposure and back, no variation in between, sudden transitions.

Best regards.

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Hi Valy,

If you get a chance it would be good if you could try out a different capture application alongside SharpCap to see if the variations appear in that app too - if they do then it is likely an issue with the camera, driver or camera settings. If not then it is likely a problem with SharpCap. The camerasettings file that SharpCap saves should give you the info you need to set the other app with the same configuration that you used in SharpCap.

With Avistack, it does go really slowly if you leave the preview enabled while it is working. If you turn the preview off it is actually pretty quick (several times faster than with preview on)

Robin

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Yep, you found me out. I never got around to doing the snapshot feature for the ascom cameras yet :)

If anyone is planning on using this part of the ascom support I can try to do this before I kick the full release out.

Cheers

Robin

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

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Complete newbie here when it comes to using webcams and photography.

I do not know what each of the settings means/does so before i start sifting through the web to understand them I was wondering if there is a tutorial specificall for sharpcap that anyone has done.

Many thanks

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Playing more with QHY5 - there may be some sort of a problem as it doesn't want to give a good image in ShapCap: http://i53.tinypic.com/f5abf7.jpg

It does work in PHD (ASCOM driver), QGvideo or partially in Nebulosity2. The problem may be related to the fact that the camera is "fragile" to overexposed frames or to short exposure setting (~35ms is min AFAIK). Nebulosity2 won't show anything when it's overexposed (for example).

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@Duke,

The Flea3 will work if it has either DirectX support or an ASCOM driver, but you might not be able to access all the settings even if it does work. Sadly I can only add top rate support for a webcam when I have one to play with while developing/testing (like I did for the Basler cameras).

@riklaunim,

Oops, definitely something wrong there - looks like it's doing something silly like thinking there are 4 bytes per pixel coming from the camera when there is only 1. I will try to work out if the ASCOM driver is lying to SharpCap or if SharpCap is misinterpreting the results it gets.

thanks folks,

Robin

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fantastic software robin! one question though (im probally being a bit dense) it works well on my macbook pro (with windows 7) but whats the requiments as i want to give it a go on my eeepc its quite a old one 701SD (xp) it has got 2gig ram but 8gig SSD and a 700mhz processer i would wipe it totally and redo it but would it work?

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I think your PC should be OK - as long as you can get .NET framework 2 and DirectX onto it, Sharpcap should work. There have been some reports that the preview slows down when capturing on slow machines - this is a cunning feature of DirectX actually, it drops the preview frame rate while capturing if it is starting to get behind on processing frames.

I think the only thing that might worry me is the SSD - some of the old small ones can be rather slow (I have an Acer Aspire One with a dog slow 8gb SSD). I have no idea whether it would keep up with the data rate from capturing especially from a high res webcam like a LifecamHD in YUYV mode. Only one way to find out ;)

Robin

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OK, so this may be a stupid question/request but I'll ask it anyway.

Are there any plans to add guiding to Sharpcap. I see many imagers using capture software AND guiding software (e.g. PHD). To me this seems excessive as it requires not only additional software but additional camera and another guide scope\OAG.

I appreciate that there may not be a suitable guide star available all the time so the additional guide equipment will be necessary in such cases.

It would also easy the 'load' on the capture computer by not having to run too apps and cameras.

I'm still a Noob so I may have got this all wrong.

Justin

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Right now I have no plans to put guiding into SharpCap, especially since I don't use an equatorial mount myself, so I would have nothing to test with ;)

As to having two cameras - that's necessary, since you're typically guiding because you want to take long exposures on your main camera, but you need your guiding camera to be taking much shorter exposures so you can spot any tracking error before it gets too big. If you are doing short exposure stuff (planetary, lunar) then you wouldn't be guiding anyway - you don't care if the tracking drifts a bit as the stacking procedure will deal with it.

Robin

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