Here’s my running list of astrophotography software packages. ┬áIt’s limited to just the ones I have at least a passing familiarity with (so it’s lacking remote automation and planning tools which I haven’t used).

Image Aquisition

Sequence Generator Pro (can connect to PHD2 / Metaguid) – $100
BackyardEOS (can connect to PHD2) – $50
Nebulosity (can connect to PHD2) – $80
TheSkyX + Camera Add-on (internal guide software) – $530 (minimum)
MaximDL (internal guide software) – $400 (minimum)
ImagePlus: Camera Control (can connect to PHD2 / Metaguide) – $85
Astro Photography Tool (APT) (can connect to PHD / Metaguide) – $14
FireCapture (planetary only) – Free


PHD / PHD2 – Free
Metaguide – Free (requires DirectX based camera)
TheSkyX + Camera Add-on – $530 (minimum)
MaximDL – $400 (minimum)

Front End Processing (calibration, registration, stacking)

DeepSkyStacker – Free
CCDStack – $200
Nebulosity – $80
TheSkyX + Camera Add-on – $530 (minimum)
MaximDL – $400 (minimum)
PixInsight – $250
ImagePlus: Image Processing – $205
Registar – $150
AutoStakkert2 (planetary only) – Free
AviStack2 (planetary only) – Free
Registax6 (planetary only) – Free

Back End Processing (stretching, color balancing, etc.)

DeepSkyStacker (sort of) – Free
Nebulosity – $80
TheSkyX + Camera Add-on – $530 (minimum)
MaximDL – $400 (minimum)
PixInsight – $250
ImagePlus: Image Processing – $205
Photoshop – $10/month
StarTools – $47
GIMP – Free
ImageJ – Free

7 thoughts on “Software”

  1. Hi David,
    I have been following much of the Web postings with regard to PixInsight and mosaics, especially those that reference your dnaLinearFit script. The version that I am using is the one available on your Website as v0.1. However, several tutorials that use the script show versions as 0.3 or 0.4. My question is: how might I obtain these later versions, and are they significant upgrades in capability? I have searched the Web, but have not been able to locate a download site for the later versions.

    I appreciate any pointers you can give me.
    Thank you,
    Jim Stefancic

  2. Hi David,
    You’ve been a tremendous help to me getting my processing going, particularly with mosaics. I recently found your presentation on image processing programs and was intrigued with the AIA software you wrote. I have an interest in creating one particular processing algorithm for duplicating what CCD Inspector does with curvature maps. Out of a raw image, I need to distill out just the collimation magnitude and vector arrow. I think this is based on the overall tilt values produced from star elongations. If you have the time and could offer some pointers I’d be very grateful. My application is to produce a better auto-focusing algorithm than is based on temperature.

    Thanks again for all the information you’ve provided on your website.

  3. Hi Mark,

    Sorry for the slow response. I’ll send you an email so that we don’t discuss the details of your future software in public.


  4. David,

    I enjoy your work very much. I was wondering if you know how to remove artifacts (micro lensing) caused by ZWO ASI1600mm pro
    cameras with a Panasonic sensor (which does not have a anti reflection coating between the sensor and the protective glass).
    It makes an objectionable beehive pattern on the brightest stars. It not the large halo seen around bright stars but a reflection within
    the sensor.

    Thanks Brent

  5. Hi Brent,

    Unfortunately, I don’t know of an easy way to remove this pattern.


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