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SharpCap 2.7 stacking - Video Primer for Beginners

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31 replies to this topic

#1 CharlesC

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 01:47 PM

I made a short video to show beginners how to use stacking feature in SharpCap 2.7 with LN300 camera.

https://youtu.be/zIlJHyVWei4

 

Set to 720P to read screen.  Audio is not great, but clear enough.  Not sure why/how Youtube toggles between single view and stack view as it wasn't doing this in SharpCap.  Info may not be entirely correct, but should get newbies started.

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 Censustaker

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 02:19 PM

great video, charles. i liked the histogram tip at the beginning, very useful



#3 Kaikul

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 02:43 PM

Thank you Charles. The part I like most is the one about the gradient.



#4 OC Telescope

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 03:47 PM

Awesome Charles!

 

Would you mind if we linked to that from Revolution Imager, I think lots of new users would benefit from this!

 

Mike

www.RevolutionImager.com



#5 CharlesC

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 05:18 PM

Mike,

 

Yes, you can use the link and my gallery pics however you choose. 

Hopefully, this shortens the learning curve for newbies.

 

Charles


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#6 jturie

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 07:14 PM

Nice quick tutorial....takes a lot of the mystery out of SharpCap.  Thanks for doing it.



#7 Juan Rayo

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 07:20 PM

Mike,

 

Yes, you can use the link and my gallery pics however you choose. 

Hopefully, this shortens the learning curve for newbies.

 

Charles

 

Thank you!

(Absolute newbie here)



#8 ChrisFC

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 06:16 AM

That's great. Wish I watched it before I spent hours wasting my time fumbling around sharpcap last night.

 

Chris


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#9 julietdiane

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 07:32 AM

I am new to astrophotography (just begging in the nursery class). I have managed to get hold of a 2nd hand asi120 MC, sadly

it will stay in the delivery box until spring. Also I only heard about Sharpcap/Registrax/Deepskystacker today, so please bear

with my ignorance.

 

Thanks for taking the effort in making the video, however I have a query: you went straight from the start, adjusting the brightness control then into Live Stack without setting any capture profiles like gain, exposure... etc. Does Live Stack take care of these, or have I missed a trick?

 

Couple more questions if I may:

 

I would seem to someone like me with a uncooled camera that Live stack is the place I want to be and the normal Start Capture then Registrax route would be redundant and hold no advantages over Live Stack?

 

Finally, Am I right in thinking once I generate a Live stack image and saved it, then I would use something like Deepskystacker to view and fine tune

the image for final viewing and saving?



#10 StarMike8SE

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 08:22 AM

Thanks for sharing



#11 CharlesC

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 10:16 AM

1)you went straight from the start, adjusting the brightness control then into Live Stack without setting any capture profiles like gain, exposure... etc. Does Live Stack take care of these, or have I missed a trick?

 

2) Registrax route would be redundant and hold no advantages over Live Stack?

 

3)then I would use something like Deepskystacker to view and fine tune

the image for final viewing and saving?

 

1) You set the gain and exposure in LN300 video camera.  I believe it will work for USB cameras though.  The other settings are to your taste.

 

2) The advantage of Live Stack is its real-time with no intermediate storage of pics.  You can still save a series of pics and process them in Registax.  

 

3) You can save pic as FITS or PNG.  PNG can have basic brightness/contrast/saturation you can adjust in most any pic program. FITS saves far more info (4.8meg) and allows post stretching of histogram and everything else, but requires FITS capable program such as Photoshop.  For me, its best to do all adjustments real-time and save PNG results.


Edited by CharlesC, 26 February 2016 - 10:17 AM.

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#12 julietdiane

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 10:39 AM

Ahh, now I'm beginning to understand, brill.

 

Many Thanks to coming down to my level and giving me a bunk up.



#13 AhBok

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 02:08 PM

Just got my camera this week, watched the video yesterday and duplicated your results on The Whirlpool last night. Many thanks to CharlesC for accelerating my learning curve greatly!
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#14 optinaut

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 04:21 PM

Thanks, CharlesC!  Glad I found this. Better late than never. This answered so many questions.  :waytogo:


Edited by optinaut, 23 March 2016 - 04:22 PM.

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#15 TheRock

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 10:33 AM

I am trying out the Revolution Imager with the USB video capture device and SharpCap. The Software is recognizing the camera as an OEM Device, but the preview pane simply shows a black box. Anyone know why this is happening? I am running Windows 10. Thanks.



#16 CharlesC

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 10:42 AM

Sounds like a win10 problem.  EZcap is seen as SMI device in Win7.  Try plugging/unplugging EZcap and see what cameras come and go in SharpCap to make sure you are selecting EZcap.   I'm not sure EZcap will work with win10.  You may want to start a new topic asking about that.



#17 TheRock

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 10:48 AM

Sounds like a win10 problem.  EZcap is seen as SMI device in Win7.  Try plugging/unplugging EZcap and see what cameras come and go in SharpCap to make sure you are selecting EZcap.   I'm not sure EZcap will work with win10.  You may want to start a new topic asking about that.

 

The CD I received was cracked but I didn't ask for a new one anyway because I don't have a disc drive. Is EZCap even necessary?



#18 mclewis1

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 11:13 AM

SharpCap or any display software does not see or in any way know about the Revolution camera (or any analogue video camera for that matter). The display software only sees the frame grabber. The frame grabber requires a device driver so it's output is visible to the OS and the display software.

 

The usually suggestion is to search for the appropriate driver online - don't use anything on the included CDs. In some cases the driver is entirely loaded by Windows but for most frame grabbers you'll need to download one. 

 

Pay close attention to the frame grabber and the USB interface (and how successful it is within Windows). Many frame grabber device driver setups are in two pieces, one generic one in Windows and one specifically for the frame grabber hardware being used. It's generally a good idea to unplug the frame grabber the first time you install the downloaded driver but Windows will load and run it's drivers as well. Plug the frame grabber in and see if Windows configures the driver. You might need to reboot the OS. Then install the downloaded driver and reboot the OS.

 

When all the drivers are in place you should get good chimes when the grabber is plugged in. You should also see a new USB device in the device manager table. 

 

Only then will SharpCap see the frame grabber as an operating DirectShow device. It's often a good idea to have the camera display it's onscreen menu continuously just to have something to verify everything is being displayed properly.



#19 CharlesC

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 11:31 AM

 

Sounds like a win10 problem.  EZcap is seen as SMI device in Win7.  Try plugging/unplugging EZcap and see what cameras come and go in SharpCap to make sure you are selecting EZcap.   I'm not sure EZcap will work with win10.  You may want to start a new topic asking about that.

 

The CD I received was cracked but I didn't ask for a new one anyway because I don't have a disc drive. Is EZCap even necessary?

 

 

EZcap won't work without driver on CD.  Call Mike at OCT and ask for a new CD, and ask if it will work with Win10. I have successfully loaded EZcap drivers by copying CD to a 8gig USB stick and using stick to install drivers.


Edited by CharlesC, 25 March 2016 - 11:33 AM.

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#20 mclewis1

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 03:59 PM

If Mike is maintaining known good drivers on CD then yeah ... that's definitely the best path. That in and of itself would be good value add over just buying hardware off of the weeb.

 

Figuring out the EZCap specific stuff online can sometimes be tough (lots of download sites with inappropriate drivers) and then there's the ridiculous EasyCap vs. EZCap pirate firmware issues. If someone was using a frame grabber other than the EZCap model I maintain my suggestion about not using included software on CD.



#21 nic35

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 08:20 PM

 

 

Sounds like a win10 problem.  EZcap is seen as SMI device in Win7.  Try plugging/unplugging EZcap and see what cameras come and go in SharpCap to make sure you are selecting EZcap.   I'm not sure EZcap will work with win10.  You may want to start a new topic asking about that.

 

The CD I received was cracked but I didn't ask for a new one anyway because I don't have a disc drive. Is EZCap even necessary?

 

 

EZcap won't work without driver on CD.  Call Mike at OCT and ask for a new CD, and ask if it will work with Win10. I have successfully loaded EZcap drivers by copying CD to a 8gig USB stick and using stick to install drivers.

 

It is not solely a win 10 problem.  I had similar issues with win 7.  Initially I had nothing but a blank (dark) screen - i seem to recall that I made sure that the settings on the right side of the SharpCap frame were set correctly ( proper color space and frame size - which is yubu or whatever that color is and 7xx by 5xx for PAL), and then I toggled back and forth between one of the simulator cameras and the OEM device, and something came to life.

 

Unfortunately,  it never could save an avi or properly stack and save a jpeg.

 

I had an email exchange with Robin of SC, and he ultimately concluded that ..

 

"I'm beginning to suspect that the drivers for the capture device are the underlying problem here - the driver quality on these devices seems to vary between just about OK and downright awful and I have a horrible feeling you might have got one of the awful ones. As I mentioned, I have a couple of capture devices now, although I can only get one to work with Windows 10 now. They both have individual quirks and I had to fix SharpCap to work around them."

 

I recall that i tried some other drivers to no avail.

 

I never loaded - or tried the - the Ulead software that came with the device.  Maybe that unlocks some magic key ?

 

Eventually, I was so frustrated trying to make a free piece of gear work that I bought another device.  Amazon was quoting 4 to 6 week delivery for the "real" easycap from Scotland (but the Scotsmen said 10 working days).  So I went for another, more expensive one that a CN'er recommended - Dazzle dvd recorder from Pinnacle systems.  About $50 from Amazon.  I had experienced much more than $50 of frustration.

 

The dazzle works.

 

j

 

IMHO, I wouldn't beat your head against the wall trying to make the freebie work.  



#22 TheRock

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 09:22 PM

For some reason, when I turn Miloslick on first, it recognizes the Revolution Imager and its output. When I then switch back to SharpCap, it recognizes the input from the Revolution Imager. Kind of odd.

 

I have a Dazzle DVD Recorder, but Windows 10 also does not recognize it. As you mention, I may have to purchase a higher priced capture device from Amazon as well.


Edited by TheRock, 25 March 2016 - 09:30 PM.


#23 TheRock

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 08:31 AM

Finding drivers for some of these Chinese clones can be an extremely dangerous proposition with malware, viruses, etc. So, I ordered this one that is supposed to be Windows 10 compatible: http://www.amazon.co...i_detailpages00

 

I'll report back when I can.



#24 AhBok

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 01:29 PM

For some reason, when I turn Miloslick on first, it recognizes the Revolution Imager and its output. When I then switch back to SharpCap, it recognizes the input from the Revolution Imager. Kind of odd.
 
I have a Dazzle DVD Recorder, but Windows 10 also does not recognize it. As you mention, I may have to purchase a higher priced capture device from Amazon as well.


I noticed the same sort of thing withe cheapie ezcap clone. I purchased the more expensive, but far better "real" EZCap and have had none of the wired issues I had with the clone and Windows 10. I believe Robin is correct that the culprit is the drivers for the clones don't play well with Win10, or at least in some cases. That said the clone does work as well as the real EZCAP with my Windows 8 laptop.
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#25 nic35

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 10:16 PM

I take back what I said about the Dazzle working !  Tonight the dazzle wouldn't work - All I got was a blank blue screen, and the only resolution it offered was 320x160 or so, and something smaller.  Daytime troubleshooting in order.  

 

Image on the monitor was pretty good.

 

On a lark, I threw in the "knock-off" easycap.  And, of course that worked.  Well, sort of... I was able to see and capture a live stack.  But when I went to save it, SharpCap crashed.  So it goes.

 

The saga continues

 




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