File Format

This may be an obvious answer but Ive had a look around and must be missing me somehow…
I have a QHY8L OSC imager, It works great, my scope works great, EVERYTHING seems to be going great… the ONLY issue I have is the file format the camera saves in when using SGPRO…

For anyone with the same imager, is there ANY other format to have the images saved in? Files save as FITS files (which Photoshop cannot open…). TIFF would be a better option for me as then it would be a lot easier to open… I can open them using PixInsight but I really struggle to use this software as its SO complicated…

Any help appreciated… (not even sure if what I’m asking makes sense, or is even possible…)

Hi Shand359.

FITS is an astronomy and scientific use standard…

More at: FITS - Wikipedia

I think the only other option for file formats in SGP besides FITS is for
RAW frames from DSLR cameras. But there’s a couple other things you can
do. Look up “FitsLiberator” - a plugin for Photoshop that allows Photoshop
to open FITS images. The other option is to open the FITS image in
Pixinsight and then save as an uncompressed TIF. But in all honesty the
real answer to your question is to spend the time learning Pixinsight. I
agree, PI can be challenging to learn, but there are good tools and videos
out there that really help. You won’t regret it either.

If you want to use TIFF, PixInsight can convert the fit files to Tiff. Just look under Scripts -> Batch Processing -> Batch Format Conversion. But you will be missing using one of the best tools around for processing astro images.


The PixInsight Book:

He’ll walk you through, step-by-step, using your imager’s FITS files.

There’s Harry’s Astro Shed PixInsight Tutorials: Harrysastroshed-pixinsight

Further, Harry posts on this forum.

It’s worth talking the time to figure out PixInsight. Really.


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Kayron Mercieca’s site, Lightvortex is another excellent resource with PixInsight walk throughs including an end to end walk through from pre to post processing for Raw image data.



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Hi @Shand359 - for handling FITS files, there is also:

Fitswork - specifically for FITS files. Great for quickly browsing/viewing FITS files. Can save as different format (TIFF etc.)

Irfanview (there is a plugin for FITS format and many others) - it has a batch conversion utility which is handy (can convert to TIFF, JPG etc)

+1 on the PixInsight comments above. Photoshop is also complicated (esp. for astro pix processing). If starting from scratch, would prefer PI over PS. Some use a mix of both.


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You could also try ESO/Nasa Fits Liberator. It will read a fits file, stretch any way you want and save in tiff format. Free also.


Thank you all for your input. I’m going to persevere with PI… Fits liberator I have already tried but this only allows PS to open the image in grayscale (unless I am doing something wrong with that too…lol).

With a OSC camera they are not automatically converted to color. A process called Debayering must be applied to the raw image before the color is visible. Therefore the images will appear as grayscale until the Debayering has been completed. Some software such as Nebulosity or Sharpcap can be told to Debayer the image before saving. I am not sure how FitsLiberator handles the Bayer matrix when it converts an image. Check the options to see if there is an option to Debayer the image before it is saved as a TIFF file.