How to do a Time Lapse using a ZWO Camera and Sharpcap

Discuss video astronomy / Electronically assisted imaging.
Post Reply
User avatar
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:11 am
Location: Fort Myers, Florida.

How to do a Time Lapse using a ZWO Camera and Sharpcap


Post by localhost »

This is a 'copypasta' from my website: ... d-sharpcap

Time lapse tutorial put together by @localhost Matthew Knight using a ZWO Camera and Sharpcap.
I noticed that I wasn't able to find a guide on how to do a Time Lapse so I managed to figure out how to do it, wanted to share this guide with users who are new to SharpCap.

Video Tutorial:
Watch it on YouTube!

ZWO Camera (Optional but recommended)
Having a ZWO Camera will be easy to use unless you're more advanced with a modded cam. Just make sure your ZWO camera has the ZWO 1/3″ 2.1mm 150 degree lens that ships with the camera.
Make sure you install the ZWO camera drivers or Drivers for your camera.

Laptop is needed to run Sharpcap make sure you have a lot of hard drive space... 500GB or more because you can go from 1 hour that will be 16 GB in file size for just 1 hour of recording...

You will need Sharpcap
You can get Sharpcap for free at:

Let's begin the process of doing a time lapse:

1. Start up Sharpcap I assume you have the camera connected to your Laptop by this time.

2. Once Sharpcap is loaded at the top left you should see a tab that says, ''Cameras'' click that tab look to see if your camera is listed, if you're not using a ZWO camera its possible your camera isn't supported by Sharpcap if your camera is a ZWO camera and not listed possible software issue or drivers not installed...

3. If your camera is listed pick it you should be able to see the sky if the fisheye lens is in focus you might need to play around with it till the sky comes into focus. If it's already dark out and you don't see the sky on Sharpcap you will need to adjust the Exposure and Gain and play around with the fisheye lens until you see the sky.

If you can see the sky and the stars are nicely focused you can begin recording your time-lapse.

Starting Time lapse:
Click the Start Capture tab at the top left of Sharpcap. (See Picture below)

On the Sharpcap - Configure Capture Window you should see: (Picture below)

1. Single Frame [x]

2. Unlimited [x]

3. Number of frames[x]

4. Time limit [✔]

We wanna go with #4 which is 'Time limit' You need to set the Hour, Minutes and Seconds for how long you would like to Capture.

Keep in mind the longer you record the more hard drive space you're gonna use up however a 10 minute capture for me was only a 15 second playback so the longer you record the longer the finished playback will be.

Under Capture Sequence of Captures:

Sequence Length; This is how many captures you wanna do say you wanna recored for 6 hours but you wanna Capture 1 hour parts 6 times then you'd set the Time limit to 1 hour and the Sequence Length to 6 Which will break 6 hours into 1 hour Captures or you can just set 6 hours for Time limit and have it be 1 big 6 hour capture.

Interval between Captures, If you're wanting to capture a Meteor shower I'd recommend setting it to 00:00:01 to capture every 1 second.

A 10 minute recording for me I only had 15 seconds of video.

Settings I used for Sharpcap:

Capture Format:
Color Space: MONO
Capture Size: Max Size
Binning: 1
Output: AVI

Camera Controls
Exposure: 1207
Gain: 100
Frame Rate: Max
Flip: None
Turbo USB: Auto
High speed: On
Discard spit frames: Off
Celestron Nexstar 5SE, Celestron Powerseeker 80EQ, Celestron Advanced VX, Astro-Tech AT72EDII
My Astro Blog:
User avatar
Site Admin
Articles: 181
Posts: 2896
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:52 pm
Location: Cottonwood, AZ

TSS Awards Badges

Re: How to do a Time Lapse using a ZWO Camera and Sharpcap


Post by Gordon »

Great tutorial!

Thanks so much for sharing.
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 254N, Orion ST80, Orion Atlas EQ-g mount, Orion SSAG guider. Baader MPCC MkIII coma corrector, Vixen 70mm refractor. Lunt LS35THa solar scope. Skywatcher EQ5pro mount. Imagers: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm Eyepieces: a few, Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, EQMOD, SGP, Nebulosity, Photoshop, StarTools V1.4
User avatar
Earth Ambassador
Articles: 0
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:41 am
Location: Sydney

Re: How to do a Time Lapse using a ZWO Camera and Sharpcap


Post by Cliff »

Now I have a use for my little all sky lens that came with my ZWO178MC great information


Scopes Meade LT6 6" ACF SCT, ES80ED
Mounts Vixen Az/El , iOptron Minitower Pro, AZEQ6
Camera ZWO178mc , Canon EOS 60Da
Post Reply

Return to “Video astronomy”