Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

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gabrieli
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Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by gabrieli » Sat May 26, 2018 2:06 pm

A FLIR Blackfly S arrived yesterday (May 25), an intriguing little USB3.1 camera with a 1.6 Mp sensor that runs at 220+ frames/s and a nice price point.

The compatibilty chart on the Firecapture website indicates support for PGR/FLIR cameras but after installing the latest Flycapture and Firecapture, I couldn’t get the camera to be recognized at all.

I tried installing the latest FLIR Spinnaker SDK but while I can access the camera within that software
and it does show a frame rate of at least 200 frames/s, the software is not very convenient and Firecapture does not seem to recognize Spinnaker.

So, I think support for FLIR cameras with the latest Firecapture only refers to FLIR branded cameras that used Flycapture under the Point Grey name.

Does anyone else have any experience with FLIR /SpinnakerSDK/Firecapture or is this camera going to be a temporary paper weight until the next Firecapture update?

Lou

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Re: Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by GreatAttractor » Sun May 27, 2018 9:46 am

That's strange, I'd think all cameras should still be supported by FlyCapture SDK. Did you try accessing the camera via the FlyCapture's application FlyCap?
My software:
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ImPPG — stack post-processing and animation alignment
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Re: Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by gabrieli » Sun May 27, 2018 11:30 am

I can access the Blackfly S through the newer SpinnakerSDK alone but not with Firecapture + Spinnaker. I never tried using Flycap on its own for this camera, only with Firecapture + Flycap which couldn't find the camera.

If memory serves, Flycap wasn't much of an improvement over the current Spinnaker SDK interface.
That's why I really want to be able to use Firecapture with its great interface.

Still, I'll try accessing the Blackfly with Flycap alone. That might lead me somewhere.You never know.

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Re: Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by gabrieli » Sun May 27, 2018 4:19 pm

I did more organized testing using a PGR G3(2.8Mp) and a FLIR Blackfly S with two proprietary most up to date SDK packages, Flycapture and Spinnaker, with and without Firecapture. The test results are shown below.

When using Spinnaker alone with the PGR G3, the camera name has an exclamation mark beside it on the interface and an alert says that the camera is not compatible with Spinnaker. Using Flycapture alone with the Blackfly S, the camera just doesn't appear
at all in the interface. Using Firecapture with either SDK's, Blackfly can't be found at all.

Blackfly S was only recently released and so I’m hoping that there is a fix in Firecapture to be able to use Spinnaker at some point in the future.

Lou

tests.jpg
tests.jpg (66.53 KiB) Viewed 567 times

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Re: Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by Valtori » Sun May 27, 2018 6:42 pm

Hi Lou,

I have the same camera. Unfortunately no one FireCapture supports BlackFlyS cameras.
FireCapture can work only with FlyCapture SDK not with Spinnaker SDK. I discuss this issue with Torsten. it is true.

There are two options:
1. capture with Spinnaker SDK
2. Wait for Torsten when he can master the Spinnaker with FC. :)

Val
PS SharpCap as well doesn’t support BlackFlyS cameras.

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Re: Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by gabrieli » Mon May 28, 2018 12:47 am

Hi, Valtori

Thanks for confirming my suspicions. After reading through notes under downloads on the FLIR site, I found this:

Latest FlyCapture2 Full SDK

" The FlyCapture Full SDK package can be used to work with FLIR Firewire, GigE, USB2, and USB3 cameras, excluding 'Blackfly S' models (see Spinnaker SDK for BFS software)." What bad luck! I was expecting to start using the Blackfly S in a comfortable Firecapture environment right away.

As you say, the camera does work with Spinnaker but I find the interface very tedious. I may have no choice for a while yet.

Lou

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Re: Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by GreatAttractor » Mon May 28, 2018 9:20 am

Thanks for verifying this, Lou. I'll check the Spinnaker out and see about adding the support to PlanetaryImager (my Chameleon3 should work with Spinnaker according to the PGR website).
My software:
Stackistry — an open-source cross-platform image stacker
ImPPG — stack post-processing and animation alignment
My images

SW Mak-Cass 127, ATM Hα scope (D=90 mm, LS50 etalon), Lunt LS50THa, ATM SSM, ATM Newt 300/1500 mm, PGR Chameleon 3 mono (ICX445)

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Re: Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by LauraMS » Mon May 28, 2018 5:49 pm

Hello Lou,

did you try to run your camera with the Flycapture software? I know that some of the older cameras (I have a ICX445 monochrome GiGe Blackfly camera) appea to run with both Spinaker and Flycapture software. Flycapture drivers were acceptef by FireCapture (at least GIGE)...

Otherwise, I am afraid there is nothing but waiting for an updated FireCapture...

Good luck!
Laura

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Re: Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by LauraMS » Mon May 28, 2018 6:01 pm

ok, saw your earlier post that you made that test.

Did you send an email to Torsten Edelman? He may have an interest in including the Blackfly SDK into FireCapture. There will be more Spinaker users in the future...

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Re: Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by gabrieli » Mon May 28, 2018 6:09 pm

Hi, Laura

I tried every combination of Flycapture and Spinnaker without and with Firecapture and the only success happened with Spinnaker alone but I find Spinnaker as tedious to use as Flycap,

It actually states on the FLIR download page that

" The FlyCapture Full SDK package can be used to work with FLIR Firewire, GigE, USB2, and USB3 cameras, excluding 'Blackfly S' models (see Spinnaker SDK for BFS software)." It looks like I made the cutoff for Flycapture just in time to not be able to use it with my Blackfly S.

Firecapture just won't work with Spinnaker at the moment. Here are the trials the camera was put through:
tests.jpg
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Re: Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by LauraMS » Mon May 28, 2018 7:21 pm

Hi Lou,

thanks for the clarification. That's really a pitty. Actually, my impression is that Spinaker is much better software than the old one, but that doesn't help here. Maybe there is USBVision standard compatible software on the internet which may be useful?

I completely understand that you don't war to use Flaycap or its succesor - not comfortable at all for solar. But on the other hand: it works... That's what I did before FireCapture accepted GiGe interface.
Btw., did you try Genika Astro? Don't know if it works with Spinaker but Frederic is very supportive...

Goodnluck
Laura

So

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Re: Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by gabrieli » Tue May 29, 2018 1:14 am

Hi, Laura

The Genika Astro interface is far better than that of Flycap/Spinnaker but I don't think that it supports Spinnaker yet. Since it is paid software, I wouldn't get into it until I see some assurance on their website that the support is there.

Lou

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Re: Advice on Firecapture/FLIR Spinnaker SDK ?

Post by LauraMS » Tue May 29, 2018 3:40 am

Hi Lou,

you may consider emailing Frederic Jabet, vendor of Genika Astro and owner of Airylab, and ask. I have done so before, and he always was very supportive with issues I had with my setup. You are right, it is paid software but it is not that expensive (70€),and for the price you also get support quickly.

The same may be true with FireCapture but Torsten Edelman is doing Firecapture development (very professionall!) in his leisure time. I am convinced he will also have an interest in implementing the Spinaker SDK soon since these little machine vision cameras attract a lot of attention in particular for solar, also because there is more camera options available than with vendors like ZWO or QHY.

For solar I personally like Genika better than FireCapture - it is very stable, well organized and gives excellent control of everything needed for solar (including focusing options). But there is some cost associated with it, and you need to register the serial # of your cameras (max 3) with Airylab. But again: you get the quick support you would expect from a commercial product. Just my two cents.

Laura

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