Last updated: 17 August 2008
Subject: Tuning the Philips webcam (WcRmac & AviRAW), free capture software (wxAstrocapture),
free webcam-control software (WcCtrl) Sent: Friday, August 8, 2008 04:04:54 From: Michael Schroder (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am not sure if someone already posted some nice freeware tools. First the WcRmac-tool for tuning the webcam. This tool reprograms some feature of the webcam to drastically improve the picture quality. There is a nice tutorial (sorry only in German here: http://astrofotografie.hohmann-edv.de/aufnahmetechniken/toucam.optimieren.php). Attached are three snapshots of the picture-quality before the tuning, after the tuning and one after recoloring with another great freeware-tool: aviRAW. With this tool you can automatically recolor the B/W-pics of the improved webcam. The gaining of sharpness and detail is extraordinary. I cant wait to try it on the night-sky.
The second software I wish to recommend is a freeware capture-software esp. designed for astro-usage. There is included a live-histogram and reticle as well as the possibility to attach the guiding-system from some platforms. You find the link to the software here: http://www.arnholm.org/astro/software/wxAstroCapture/index.htm . For usage with every capture-software there is another brilliant freeware tool: WcCtrl. With this tool you can control your webcam (regardless of your capture-software) and save different settings (one for moon, one for jupiter etc.) so you can use them every night. You find the software here: http://www.burri-web.org/bm98/soft/wcctrl/index.htm . Again I am not sure if already someone posted this links. These tools are awesome and will definitely help to improve the quality of my astrophotos. Greetings from Germany
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2008 07:38:07 From: Dr.-Ing. Michael Schroder (email@example.com) One addition to the webcam improvement. I found out that AviRAW was not able to recolor the RAW-avi if a) the fps-settings are higher than 15 fps b) with any other resolution than 640x480. I guess in both cases the video-signal is compressed too much. You gain just a b/w-picure without any additional sharpness. So from my experience I suggest to always use the 640x480-resolution (even if that means bigger avi-files) and stay at 5 fps. That means you only get 1200 picture from a 4 min avi-file (on planets like jupiter it is not recommended to record avi-files longer than 4 minutes due to the rotation). Hope that helped. Michael
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