Beta Versions

The Beta program for SharpCap 3.1 is now over!

About SharpCap Beta

Be aware: Beta versions of SharpCap have had less testing than usual and may contain unfinished or experimental features.

If you choose to use a beta version of SharpCap, please test the cameras and functionality you intend to use before an observing session to avoid frustration and lost observing time. You can install a beta version of SharpCap without having to uninstall the previous release version, so it’s easy to have both on the same machine and switch between them.

All beta versions have a built in time limit – they will only work up until a particular date (usually they have a life of a month or two). If your beta version runs out, check back at this page for an updated beta (or check the main downloads page for a new release).

You can use most SharpCap Pro features that are new in this version during the beta period without a license.

NOTE: If your camera is not detected, you may need to install the SharpCap Pre-Requisites Installer. You only need to do this once, not for every new beta build.

SharpCap 3.1 Release Candidate

The SharpCap 3.1 beta period is over and release candidate builds are now available. These will become the release buildi in a week or so if no serious bugs are found.

Latest Version
Download Version 3.1.5027.0
12 February 2018
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  • Fix Sensor analysis on QHY Cameras
  • Correct initial R/G/B white balance settings on QHY cameras
  • Add sensor analysis library for common cameras to the install again
Download Version 3.1.5022.0
09 February 2018
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  • Retry after lost frame on SX cameras
  • More logging if there are plate solve problems
  • Bug fixes
Download Version 3.1.5014.0
07 February 2018
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  • Update Altair SDK
  • Fix bug where Smart Histogram ‘brain’ did not update correctly when switching between different camera models
  • Fix labelling of the pole when using polar alignment in the southern hemisphere
  • Bug fixes
Download Version 3.1.5004.0
03 February 2018
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  • Fix wrong width of the orange section of the read noise chart in the Smart Histogram
  • Update all copyright messages to 2018
  • A couple of minor bug fixes
Download Version 3.1.5000.0
31 January 2018
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  • The beta test period is over – this build has no time limit
  • New SharpCap Pro features in 3.1 now require a valid SharpCap Pro license, including : Feature Tracking, Seeing Monitor, Smart Histogram, Live Stacking Sigma Clipping and Colour Balance
  • Added a ‘reset’ button to the polar alignment star detection options
  • Change R/G/B adjustment sliders in Live Stacking to measure in dB (decibels) of gain
  • Some UI tweaks to improve the experience for users without a SharpCap Pro license


SharpCap 3.1 Beta Downloads

Latest Version
Download Version 3.1.4994.0
29 January 2018
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  • Fix crash in feature tracking
  • Fix crash in histogram for ASCOM cameras
  • Fix colour space control not showing for ASCOM cameras
Older Versions
Download Version 3.1.4991.0
27 January 2018
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  • More Improvements to live stack memory usage
  • Fix sensor analysis on ZWO cameras broken by ZWO removing gamma control
  • Improved scripting access to live stacking
Download Version 3.1.4983.0
26 January 2018
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  • Improvements to Live Stacking memory usage on very high resolution cameras (also new memory option in settings to assign more memory to live stacking for Pro users)
  • Update ZWO SDK to latest version (NOTE: removes ZWO gamma support – use mini histogram stretch instead for display or post-process)
  • Bug fixes
Download Version 3.1.4968.0
21 January 2018
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  • Fix bug with PGR camera support
  • Ensure memory stats get reported in bug report if out of memory situation occurs
Download Version 3.1.4965.0
20 January 2018
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  • Consolidate Basler camera handling code – no longer need to choose between LX mode or non-LX when opening camera
  • Update Basler SDK (
  • Update Point Grey SDK (
  • Tidy up the ‘Tools’ menu
  • Better memory handling and error tracking in image manipulation code
Download Version 3.1.4954.0
18 January 2018
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  • Fix problems supporting certain Point Grey cameras
  • Fix missing White Balance (Blue) control in PGR RAW mode
  • Limit selection area when starting sensor analysis to less than 300,000 pixels (too slow if selection is very big)
  • Bug fixes in feature tracking
Download Version 3.1.4949.0
17 January 2018
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  • Fix selection area not drawn in 3944
  • Bug fixes
Download Version 3.1.4944.0
16 January 2018
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  • Fix incorrect decoding of Latitude on QHY174GPS cameras (up to 1 arc minute out previously)
Download Version 3.1.4943.0
15 January 2018
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  • Fix bug which could cause program to exit when rescanning for cameras without ASCOM platform installed
  • Fix application closedown without error report on certain failure modes
  • Improve UI performance for large resolutions and/or high frame rates
  • Try to free up more memory when memory is running low
  • Extra logging to try to determine cause of out-of-memory problems
Download Version 3.1.4931.0
11 January 2018
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  • Sensor analysis will need to be run again (sorry!). I discovered some cases where the black point was not being simulated correctly on some cameras that threw the readings off. The new analysis takes a little longer and collects more data
  • Fix scaling of some UI elements on high DPI screens
  • Show warning message correctly in sensor analysis when camera not suppored
  • Smart histogram colour bars now adjust correctly if darks are in use
  • Turn off darks/flats automatically if measuring sky background.
Download Version 3.1.4915.0
06 January 2018
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  • Fix rare crash in Polar Alignment
  • Update QHY SDK to new version
  • Improvements to sensor analysis
Download Version 3.1.4912.0
05 January 2018
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  • Fix writing TIF files via snapshot when output format is not ‘auto’
  • Fix sequence numbering of snapshots when output format not ‘auto’
  • Improvements to feature guiding calibration and UI
  • Make zoom get saved when closing and re-opening
  • Fix crash in histogram
  • Warn when live stacking large frames on low memory systems
  • Take more black level measurements during sensor analysis
Download Version 3.1.4898.0
01 January 2018
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  •  Fix upgrade prompting for admin twice
Download Version 3.1.4891.0
31 December 2017
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  • Fix ‘Value’ readout on histogram crosshairs in 12/16 bit mode
  • Fix spurious warnings when loading some capture profiles
  • Reduce memory usage while live stacking high resolution cameras
Download Version 3.1.4884.0
29 December 2017
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  • Fix bug loading capture profiles
  • Ensure the Left/Right/Up/Down figures for polar alignment are corrected properly for latitude and refraction
  • Ensure that <Escape> key for stop capture always works
  • Further tweaks to auto-update flow
  • Improvements to error reporting
Download Version 3.1.4864.0
26 December 2017
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  • Streamline auto-updates
  • Fix issue with scripting failing to access some properies on ASCOM camera controls
  • Extra logging to try to catch a couple of very odd bugs
Download Version 3.1.4852.0
24 December 2017
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  • JPEG and TIFF file output added
  • Fix E/W longitude display in polar alignment
  • Improve display of Gain plots in Smart Histogram ‘Brain’ window for Altair cameras
  • Show sensor data in Smart Histogrma ‘Brain’ window
  • Ensure that MONO and RGB modes on colour cameras load sensor profiles correctly from sensor profile library
Download Version 3.1.4843.0
22 December 2017
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  • Polar Alignment – add support for atmospheric refraction correction. You must enable it and set your location in the settings.
  • Smart Histogram – install sensor analysis data for common cameras from Altair, ZWO and QHY
  • Altair Cameras – updated SDK, bug fixes
  • Various bug fixes
Download Version 3.1.4812.0
19 December 2017
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  • Fix selection rectangle not being remembered properly
  • More guidance on suitable exposures for sensor analysis
  • Altair cameras – gain slider now logarithmic, which makes adjusting gain more controllable (more fine control in the low gain ranges)
  • QHY CCD cameras – enter still mode correctly for all CCD models
  • ZWO cameras – updated SDK
  • Live Stacking – reduce memory usage in some use cases
  • Info button on Smart Histogram bar
  • Fixes for uploaded bug reports
Download Version 3.1.4791.0
16 December 2017
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  •  Fix failure to check properly for updates in 4790
Download Version 3.1.4790.0
15 December 2017
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  • Fix crash starting Altair 183C
  • Prevent the right mouse button panning the histogram graphs
  • Finer control on the histogram black/mid/white levels – drag sideways with the mouse above or below the graph to get slower movement
Download Version 3.1.4784.0
14 December 2017
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  •  Fix minor bugs
Download Version 3.1.4752.0
12 December 2017
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  • Hopefully a full fix for Windows Defender false positive issues – time will tell
Download Version 3.1.4740.0
12 December 2017
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  • Fix Windows Defender false positive problems
  • Minor bug fixes/tweaks
Download Version 3.1.4722.0
04 December 2017
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  • Add digital signatures to installer and application
  • Fetch updates over https for increased security
Download Version 3.1.4713.0
30 November 2017
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  •  Fix a couple of bugs with Smart Histogram

[Download removed due to Anti-Virus false positive issues]

Download Version 3.1.4710.0
29 November 2017
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  • Fix crash when switching between remote desktop and normal login while SharpCap running
  • Fix vertical flip on Celestron cameras in RGB mode
  • Do not restart camera on settings change unless ASCOM hardware altered
  • Fix smart histogram brain picking wrong unity gain when binning enabled on some cameras
  • Add more zoom percentages to the list
  • Fix GPS button (Plate Solve) not appearing if mount connected after camera start
  • Improvements and bug fixes to Feature Tracking
Download Version 3.1.4683.0
24 November 2017
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  • Fix crash when dragging the mini histogram to a different position in the control panel
Download Version 3.1.4682.0
21 November 2017
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  • Fix first live stacked frame not being saved when saving raw frames enbled
  • Potential fix for ZWO ASI120MM/MC cameras in 16 bit mode over USB2
  • Fix QHY10 cooling
  • Fix crash in focus score if focuser selected but connected check box not ticked
  • Other bug fixes
Download Version 3.1.4676.0
16 November 2017
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  • Better responsiveness of the Live Stack image to adjusting levels or colours
  • Colour balance sliders in live stack now based on an exponential formula: -100 means 2.7x reduced, +100 means 2.7x enhanced
  • Fix failure to snapshot after changing still format
  • Updated QHY SDK to 2017_11_09 version

(Note: 3.1.4671 showed a live stacking alignment bug when installed and has been replaced by 3.1.4676)

Download Version 3.1.4662.0
13 November 2017
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  • Add always-on mini histogram with level stretch to controls panel
  • Add colour balance adjustments to live stacking, improve histogram
  • Add Auto Stretch button to live stack and mini histogram (strength configurable in settings)
  • Various bug fixes
Download Version 3.1.4641.0
11 November 2017
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  • Improved level stretch in live stacking – just drag the black/mid/white point lines
  • Many bug fixes
Download Version 3.1.4619.0
06 November 2017
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  • Polar Alignment – do not show up/down/left/right guidance until final stage as following it at an earlier stage gives incorrect results
  • Polar Alignment – track each calculated center-of-rotation if you rotate slowly – should help pick up flexure problems if the dark red C-o-R crosses are not tightly grouped.
  • QHY cameras – fix issues with QHY10
  • Altair cameras – get sensor temperature into saved FITS files
Download Version 3.1.4608.0
02 November 2017
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  • New feature – auto save and restore of camera parameters. You can turn off in settings (permanent) or by holding CTRL when opening a camera (one time)
  • Add SharpCap version number to capture settings file
  • Updated Altair SDK to support new models and fix bugs
  • Updated QHY SDK to support new models and fix bugs
Download Version 3.1.4602.0
01 November 2017
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  • Measure how binning works during sensor analysis and incorporate it into histogram calculations
  • Fixes for QHY cameras that do not support Live mode
  • Improved algorithm for deciding which frames to show on screen from high speed cameras – preview should be smoother
  • Fix out of memory while adjusting histogram sliders in live stack
  • Support QHY ‘GPS Slave’ mode on 174GPS camera via scripting
  • Various bug fixes
  • Extend beta build time limit to end of November
Download Version 3.1.4570.0
28 October 2017
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  • Fix corrupted save of 32 bit stack when using Sigma Clipped live stacking
  • Fix saving raw frames while live stacking in all circumstances
  • New non-gamma stretch in display controls used for 8 bit frames too
  • Various bug fixes
Download Version 3.1.4561.0
24 October 2017
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  •  Display controls changed from brightness/gamma/contrast to black/mid/white points, better stretch function in 16 bit modes
  • Polar alignment improvements – track adjustment star to avoid switching between stars and better UI prompting
  • Various bug fixes and additional logging around ongoing issues
Download Version 3.1.4538.0
21 October 2017
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  • QHY Cameras – support cameras that cannot run in live mode
  • ZWO Cameras – update SDK to
  • ASCOM Hardware – option not to connect to hardware on camera startup
  • ASCOM Mounts – support mounts that cannot track (ie ST4 mounts)
  • Live Stacking – fix memory leaks and deadlocks
  • Dark Subtraction – improved hot pixel detection and removal
  • Dark Subtraction – remove darks that have been deleted from dropdown list
  • Sensor Analysis – try to fix autoexposure hunting up/down issue.
Download Version 3.1.4505.0
18 October 2017
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  • Templated filenames option in Live Stacking
  • Improved startup speed
  • Plate solving settings added
  • Altair cameras – updated SDK
  • Many bug fixes
Download Version 3.1.4477.0
15 October 2017
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Bug fixes, including

  • Fix crash in Feature Tracking in installed builds
  • Fix crash when swapping cameras with Smart Histogram brain showing
  • Disable smart histogram brain ‘Apply’ button when no solution
  • Improvements to Smart Histogram suggestions
Download Version 3.1.4460.0
12 October 2017
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Loads of new features including

  • Smart Histogram
  • Sensor Analysis
  • Feature Tracking
  • Seeing Monitor and Auto-Capture
  • Starlight Xpress Camera Support
  • Blind Plate Solving
  • Filename Templates
  • More efficient memory usage

Read More

Remember that installing the SharpCap 3.1 Beta will not uninstall SharpCap 3.0, so if you have any problems with the new version you can quickly switch back to the old version of SharpCap which will still be on your computer

 Download Version 3.1.4776.0
13 December 2017
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  • Smoother zooming of the preview (use CTRL+mouse wheel)
  • Scrolling of the preview (mouse wheel, use SHIFT for horizontal)
  • Reduced CPU consumption for high speed camera preview
  • Removal of old DirectShow option and SPC900 LXMOD support (sorry, casualty of the above improvements – use SharpCap 3.0)
  • Updated Altair SDK