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Basler Cameras

SharpCap (v1.3 onwards) now supports capturing from Basler Cameras that use Pylon API. In v1.3 the support should be considered to be in beta - please use it and report any problems you encounter!

Why Basler Cameras?

What's so good about the Basler cameras? How about high frame rates - up to 100fps on some models, and the connection via gigabit ethernet means you don't have to sacrifice quality as the frame rate rises. Not enough? 12 bit pixel depth - that's an extra factor of 16 in dynamic range over your 8 bit depth webcam. Add tiny size and the convenience of running a single ethernet cable to the camera (which can use power over ethernet) and you've got a compelling planetary camera. But we're not done yet - maximum exposure is currently between 1 and 10s, depending on model, so the cameras are pushing into the LX webcam range.

Getting Started

You need to install Pylon 2.3 before the Basler Cameras will be usable. When installing the Pylon package, you must ensure you install the 'pylon .NET runtime' component of the installer.

Using the Camera in SharpCap

The cameras should appear in the usual way under the camera menu. Sometimes it can take a couple of second for the menu to show, since SharpCap checks for new cameras each time the menu is shown. Note that Gig-E cameras can take up to a minute to show up after they are connected, particularly if they are connect direct to a laptop network port.

Capture from Basler cameras is to SER files rather than AVI files used for DirectShow cameras. SER files can store images up to a depth of 16 bits and can store raw frames (ie still in Bayer format direct from the colour camera). Both Registax and AviStack can read and process the SER files written by SharpCap.

Do *not* use the Basler Genicam option in the camera menu - this connects to the camera via the Basler DirectShow emulation layer. If you choose this you'll only get 8 bit colour depth and hardly any controls will show up in the right hand panel. Also note that swapping between Genicam and the full Basler camera support requires that you close and re-open SharpCap.