Sharpcap autofocus

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sharpcap autofocus

Quick links. What I'd like to do now is to take advantage of Sequence Generator Pro auto-focus feature. Is it possible to use SGP auto-focus within Sharpcap features, I mean using Sharpcap for images capturingprocessing and live stacking, and using SGP in the same time for auto-focussing?

Any help appreciated.

What’s New in SharpCap 3.0

If you absolutely must have fully automated focusing, then you'll need to switch between programs disconnecting and reconnecting the camera accordingly.

If not, you might also find semi automated focusing in Sharpcap to be more to your liking. Give it a try and see for yourself. I'll follow your advice and try Sharpcap semi automated routine next time.

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If there is no other solution than switching between programs, which means disconnecting and reconnecting the camera, this is something I really do not want to test while imaging! I've tested it back to back and get pretty consistent results vs my mask.

SharpCap User Manual

I hope in a future version you can auto select go to best score or position so it will automatically finish. Also a pre-selected start value so it will start without moving the focuser to a specific location. If focus is around steps have it know to start around for example.

I believe the next version of SC will be set up to have sequencing I suspect the focus routing might have more options. Now the best would be that the next version of SC would integrate a full automatic focusing feature, as the step seems not so big to implement it! Also a pre-selected start value to avoid having to move the focuser to a specific location, as suggested by Chongo Robin please, what's your position about this question?

I suppose that taking the ideal starting position a bit further might help — if the focus position was limited to a band of values that the user configured then autofocus might be more reliable — basically in the configuration you would set up that the best focus point was between and and that would give SharpCap both a good starting point and an idea of what range it should be looking within.SharpCap is an easy-to-use and powerful astronomy camera capture tool.

It can be used with dedicated astronomy cameras, webcams and USB frame grabbers. A clear and logical UI makes the program easy for beginners to use.

Comprehensive documentation will also help those who are just getting started. There are some great video tutorials on using SharpCap for Astrophotography over on the Tutorials board at the astronomyshed. You can find more SharpCap video tutorials on Youtube. If you prefer written documentation, you can find it here. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.

Skip to content What is SharpCap? Advanced users can setup templates for maximum flexibility. Capture Settings Saved Camera settings used saved alongside every capture file — no forgetting what settings you used. Quick Capture Pre-defined video lengths by frame count and time to get capturing quickly Flexible Capture Run captures of custom lengths, run sequences of captures at regular intervals Focus Aids Assistance in measuring quality of focus for planets, stars and surface images.

Six focus score algorithms. Zoomable Preview Zoom the preview in to see fine detail, zoom out to see entire frame from high resolution cameras. Reticule Movable, resizable reticule for alignment, centering, collimation, etc. Add your own functionality using Python scripting.

SharpCap User Manual

Supported Cameras. Image Processing. Apply dark frame subtraction and flat frame correction. See live deep sky images build on screen, each frame aligned and derotated before adding to the stack.

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Polar Alignment. Polar align using your guidescope — the easiest to use polar alignment tool available! High Quality Histogram. Save and Restore Camera Settings. Save as many capture profiles as you like, name them, manage them and configure them to load automatically when camera opened.

Flexible File Naming.SharpCap 3. The use of an orange colour for text and controls instead of the more traditional red makes text legibility much better without adding significantly to the screen brightness. You may notice that a couple of things are not changed into a dark colour scheme — in particular scrollbars and the window title bar.

sharpcap autofocus

This has been quite a popular user request — the ability to show all the controls on one monitor and show just the captured image on a second monitor. As you can see below, two monitor view is particularly helpful in Live Stacking mode because it allows room for the various Live Stack control and information tabs to be split up so that more than one is visible at a time.

It also has a pair of testing simulated cameras that can be used to try out the features of the program on cloudy nights. The Folder Monitor Virtual Camera adds another way to get images into SharpCap — it can read existing or newly added image files from a directory opening up new ways to use SharpCap.

As a couple of examples:. The resolution and colour space values are also determined by the contents of the image files being loaded and cannot be changed. Additionally dark subtraction and flat frame correction can be applied and the frame rate limit can be set. Image files are always processed in date order starting with the oldest first.

The resolution and colour space values are selected from the first frame processed, and files that have different resolutions or colour space settings will be skipped.

If SharpCap runs out of files in the folder or if there are no image files in the folder initially then it will wait for new image files to be added and load them when they appear. Many EAA Electronically Assisted Astronomy enthusiasts are now keen to run their entire imaging session within a live stacking tool such as SharpCap — they are also often keen to avoid any post-processing in other applications. The Gaussian Blur noise reduction and Unsharp Mask sharpening are basic tools which you would find in most image manipulation applications.

They are relatively quick to calculate. With careful adjustment of the parameters, these simple tools can suffice to give useful image improvements in many cases. Bilateral Filter noise reduction which can lower noise with less blurring effect than the Gaussian Blur option. This tool will tend to remove noise within areas of similar colour without blurring an area of one colour into an adjacent area of another colour.

The radius option selects over how large an area in pixels the smoothing is effective while the luminance tolerance specifies how different colours have to be for the algorithm to try to preserve the differences between them. Setting the luminance tolerance too high will make this algorithm give results similar to the gaussian blur option. Weiner Deconvolution is an advanced image sharpening algorithm that uses an estimate of the PSF point spread function of the image to try to correct for blurring introduced by optics, seeing and stacking.

The estimate of the PSF is calculated from the shapes of detected stars in the stacked image so this sharpening feature will only work for images containing stars. Note that both of the advanced algorithms require more computation than the simple ones, so using a fast PC is advisable, particularly for high resolution cameras.

Like the white balance controls, saturation adjustment is a SharpCap Pro feature.Privacy Terms. Quick links. Focuser mod to improve Sharpcap Autofocus Anything that doesn't fit into any of the other forums. I have found that the friction is not perfect even after adjustment and during the course of an evening there is always a small amount of slippage within the mechanism. This is compounded when using the autofocus in Sharpcap with multi star FWHM in my case as the calculated position may not be correct when Sharpcap moves to it due to this random slippage.

To create a more absolute repeatable process for the focusing I have made a ball screw focuser drive, this is controlled by my original sesto senso focus motor. I machined the ball screw so that the shaft runs through a bearing block which the sesto clamps to between the sesto shaft and the ball screw shaft I have a flexible coupling to deal with any slight misalignment.

The brass thumb wheel allows manual movement when the sesto is not powered Tonight we tried it for the first time on actual stars using the autofocus routine and I had a nice focus curve from out of focus through focus and back out of focus and the move to best position command worked flawlessly so I will now be using this method of focusing in future, and also plan to use it to work out the offset positions between filters and also assess thermal movement in relation to atmospheric temperature change to get an idea of refocusing intervals.

You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.You can use the tool to measure your polar alignment accuracy without having a SharpCap Pro license, but with a Pro license you will be able to see live updates on screen showing the current polar alignment error as you adjust your mounts altitude and azimuth.

New in SharpCap 3. Planetary and Lunar images will benefit from using live flat frame correction too as it eliminates dust donuts caused by specks of dust on the sensor, camera window or filter.

Of course, you can use the flat frame correction feature while deep sky imaging in SharpCap too — for example while Live Stacking to correct for uneven illumination of the sensor due to vignetting.

sharpcap autofocus

Not only will SharpCap apply flat frame correction to every frame that comes from the camera, it will also assist you through the process of capturing a master flat frame by capturing and averaging a series of flat sub frames.

Dark subtraction is another feature, like Polar Alignment, that has been improved in SharpCap 3. Just like the flat frame creation tool, SharpCap has a dark frame creation tool that will help you create averaged master dark frames and store them in a dark frame library. Previous versions of SharpCap had a range of tools to help measure the quality of focus of the image to assist with focusing and accurate focusing can be one of the hardest parts of Astrophotography.

Now in SharpCap 3. The first new feature is the ability to make SharpCap perform an automated focus scan over a user-definable number of steps. The result will be a graph — like the one shown below — showing how the focus varied with the focuser position.

These buttons are the second focus related SharpCap Pro feature and they take care of getting back to the best focus position for you and making sure to approach from the same direction used for the scan to avoid backlash issues. In SharpCap 3. Some examples of scripts that have been written by SharpCap users include automation for all-sky cameras, automation of filter wheels for LRGB planetary imaging, automatic image capture with text labels being added to each image after capture and automation of eclipse observing sequences.

Ever wondered whether you are using the right gain or exposure when deep sky imaging? Whether 6x ten minute exposures really do give you more detail than 12x five minute exposures? In combination with the results of Sensor Analysis see belowSharpCap can measure the sky background brightness for you and then perform a mathematical simulation of the impact on final stacked image quality of using different gain and exposure combinations.

You can also see graphs showing the impact of using longer or shorter exposures or lower or higher gain than suggested. An initial calibration step must be performed so that SharpCap can learn which way and how fast the image moves for the various mount movement directions. Feature Tracking is currently experimental — please feel free to test and report any issues.

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More feedback on the performance with different mounts and focal lengths is welcome. This is a new application of the image quality measurement techniques that SharpCap has provided to assist focusing for some time.

Instead of helping you find the point of best focus, you can now use the image sharpness measurements to help you capture the moments of clearest seeing without having to sit with your eyes glued to the computer screen at all times. Launched from the Tools Menu, the seeing monitor shows a chart of the recent range of image quality with the most recent values highlighted.

This gives a much more objective measurement of when the seeing is good. An option to run stacks using a sigma clipped algorithm is available to SharpCap Pro users. Sigma clipping helps keep rogue pixel values out of the stacked image — for instance aeroplane and satellite tracks can be much reduced or eliminated by the use of the sigma clipping algorithm.

The mini-histogram and live stack histogram both have auto-stretch buttons which analyze the current frame and set the black, mid and white levels automatically to give a good view of the object being imaged. You can even adjust the intensity of the auto-stretch algorithm in the SharpCap general settings page.

SharpCap 3. By default this is limited to setting aside 1Gb for Live Stacking and 1Gb for caching captured frames when capturing at high speed.Sharpcap runs on Microsoft Windows — you should choose the version of SharpCap to install based on your version of Windows. You can read about the new features in SharpCap 3. Documentation is available here.

Find out more about what SharpCap Pro here. Most people should use the default 32 bit version of SharpCap. The 64 bit version is recommended if you are running live stacking on high resolution cameras, particularly if you encounter out-of-memory errors with the 32 bit version. Remember that installing SharpCap 3. This means that you can go back to an earlier version if you encounter any problems do remember to report any problems you find though! You can find very old versions of SharpCap here.

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Skip to content Sharpcap runs on Microsoft Windows — you should choose the version of SharpCap to install based on your version of Windows. Windows 7 with SP18. SharpCap 3. Latest Version Download Version 3. Fix freeze on startup if camera scan hangs on one type of camera Improved sensor analysis — pre-measures gain range to avoid getting stuck. Bug fixes Download Version 3. Improvements to QHY cooled camera handling Stop sky brightness measurement from exceeding maximum camera exposure Bug fixes Download Version 3.

Use SharpCap 3. Use SharpCap 2. Download Version 3. Fix some file naming issues Bug fixes Fix dark images on some Atik cameras.

Fix crash in sensor analysis Fix intermittent crash when closing camera Unpause automatically when starting capture if previously paused Fix intermittent crash on finishing capture to AVI. Fix missing luminosity trace in mini histogram Fix capture settings file not written under some circumstances Fix not spotting renamed files in the folder monitor camera.

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Fix target name sometimes changing back after being updated Fix missing DLL stopping Point Grey cameras working Avoid shutting down fan when changing mode on Altair Cameras Improvements to license entry — automatically fix any line break errors in new license pasted in.

Improve options for choosing which raw frames to save during live stacking Folder monitor camera improvements Bug fixes. Increase manual filter wheel to 15 filters Menu option to cancel running script Add verbose logging to Altair Cameras. Bug fixes. Increase number of decimal places shown in exposure values Live stack histogram now reflects colour balance adjustments Fix crash on startup if PHD guiding integration enabled Bug fixes.This electronic focuser enables precise, dynamic focus control for planetary and deep-sky imaging.

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sharpcap autofocus

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