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rwg

SharpCap - free Astro Webcam Capture Software

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Thank you Kev (and Robin), I'm enjoying the tinkering :o
good idea adding the RGB channels to the histogram sometimes it's not obvious if a single channel is clipping

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New version 1.1.21 available, this is quite a big change with a revamp of the UI to give the application a tidier and more professional look (hopefully at least a usable still).

Major changes :

  • New UI layout - single main window with docking panels for controls etc.
  • Add zoom functionality for the preview window.
  • Deal with cameras that can't report their frame rates - show a selection of frame rates which might be accepted by the camera
  • Make the histogram have a logarithmic scaling in the y axis - see more detail without a few peaks making all the rest too short to see
  • Various minor fixes and tweaks

Usual place...

Robin

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Hi, I've been using SharpCap 1.0.17 on Jupiter last night with my SPC900. When capturing the status line on the bottom of the main window said something like "Filter does not report capture statistics" (I should have written down the exact words, sorry). So I didn't really know how many frames I had and how long it's been recording for.

Is this some known issue?

I've just seen that 1.0.21 is out. Would that make it work?

Another thing. Would you be able to add a button or option that changes the preview size to the original resolution of the webcam? It seems to do it when you change resolution settings but then, once you changed the window size, you can't go back to the original size unless you change resolution again.

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Hi,

The missing number of frames is a limitation of the SPC900 driver for Vista/Win7. I think the frame count works in XP. In theory I can workaround it by introducing a filter of my own into the rendering chain to count the frames as they go by, I just haven't got around to doing that yet.

The new build might help you with your second request. Rather than resizing the preview as you resize the window, there's a zoom control in the toolbar. You can even scroll around the preview if you have zoomed in so much it won't fit all in one go any more.

Robin

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Last time I had a clear, free night, I was using the newly downloaded 1.0.10! 11 updates since I've had a night I could image.

Sharpcap gets better and better.

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Last time I had a clear, free night, I was using the newly downloaded 1.0.10! 11 updates since I've had a night I could image.

Sharpcap gets better and better.

What do you think I do on cloudy nights :(

Robin

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hehehe, good that we all still have some other projects for those cloudy nights... ;-)

I'll try 1.0.21 next time (or the then current version...). that zoom setting sounds very good.

Oh and thanks in general for that application! Very very neat indeed... ;-)

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Love the layout of v21....

I have been installing each version on Windows 7 64 and 32 and each time they work great and the results better each time (for me with basic set-up)... Many thanks

Roy

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Love the layout of v21....

Glad you like it, that layout is pretty much what I had in mind when I started SharpCap, it's just that getting it to look pretty came second to getting it to work properly for quite a while...

Next up is likely to be support for ASCOM compliant motor focusers...

Robin

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thanks for the sharpcap, silly question i am waiting for my webcam to arrive, just a basic no brand no frills unit (the dimensions are perfect for my project) will sharp cap work with a low spec cam

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many thanks for sharpcap silly question? will it work with a really cheap basic no brand webcam im waiting for the webcam to arrive

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many thanks for sharpcap silly question? will it work with a really cheap basic no brand webcam im waiting for the webcam to arrive

It should work with any webcam that works on the computer. But why would you want to buy a cheap, no brand webcam when you can buy a Philips SPC900NC for £9.99!

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Hi,

The missing number of frames is a limitation of the SPC900 driver for Vista/Win7. I think the frame count works in XP. In theory I can workaround it by introducing a filter of my own into the rendering chain to count the frames as they go by, I just haven't got around to doing that yet.

Robin

I found the below info online regarding the dropped frames issue.

(in reference to the SPC900NC...turns out that when the frame rate drops below 1/25th of a sec, the SPC sends blank frames so it can continue to send 25fps to the computer even though only say, 10 frames per second are being recorded - thus it's doing exactly what your asking it to, but it appears as if it's dropping frames..)

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Does using Sharpcap affect the quality of the video being captured? Space Cowboy mentioned that he doesn't use Sharpcap because he found the capture quality inferior to craterlet. However isn't sharpcap just recording what the webcam is producing without changing anything in the video?

I'm curious because it doesn't matter what features a capture program has, as at the end of the day the no.1 most important thing is the quality of the video being captured, as that ultimately will affect how good the final image appears.

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Sharpcap just saves the data that comes from the camera directly to the avi file. There should be me no losses of quality nor should there be any difference in capture quality between capture apps since they ask work with the same underlying video technology.

In particular, sharpcap does not offer compression codecs like huffyuv. These can only reduce image quality, since they recompress the data that may have already been compressed once while being transferred from the camera to the computer.

Robin

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

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I found the below info online regarding the dropped frames issue.

(in reference to the SPC900NC...turns out that when the frame rate drops below 1/25th of a sec, the SPC sends blank frames so it can continue to send 25fps to the computer even though only say, 10 frames per second are being recorded - thus it's doing exactly what your asking it to, but it appears as if it's dropping frames..)

Yes, I'd noticed this - the SPC keeps the frame rate up even when the exposure is too long, whereas most cameras drop frames at this point instead to keep the exposure correct.

However, the problem I'm talking about is somewhat different - most camera drivers can report info on how many frames they have captured, how many they have dropped and the average frame size. Applications (including SharpCap) use this info to display capture statistics. Whoever wrote the SPC900 driver for Vista/Win7 obviously didn't bother to implement this functionality - in technical terms the capture filter doesn't implement the IAMDroppedFrames interface. This is why SharpCap can't display dropped frames for this camera on Vista/Win 7. The XP driver does implement this functionality, so all works under windows XP.

Robin

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RWG - you Sir, are a genius :D

I downloaded and tried out sharpcap yesterday - it is so much easier to use. :)

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Robin, once again I have to say thanks for your fantastic work on this app :D You're an absolute star, and have contributed a brilliant app to the community.

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Robin

Finally got chance to play with some actual capturing at the weekend and would like to say thanks again for an excellent product. If, however, you're dabbling with the code again could you have a look at the docked view?:)

When running docked, the right-most part of the controls disappear on my screen but are available if I run it undocked (see attachments)

It's not a problem sat here now but at midnight when your fingers are going numb and you're using a touchpad...

Cheers

post-15720-133877494241_thumb.jpg

post-15720-133877494244_thumb.jpg

Edited by Hoshikomi

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Geoff, did you know you can drag the divider between the main view area and the control panel to the left to give the controls more room? This should work around the problem, although you will need to do it each time you start the app.

I'll try to work out a way to make it the right width on startup in a future version.

cheers,

Robin

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Can SharpCap be used with LX modded SPC900's at all to do (limited) deep sky stuff? If not, can it be made to at all please?

I've not got my LX modded cam back yet, so am unable to try it out first hand.

Thanks in advance.

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I'm afraid I have no idea if it will work currently, I'd expect not. It can probably be made to happen after I get around to modding one of my SPC900s so I have one to test with. I only say probably because I am worried about how to capture individual frames - Sharpcap is very much designed to capture streaming video. Maybe I can run a video for exactly one frame...

Robin

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a bit cheeky but can some one give an idea of basic settings like fps and time duration for lunar shots, also i see it creates a small movie, to change this into a single image does it have to be worked on in some thing like registacks, sorry for dumb question but completly new to this imaging

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