Stark Labs Affordable, Powerful, and Easy to Use Astrophotography Software

Nebulosity 4

Nebulosity is designed to be a powerful, but simple to use capture and processing application for Windows (7/8/10 32/64 bit) and OS X (10.7-14). A huge array of cameras are supported for capture (see below) and images from just about anything can be processed (support for many FITS formats, PNG, TIFF, JPEG, DSLR RAW files, etc). Its goal is to suit people ranging from the novice imager who wants to create his or her first images to the advanced imager who wants a convenient, flexible capture application for use in the field.  In it, you get a host of purpose-built, powerful tools to make the most out of your images and imaging sessions.

Nebulosity 4 (currently version 4.3) is $95. Existing v4 users can download the current full-release or any pre-releases free of any cost (your v4 license is good for all v4 updates). Users with a valid version 3 license or users with a valid version 2 license can upgrade to a version 4 license for $20 and $40 respectively.

4 supports a wide range of cameras on both Windows and OS X with more often being found in pre-release versions. They are:

  • Atik legacy and modern (Mac support is spotty still as there are issues in Atik's Mac library)
  • Canon DIGIC II* / III / 4 / 5 (etc) EOS DSLRs.
  • Fishcamp Starfish
  • Meade DSI, DSI Pro, DSI II, DSI II Pro, DSI III and DSI III Pro.
  • QHY 8, 8L, 8Pro, 9, 10, 12
  • QSI 500 / 600 series
  • SBIG
  • Starlight Xpress USB2 models (SXV / SXVF / SXV-R / Lodestar / etc. including those converted to USB 2 via the SX adapter)
In addition, on Windows, the following cameras are supported
  • ASCOM-5/6 compliant cameras
  • Apogee cameras
  • CCD Labs Q8-HR / Q453, Q285M / QHY2 Pro
  • FLI cameras
  • Moriavian G2/G3 (v3 or higher firmware)
  • Orion StarShoot Deep-Space Color Imager (original) **
  • OpticStar DS-335 series, DS-336C, DS-615, DS616, DS-142, DS-145, and PL-130
  • SAC10
  • SAC7 / SC1 long-exposure modified webcams / Atik 1 and Atik 2 cameras.

* Earlier DIGIC I Canons (e.g. the 300D) are not supported. Also, for the DIGIC II cameras and even some DIGIC III cameras, Canon has declared them "unsupported" by their Software Development Kit. Most do continue to work, but it is not clear if this will change in the future and this does interact significantly with the OS you're using (e.g., many if not all DIGIC II's are not supported for capture on Windows 7/8 and others have issues in OS X 10.8.5 and higher). This is not something I can control and if you're considering purchasing, please download the fully functional demo to ensure things work on your setup prior to purchasing.
** The Orion StarShoot II, Pro, and other current "deep space" ones are not supported directly but are supported via their ASCOM drivers. Their "Solar system" cameras can work (as they are similar to webcams), but keep in mind Nebulosity is designed for deep-space photography.

Going free!

Here is a code to unlock Nebulosity if you don’t download the open-source build: N4-14627-55834-23500-59673

Upgrades, etc. can all use that code.

Windows and OS X Support

Nebulosity is a cross-platform application. It runs natively in Windows (Win7-32/64, 8, 10) and in OS X 10.7-10.14 (Intel only - Version 2 supported PPC processors - Version 3.0.7 was the last to support OS X 10.5). While Nebulosity itself is fully cross-platform, many of the camera drivers required for image capture are not. Under OS X, camera control and image capture is supported for a limited set of cameras (see above). Likewise, some cameras (e.g., older Canon DIGIC II DSLRs) are not supported by Canon under Windows 7+. All processing features are currently supported and license codes purchased for the Windows version of Nebulosity will unlock the OS X version as well. You are free to download both Windows and OS X versions and use the same code for each.

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Why Nebulosity?

People looking at software for astrophotography have a wide range of options, these days. So, you might ask, why Nebulosity? Nebulosity takes a different approach than many packages. You’ve got a number out there that are trying to be the be-all and end-all package that controls everything from your camera to your dome to your toaster. As a result, they’re often very large (and therefore tougher to navigate), and very expensive. In general, this doesn’t make for something well-suited to someone just getting going in this hobby. In addition though, much of what you get in larger packages isn’t used by some of those doing the best work out there. You’ll find top imagers that use their astro package to control the camera, get the images, pre-process and stack them, and they’ll then shift entirely (or nearly so) over to something like Photoshop or PixInsight. With Nebulosity, you can do all that for a fraction of the cost and with a far simpler user interface. This simpler interface has led many advanced users to abandon other packages and use Nebulosity in the field and for at least their initial processing. Why? Try it and find out! The demo is free and lets you try out all the features.

More info

For a full run-down, have a look at the feature list in the full manual or simply download it and try it out (Download page). All features are enabled when you download it as a demo, but saved images will be degraded (diagonal lines superimposed) until you purchase a license. Thus, you can evaluate the software extensively prior to purchase. Keep in mind, all changes are described in the Release Notes and often Pre-release versions are available with new features.