SharpCap

What is SharpCap?

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 wide range of features makes SharpCap suitable for many types of astro-imaging including Planetary, Lunar, Solar, Deep Sky and EAA (Electronically Assisted Astronomy). A clear and logical UI makes the program easy for beginners to use. Comprehensive documentation will also help those who are just getting started.

Features

Intuitive and Easy to Use
Logical application layout using standard, familiar Windows UI elements
Video and Still Capture
Capture video to AVI and SER format; stills to PNG, FITS, TIFF and JPG
Planetary, Solar and Lunar Imaging
Support for high-speed cameras including USB3 speeds for lucky imaging
Deep Sky Imaging
Exposure time only limited by camera capabilities
Image Processing
Apply dark frame subtraction and flat frame correction. Flat frames can be applied for  high speed imaging [PRO]
Live Stacking/EAA
See live deep sky images build on screen, each frame aligned and derotated before adding to the stack
Polar Alignment
Polar align using your guidescope – the easiest to use polar alignment tool available! [PRO]
Full Control of Camera
Full set of camera controls available alongside the capture area
High Quality Histogram
Ensure proper exposure settings – use selection box to show histogram of a limited area
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
Every capture file gets a unique name, you can configure how they are organised by target, date, time, etc. 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.
ASCOM Focuser Support
Control your ASCOM focuser from within SharpCap, create graphs of focus quality versus focuser position.
ASCOM Filterwheel Support Control filter wheels from within SharpCap for LRGB capturing
ASCOM Mount Support
Adjust the position of your mount from within SharpCap, including spiral search to find objects just out of view.
Plate Solving
Plate solve using AstroTortilla/ASPS/Ansvr to sync your ASCOM mount to the correct position automatically.
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.
Scripting Language SharpCap doesn’t quite do what you want? Add your own functionality using Python scripting. [PRO]
Autofocus Assistance Auto scan for and return to point of best focus [PRO]
Smart Histogram No more guessing at deep sky imaging settings [PRO]
Feature Tracking Automatically track image features during high speed imaging [PRO]
Seeing Monitor Keep track of the quality of seeing in an objective way
Seeing Triggered Capture Automatically capture when the seeing passes a set threshold [PRO]
Sensor Analysis Let SharpCap automatically measure the characteristics (read noise and e/ADU) of your astro camera
Optimized Memory Use Use your PC memory to reduce dropped frames when capturing [PRO]
Mini Histogram + Display Stretch Always on mini histogram with display stretch tools – see the faint stuff on screen without altering saved data.

Supported Cameras

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ZWO Cameras
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Supported Astronomy Cameras

Supported Webcams / Frame Grabbers

  • Almost all webcams
  • Most frame grabbers
  • Special support for adjusting parameters of the SPC900 webcam in the settings panel
  • LX modified SPC900 cameras (SharpCap 3.0 and earlier versions)

Screenshots

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Using SharpCap

There are some great video tutorials on using SharpCap for Astrophotography over on the Tutorials board at the astronomyshed.co.uk forum (Note that you need to be a forum member to access the Tutorials). You can find more SharpCap video tutorials on Youtube. If you prefer written documentation, you can find it here.

Getting SharpCap

Head on over to the Downloads page.

Upgrade to SharpCap Pro – only £10 a year