There are several software options for utilizing an all-sky camera. The following list outlines key features to consider when selecting a software package. Not all software mentioned here includes every feature. Your specific use case might require only a subset of these capabilities.
- Unattended image capture automation
- Flip, Mirror, Rotate
- Horizon Panoramic Strip Transformation
- Apply labels: cardinal direction, timestamp
- Constellation Overlays
- Privacy Mask
- Auto apply calibration frames (Darks, Flats)
- Automatic Hot-Pixel removal
- automatic and custom white balance
- Upload to website or external storage
- Star Trails
- Meteor detection
- Sky Quality Value calculation from image
5. Software that maybe came with your camera
Website: Depends on your camera
Advantages: Sometimes comes with free online storage.
Disadvantages: Limited features and operating systems
Not all cameras are bundled with their own software packages. If your camera does include such software, it might offer complimentary online storage for accessing your images over the internet. Additionally, it should have the necessary drivers built-in for immediate camera usage. However, it could potentially lack certain specific features you might be seeking.
4. General Capture Software – KStars/EKOS, NINA, FireCapture, SharpCap, MaximDL, APT, etc…
Website: KStars/EKOS, N.I.N.A., FireCapture, SharpCap, MaximDL, APT
Advantages: Software you probably already have and are familiar with.
Disadvantages: Most do not have features you might want that are particular to All-Sky Cameras.
If you currently use any of these packages to capture images from an astrophotography camera mounted on your telescope, employing the same software for your all-sky camera can serve as a convenient initial step to begin using the all-sky camera. While these package often will not have many of the features listed at the top. You can quickly capture and view current sky conditions.
Advantages: Great if interest main to capture sky events
Disadvantages: Windows Only. Compared to other options costs money. Only some all-sky features. Only Direct Show/Video support cameras.
Intended for capturing celestial occurrences such as vivid meteors, this system has a longstanding history of recording brilliant fireballs. It stores data on the disk spanning several seconds prior to, during, and after the event. Additionally, it offers access to UFOAnalyzer software, which aids in categorizing meteors, accurately determining event coordinates, and identifying the radiant point.
Advantages: Supports most all-sky features you could want.
Disadvantages: Only runs on windows
This software package offers an extensive range of features. It includes built-in drivers for various astrophotography cameras and provides support for both ASCOM and INDIGO. The software boasts numerous features tailored for all-sky use. While the free version is highly capable on its own, the PRO version, which comes with a nominal fee, offers additional exclusive features. Both the free and PRO versions of the software necessitate an account sign-up for downloading.
Advantages: Supports most all-sky features you could want. Friendly web interface.
Disadvantages: Linux only, more technical setup.
Offers support for INDI and Raspberry Pi cameras. Encompasses nearly all the desired features related to all-sky cameras. The software is highly capable; however, those unfamiliar with Linux might encounter a learning curve. It can be run on either a dedicated Linux machine or a single-board Raspberry Pi computer. While the capture is done on a Linux machine, configuration and viewing can be done on any operating system with a web browser.
|Software||OS Support||All-Sky Features*||Notes|
|Bundled Camera Software||Varies (Usually Windows)||50%||Not all camera’s come with their own software.|
|General Capture Software||Varies||30%|
|UFO Capture||Windows||40%||Meant to detect and capture sky events|
|INDI-AllSky||Linux/Browser||95%||Feature Rich. Capturing is done on Linux but can use browser for configuration and view on any OS|
* Author estimations looking at feature lists
There are several software packages to choose from to use with you all-sky camera. Do you disagree with this list? Think it should include something different? Let us know.