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Backyard Nikon questions



Hi all,

So I want to buy the backyard nikon software but I do have 3 things I need to know first.

1. When connected to my laptop, can I directly download any images taken, I need this for plate solving.
2. Can I use the software to record liveview video? Normal hd video results in 1920x1080 while I have heard that this software allows this "trick" in order to use the full resolution of the sensor.
3. What cable do I need to connect a d5600 to my laptop for this software to work?

Thanks and sorry for the newbie questions

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1. YES

2. No, and you don't want HD videos, that is terrible resolution for astronomy.   BYN will save and record the live view session as it appears on the camera LCD.

3. the USB cable that came with the camera.

There is a 30-day free trial.  Try before you buy :)


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To expand on your 2nd question:  I've posted explanations of the issue of "HD Resolution" vs "1:1 Pixel Resolution" many times.  While this previous posting was in response to a Canon user, the explanation is applicable to your D5600 as well:

HD Movies mode vs 5x LiveView Zoom - Pixel Resolution


When we speak of 1:1 Pixel Resolution being "the best thing" for Imaging (DSO or Planetary/Lunar Video, the longer form of the reason is thus:

The Canon 100D has a Sensor Resolution of 5184 x 3456 Pixels. 

When you take a Still Image, all 17915904 Pixels are recorded 1-for-1 into the RAW file.  Once processed, the resulting Image will have "Full Resolution" of 1:1 (until you Crop or Resize).

When you take a Video, the Camera is still recording the Full Sensor.  But when it comes time to render the Output File (AVI or MP4 or...) it will output at most 1920x1080 "Output Pixels".  Each Pixel in the Video is an Interpolated rendition of (5184/1920)= 2.7 Horizontal Pixels and (3456/1080)= 3.2 Vertical Pixels.  Or, if the 16:9 Format is selected then Top/Bottom Masks will be employed and you will get 2.7 Vertical Pixels interpolated into each Output Pixel.  (Obviously, this is not Optimum when you are attempting to get Maximum Detail out of a Telescopic shot of the Moon.)

Thus, when BYE uses the Internal Crop Frame of the LiveView functionality, and captures a 1:1 Pixel Resolution Video (even if only 960x640), it gives us the Best Resolution.


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I am not a Nikon or BYN owner, but have used BYE for over 10 years.

For Canon, the 5X zoom in LiveView/Planetary mode gives a 1:1 ratio between sensor pixels and image pixels.

For Nikon and BYN, it has been reported that 5X Zoom does not give the same 1:1 ratio as does Canon. I do not know if this is true or not but it may be a concern.

I would suggest that before buying BYN that you get a free, fully-functional 30-day Trial license and try it out. You could look at the height and width of a 5X zoom Planetary image and compare the dimensions to the full image size to see if any interpolation was done. If so, don't blame BYN. They are using the Nikon SDK and are subject to its limitations.

To get BYN up and running with a Trial license, do the following:

  1. Log onto this web site with the username that you want your license listed under. Remember this username and DO NOT create additional usernames.
  2. Verify that your camera is in the Supported cameras list via the link at the bottom of this page. If your camera is not listed, read the post near the top of the BYN Forum regarding "Is My Camera Supported?"
  3. Also verify that your camera support Bulb over USB on the Supported Cameras table. If not a Serial cable may be required in order to control the shutter for long exposures. Compatible shutter control cables are listed on the Supported Cameras page. This is a second cable, in addition to the USB control cable.
  4. Download and install the latest BYN release. If you launch BYN before having a license key you will not get very far; my suggestion is to wait until you have a Trial key before launching BYN.
  5. Go to the Store on this web site via the menu item at the top of this page.
  6. "Purchase" the 30-day Trial license for BYN (this license key will not work for BYE, which is a separate product and requires its own license). There is no cost and you will not be asked to provide a credit card.
  7. Once you have completed the purchase process your Trial license key will be available via the My Purchases | Orders. Do not expect to get an email with your license key.
  8. Use Clipboard Copy to capture the full license key without any leading or trailing whitespace.
  9. Launch BYN. You should see the license validation dialog. Paste your license key into the key field and type your username into the case-sensitive Identifier field. Click OK and you should be taken to the main screen.

Other items to Note:

  • Only use BYN with an empty or nearly empty SD card in the camera. Using a card that is full of images causes the Nikon SDK to take a long time to initialize. There is nothing that BYN can do to avoid this.
  • Disable WiFi in the camera, if the camera supports it.
  • Disable other advanced features in the camera like Long Exposure Noise Reduction, High ISO Noise Reduction, Exposure Bracketing, LiveView Face+Tracking auto focus, etc. These settings are not exposed to BYN by the Nikon SDK so BYN cannot see or change them.
  • When you start BYN with a Trial license the software needs an Internet connection to phone home and validate that your license is still valid. This does not happen with a non-expiring purchased license. This means that you cannot use BYN with a Trial license at a dark sky site that does not have an Internet connection, unless your cell phone has a signal and you can configure it as a hotspot for your laptop.
  • As you are learning to use BYN, start simply. Don't try to turn on all the features at the start. For example, don't try to save both RAW and JPG images until you are sure that you can save Raw only and JPG only. Don't try to save images to both the PC and the camera until you have verified that you can save to both destinations individually. Don't try to use Mirror Lock until you have verified that you can control the camera without mirror lock enabled, that your are sure that you actually need it AND you have confirmed that your camera supports it.
  • Also in line with starting simply. Start testing BYN with a short USB cable that is known to be good. Directly connect the cable from the camera to the PC. If you try to use a 30 foot USB cable that you bought online for $5 and it does not work, I would throw the cable away. Maximum length for a USB 2 cable is 16.5 feet (5 meters), but it can be extend by using a good quality active USB extension cable.

There are probably other things that I have missed, but I hope that this is useful.

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