SharpCap Still Mode

Discussions, Bug Reports and Issues related to Beta versions of SharpCap
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SharpCap Still Mode

Post by admin »

Still Mode is a big change for SharpCap – up until now SharpCap has always run cameras as though they are audio cameras. That means taking images all the time and displaying them on screen, but saving them only when you (effectively) press the record button. This has worked well for WebCams and for a vast range of USB2 and USB3 CMOS cameras, but it can cause problems for high resolution CCD cameras and for DSLR cameras connected via the new Ascom drivers that are being written. For these types of cameras, downloading an image may take a long time and may lock-up SharpCap application making it almost unusable. Having the option to change into still camera mode should make these cameras much more usable in SharpCap.

You can switch between video mode and still mode by toggling the 'Live View' button at the left-hand end of the toolbar.

In video mode your toolbar will look like this:
live.PNG
live.PNG (53.03 KiB) Viewed 1937 times
If you turn off live view in order to enter still mode, it will look like this:
still.PNG
still.PNG (62.81 KiB) Viewed 1937 times
The main difference is that you will notice in still mode are:

* No images will be captured from the camera unless you press one of the capturing buttons
* A new 'Framing Shot' button appears on the toolbar. This will take a single image from the camera but will not save it to file.
* If your camera has adjustable gain and SharpCap understands the way that the gain control of your camera works then there will be a 'Framing Shot Quick' button available in the drop-down under the 'Framing Shot' button. The quick version of the button will increase the gain to maximum, reduce the exposure so as to keep the brightness roughly the same, take a single shot and show it on screen and then put the gain and exposure back to their original values.
* Enabling some tools, such as live stack will automatically move the camera back into video mode. Closing these tools should put the camera back into still mode. If you think there are any cases where the tool should not be putting the camera into video mode, or it is putting into video mode unnecessarily, please let me know.
* The existing capture buttons – 'Start Capture', 'Quick Capture' and 'Snapshot' still work as they do in video mode, although the implementation is slightly different behind-the-scenes.
* If you are using the sequencer tool for deep sky imaging, then prefer to use still mode for capturing rather than video mode. Certain features of the sequencing tools such as periodic dithering require the camera to be running in still mode so that the dinner can happen between frames.

Most of the commonly used cameras in SharpCap (apart from WebCams) support switching the camera between still mode and video mode. This currently includes at least : Altair, Ascom, Atik, Moravian, QHY, SX, ZWO, Test Camera. I will consider adding other types of camera to this list if there is demand and the camera SDK supports taking individual frames.

Note that if you wish to start a camera specifically in live mode or specifically in still mode, you should select the correct state of the 'Live View' button before opening the camera.

As always, shout out with any additional questions.

Robin
tp2415
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Re: SharpCap Still Mode

Post by tp2415 »

Hello,

This version 3.3 with Live view and still mode is a very good idea. :D
I like Sharpcap very much with the built-in driver instead of very slow ASCOM drivers.
I am doing deep sky imaging with sequencer not planetary so synchronizing the dithering after shooting was a big aim for me.
I don't see the live view menu in the current version 3.2.6423 :roll:
Where can I download this version 3.3 with still mode ??
Does it work with a QHY183?
Thank you
Best Regards
Jean-Francois
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Re: SharpCap Still Mode

Post by Jean-Francois »

Hello,

I test the still mode with my Canon 6D camera and the ASCOM driver for Canon camera.
It works fine ... and it is good to switch to "Still Mode" (click on "Live View") before opening the camera.

One point ... for focusing the camera with the live view (of the Canon camera), switch the camera in live view before the Live View in SharpCap.
After finding the focus, stop the Live View of SharpCap before you stop the live view of the camera.


Regards,
Jean-Francois
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Re: SharpCap Still Mode

Post by admin »

Hi,

the new version of SharpCap (3.3) with the still mode is still in testing, but there are now version for anyone who wants to try it out download and test with. Find the downloads on this forum thread

viewtopic.php?f=38&t=3121

I'm afraid I have no idea if anyone has tested it yet with the QHY 183 – I would hope it would work, but it would be interesting to get a report one way or the other.

Cheers, Robin

PS.thanks for the tips on using the live mode with DSLR's – I'm sure they will be very useful.
tp2415
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Re: SharpCap Still Mode

Post by tp2415 »

Hello,

I made a beta test of Sharpcap 3.3 with the QHY183. The way to build the sequencer is very good :D. I am happy to test it in the sky: I will get rid of Maxim DL. On the QH183 In fact the still mode does crash Sharpcap if I use the "built-in" driver. If I use the ASCOM driver the still mode is working fine (but slow for sure). This issue is also present in the 3.2: forcing still mode is not working whatever the version of Sharpcap with the "built-in" driver. Could you please fix this issue?
Thank you in advance
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Re: SharpCap Still Mode

Post by admin »

Hi,

I've just checked and I'm not seeing any uploaded bug reports for the QHY183 camera registered again SharpCap 3.3 - did you manage to submit the crash report when you had the problem in still mode?

Cheers, Robin
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Re: SharpCap Still Mode

Post by umasscrew39 »

Hi Robin

I moved this from another post I started (but deleted it) as I realized it would be better placed here.......................

As promised, I got my hands on a SX camera and did an initial indoor test - weather too bad to try outside yet. I ran a series of dark frames and light frames and it worked flawlessly both in live view and still mode. No hang-ups as is the case using v3.2 that I always experienced in the past. Once we get some clear nights, I will take an image and see how it goes.

Regards,
Bruce
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Re: SharpCap Still Mode

Post by admin »

Hi Bruce,

thanks for the report - that's great news!

Robin
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Re: SharpCap Still Mode

Post by tp2415 »

Hello,
There is no bug report on QHY183 with built in driver because the software is frozen :( . In fact when playing with the liveview buttton: I see that the Liveview mode is working but not the Still mode. Please tell me if need more explanation: I really want to avoid the ASCOM driver. ;)
Cheers Emmanuel
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