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Camera Tab (DSLR mode)

 
This is how Camera Tab looks like when APT is in DSLR mode (when connected is Canon EOS or Nikon camera). If you want to change the camera type use Shift + Click on Connect button to open the Select Camera Type dialog box.
 
Camera Tab (DSLR mode)
 
1

Connect/Disconnect

1. Connect/Disconnect
 
Connect or disconnects the camera. Shift + Click on Connect button opens the Select Camera Type dialog box where you can change the default camera type, to change the Digic generation of Canon camera or to change the Nikon camera model. APT uses different type of communications with the camera depending on the Canon Digic generation or Nikon model, so make sure that you are using the right one.
 
Information about the Canon EOS models including the built-in processor can be found in the Canon EOS Matrix page on the APT site.
 
Information about the Nikon models can be found in the Nikon Matrix page on the APT site.
 
2

Start / Pause / Resume

2. Start / Pause / Resume
 
Starts execution of the selected imaging plan. Once it is started the button is replaced with Pause button that will pause the plan after the current exposure is finished. If a plan is paused it can be resumed by pressing the Resume button that will become visible.
 
Shift + Click on Start button opens the Start options dialog box.
 
 
You can loop a plan to be executed several times (or unlimited times if you enter 0 in "# of execution) or to schedule the plan execution start at a defined time or event.
 
The following scheduling options works in combination with Darkness Clock:
- Deep Sky Darkness (DSD) - the moment when full darkness starts
- Astro Night - the moment when astro twilight finished
- Night - the moment when Sun sets
 
If the starting event has already passed for the current night you will be asked if you want to start the plan immediately or you want to wait for the event in the next night.
 
If you combine Loop and one of the options DSD, Astro Night or Night, APT will stop the next iteration of the plan if the scheduling event is no longer valid - for example no more full darkness.
 
If you set Loop to 0 and one of the options DSD, Astro Night or Night, APT will pause the next iteration of the plan till the scheduling event becomes valid again on the next night. It is useful for unattended operation for all sky cameras or meteor hunting. Scripts and Commands feature can be used for advanced functionality like remote images uploading.
 
Tips&Tricks. You can turn off the camera display before plan execution. This will save some battery energy that can be used for more exposures and more importantly will lead to lower noise in the images!
 
See Plan Editor section.
 
3

Stop

3. Stop
 
Stops the execution of the running plan.
 
The running exposure is stored with prefix "Incomplete_"
 
4

Imaging Plans list

4. Imaging Plans list
 
List of the saved imaging plans. There are different type of plans that has specific features. See Plan Editor for information about the plans, how to create and manage them.
 
When a plan is selected the expected execution duration will be printed in the Log panel. If the plan is from Light type also will be calculated the actual total light exposure.
 
 
5

Plan Editor

5. Plan Editor
 
Opens the Plan Editor. Double click in the plan table does the same.
 
6

Ringy Thingy

6. Ringy Thingy
 
Ringy Thingy is an innovative way to edit numeric values using only mouse or touch pad. See details and animation how to use it in the Application Interface notes.
 
7

Current plan

7.  Current plan
 
Shows the lines of the selected imaging plan.
 
The columns are:
  • Order
  • Exposure duration
  • ISO
  • Pause duration
  • Count of the exposures
  • Quality
  • Lens Aperture (visible when A button is checked)
  • Filter (visible when F button is checked)
 
During the execution the current line is selected and under it there is a small progress bar to show the line execution percentage.
 
 
Double click in the table opens the Plan Editor for the selected plan.
 
8

AV and Filter columns control

8. AV and Filter columns control
 
A button shows/hides the lens aperture (AV) column in the current plan list.
F button shows/hides the filter name (F) column in the current plan list.
 
9

Object Name

9. Object Name
 
Defines a name part that to be added to the image file names stored on PC. For example if you enter “M11” the image name stored will be:“M11_ IMG_5034.JPG”. In order to use this feature select "Object Name" as "Name Part" in Main Settings Tab. In Advanced Settings Tab you can define if  APT have to remember the entered name between the sessions.
 
The name is automatically populated when an object is selected from Object Browser.
 
10

Exposure

10. Exposure
 
Defines the exposure to be used when Shoot button is used. It doesn't affect the settings of the selected imaging plan. If Bulb is selected then duration should be entered in "Bulb exposure duration".
 
The Digic 2 cameras need additional cable in order to make Bulb exposures. For more information see the section EOS Shutter Cables and “Long exposure control”.
 
11

Bulb exposure duration

11. Bulb exposure duration
 
Defines how long the bulb exposure to be when "Bulb" is selected from "Exp." list and when Shoot button is used.
 
12

ISO

12. ISO
 
Defines the ISO to be used when Shoot button is used. It doesn't affect the settings of the selected imaging plan.
 
13

Quality

13. Quality
 
Defines the image quality to be used when Shoot button is used. It doesn't affect the settings of the selected imaging plan.
 
R+L
Raw + Large JPG
L
Large JPG
M
Medium JPG
S
Small JPG
Raw
Raw only
R1L
Raw1 + Large JPG
R2L
Raw2 + Large JPG
S1
Small 1 JPG
S2
Small 2 JPG
 
The options in italic are not supported by all Canon EOS models and are not available in Nikon mode!
 
14

Lens Aperture

14. Lens Aperture
 
Defines the lens aperture to be used if there is a lens mounted on the camera.
 
15

Image Preview

15. Image Preview
 
Controls the preview of the last taken or loaded image in the "LiveView / Image Preview" panel.
 
On (Fit)
Shows the image in the preview area after every exposure. The image will be scaled to fit in the area
Off
No preview
On (1:1)
Shows un-scaled part from the loaded image that fits in the preview area
On (1:1) Scroll
Shows scrolling buttons to select the image area that you want to see in mode “On (1:1)”. Click on the central rectangle to view the center of the image
 
To scroll the image smoothly in “On (1:1)” or “On (1:1) Scroll” modes, hold the Shift key and drag with the mouse. You can also use the right mouse button to drag the image.
 
To switch quickly between “On (Fit)” and “On (1:1)” modes double click on the image. This allows to center the part of the image without scrolling.
 
If you double click on a scroll arrow, position will be moved to the corresponding border.    
 
16

Image Destination

16. Image Destination
 
Defines where to store the images. The supported options are:
 
Camera
Store the images only on the camera memory card
Camera + PC
Store the images on the camera memory card and on the PC disk in folder set in Main Settings tab
PC
Store the images only on the PC disk in folder set in Main Settings tab
 
It is recommended to use the PC or Camera+PC options because they provide flexible naming and organizing of the image files - useful during the processing and archiving.
 
Camera option is not supported for Nikon at this stage.
 
17

Anti Vibration Pause

17. Anti Vibration Pause
 
Not supported for Nikon at this stage.
 
Anti Vibration Pause is used within exposures plan or bulb Shoot exposures. It defines how many seconds to wait after the camera mirror is flipped before starting the exposure. This is a valuable option for short exposures when mirror flipping is causing vibrations into your setup. During long exposures the size of the bright stars became much bigger than the artifacts from mirror move, so in such cases you can skip the use of anti-vibration pause.  Recommended is to experiment to find how long it has to be. Keep in mind that in some positions of your telescope the vibrations can be bigger/longer than in others.
 
Here are the requirements for making mirror lock with the different models:
 
Processor
Mirror Lock C.Fn.
Mirror Lock needs shutter cable
Digic 2
Manual
Yes
Digic 3
Automatic
Yes or simulation
Digic 4 and later
Automatic
No
 
If the camera has Digic 3 processor and  “Long exposure control” to “Virtual”, APT will simulate Mirror Lock using LiveView. Note that simulated “Mirror lockup” leads to amp glow when is used in long exposures!
 
The Digic 2 and Digic 3 cameras need an additional PC operated shutter cable in order to make mirror lockup. Some options for such cable are listed in the section EOS Shutter Cables.
 
For Digic 2 cameras you have to enable/disable manually the "Mirror Lock C.Fn." function from the camera menu. Enable it with Anti-Vibration Pause is greater than 0s. Disable it when Anti-Vibration Pause is 0s.
 
Note that in order to manage automatically the "Mirror Lock C.Fn." function from the camera menu, you have to enable the option "Mirror Lock Automation" from Main Settings tab.
 
18

Long Exposure Control

18. Long Exposure Control
 
Defines how the camera shutter is controlled. The list contains the options:
 
Virtual
Commands the camera only through the USB cable connected to your camera. NOTE: This feature works only for Canon EOS models after 2006 and Nikon models after 2012.
COM port
Uses the selected COM port to control the shutter and the mirror lockup. Still needs the USB cable.
DSUSB / DSUSB2
Uses the attached DSUSB or DSUSB2 controller to control the shutter and the mirror lockup. Still needs the USB cable.
Biula Audio Trigger
Use the audio output connector and special cable to control the shutter and the mirror lockup. Still needs the USB cable.
 
For more information about the shutter cables see the section Canon/Nikon Shutter Cables.
 
Tips & Tricks. If you connect the camera and shutter cable to the same USB ports you will have same COM port number between the sessions.
 
19

White Balance

19. White Balance
 
Defines the white balance to be used (for preview or JPG). Note that this setting has no effect on the data saved in the RAW file, so it is not critical what you will select here.
 
20

Camera info

20. Camera info
 
Shows information about the connected camera.
 
For Canon:
In the first line is the camera model. In the second is the Digic processor generation and the current setting in the camera menu for the Mirror Lock custom function.
 
For Digic 2 cameras you have to enable/disable manually the "Mirror Lock C.Fn." function from the camera menu.
 
For Nikon:
Displays the model of the connected camera.