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BackyardEOS is born!

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#1 guyroch

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:17 AM

BackyardEOS ~ Purpose-built software for astrophotography!

I’m pleased to announce that I have just given birth to purpose-built software for astrophotographers imaging with Canon DSLR cameras that everyone can afford.

If you’re reading this page, chances are you are looking for an alternative to the current software you are using for image acquisition. Don’t be afraid, I’m one of you guys and I know how much we spend on software versus OTA, mounts, and cameras. By selling software I’m positioning myself on the wrong side of the economic scale (or budget if you prefer) but my main objective is to provide a simple, yet effective, software for a price that I would expect to pay myself and not a penny more.

Ever dreamed of live FWHM feedback when trying to focus?

View the entire DSLR field of view while trying to frame/center a target?

What about dithering between frames, that would be nice?

Automatic adding of meaningful Exif metadata to the raw .cr2 files such as target name, filters used, current temperature?

BackyardEOS delivers on all of these capabilities right out of the box, and does so much more. But don’t take my word for it; here are some unsolicited testimonials from real users that have been generous enough to offer their time and effort to test BackyardEOS in its infancy stage to ensure good quality prior to its official release.

Mark Dearing: "BackyardEOS makes my two recent imaging sessions so easy and simple I am truly amazed; I have stopped using any other programs..."

Chris Hutcheson: "After using this software, I don't see how I managed without it. It makes the whole process of imaging with a DSLR much, much easier."

Ferran Bosch: "the truth is that BackyardEOS is wonderful, very easy to use and very intuitive, very friendly."

John White: "This program looks like it has a lot of promise! I especially like the Frame and Focus mode! All in all, this is an outstanding piece of software and I see it becoming one of my favorites. Well done!"

Bassnut (IceInSpace): "I must say, that looks very interesting. A simple user interface with the features you need. The live view focus looks comprehensive, the 1st DSLR app I've seen with proper live FWHM focus feedback."


I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has participated in the beta testing rounds. The quality and craftsmanship of BackyardEOS is made possible because of people like you!

Please visit us at http://backyardeos.binaryrivers.com/

Proud father of BackyardEOS! I’ve attached a few family pictures below.

Guylain Rochon

#2 guyroch

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:18 AM

Main imaging screen...

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#3 guyroch

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:18 AM

Frame & Focus...

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#4 guyroch

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:19 AM

Frame & Focus with Bahtinov Mask...

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#5 guyroch

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:19 AM

Drift Alignment...

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#6 pfile

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:43 AM

any chance we'll ever see a macosx version of this software?

#7 guyroch

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:52 AM

Sadly not anytime soon, sorry. The application is built on .Net and therefore not compatible with Mac. There is always the Mono platform which is said to be a pretty good .Net equivalent platform for Mac but this is not for today or even tomorrow.

Thank you for your interest.

Guylain

#8 pfile

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 02:38 AM

bummer, yeah i tried to port a .net app to mono a while back and failed spectacularly. maybe mono has improved recently, i don't know...

#9 RogerRZ

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 08:57 AM

Hi Guilain, I'm sorry I wasn't able to test more than I did, but the weather just hasn't been cooperating...

Good luck with the program!

#10 Poochpa

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 09:04 AM

Can the night vision be turned off? I use a red filter over my laptop screen.

#11 guyroch

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 10:08 AM

bummer, yeah i tried to port a .net app to mono a while back and failed spectacularly. maybe mono has improved recently, i don't know...


The application may need to be adapted slightly to run on Mono... but if I decide to go that way I will adapt it. Again this is not for today or tomorrow though.

Guylain

#12 guyroch

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 10:10 AM

Hi Guilain, I'm sorry I wasn't able to test more than I did, but the weather just hasn't been cooperating...

Good luck with the program!


No problem Roger! I really, really, really appreciate all the help I got from the entire team of testers (about 12 dedicated individuals). The quality and craftsmanship of BackyardEOS is made possible because of people like you.

Thanks you

Guylain

#13 guyroch

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 10:12 AM

Can the night vision be turned off? I use a red filter over my laptop screen.


Not in the first release, sorry. But this is the second request I have received to 'skin' the application for daytime use... I think I'll have to consider seriously.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Guylain

#14 Nick Rose

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 01:51 PM

I know the Canon 300D Rebel does not have a live view, but will this software down the line support the Rebel.

#15 guyroch

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 07:57 PM

This looks great! I am interested in purchasing it, just curious about one thing though. What do you think your system requirements are for it? I am using an old, circa 2000 pIII 800 machine with winxp.


The oldest machine I have here is an old Compaq Presario laptop with 512MB of ram and it runs smoothly for imaging. In live view mode the CPU hovers at about 85%... there is a lot going on during live view; including live FWHM feedback. During imaging though the CPU hovers at about 25% and peeks to to 90% for a few seconds during download.

Currently I have set the live view to take 1 image stream every 100ms. If this proves to be too much for a PIII 800 I can make a configuration available to boost it to say 200ms (or whatever you wish ~ I would make it configurable).

Try it, I'd be very interested in knowing the results. I can add the config for you during the trial so you can you see how your PIII takes it.

Guylain

#16 guyroch

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 08:21 PM

I know the Canon 300D Rebel does not have a live view, but will this software down the line support the Rebel.


Sadly the original 300D is a type 1 protocol camera.

--- Quote from the Canon SDK documentation ---
EOS Kiss Digital N , 350D, REBELXT, and EOS 5D model cameras come shipped from the factory with communications set for [Print/PTP] but functions that support PC connections are limited. For example, capture-related features cannot be used. Since these cameras use [PC connection] (Type 1 protocol) as the standard for connecting to a PC, they are Type 1 protocol standard cameras.
--- END ---


I'm interested in supporting it but to be honest it's not for today or tomorrow.

I know I'll be attracting an a different market segment if I do support the legacy type 1 protocol cameras as Canon calls them. I'm not saying I won't support them, I'm just saying not now.

Here is the reason why and what it would take for me to support the legacy type 1 protocol cameras.

1) I would need to purchase an old camera, any legacy type 1 protocol camera.
2) I would need to purchase as DSUSB cable
3) I would need to adapt BackyardEOS to support such connection. Right from the get go, the Canon SDK does not operate in the same manner with Type 1 cameras as it does with Type 2 cameras. No major issues, but I do need Type 1 camera to be successful at it.

I hope this shed some light in what (an why) the legacy cameras are not supported in this first release.

Thank you for your interest.

Guylain Rochon

#17 nofxrx

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 09:34 PM

CONGRATS Guylain!!!
Backyard EOS is absolutely the best DSLR aquisition SW I have ever used...and it is so easy to use, it makes no sense to use anything else!!!!

Again, congrats and good luck on this venture!!

CHEERS!!! :band:

#18 nofxrx

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 09:37 PM

Oh, the skin idea is a pretty good one..it doesnt bother me as I never use anything to cover my laptop(while at home)..but it would be useful in the future if I get out to some star parties..

#19 guyroch

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 11:42 PM

There have been quite a number of conversations going on today regarding the pricing structure of BackyardEOS. The conversations have taken places on several astronomy forums around the world where I introduced BackyardEOS and in my Yahoo support group as well.

Let me reassure everyone by saying “I hear you!”

Your feedback, positive or negative, is important to me. It will make me stronger and BackyardEOS a better product that everyone can enjoy without worrying about price.

I’m serious about making BackyardEOS a household name in the DSLR imaging space and if $8 a year stands in the way of it becoming just that I will gladly remove this barrier. The money is not that important to me, your satisfaction is!

I’m also not keen in raising the price much higher. I think that $24 is a fair introductory price and anything higher will have potential buyers think twice before purchasing and this would go against the “making BackyardEOS a household name” concept.


With this said… BackyardEOS is re-born!

1) The mandatory $8 annual fee is removed
2) The purchase price stays at $24
3) I will send a new license file with no expiry date to everyone that has already purchased the software. I want to be fair to everyone.
4) I will update the web site accordingly.

For this price you will get one single user license for BackyardEOS, one year support, and one year free service software updates with bug fixes and minor software enhancements as they become available.

Discounts will be offered for renewing your support agreement should you wish to continue with this service level. You are free to continue using your current licensed copy of BackyardEOS should you decide not to renew your support agreement; you will simply no longer be entitled to free service software updates with bug fixes and minor software enhancements as they become available.

Discounts will also be offered to newer major release upgrades with major software enhancement to all license holders regardless if you have renewed your service level or not.

This is still licensed software and the End User License Agreement is in effect at all times whether you renew your support agreement or not.


Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has provided feedback on this very important matter, instant feedback at times ;). Life is a learning experience and today was no exception for me.

Clear skies,

Guylain Rochon

#20 bilgebay

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 06:58 AM

Thank you Guylain. I will buy your software today. It looks very promising.

An iPhone version will be great. I am using Sky Safari for all the planning and for wireless telescope control. It works like a dream. Having a camera control on iPhone platform will help avoiding a laptop in the field completely. This is a suggestion for future development.

All the best.

Sedat

#21 Greg K.

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 07:03 AM

Minimum screen resolution is 1024 x 768? So no good with 1024 x 600 Netbooks?

#22 Kellogg

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:32 AM

thats unfortunate as I was about to purchase the software, thanks for pointing it out.

Minimum screen resolution is 1024 x 768? So no good with 1024 x 600 Netbooks?



#23 guyroch

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:36 AM

thats unfortunate as I was about to purchase the software, thanks for pointing it out.

Minimum screen resolution is 1024 x 768? So no good with 1024 x 600 Netbooks?


I have had the same request on another Astronomy forum yesterday, I will be working on an 1024 x 600 version and should be available in a week or 2. I will however make it an option, or better yet auto-detect, because I want to want to keep using as much screen real estate as possible for the other users.

1024 x 600 is just around the corner :)

Thanks for support and interest.

Guylain

#24 guyroch

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:42 AM

Thank you Guylain. I will buy your software today. It looks very promising.

An iPhone version will be great. I am using Sky Safari for all the planning and for wireless telescope control. It works like a dream. Having a camera control on iPhone platform will help avoiding a laptop in the field completely. This is a suggestion for future development.

All the best.

Sedat


I'm not saying no to iPhone or Android but I am saying not now :( I have enough on my plate to keep me busy for a sort while. I know I will definitely be reaching a new user base if I do and be a pioneer in doing do :)

Guylain

#25 Greg K.

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:46 AM

thats unfortunate as I was about to purchase the software, thanks for pointing it out.

Minimum screen resolution is 1024 x 768? So no good with 1024 x 600 Netbooks?


I have had the same request on another Astronomy forum yesterday, I will be working on an 1024 x 600 version and should be available in a week or 2. I will however make it an option, or better yet auto-detect, because I want to want to keep using as much screen real estate as possible for the other users.

1024 x 600 is just around the corner :)

Thanks for support and interest.

Guylain


Thanks. I'll definitely be looking into taking this for a spin when that feature is available.






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