oacapture/oalive 1.8.0 released

oacapture and oalive 1.8.0 are released!

Changes in this release include:

  • Add support for Omegon cameras
  • Update to latest ZWO libraries
  • Update to latest Altair libraries
  • Update to latest (non beta) QHY libraries
  • Fixes for RPI cameras (standard and HQ)
  • Fix for QHY camera support on MacOS
  • Fix for IIDC camera support on MacOS
  • Fix handling of 16-bit IIDC image frames
  • Fix handling of 10-, 12- and 14-bit unpacked frames for FITS
  • Improve handling of auto-exposure control
  • Add support for FITS ROWORDER keyword
  • Improve YUYV and UYVY to RGB colour conversions
  • Beta support for Basler cameras on Linux
  • Update Spanish translations
  • Fix handling of Flycapture on/off and auto controls
  • Fix 16-bit mode (I hope) for cameras supported by libqhyccd
  • Enable 8-bit mono-as-raw for Neximage 10
  • Various other bugfixes

I have no Omegon camera to test with so support for those cameras may not be perfect. However, as they appear to be rebadged Touptek cameras similar to those of Altair, Risingcam and Opticstar, all of which do work, I feel fairly confident about it.

I’m not sure the RPi cameras are supported in ARM Ubuntu releases, so the RPi cameras may only be available in Raspbian/Raspberry Pi OS.

Support for Basler cameras is via the Basler Pylon libraries which will need to be downloaded from Basler’s website. This has only been tested with a single, quite old, Basler monochrome Gig-E camera so there may well be issues with OSC or USB models.

There’s a new camera setting to allow frames that are reported as being 8-bit greyscale to be treated as 8-bit raw colour. This is because the Neximage 10 appears to do exactly that. If this option is enabled for any other camera it’s going to have unpredictable behaviour.

Some people have reported problems saving images in MacOS, but I can’t reproduce it so if it doesn’t work for you and you’re able to provide more information, please do.

In release 1.8.7 of the INDI library, there was a breakage that affected the installation of oacapture (as well as the GIMP and a number of other applications). I’ve not yet checked to see if this is resolved in the very latest INDI release, but unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about the problem 🙁

My intention is to have the next release done fairly soon with a small number of changes, possibly including beta support for the SVBony SV305.

oacapture/oalive 1.7.0 released

Each time I do this it seems to get more difficult. Perhaps more regular releases might be the solution, or doing a more limited beta release. Testing has become nigh on impossible beyond a small range of hardware, so there may be problems. Regardless, thirteen months after 1.6.0, oacapture and oalive 1.7.0 are finally released!

Changes in this release include:

  • Update QHY support to latest release 200522 (200424 for MacOS)
  • Update Mallincam support to latest release (43.15988)
  • Update ASI camera support to latest release (1.15.0430)
  • Update Toupcam support to latest release (46.17118)
  • Update ASI filter wheel support to latest release (0.4.1022)
  • Add support for Orion Starshoot G2 cameras
  • Add support for Risingcam cameras (using libnncam)
  • Add support for DSLRs (oalive only)
  • Add oalive to package for Linux (it’s a separate image for MacOS)
  • Dynamically load support libraries if they are present
  • Allow SER files larger than 2.1GB on 32-bit systems
  • Much tidying of code internally
  • Improved support for 16-bit frames

I’ve also added a new “named pipe” output file mode. The intention is that it should be possible to use this to create a video stream to upload to youtube or Facebook, for example, but beyond actually writing data to the named pipe I’ve done no further work on this as yet.

Unfortunately there’s no 64-bit ARM release at the moment because my 64-bit RPi seems to have had a meltdown.

oalive is a (fairly basic, for the time being) separate EAA-style application that can do image stacking with a number of different stacking methods, but doesn’t do image alignment for the moment. It has some DSLR support, but I’ve only been able to test it with a Canon 1100D and even then not as much as I’d like. In theory it should support other Canon cameras as well as other makes if they’re supported by libgphoto2, but I can’t guarantee that it won’t set your hair/camera on fire, burn down your house or steal your firstborn. oalive is also lacking a manual for the time being. Hopefully it’s straightforward enough to work through, but I’ll get around to the documentation soon.

At the moment I’m not decided about plans for the next release other than adding support for Omegon cameras. I’m sure other things will suggest themselves in time, and I’ll try to make the next release a little sooner.

oacapture 1.6.0 released

Well, it’s been something of a slog getting here, partly because I’ve been spending quite a bit of time building my observatory, but 1.6.0 is finally released!

Changes in this release include:

  • Update ZWO SDK to v1.14.0227
  • Update Altair SDK to v32.13483
  • Update Toupcam SDK to v33.13725
  • Integrate with libqhyccd v4.0.16
  • Merge code common to oacapture and oalive
  • Support CMYG output in SER files (for colour Lodestar and possibly others)
  • Add support for building on 64-bit ARM
  • Re-enable support for legacy Altair cameras dropped from recent SDKs by including a previous SDK
  • Support ROI and binning for the Lodestar
  • Support ROI and binning for Point Grey cameras
  • Add support for the Brightstar Quantum filter wheel (possibly also the Orion Nautilus?)
  • Plenty of bugfixes

I’ve expanded the number of pre-built binaries available to include quite a few new 32-bit ARM Ubuntu releases as well as a 64-bit ARM Ubuntu release alongside the usual MacOS and 64-bit Intel Linux releases.

There has been a huge restructuring of the code in this release as well. One of the motivations for that was just to make the code base easier to work on, but it should also make sharing code between oacapture, oalive and other applications that do similar but different things much easier.

Now time to start on 1.7.0 🙂

oacapture 1.5.0 released

As we approach the winter solstice, it’s time for a new release…

Major changes for this release include:

  • Update to latest ZWO camera SDK
  • Add support for ZWO filter wheels
  • Make the handling of ROI/cropping cleaner
  • Improve handling of FITS files
  • Added support for the Lodestar X2
  • Try to fix slow start-up/shutdown on MacOS
  • Allow a settings file to be specified on the command line
  • Attempt to fix handling of the Neximage 10
  • Add support for Touptek, Altair and Mallincam cameras when the manufacturer’s software is also installed
  • Update user manual

And there are quite a few bugfixes, too.

Binary downloads (DMG files for OSX, .deb and .rpm files for Linux) from the downloads page. Source is available from github.

I don’t have builds for Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 18.04 on 32-bit ARM processors yet. Hopefully that’s coming soon when I can get OS images that work.

oacapture 1.4.0 released

Just in time for the end of the winter, oacapture 1.4.0 is here.

In the main this release is to improve the handling of video modes and simplify the UI a little, though there is also an update to the ASI SDK for support of more recent cameras and there are always bugfixes.

Binary downloads (DMG files for OSX, .deb and .rpm files for Linux) from the downloads page. Source is available from github.

oacapture 1.3.0 released

Just in time for Christmas, oacapture 1.3.0 is now available to download.

Major changes for this release include:

  • The latest ZWO SDK for ASI cameras and updates so the application has more knowledge of newer cameras.
  • Support for the QHY IMG132E. Mostly just to see if I could do it
  • Improved handling for the QHY5-II and QHY5L-II
  • Support for turning camera controls on and off where available

If you have a Touptek, Altair or Mallincam camera on Linux and the vendor-supplied application is installed in the default location then oacapture should be able to use that to support the same cameras, which is a bit neater than previous attempts to handle these cameras. For Altair I’d recommend using the most recent beta release of their software. I’m still working on finding a neat way to do this on OSX.

There are also numerous other small enhancements and bugfixes.

Binary downloads (DMG files for OSX, .deb and .rpm files for Linux) from the downloads page. Source is available from github.

oacapture 1.2.0 released

The new release of oacapture is finally available.

In the main this is a bugfix release, but there are some notable changes too. The ASI SDK version has been updated to the 0.6.0901 release and the ffmpeg libraries to version 3. Translations to Spanish have also been added.

The handling of camera controls has been completely reworked to fit better with the functionality of IIDC and GigE cameras, but unfortunately that does mean that existing camera settings will be lost.

Support for more FITS headers has also been added. Almost eighty outstanding issues have been cleared with this version (but don’t worry, there are plenty more 🙂

Sources have now been moved to github, so please create an issue there for any problems.

Binary downloads are on the downloads page. Where else?

oacapture-1.1.0 released

It’s been a long time coming, but v1.1.0 is finally here. There are quite a few changes, though many of them won’t be visible to the casual observer. For instance, the build system has been made more robust and internal copies of libraries updated to fix a few problems on systems with older libraries. The more obvious bugfixes and enhancements include:

  • RPM and DEB format binary packages for Linux
  • Use the latest version of the ASI SDK (0.6.0504)
  • Support for PNG output
  • Enable building against Qt5
  • Increase usbfs memory available for ASI cameras
  • The default position of the controls is now to the right of the preview pane
  • FITS output is enabled for 8-bit RGB frames
  • TIFF format output should be allowed for colour cameras
  • 16-bit greyscale UVC cameras should be supported
  • A problem with the exposure time setting in the text file is fixed
  • A problem with slow exposures of over 999ms has been fixed
  • The “hide controls” option has been removed as the window splitter handle now supports this function

Remember on Linux that you need to add your user to the “users” group before many USB cameras will work. Linux users will also need to install the DEB/RPM files for libasicamera (which is a packaged version of the ASI SDK) and libuvc. These are also available on the downloads page.

My intention is to put the sources on Github shortly. If possible, please report issues on the Github issues tracker as it will enable me to keep track of things more easily.

oacapture 1.0.0 released

This is a little rushed as I want to get it out before taking a break, but it’s time for the 1.0.0 release. I think we’re at that point now. So, what’s changed?

The bad news is that things have become fairly hairy with the build tree, even compared with previous releases. This is partly to incorporate new libraries for cameras based on Touptek hardware and partly because a bleeding edge release of libdc1394 is required to support some of the newer Point Grey IIDC-over-USB cameras. The build works for me, but it might be really quite painful on other systems.

Changes include…

  • Implementation of a GPS-based camera control and timer mechanism to timestamp (FITS) files. This uses some bespoke hardware that hopefully I’ll be able to talk more about later, but the intention is to be able to accurately timestamp images for occultations
  • Allow sub-millisecond exposure times
  • ASI camera library update (to the May 2016 release)
  • Add support for Touptek cameras
  • Update support for newer ZWO cameras
  • Enable the ASI2 interface
  • Allow UtVideo codec to be disabled
  • Load the shared library for the Point Grey GigE cameras at runtime, so a single executable should work fine whether you have the library or not
  • Ditto with the Touptek cameras
  • Fix “directory not writable” error with FITS/TIFF files
  • Fix problem with 16-bit SER file format
  • Allow capture to MOV and TIFF files from raw colour if the output data is demosaicked

And there are a few other bugfixes too.

The ASI2 interface I’m not entirely happy with. It probably should still be considered experimental at this stage. Neither would I describe the Toupcam support as “complete” as there are one or two areas I’m not entirely happy about because the documentation isn’t 100% clear. I’m (still) waiting for a response from Touptek support on those. It’s pretty much there though.

Building releases is a slow process, so I’ve initially uploaded the OSX release and the sources. I’ll add binaries for Linux systems as I get them built. This may take a little while as the installation is getting rather more complex now.