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SIPS version 3
 There were twenty individual version releases of SIPS between version 2 and 3 and only minor updates of version 2.4.x were released eleven times. All these updates, enhancements and bug fixes plus a bunch of new ones are now embraced in version 3. Still, the new visual style of the SIPS v3 is probably the first change every user notices.

Maybe the most important progress was made to advanced scientific image processing available in new SIPS (after all, the SIPS abbreviation means Scientific Image Processing System :). Both Astrometry and Photometry tools are now capable to correct for field curvature when matching images to catalog fields and multiple catalogs are now supported. The Photometry tool can perform advanced light curve calculation and plotting, stores field description for rapid processing of many stars within a field of view, creates tables of fluxes of all stars found on series of images for later processing etc.

One feature porobably unique to SIPS is the inter-image guiding, intended for precious mounts capable to track the field without correction during the time of single exposure. Corrections are performed only between individual shots, based on the mutual matching of the first reference image and currently downloaded image. But the Imaging Camera tool adds also other new functions, e.g. saving and loading of image series etc.

New Guider Tool window layout is a result of feedback from users running SIPS on computers with small displays, as the “Advanced” variant of the tool window contained many controls and required a lot of screen vertical space.

Support for a third (context) camera was also added. Such camera can be on the finderscope or can provide overview of the observatory shelter or dome area etc.

Important progress was made with overall observation control and integration of individual observatory hardware devices (telescope mount, observatory dome, ...). Updates include e.g. exposure series description storable into files for later use and many new functions added to telescope control tool (support for pier side control, telescope parking etc.). Ability to synchronize the mount with astrometrically measured image center coordinates was also added.

SIPS incrementally added awareness to high resolution displays with every past release, as more and more parts of the GUI properly reacted to increased screen DPI. But some parts of the GUI, namely the screen icons and controls using the icons (tool-bar icon buttons, command buttons, ...) remained of fixed size, which made SIPS hardly usable in some cases. To fix this issue, the whole GUI of the program has to be reworked. SIPS version 3 finally said farewell to visual style of GUI elements first introduced in Windows 95 and established with a release of Windows 2000 and introduced it own visual style, trying to find compromise between “primitive” monochrome flat appearance recently promoted by Microsoft and abundantly rich appearance full of rounds, reflections and gradients, which we know from older operating system iterations.

Either way, SIPS GUI can now be “zoomed” to any DPI to allow comfortable control on all types of users' computers.

SIPS v3 is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions to utilize all RAM available in modern computers and to allow processing of large sets of images, captured with high-resolution cameras.

Please note the version 3 contains ale updated documentation, installed together with the programs. The documentation describes everything from basic principles to tutorials (e.g. guiding tutorial, focusing tutorial) and also contains reference description of all tools contained in SIPS v3.

SIPS is a freeware and can be downloaded from the Download section of this web site.

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