Quickstart

Altair Camera Quickstart #1

Firstly, when you plug in your Altair Camera with the supplied USB cable, you’ll notice the camera model number appear under the “Camera List” menu header on the top left in white text i.e. “AA183CPRO”. Remove the lens cap on the camera and point it at an...

Troubleshooting

How do I remove “pixel trails” in my stacked astro images?

This image shows "Pixel trails" (AKA pixel rain, walking/creeping/directional noise). This pattern can appear in stacked images composed of sub-frames imaged with the same camera on the same night. The final image looks "streaky" with little trails of bright pixels in...

Understanding CMOS Imaging

Quantum Efficiency, Read Noise, and why are they important

In essence CMOS sensors convert light falling on them in to numbers representing brightness levels, and their location on a grid of tiny little detectors called pixels. Each step in a "unit" of brightness on a pixel is expressed as a positive number. The brighter, the...

Star testing a modern ED Doublet refractor with Altair Camera

This article is aimed at the new owner of a modern F8 or faster ED Doublet or triplet refractor who wants to star-test it, and has already read a little about star-testing online. They are surprised to discover that the star-test looks nothing like the text-books or...

Which colour space should I choose?

When using a colour Altair camera in SharpCap or Altair Capture, you will have some colour space options to choose from. This blog outlines the various choices of colour space and their pros and cons. You select the colour space mode like this: 1) in AltairCapture...

What bit depth should I choose with my Altair Camera?

Q: My Altair camera has 8bit or higher bit depth options. Which should I choose and when? A: First we need to explain what bit depth is when it comes to imaging. Your computer uses ones and zeros to represent information – a bit. In the case of an image with a bit...

What file format should I use with my camera?

This blog outlines the differences between the various still and video file formats available with your Altair CMOS camera when using AltairCapture or SharpCap and other capture applications which support video. Still image file formats (1 image frame per file) The...

How does Binning work with CMOS cameras?

What is Binning? "Binning" is when you combine the signal from adjacent pixels in a camera, which reduces the resolution of the image. For example 2x2 averaging binning combines 4 pixels into one "virtual pixel" which contains the average values of these four pixels....

What is Debayering, and why should I do it before stacking my images?

Note: Debaying is required for any output from any colour camera sensor when used in RAW mode. This article applies to deepsky images (.FITS format) and for solar system/planetary videos (.SER format). Firstly, what is Debayering? Colour CMOS camera sensors usually...