Author Archives: admin

oaCapture 0.6.0 release

Somewhat later than planned thanks to pressure of work and then holidays, 0.6.0 is finally out.

This is largely a bugfix release. A few niggles with Imaging Source cameras should now be resolved, in particular a problem with white balance handling with the colour FireWire models.

I’ve also upgraded the included ffmpeg library to the latest version. This builds more cleanly meaning I can exclude more bits that aren’t required and make the binaries smaller.

Downloads in the usual place.

Hopefully 0.7.0 shouldn’t be very long at all as I’ll just be focusing (Hah! See what I did there? 🙂 on support for the latest ZWO camera models for that.

oaCapture 0.5.0 release

After sitting completed for a couple of weeks whilst life decided it had rather different plans for my time, version 0.5.0 is now released.

Major changes for this release include:

  • Support for saving 8-bit greyscale and raw colour images as Windows DIB format AVI files
  • Addition of an “auto” option for the demosaic pattern, meaning the pattern reported by the camera driver will be used
  • Extend the colour masks available in libuvc to support the DFK21 (and probably other TIS colour CCD cameras)
  • A first attempt at a focus aid
  • A first attempt at support for the QHY5-II

The Windows DIB support is probably the most important new feature as it means AVI files from greyscale and raw colour cameras should import directly into AutoStakkert!2 and Registax. This option is enabled in the settings pane. Thanks to Chris Garry, author of PIPP, for allowing me to use his code to write these files.

The driver for the QHY5-II is, well, a bit ropey 🙁 Documentation is very sketchy and I’d not really describe it as approaching the desirable level of stability.

There are also some other changes, to allow longer exposures on the (original) QHY5 for example, as well as the usual stack of bugfixes.

The manual still needs updating. I’ll get that done as soon as possible.

oaCapture 0.4.0 release

Version 0.4.0 is now released. There are few functionality changes in this release, but the API for the camera library has been changed beyond recognition. This has resolved a number of awkward issues in the code as well as indirectly fixing some bugs and misfeatures. The camera library itself now runs to somewhere around 25,000 lines and very little remains untouched from previous releases so it’s hard to believe a few problems might have been introduced along the way, but I think it’s now in a far better state than it has ever been. I intended to do the same for the filter wheel API for this release, but tempus fugit and I thought I’d best get another release done.

As well as the API, other changes for this release include:

  • Building against the latest ASI SDK
  • Support for the ASI “high speed” option
  • An attempt to get colour TIS FireWire cameras to work in colour
  • Possible fixed support for the Microsoft Lifecam
  • Experimental support for ZWO cameras using the v2 SDK

Downloads from the downloads page as usual.

There are some issues with this release that I will attempt to correct at least some of for 0.5.0:

  1. When using the ASI174, switching into 2x binning and then out again appears to cause the camera to stop delivering images
  2. The “high speed” control for ASI cameras shows as unset initially, even if it is set
  3. The colour TIS FireWire support is being done completely blind. I do not have such a camera and I know the camera claims to deliver mono data when in fact it is raw colour. I could really use some feedback on this.
  4. The experimental v2 SDK code for ASI cameras is disabled and can only be enabled by manually editing the configuration file. I’ve tested with several ASI cameras and the only one I can get to work reliably is the ASI120MM-S.

oaCapture 0.3.0 release

It’s becoming ever more complex to do the releases, but 0.3.0 is now out. The major changes for this release are:

  • Support for adding false colour to mono images in the preview
  • Enable QuickTime output format where possible (8-bit mono, really)
  • Big improvements in support for the Skyris cameras
  • Add Format7 image support for IIDC cameras
  • Add support for the new ZWO ASI174MM and ASI174MC cameras

There are a number of smaller changes including adding the facility to pause the recording in the middle of a capture and I’m afraid bugs have been squashed during the making of this version. I’ve also updated the manual.

Downloads from the downloads page. Where else?

Work on the next release has begun. This involves a significant re-write of the camera and filter wheel APIs in the light of what I’ve learnt over the last eighteen months. It should remove complexity from the application(s) as well as making the libraries more flexible and remove a few things that were unpleasant hacks.

oaCapture 0.2.0

This has been my “difficult third album” 😀

Pretty much all of the coding has been done for some time, but those last few steps seem to have taken forever.

Changes include more bugfixes, improved support for Xagyl and SX filter wheels, support for the QHY6, SX Lodestar and Atik 16 (as far as I can test it) and some general tidying up.

Downloads on the downloads page, as if you couldn’t work it out…

I want to work on support for the Skyris cameras for the next release as well as adding a few other bits of functionality that have been requested. After that I think there’s going to be some major upheaval because I’ve decided the architecture for the camera (and filter, really) libraries just isn’t right. I couldn’t really have known that when I started, but now I’ve got a few cameras under my belt it’s obvious that a different approach would probably work much better. I also want to start thinking about support, either within oaCapture or as a separate application, for all-sky type cameras, and capture from the command line.

oaCapture 0.1.0 is released

I’m not as happy with this release as I could be and it feels like it’s taken far more work than the list of changes suggests, but I need to draw a line somewhere so here it is.

Changes include a fair number of bugfixes, support for 64-bit values in the camera controls, cleaning up of the code so it generates no compile warnings in “extra-picky” mode (which probably fixes a few bugs in itself), support on Linux for Xagyl and Starlight Xpress filter wheels and fixes for problems with the QHY5L-II and FireWire cameras on OSX.

Support for the Xagyl and SX filter wheels should be sorted on OSX for the next release, if I can get it done in time. I’d quite like to try keeping up with a monthly release rather than having arbitrary delays because functionality isn’t complete.

Downloads are, rather obviously, on the downloads page.

New cameras to support

I’ve recently (too late for release 0.1.0) acquired a QHY6, an Atik 16ic and a Lodestar, so these are now on the list of cameras to add support for. I’d added them to my wishlist for the next following release, but that list is fairly flexible so we’ll have to see what happens.

oaCapture 0.0.9 released

Well, it’s been a time coming, but I think 0.0.9 is finally done. I skipped 0.0.8 as I’d made an intermediate release available to a few people with that number.

Major changes for this release include:

  • Support for making the control panes dockable, moving them to the right hand side of the display or hiding them altogether, all of which will hopefully make the application a little more usable on smaller displays though I think there’s still work to be done there.
  • Full support for the ZWO USB3 cameras with the latest release of their SDK library
  • Inclusion of a new release of libusb
  • Inclusion of a new release of libuvc. I actually spent some time working on changes for this library to merge some of my enhancements and bugfixes back with those from a number of other people to produce a single set of sources which I’m pleased to say Ken has merged back into his master sources.
  • Some support for UVC webcams with YUYV video output streams
  • Support for FireWire cameras using IEEE1394/IIDC/DCAM

There are quite a few bugfixes too. There are still some niggles on OSX with the FireWire cameras that I may not have got fully sorted yet. In particular my Mavericks MacBook Pro whines about timeouts with a FireWire camera connected using the Thunderbolt adaptor and I haven’t got to the bottom of that yet.

I haven’t updated the documentation yet. I shall get that done as soon as I can. I think the only major changes are the new options for moving the control panes.