Thursday, 28 May 2020

Just a snapshot

I have reported previously that Nicola is working very hard on bringing AstroDMx Capture closer to a new release.
The latest features to  be added are:
  1. Allowing the software control of the video stream to be enabled for saving. This means that the gain, gamma, brightness and contrast software controls can be applied to the saved data if this function is enabled. Moreover, gain is a newly implemented software control.
  2. Allowing the capture of very high-quality Tiff, named snapshots snapshots to be captured at the click of a button into a snapshot folder within the AstroDMx_data folder.
These functions have been added to give the user more choice over what they wish to  do. There is debate as to whether gamma is required in a camera control, and has been previously pointed out, ZWO removed the gamma function from their SDK whilst QHY retained it in theirs. I think that gamma control can be useful, and so, am happy to see this software control (which works on the video feed, not on the camera) present in AstroDMx Capture.

AstroDMx Capture for Linux being used to  name the snapshots 'Moon'

The button to the right of the Snapshot button is used to name the snapshots. If several snapshots are captured, they will carry the same timestamped name with an incremented index.  For example, the 8th snapshot with the name 'Moon' will have the filename: Moon__000008__21-58-20__data.tiff .

Detail of the snapshot naming window that can be seen on top of the preview window

A single snapshot of the Moon captured by AstroDMx Capture for Linux

Closer view

This is not recommending that snapshots should routinely be used for capturing images of the Moon. The relative success will strongly depend on the seeing. This image was captured on a night when the jet-stream was far to the north of the country, so it did not have a deleterious contribution to the seeing. However, the user now has the choice.
It is far more likely that users of the software for microscopy will make use of the snapshot function.