Well, it's finally happened - SharpCap 2.0 is finished, or at least finished enough :) One of the big features I have added is an auto-update facility, so it's going to be much easier to make sure that everyone gets new versions with features and bug fixes in future.
In no particular order, the new features in 2.0 (compared to 1.5) include
- Support for QHY Cameras
- Improved support for ASCOM, ASI, Ximea and Basler Cameras
- Filter wheel support
- Improved focus score calculation
- Enhancements to the reticule - including the option of a circular one
- Automatic updates and bug reporting
- Dozens of bug fixes
The installer for SharpCap 2.0 can be found here
Getting SharpCap 2.0 out of the door is taking longer than I'd hoped. Right now there are only a couple of things left that I want to fix before release - these are
- QHY camera support - it's working for a lot of cameras now, but needs some tweaking either in SharpCap or the QHY SDK for a few - feedback welcome!
- Auto update notification - nothing too intrusive, just a way for the program to check for a newer version online and give you the option of downloading it.
Hopefully I'll get onto those fairly soon now (especially if the weather cools down a bit!)
Anyway, I've just finished working my way through a bunch of bug reports that have been uploaded and have managed to fix about three quarters of the reported problems, which I'm quite pleased with. The new (almost bug free?) beta build (1.99.744) is available from the downloads page.
Sharpcap 2 beta (build 1.99.710) is now available.
Lots of improvements in this build
- Many small bugs fixed from crash reports received (thanks to all those who submit their crash reports!)
- Improved ASI camera support (you should be able to use the WDM drivers if you want now, as long as you choose the WDM driver as the first camera you open after starting SharpCap - If you want to switch between the Native and WDM drivers, close and re-open SharpCap)
- Improved QHY camera support - includes updates to the QHY SDK that fix a number of issues and support for the WDM drivers as for ASI cameras above.
- Updated Ximea SDK - may give some support for newer Ximea cameras (I don't have a Ximea camera to test with, so can't be sure...)
- Sensor temperature reported on devices where this feature is available (some QHY, ASI cameras)
Download from here.
I have been meaning to get round to this for ages, but been a bit busy recently... Anyway, there is a beta build of what will become SharpCap 2 available to download that should support the QHY5LII and other QHY cameras.Sharpcap 1.99.623
In theory this build may support the following cameras :
IMG : 0S, 0T, 0L, 0X, 1S, 2S, 3S, 5S, 1E, 3T, 2P
QHY : 6S, 8L, 9S, 5, 5II, 5LII, 5TII, 5RII
At least the API that I am using supports the cameras in that list. I've only tested it with the 5LII colour - other test reports welcome. I expect it will work with the Mono cameras more easily than the colour cameras to begin with (the colour cameras will need me to wire in their bayer pattern to get raw modes working for certain).
I've just uploaded a new beta build for SharpCap 2.0
- A circular reticule is now available as well as the cross hairs
- The focus score calculation is improved - should give useful indication of focus now, just try to get it as high as possible
- Fix for Basler cameras not working in recent builds
- Fix for SharpCap crashing when connecting to a non-connected ASCOM camera
Things to note
- Don't try using the ASCOM simulator cameras - they are buggy and may crash SharpCap
- New focus score UI coming soon hopefully
Anyway, here is the download. (The download link is now fixed).
SharpCap 1.99.404 Beta is now available. This is the first beta release of what will become SharpCap 2.0.
It's all been quiet on the SharpCap front for quite a while now as I've had other things occupying my time. I was also hoping to build a new, Ribbon based, UI for SharpCap 2. Unfortunately I wasn't making much progress with the new UI, so I have now decided to keep the existing UI for the 2.0 version. I've kept a lot of the changes that will help me build a new UI in some future version though.
So, what's new in this build?
* Filter wheel support (ASCOM compatible wheels)
* Automatically select highest resolution on camera initialization
* Remove old DirectShow code
* Build on Microsoft .NET framework 4.0
* Fix a number of minor bugs
* Install as a separate product to v1.5 - that means you can install both versions side-by-side
Anyway, please remember that this is Beta software, so try it out before you use it on a clear night!
The new version can be downloaded here
I'm now working on SharpCap 1.6, so 1.5 is in maintenance mode - this means that I will fix bugs that are stopping it from working properly but new features will go into 1.6.
1.6 will require .Net Framework 4.0 to be installed - don't worry, it's a free download, and it works for versions of Windows back to XP. This means that SharpCap will no longer work on Windows 95/98 or Windows 2000, but I seriously hope that no-one is using these any more!
Please update to at least version 1.5.304, which fixes a number of bugs in found in the earlier 1.5 builds.
In some ways, not much change is visible in version 1.5, but behind the scenes there has been a lot of work, particularly for DirectShow cameras which have a completely new preview/capture implementation with a number of advantages :
- No more ugly (and annoying) stop/start of preview when switching to/from capture mode
- Much less code, hopefully less bugs!
- A new frame divisor filter to drop all frames but 1 in N.
- Ability (in future version) to apply transform filters to the AVI output if desired.
The pre-release versions have been out a while and no-one has reported any significant bugs with the new DirectShow implementation, so I'm hoping it's solid. If it does break, please report the problem in the usual way, and anyway you can go back to using the old DirectShow code by looking further down the cameras menu.
Anyway, enough of that. The download link can be found here