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November 2016

FireCapture v2.5 has been released ! Thanks for helping during the beta phase

June 2016

Integration of Altair Astro Cameras has started !

May 2016

A new tutorial has been uploaded
Check the related 'Capture Tools' tutorial on YouTube

January 2016

Basler Pylon 5 migration has started adding support for USB models
Check the related message in the Yahoo group for details

November 2015

FireCapture v2.5 BETA has been released for testing !

24 October 2015

I was giving a FireCapture workshop at the Dutch Society Working Group Astrophotography

September 2015

v2.5 will come with a new plugin interface so users with programming skills can create their own pre-processing filters in FireCapture.

August 2015

Started integration of iNOVA cameras into v2.5 and having huge problems with the provided SDK. Not sure if I'll succeed...


13 June 2015

I was giving a FireCapture lecture on the open day at Astroshop
You can find the recording (in german) here


! Extract the archive into user space if you don't have admin rights on your computer !

Download FireCapture v2.5 (64 bit)*

*64-bit support is available for: ZWO ASI, QHY, PointGrey, Basler, TIS/Skyris/NexImage, Altair, IDS

Older Versions


Starting with version v2.5 FireCapture comes with a built-in plugin interface giving access to image data and the possibility for extending functionality. You're invited to create and share your own plugins with the community. Let me know and I'll add them to the list of available plugins. Please check the tutorial below on how to create plugins.

Terms of service: I'm not responsible in any way for the plugin content and of any of the linked sites. The plugins themselves are copyrighted by their respective authors.

Plugin Author Description 32-bit 64-bit
MoonPanoramaMaker Rolf Hempel Python application for the automatic exposure of moon panoramas. MoonPanoramaMaker covers the current Moon phase with an optimal grid of single views and automatically steers the telescope mount and camera during their exposure. Download
Solar Seeing Monitor Joachim Stehle DIY Solar Scintillation Seeing Monitor which measures solar seeing for capture control. Download
FlareDetect Joachim Stehle FlareDetect provides the possibility of automated image recording sessions based on the current X-ray flux. It uses flux data of the GOES satellite provided by the Space Weather Prediction Center. Download
DynamicPopfilter Anthony Wesley The DynamicPopfilter plugin divides the image into a grid of tiles measuring 9x9 pixels in size, and the brightest pixel in each tile is then replaced by the average of its 8 neighbors. The starting point (ie top left corner) for the grid is varied randomly from one frame to the next to be sure that this process doesn't introduce any detectable pattern. It's recommended that this plugin is used for mono cameras, or colour cameras operating in RAW mode. It doesn't support RGB colour images. Download (32-bit)

Download (64-bit)
PlanetaryMask Torsten Edelmann Acts like a coronograph and allows applying different kind of masks to planetary targets effectively zeroing out all pixel values behind the mask. Might be useful for e.g. Uranus ring hunting. Does not work on debayered color data. Download

Plugin Interface Tutorial



Install latest FlyCapture2 SDK (no FlyCapture Viewer !)
All models supported

No SDK needed. All models supported.

Install Basler Pylon 4.2.0 Software Suite.
No USB3 support !

No SDK needed. All models supported.

No SDK needed. All models supported.

No SDK needed. All models supported except Solar System Imager.

No SDK needed. Not all models supported.

Universal Package v2.1 SDK needed.
Not all models supported.

No SDK needed. All models supported.



  • #1 Installation & Troubleshooting
  • #2 First Steps
  • #3 Layout & GUI

  • #4 Telescope & Autoguider
  • #5 Filterwheel & Focuser
  • #6 Capture Tools


It was back in 2008 when I got hold of a SONY newsletter announcing a new CCD sensor (ICX618) which promised fantastic sensitivity. Still working with an old webcam those days I instantly had the idea of replacing the webcam sensor with the new SONY sensor. It took weeks and dozens of emails to get the confidential spec of the new sensor. When I saw the sensitivity values it was clear: I had to have this sensor! The Basler Scout scA640 was the first machine vision camera on the market using this sensor and when I bought it the nightmare began: the included software was useless for planetary imaging and running the camera with the VRecord webcam tool was a complete PITA. Bugged by the inability to store even the basic camera settings I decided developing my own capture software. A short while later on a baking hot summer day I was looking for a name for it and when feeling like on fire that day I had it: 'FireCapture'

What started as a solely private project soon turned into higher gear when fellow astronomers saw the software and insisted on getting it. I decided to make it public, included new camera interfaces and after years of continuous development FireCapture has evolved to one of the leading planetary capture tools. Developing the thing is only one part of the story: with a supportive community of users behind me I always had the feeling of someone 'looking over my shoulder' during the countless hours of programming. I can't mention all but just want to say:

Thank you guys !