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Clueless in SharpCap

astrophotography beginner CMOS imaging
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#1 arrowspace90


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Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:30 AM

Can anyone give hints to this beginner?


I have a Rasa 8 and a ZWO ASI533 camera.


I am trying to practice with SharpCap (because it's suggested for beginners) but even reading the manual, it's over my head.  I don't understand most of the terms used.  I have no photography background, back when I had a dedicated digital camera, I set everything on AUTO.  Should I do that with SharpCap when it hopefully recognizes my camera?  I will go after DSO, not planets.

When I select the "practice" camera and DSO, the Orion Nebula looks overexposed on the screen.


Can anyone familiar with my equipment and SharpCap suggest settings or a tutorial that can get me started?

#2 Biggen


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Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:39 AM

Did you install the drivers from ZWO for your camera?  That needs to be step one.


After that, you can fire up Sharpcap and choose the camera (You can select it from a Menu at the top, can't remember exactly which one).  Then you can adjust the Gain and Exposure length to get a picture.  If you are doing this in the day you will need a very low gain and short exposure.  You will probably be out of focus as well so you will need to fiddle with the focus knob on your scope.


There are tons of tutorials on Youtube that deal with just Sharpcap.  May want to spend an hour or so prowling around over there so you can get a good feel for how the UI works.

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#3 pkrallis


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Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:43 AM

Your best bet is to join a local astronomy group where you will find a lot of people who will help.  In the mean time there are several excellent You Tube presentations that can familiarize you with both basics and Sharpcap

#4 bobzeq25



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Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:48 AM

This may get you started.  RASA 8, 183, yours should be almost identical.


Start Sharpcap.  In the top menu, under the header "cameras", select your 533.  If it's not listed, you must fix that first.  Downloading the Windows and ASCOM drivers from ZWO is a requirement.


On the right there's a tab for camera settings.  You hover over it to open up the menu, then expand the various sections by clicking on the down arrows.  Explore each section.  Many times you just use the defaults.  Some settings you want.


Color or mono as appropriate.  Output format is FITs.  Binning 1. 


Gain and exposure as appropriate. Click LX for long exposures.  If your camera has an offset setting (some do, some don't) that, for some reason, is called "brightness". 


Thermal settings are pretty intuitive.


At this point Sharpcap should be displaying exposures, one after another.  If not, you have to fix that next.


On the top, click "start capture".  On the dropdown box tell SC how many subs you want.  Start the capture.


The subs will be stored in the folder Desktop-SC captures.  There's a pretty intuitive file structure.


Try it, let us know what happens.

Edited by bobzeq25, 17 January 2020 - 11:57 AM.

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#5 OleCuss



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Posted 17 January 2020 - 01:08 PM

You may find the AstroJedi guide helpful?  https://www.cloudyni...ck-start-guide/

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