Recommended software

These are some of the programs I use or have tried and recommend:
  • WcCtrl: helps to control the settings of several webcam models (freeware).
  • WcRmac: edits the firmware of several webcam models (freeware).
  • SkyChart: Sky map (freeware).
  • AutoStar Suite: Sky map from Meade.
  • Messier Marathon: generates a list of Messier objects visibles from your location (freeware).
  • NGC Observer: generates a list of objects from several catalogs (Messier, NGC, etc.) visibles from your location.
  • AstroPlanner: observation planner, much more more sophisticated than the previous. Free version with some limitations.
  • Bahtinov Grabbber: helps focusing using a Bahtinov mask (freeware).
  • EQAlign: scope polar aligning, periodic error analysis and autoguiding (freeware).
  • Desire: long exposure imaging with modified webcams (freeware).
  • K3CCDTools: photo and video acquisition, planetary image processing (freeware version). See my image processing video tutorial using this software.
  • Envisage: image acquisition, calibration, aligning and stacking for Meade DSI cameras.
  • MaxIm DL: image acquisition, calibration, aligning, stacking and post-processing.
  • DeepSkyStacker: image calibration, aligning and stacking specific for deep space astrophotography. See my image processing video tutorial using this software.
  • RegiStax: image calibration, aligning and stacking specific for planetary astrophotography. It can also be used for deep space astrophotography (freeware).
  • IMerge: makes astrophotography mosaics (freeware).
  • Focus magic: improves images focusing and contrast.
  • PixInsight LE: image post-processing (freeware version).
Other software quite popular but which I have not tested yet:
  • Photoshop: image post-processing.
  • Iris: image calibration, aligning, stacking and post-processing. (freeware).


Ringneck said...

Great site, I'm looking for the best software to show video on my laptop and stacking processing for photos using the Stellacam EX and Meade ETX 125 AC. Can you suggest one or two or should I get a different camera. I also have a Nikon Coolpix 8800.

Germán Bresciano said...

Dear Ringneck,
you can use Registax for video stacking. It is the best for planetary astrophotography, but Idon't know which format does Stellacam EX control software use to save video files.
You can try it for deepspace also.

For deepspace astrophotography it would be better to use your Nikon Coolpix 8800 saving images as RAW using DeepSkyStacker for stacking.

neil whitehead said...

Hi. Can you recommend a star stacking app that is mac native? Not looking for star trails but rather aligned composites/

Germán Bresciano said...

Sorry Neil, I don't use Mac, so I don't know Mac apps.

Monitor calibration

Monitor calibration
Adjust your monitor to see all grey boxes