About SharpCap?

SharpCap is an easy-to-use webcam and Astronomy camera capture tool. It is primarily designed for astronomical use.

I initially wrote SharpCap because I got fed up with the awkward control over camera settings in programs like Amcap, Open Video Capture, etc.
The main goals were to be easy to use when observing, and to help avoid mistakes like capturing with the wrong resolution or camera settings, or overwriting an existing file accidentally.
Over the years SharpCap has grown from a webcam only tool into a much more comprehensive capture tool capable of directly controlling many astronomy oriented and other cameras.

Main Features

  • Camera controls always open alongside the capture window - no need to open dialogs
  • Can save and restore capture profiles, which store all the camera settings - once you have your camera set up perfectly to capture the moon, save the settings and restore them later
  • Can adjust camera settings during capture if necessary
  • Automatic file name generation for each new capture - no more overwritten captures
  • Camera settings written to file alongside every capture - no more trying to remember what settings you used.
  • Limit capture length by time or frames, or just take a single frame
  • Live histogram support, including support for 16 bits per pixel (65536 levels).
  • Six different focus aids - Contrast detection * 2, Bahtinov, Fourier Analysis and FWHM * 2.
  • Support for ASCOM Cameras, Focusers, Filter Wheels and Mount control.
  • Focuser positon vs focus score graph when using ASCOM focuser.
  • Night mode for red UI
  • Zoomable preview
  • Overlay a movable, rotatable reticule on the preview
  • Support for running a sequence of captures
  • Built in Python scripting engine, allowing SharpCap to be controlled and extended.
  • Live Stacking - support for video astronomy
  • Polar Alignment tool

Supported Cameras

Supported Astronomy Cameras

Basler cameras
Altair Astro Cameras
ZWO cameras
Celestron and Imaging Source Cameras

Point Grey (now FLIR) Cameras
Webcams and Frame Grabbers

Cameras with ASCOM Drivers

Supported Webcams

  • Almost all webcams
  • Special support for adjusting parameters of the SPC900 webcam in the settings panel
  • LX modified SPC900 cameras (serial or parallel)


Using SharpCap

There are some great video tutorials on using SharpCap for Astrophotography over on the Tutorials board at the forum (Note that you need to be a forum member to access the Tutorials).

Getting SharpCap

Head on over to the Downloads page.

Feature Requests

Got an idea for a new feature? Let me know by posting here. You can also see features suggested by others and join the discussion.

SharpCap Source Code?

Versions of SharpCap up to and including 1.5 included the source code as part of the installer. In the move to a new installer technology in version 2, this inclusion of the source code was no longer practical to maintain, so it was removed.

The latest versions of SharpCap are no longer open source, but remain free to download and for the use of core features.


Get in touch via the AstronomyShed or StargazersLounge forums, or you can email: