The more I use it the more I love this Sharpcap Pro tool.
The "Brain" function can be a bit hit or miss, but the Smart Histogram tool itself is awesome. After completing an alignment....
1. I start by using an extreme short exposure (1 second) and a bright star to set my focus.
2. I then use GoTo to slew to my intended DSO target.
3. I open Smart Histogram in Logarithmic mode.
4. I adjust Gain until the two upper green parallel bars are the same (maximum) length.
5. I set Exposures so that the left edge of the histogram curve is just to the right of the left end of these bars.
6. Invariably, steps 4 & 5 put me very close to where I need to be, and is typically at higher gain and shorter exposures than if I apply these fundamentals using trial and error. .
7. I press auto-stretch and auto colour balance in Smart Histogram. These features work like magic.
8. I commence my stacking.
9. The entire process is software aided. No more guesswork as regards Gain and Exposures.
10. I can later tweak stuff to taste, but the software auto-delivers you close to where you need to be.
Smart Histogram works by using the characteristics of your sensor. For my Atik Horizon camera I had to prior perform a Sensor Analysis. However, for my ZWO ASI294 this step had already been done in SharpCap by the software's author. I believe this is so for all popular ZWO camera models.
Smsrt Histogram is really clever and wholly justifies the modest cost of the upgrade to Sharpcap Pro. I think Smart Histogram makes EAA truly easy, removing doubt about the best Gain and Exposure settings. Hence, worthy of this thread. As I said, the Brain tool is probably still work in progress, but the rest is really useful.