SharpCap 2.7.2027 Beta now available

The big news of this release is the addition of support for Celestron/Imaging Source cameras. A big thank you to f1telescopes for organising some cameras for me to work with, which is really the only practical way to support a new model of camera. SharpCap should offer pretty much full control of these cameras now, including ROI, binning, 12/16 bit modes, RAW output etc. Obviously I’ve tested with just a couple of models, so there could still be gremlins lurking in other models in the range – bug reports welcome.

Another improvement to camera support in this release is a further update to the new QHY SDK, which, along with some bug fixes in the SharpCap code, means that more QHY cameras should be supported correctly now. I’ve had reports of pretty much the whole QHY5**** range working correctly. Thanks to Modern Astronomy for the help in getting this sorted.

ZWO owners need not feel left out – particularly if you are lucky enough to have one of the new cooled models which now will show the thermal stats in the status bar for easy reference. Additionally there have been a few more bug fixes in both SharpCap and the ZWO SDK.

To round off the ‘cameras with an updated SDK’ list, Altair and Basler cameras also both have updates. Basler cameras now need Pylon v5 installed and have had a few bug fixes applied to make sure they work nicely with the new UI for exposure.

Aside from a number of issues reported via the online error report submission, one fix of note is that when I added support for RGB to the SER file format a while back I didn’t notice that the byte order was actually BGR, which means that the red and blue channels are swapped in RGB SER files up until this new build which fixes the issue. SharpCap still writes BGR format to SER, but now flags it correctly in the header. I wouldn’t necessarily advise using RGB/BGR SER output if you have RAW available, since there is no gain in quality and the file is 3 times bigger…

Finally, you’ll notice that SharpCap has a new installer. This is needed because the Celestron/Imaging Source SDK needs a Microsoft component to be installed to work properly and rather than just warn you that it was missing I thought that the right approach was to install it automatically. To be honest, lots of people will have this component installed already as many different software packages rely on it, but in that case the installer will happily skip over it, and if you don’t happen to have it, everything will just work. The new installer needs a bit of love and care applied to its UI – probably by the next release.

Anyway, as usual find the download here.