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 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. Each group has its own heading colour
which helps you quickly identify the correct group when looking for
a particular control.
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).
· Save As – creates a new profile from the current camera control values.
· Manage – shows the Capture Profile management screen, which allows you to rename, delete and set capture profiles as default.
A new Capture Profile can be created by clicking Save As, 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.
If a default profile is set for a camera then that profile is automatically loaded each time the camera is opened.
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.
You can configure dark subtraction and flat frame correction here. SharpCap’s flat frame correction code has been designed to allow it to process images at high speed from USB3 cameras, allowing the live removal of artifacts such as dust shadows will capturing lunar/solar/planetary imaging videos. See and for more details.
This control shows an always-on mini histogram of the current image and allows the image displayed on screen to be ‘stretched’ without affecting the data saved to file when capturing. Stretching the displayed image means that the brightness and/or contrast can be enhanced, or faint detail can be brightened easily. The stretch function provides similar effects to the Image Boost options in the FX dropdown but with finer control.
Seefor more details.
The testing Controls group is specific to the two test cameras included with SharpCap. The controls allow for the simulation of atmospheric conditions, addition of simulated dark noise or dust specks and a simulated ST4 guiding port.
These are manufacturer dependent, examples include:
· Telescope controls.
· Thermal controls such as fan on/off.
· GPS settings.