The capabilities and available controls of the active camera are displayed in the Camera Control Panel. The groups and controls displayed can vary depending on:
· The manufacturer of the attached camera.
· The model of camera (even from the same manufacturer)
See Camera Controls for a full description. Common camera controls are described first followed by descriptions of manufacturer specific camera controls.
The controls are grouped logically and each group can be
expanded/closed as required.
The control groups can be grabbed with a mouse and the order
re-arranged to suit user preferences. To reset the order to
default, use Options > Reset Control
Order from the main menu.
· The title bar of the panel can be used to drag the panel out of the main SharpCap form, for example to place it on a second monitor.
· The pin icon can be used to Auto Hide the Camera Control Panel, leaving it docked at the side.
· A new value can be typed in for many controls. Any camera controls showing a numeric value (gain, exposure, brightness and many others) can be changed by typing a new value into the display box and pressing <Enter> or <Tab>. If a value typed in is out of range, the value will be ignored.
A Capture Profile is a collection of camera settings stored in a text file. Various profiles can be loaded to have instant access to known collections of settings for different targets and cameras.
· Load – loads the values from the capture profile currently selected in the drop down and applies them to the camera controls.
· Save – takes the current values of the camera controls and writes them to the profile currently selected in the dropdown (overwrites the profile).
· New – creates a new profile from the current camera control values.
· Set Default – by selecting a profile and clicking Set Default, the displayed profile will become the default for the camera when SharpCap next opens the camera.
A new Capture Profile can be created by clicking New, entering a meaningful profile name, followed by OK.
The available stored Capture Profiles can be accessed from the drop down:
Note, changing the selected item in the drop down of profile names doesn't do anything by itself, it just changes the profile used if Save or Load is pressed.
The controls in this section allow management of the resolution, bit depth, colour space and binning of the camera as well as the save format for any captured images.
An alternate Colour Space can be chosen if required.
When the output format is set to Auto, SharpCap will chose the most appropriate save format for capture files depending on the colour mode chosen and the exposure length.
The controls in this section allow management of the exposure, gain and other mostly hardware related features of the camera.
The controls in this section allow application of basic image processing such as brightness, gamma and contrast to the images being captured by the camera. The range of controls available is determined by the camera manufacturer/camera driver author.
SharpCap can add a timestamp showing the date and time to captured frames from many cameras. Supported cameras include ZWO, QHY, Altair and iNova cameras, and DirectShow cameras when capturing in MONO8 or RGB24 format.
Adding a timestamp to DirectShow cameras capturing in compressed formats (such as I420, MJPG, YUY2) is not currently supported as SharpCap would need to decompress, alter and recompress each frame.
Astro cameras can have a dark frame applied by selecting one here. Webcams and frame grabber devices can only apply a dark frame in the Live Stacking options.
These controls allow adjustment of the brightness, contrast and gamma used to display images, allowing faint detail to be brought out easily. They provide similar effect to the Image Boost options in the FX dropdown but with finer control.
For all supported cameras (except DirectShow cameras), SharpCap includes a Display Controls group in the control panel. Any changes made in the Display Controls section only affect how the images are displayed on screen – there will not be any changes made to the images saved to any capture files.
The testing Controls group is specific to the two test cameras included with SharpCap. The controls allow for the simulation of atmospheric conditions.
These are manufacturer dependent, examples include:
· Telescope controls.
· Thermal controls such as fan on/off.
· GPS settings.