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Newbie, need help with some astrophotography softwares on MAC OS

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#1 Frank_boiv


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Posted 23 May 2020 - 03:08 PM

Hi everyone, 


just bought my first computerized telescope, which is an Celestron Advanced VX 6" Refractor. I also bought an autoguider with that. 


I now read a lot to know which softwares are more suitable for me for astrophotography, knowing that I have a Canon 60DHa DSLR and a Mac... but it's kinda overwhelming. I know it depends on my needs: I mostly want a good easy to use software for deep-sky objects processing. 

For instance, I know I will need a good imaging / capturing software, camera control as well as a guiding application, stacking software, processing software and a post-processing one. But with DSLR and Mac, connections seems pretty complicated? And the steps to follow too...


For Mac users / DSLR or anyone that knows a lot about it:


I downloaded Stellarium as well as Star Walk for coordinates and for practicing.


I heard about Astro Guider, Astro DSLR and Astro Planner. Which one(s) would be the more suited for planning / guiding / image capturing / camera control? And for dithering...something that will correct the mount for longer exposures ?


For stacking I already found an alternative on mac for DSS, which is Starry Sky Stacker. It seems it could do the job. 


For processing / post-processing with mac and DSLR, I would like something that will not look too complicated for me at first: Nebulosity ? Star Tools ?Astro Pixel Processor ? And add PS or Gimp at the end ?

Thanks a lot in advance for the advices. I know it's a lot of work but I will put the efforts. I cannot wait to familiarize myself with my new refractor and my Canon. 




Edited by Frank_boiv, 23 May 2020 - 03:16 PM.

#2 Paul in Northern Michigan

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 08:25 AM

For post processing the photos I believe that many people would recommend Astro Pixel Processor.


This software is excellent at gradient reduction from light pollution.  I have observed how it can convert photos that seem fairly poor into a much better end result.


The price is a little expensive but it does have a 1 time purchase option and they do give you a free trial.


The main work flow is super easy, yet there are many options that I do not understand if I wanted to tweak my results.  The one negative that I have is that there isn't a lot of documentation with the software; yet for many of the terms you can browse your mouse over the option and it will provide some information.  Mabula has stated that full documentation is in the works.


There are some YouTubes for processing with the software.


Not that you would be looking to do this in the beginning but the Astro Pixel Processor software has a unique feature that allows generation of multiple frame mosaics.



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#3 idclimber


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Posted 25 May 2020 - 12:41 PM

For image processing you have two main choices for top end software. They also happen to be the top choices on the PC. Pixinsight and Astro Pixel Processor (APP). Both have a demo version that you can try out for free. 


For a general astro program that will control your mount and capture photos I have been using TheSkyX. Although it is closely tied to their premium mounts it will also control many other companies mounts. I used it for many years with my Meade LX200. This option is kinda spendy especially compared to the free alternatives. You would need the Pro version of the program with the camera module and I would also suggest the T-point add on as well. This would give you a plate solving solution for your mount and camera. I believe they have a 30 day satisfaction guarantee if you are dissatisfied with this solution.


The one shortfall with TheSkyX is automation. There is scripting that does work, but it is somewhat complicated and requires using the Mac Terminal application and either Java or Python.

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