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SharpCap - free Astro Webcam Capture Software

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Robin, you are a star and your work represents all that's best with SGL and our hobby. I am in awe of your skilss.

I have never been able to get my DMK capture software to work on my previously Vista and now Windows 7 laptop so I will download and see how I get on.

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Brill, it runs my DMK at 60fps on my Windows 7 laptop. IC always crashed although the latest trial version seems ok. Much prefer SharpCap though!

Robin, you have just been awarded the MartinB Top Person award!

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Glad you folks are all liking it. I'm probably not going to change it much for a little while now (getting the SPC900 support and the bug fixes sorted took quite a bit of effort).

Midpoint, I don't have the code hosted online anywhere at the moment - the license doesn't fit the requirements for google code and I haven't liked the look of the T&Cs of a couple of other sites like github. I'd suggest that you make a subversion repository with the code in, make a vendor branch that you drop the code from the releases into, put your changes into the trunk branch and then merge across the revisions from the vendor branch each time I release a new version. Subversion will take care of all the merging unless you change some code in the same place I make changes. Feel free to send a patch in my direction if you think your changes would be useful to everyone.

cheers,

Robin

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Heh, why didn't I think of that :)

Thanks very much for the suggestion. If I ever get anything truly useful working, I'll let you know.

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Woohoo ,it works:icon_salut::):icon_salut:

Thank you very much for all your hard work,looking forward to using it for real.

May dark skies be with you ,Adrian:);):)

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Hi All, just a minor blip, i hope,i used SharpCap on the moon lastnight,had focus problems, not sure why i could not get sharp focus,but then cannot find where the recorded avi`s are to playback,how do i locate them on me lappy?:)

Regards

Mike

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Click file/capture folder in the video preview window.

Think the default is desktop ,change it to somewhere more convenient if you like.

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Am trying Jake have located one of three, other two when trying to open/move give rise to a windows error need to close etc,tech and me don`t go:icon_scratch: thanks for the info

Cheers

Mike

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Hi. i have just installed the newest version and i am getting the following error straight away;

SharpCap, Version=1.0.16.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null

System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot be null.

Parameter name: key

at System.ThrowHelper.ThrowArgumentNullException(ExceptionArgument argument)

at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.FindEntry(TKey key)

at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.TryGetValue(TKey key, TValue& value)

at SharpCap.SharpCapForm.GetDefaultProfileForCamera() in D:\Documents\Source Code\trunk\SharpCap\SharpCap\UI\SharpCapForm.cs:line 204

at SharpCap.SharpCapForm.ApplyDefaultProfile() in D:\Documents\Source Code\trunk\SharpCap\SharpCap\UI\SharpCapForm.cs:line 186

at SharpCap.SharpCapForm.SharpCap_Shown(Object sender, EventArgs e) in D:\Documents\Source Code\trunk\SharpCap\SharpCap\UI\SharpCapForm.cs:line 173

at System.Windows.Forms.Form.OnShown(EventArgs e)

at System.Windows.Forms.Form.CallShownEvent()

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallbackDo(ThreadMethodEntry tme)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallbackHelper(Object obj)

at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.runTryCode(Object userData)

at System.Runtime.CompilerServices.RuntimeHelpers.ExecuteCodeWithGuaranteedCleanup(TryCode code, CleanupCode backoutCode, Object userData)

at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state)

at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallback(ThreadMethodEntry tme)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallbacks()

===============================================================

Application Log (from start)

17:19:04.7812500 GetDeviceMenuItems :: Started

17:19:04.7812500 GetDeviceMenuItems :: Started

17:19:04.7968750 GetDeviceMenuItems :: Getting list of available decives

17:19:04.7968750 GetDeviceMenuItems :: Getting list of available decives

17:19:04.7968750 GetDeviceMenuItems :: Device enumerator created OK

17:19:04.7968750 GetDeviceMenuItems :: Device enumerator created OK

17:19:06.7656250 GetDeviceMenuItems :: No video capture devices found

17:19:06.7656250 GetDeviceMenuItems :: No video capture devices found

17:19:06.7656250 GetDeviceMenuItems :: Ended

17:19:06.7656250 GetDeviceMenuItems :: Ended

17:19:06.7656250 Initialize :: Started

17:19:06.7656250 Initialize :: Started

17:19:06.7656250 ChooseDevices :: Started

17:19:06.7656250 ChooseDevices :: Started

17:19:06.7812500 ChooseDevices :: pmVideo is non-null - MkParseDisplayName worked

17:19:06.7812500 ChooseDevices :: pmVideo is non-null - MkParseDisplayName worked

17:19:06.7812500 ChooseDevices :: Ended (oops, no video devices available)

17:19:06.7812500 ChooseDevices :: Ended (oops, no video devices available)

17:19:06.7812500 Initialize :: Devices chosen :

17:19:06.7812500 Initialize :: Devices chosen :

17:19:06.7812500 Initialize :: Video device is null

17:19:06.7812500 Initialize :: Video device is null

17:19:06.7812500 Initialize :: Audio device is null

17:19:06.7812500 Initialize :: Audio device is null

17:19:06.7812500 Initialize :: Device notification registered

17:19:06.7812500 Initialize :: Device notification registered

17:19:06.7812500 Initialize :: Ended

17:19:06.7812500 Initialize :: Ended

17:19:06.7812500 ApplyDefaultProfile :: Started

17:19:06.7812500 ApplyDefaultProfile :: Started

17:19:06.8125000 System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot be null.

Parameter name: key

at System.ThrowHelper.ThrowArgumentNullException(ExceptionArgument argument)

at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.FindEntry(TKey key)

at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.TryGetValue(TKey key, TValue& value)

at SharpCap.SharpCapForm.GetDefaultProfileForCamera() in D:\Documents\Source Code\trunk\SharpCap\SharpCap\UI\SharpCapForm.cs:line 204

at SharpCap.SharpCapForm.ApplyDefaultProfile() in D:\Documents\Source Code\trunk\SharpCap\SharpCap\UI\SharpCapForm.cs:line 186

at SharpCap.SharpCapForm.SharpCap_Shown(Object sender, EventArgs e) in D:\Documents\Source Code\trunk\SharpCap\SharpCap\UI\SharpCapForm.cs:line 173

at System.Windows.Forms.Form.OnShown(EventArgs e)

at System.Windows.Forms.Form.CallShownEvent()

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallbackDo(ThreadMethodEntry tme)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallbackHelper(Object obj)

at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.runTryCode(Object userData)

at System.Runtime.CompilerServices.RuntimeHelpers.ExecuteCodeWithGuaranteedCleanup(TryCode code, CleanupCode backoutCode, Object userData)

at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state)

at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallback(ThreadMethodEntry tme)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallbacks()

17:19:06.8125000 System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot be null.

Parameter name: key

at System.ThrowHelper.ThrowArgumentNullException(ExceptionArgument argument)

at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.FindEntry(TKey key)

at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.TryGetValue(TKey key, TValue& value)

at SharpCap.SharpCapForm.GetDefaultProfileForCamera() in D:\Documents\Source Code\trunk\SharpCap\SharpCap\UI\SharpCapForm.cs:line 204

at SharpCap.SharpCapForm.ApplyDefaultProfile() in D:\Documents\Source Code\trunk\SharpCap\SharpCap\UI\SharpCapForm.cs:line 186

at SharpCap.SharpCapForm.SharpCap_Shown(Object sender, EventArgs e) in D:\Documents\Source Code\trunk\SharpCap\SharpCap\UI\SharpCapForm.cs:line 173

at System.Windows.Forms.Form.OnShown(EventArgs e)

at System.Windows.Forms.Form.CallShownEvent()

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallbackDo(ThreadMethodEntry tme)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallbackHelper(Object obj)

at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.runTryCode(Object userData)

at System.Runtime.CompilerServices.RuntimeHelpers.ExecuteCodeWithGuaranteedCleanup(TryCode code, CleanupCode backoutCode, Object userData)

at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state)

at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallback(ThreadMethodEntry tme)

at System.Windows.Forms.Control.InvokeMarshaledCallbacks()

Is there a fix for this?

i am using XP 32bit BTW.

Cheers

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Yep. I can fix that. Will try to get a new version out this evening.

Robin

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

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Hi Jakstaar17,

I have just uploaded 1.0.17, which I think should fix the crash problem for you - as always let me know if you still have any problems.

Can I ask people to send crash reports by PM if possible - they make dull reading for everyone except me and do tend to clutter up the thread rather!

cheers,

Robin

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I've been making use of this for the last couple of clear nights with my SPN900NC, no problems found at all. Loving the clean interface and having the camera controls available without extra dialogs / programs running.

My only feature request would be for a zoom control of some sort, K3CCD has a 200% zoom. I can't always get close enough to the laptop whilst fiddling with the focus to see it clearly so anything to make it fill the screen better would help.

But otherwise, excellent work!

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If you have screen space, you can just enlarge the main window, which will enlarge the capture preview. Not quite what you want, but might be helpful. I'm thinking of re-designing the app into a single window rather than multiple windows at some point in the future, which would make it easier to do this sort of zoom I expect.

One other thing worth trying is the 'Focus Score' preview transform (from the toolbar). This shows an estimate of how well SharpCap thinks the image is focused, higher number is better. At the moment it uses an estimate of contrast in the image, which doesn't work so well. The next version will use a new focus score estimate based on the fraction of black areas in an image, which should work better for stars/planets where being out of focus tends to cause the bright area to bleed outwards.

Robin

ps. having written all that I have realised that the new focus algorithm won't work on the moon... drat... more thought required!

Edited by rwg

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Any thoughts about adding a live histogram for exposure checking? Imo the histogram would complete the programme for me and remove any exposure problems caused by bad display calibration etc, also if image boost is ON maybe add a label on the screen to say it is on.

Edited by Photosbykev

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Histograms are definitely possible - might have to wait a bit as there are a few other things I want to do first. I agree with you about the image boost label - been meaning to do something like that.

cheers

Robin

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Histograms are definitely possible - might have to wait a bit as there are a few other things I want to do first. I agree with you about the image boost label - been meaning to do something like that.

cheers

Robin

Reading up the thread if you want a Mirror host I'll happily put the programme on my site @ PhotosbyKev - Wildlife, Nature, Timelapse, Panoramic and High Speed Photography by Kevin Lewis , I've got plenty of bandwidth so it wouldn't be a problem . I would just need to know when you update the exe file.

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Ok folks, 1.0.18 is available and it's got some good stuff in it...

  • Added options to limit capture by frame count or time (thanks to Midpoint).
  • Clean up cancelled capture AVI files, option to delete last capture, option to open capture folder (also Midpoint's work).
  • Saves a .CameraSettings.txt file alongside each avi with the camera parameters in it.
  • New focus score algorithm, should be better for planets/stars, won't work on the moon or terrestrial scenes
  • You can now see in the toolbar which preview transform you have applied (if any).
  • Added a couple of missing source code files into the installer.

hope you enjoy it!

Robin

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Reading up the thread if you want a Mirror host I'll happily put the programme on my site @ PhotosbyKev - Wildlife, Nature, Timelapse, Panoramic and High Speed Photography by Kevin Lewis , I've got plenty of bandwidth so it wouldn't be a problem . I would just need to know when you update the exe file.

Hi Kev,

thanks for the kind offer - right now I've got plenty of storage space left on my google sites page and as far as I'm aware the bandwidth isn't limited. Feel free to add a link though if you want. Like the photos on your front page, particularly the rocky shore ones :icon_salut:

Robin

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Hi Kev,

thanks for the kind offer - right now I've got plenty of storage space left on my google sites page and as far as I'm aware the bandwidth isn't limited. Feel free to add a link though if you want. Like the photos on your front page, particularly the rocky shore ones :icon_salut:

Robin

No problem Robin, I'll add a page covering a few programmes I've started to use and link back to your main page.

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Robin,

Thank you so much for SharpCap! Superb software, and so easy to use.

May I make a cheeky request? I have a GSTAR-EX camera, which works as a normal webcam at 25fps (which SharpCap works out for itself very nicely), but which can also integrate multiple frames as a way of bringing out more detail on deep space objects. For example, in x64 mode, it integrates frames for 2.56 seconds before outputting a single frame. Is there any way I could force slower fps rates (in this example, I'd want 0.39fps) for use with this camera?

Thank you!

Ian

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Hi Ian,

do you have to use special software or adjustments to turn on the frame integration mode? Just worried that if I make sharpcap able to set odd frame rates like 0.39 fps, all you'll get is a standard frame every couple of seconds because SharpCap doesn't understand the 'magic' needed to turn on the special camera mode.

Robin

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Hi Robin,

Thanks for such a quick reply. The frame integration mode is all taken care of by the camera - when integrating it only gives a change in its output every couple of seconds. This means that it would be enough for the software simply to offer low fps recording speeds.In the past I've created a Linux script to capture the images with mencoder, and set the fps to low values such as 1.04 or 0.39, but for various reasons I'd much rather use your very nice software.

If it helps illustrate what's going on, in principle, when in frame integration mode, I could just record a normal 25 or 30 fps movie. However, on playback you'd see no change at all for, say, 2 seconds, which would mean the movie ends up many times larger and longer than it needs to be, with huge numbers of identical frames. Obviously that's better avoided if possible.

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More goodies folks...

Midpoint has kindly implemented the histogram function that photosbykev requested a while back. It's in 1.0.19 (usual place) and you'll find it tucked away in the preview transforms dropdown.

cheers,

Robin

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More goodies folks...

Midpoint has kindly implemented the histogram function that photosbykev requested a while back. It's in 1.0.19 (usual place) and you'll find it tucked away in the preview transforms dropdown.

cheers,

Robin

excellent news, ty rwg/midpoint

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