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
  • Useful preview transforms - these preprocess each frame of the image when previewing:
    • Highlight over exposed areas
    • Image boost (increase gain to find faint things)
    • Frame Stacking
    • RGB align
  • Live histogram support, including support for 16 bits per pixel (65536 levels).
  • Three different focus aids - Contrast detection, Bahtinov and FWHM.
  • Support for ASCOM Cameras, Focusers, Filter Wheels and Mount control.
  • Night mode
  • Zoom the preview
  • Overlay a movable, rotatable reticule on the preview
  • Support for Basler cameras, including unique Basler LX mode support
  • 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

Supported Cameras

  • Almost all webcams
  • Basler cameras that use the Basler Pylon drivers
  • Most cameras with an ASCOM driver
  • Special support for adjusting parameters of the SPC900 webcam in the settings panel
  • LX modified SPC900 cameras (serial or parallel)
  • ZWOptical cameras
  • QHY cameras
  • iNova cameras (Experimental)
  • Ximea cameras (Experimental)


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.

I currently do not make the source code to the latest versions of SharpCap available for download. I am (still, after much thought) undecided about whether to put the whole codebase on GitHub or to just keep it private.

I will make the source code available to individuals with a genuine interest in improving or modifying SharpCap on request - please get in contact with me to discuss this.


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