Solar Eclipse Maestro for MacOS X
Version 1.9.0v1 (June 9, 2019) (next minor update planned for late March 2023)
Solar Eclipse Maestro is the most versatile and feature-rich application for solar eclipses. It can handle any solar eclipse, provide you Baily’s beads preview and animation, simulate an all-sky view or weather statistics, and a lot more. To help you enjoy the event, it can also control up to four USB or Firewire connected cameras (Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Sony, Fuji and Olympus DSLRs or MILCs, Ricoh, plus Nikon Coolpix line) and up to four USB or Ethernet connected SBIG CCD cameras with their filter wheels during a solar eclipse, so that you can be free to concentrate on observing the event visually. DSUSB (Shoestring Astronomy) shutter control cables are also supported. You must then preprogram all exposure information according to a script. Observer position (latitude and longitude coordinates, elevation and timezone) is used to calculate local circumstances, so that camera actions can be referenced to specific eclipse events. All features are optional, so the software can be used for as little or as much as desired. It is currently localized in English and French. More…
Solar Eclipse Maestro is a donationware. Commercial distribution is strictly forbidden. Please contact me first before any commercial use. For the time being this software will remain free, but you should make a donation to support my work and show your appreciation. However, for any professional use (i.e. professionals, corporate users, institutions, etc), you are kindly asked to contact me and make a donation of at least USD 140 or 100€.
Application Requirements, Installation and Upgrade
There are now two versions of the software:
- the Intel one only runs under MacOS X 10.6.x (Snow Leopard) to macOS 10.14.x (Mojave) and allows the support of all the newest cameras but drops the Canon legacy cameras.
- the Universal Binary one, meaning it runs on both Mac Intel and PPC, that runs under MacOS X 10.4.x (a.k.a. Tiger) to macOS 10.14.x (Mojave). However do note that this UB version can’t tether control DSLRs or MILCs on El Capitan or newer which means that in this case you need to use the Intel version. Major regressions in High Sierra (10.13.0 to 10.13.6) have rendered tethered control mostly unusable with this OS version. All those regressions have been fixed by Apple in Mojave, so those still using High Sierra are encouraged to move to Mojave and those running older OSes should either stay put or else skip High Sierra altogether.
Solar Eclipse Maestro will not be compatible with macOS Catalina, the successor of Mojave, or Big Sur and newer (a complete rewrite would be necessary). Beware not to do this upgrade if you still want to run Solar Eclipse Maestro. However, using Parallels Desktop, VMWare or VirtualBox, you can still virtualize Mojave or an older release as a workaround or use the software under Windows and Linux using the same technique.
Download the dmg disk image file :
Solar Eclipse Maestro 1.9.0v1
Snow Leopard and onward
USB and/or Firewire port for DSLRs or MILCs (optional)
One USB port for Garmin GPS units, or Bluetooth for serial GPS unit (optional)
All Nikon cameras (D70 up to D7500, D500, D850, D5, Z6 and Z7)
Canon 1D Mark III up to 5D Mark IV, RP and R
Panasonic GX8, GH4, G9, GH5s, GH5, S1H, S1 and S1R
If you’re experiencing difficulties while installing Solar Eclipse Maestro and are running MacOS X 10.8.x (Mountain Lion), 10.9.x (Mavericks), 10.10.x (Yosemite), 10.11.x (El Capitan), 10.12.x (Sierra), 10.13.x (High Sierra) or 10.14.x (Mojave), then please take the time to understand Gatekeeper. If running 10.12.x (Sierra) or newer you will even have to allow the user to install applications from so called "unidentified developers"; please read this webpage or that one to know how to do do it.
A screen with a minimum 1024x768 resolution is recommended, although it will work with smaller screens.
Once your download is complete, double-click the .dmg file to mount it, and then check if there are other multiple copies of Solar Eclipse Maestro already installed. If that is the case then first move them to the trash and then empty the trash. After which you can start the installer and follow the installation instructions. The application will be installed in your Applications folder and a folder named Scripts Solar Eclipse Maestro containing sample scripts will be copied to your regular Documents folder at the root of your user account. An administrator password will be required to proceed with the installation process.
When upgrading all of your preference settings and script folder will be preserved.
Read the included help thoroughly before attempting use: go directly to the Help menu the first time you launch Solar Eclipse Maestro.
Disclaimer: use this program at your own risk. No guarantees are made, if it doesn’t work and you come away without any photos, sorry! Extensive rehearsal and testing is recommended to ensure success.
Last you are kindly requested to make a donation and show your appreciation.
Next major release planned for 2024, and minor late March 2023
2020 December 9 : version 1.9.1v1 (private, Intel only)
2019 June 9 : version 1.9.0v1
2017 August 12 : version 1.8.6v2
2017 August 11 : version 1.8.6v1
2017 March 28 : version 1.8.5v1
2016 May 28 : version 1.8.4
2015 September 19 : version 1.8.3v9
2015 February 16 : version 1.8.3v8
2014 March 30 : version 1.8.3v7
2013 October 26 : version 1.8.3v6
2013 September 22 : version 1.8.3v5
2013 April 28 : version 1.8.3v4
2012 November 6 : version 1.8.3v3
2012 November 4 : version 1.8.3v2
2012 October 28 : version 1.8.3
2012 September 5 : version 1.8.2
2012 May 15 : version 1.8.1
2012 May 8 : version 1.8.0
2011 December 8 : version 1.7.5
2011 November 13 : version 1.7.4
2011 August 30 : version 1.7.3
2011 June 5 : version 1.7.2
2011 May 31 : version 1.7.1
2011 April 25 : version 1.7.0
2011 January 2 : version 1.6.7v4
2010 December 30 : version 1.6.7v3
2010 June 29 : version 1.6.7v2 (E-Flight certified)
2010 June 27 : version 1.6.7
2010 May 28 : version 1.6.6v6
2010 May 14 : version 1.6.5
2010 April 3 : version 1.6.4
2010 January 3 : version 1.6.3
2009 December 3 : version 1.6.2
2009 November 22 : version 1.6.1
2009 November 8 : version 1.6.0
2009 November 3 : version 1.5.2
2009 October 30 : version 1.5.1
2009 October 11 : version 1.5.0
2009 July 4 : version 1.0.3
2009 June 30 : version 1.0.2
2009 June 25 : version 1.0.1
2009 June 21 : first public release, version 1.0.0
May 2009 : start of beta testing.
2008 July 14 : first internal alpha release for TSE 2008.
Solar Eclipse Maestro has been used with success worldwide by over a thousand users and not only for solar eclipses. The available features led some users to use it for photographing polar auroras, doing time-lapse photography, and NASA is using it for its ATREX (Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment) mission.
Mac users can also check out Glenn Schneider’s MacOS X UMBRAPHILEX or Classic UMBRAPHILE. In the early 90’s, Glenn pioneered this type of eclipse photography application.
Windows users can check Fred Bruenjes’ Eclipse Orchestrator. While bringing some extensions to the scripting language of the latest, my application uses nearly the same script file format to let users easily port their scripts between the two environments. Moreover, my application brings quite a few new unique and innovative features. Windows users can also check Robert Nufer’s Solar Eclipse Timer and Camera controller (SETnC).
Android phone users can try Wolfgang Strickling’s EclipseDroid application.
Brenden R., Clemson, SC, USA
It’s a great piece of software and is a very helpful improvement (as far as I am concerned) over Eclipse Orchestrator, which I have used previously. Guillaume C., Montpellier, France
What a great software. I’m looking foward to explore and use all the features. Stephen V., Invercargill, New Zealand
A big thank you to Xavier… SEM took complete control of my two cameras (Nikon D80 & D90) and worked flawlessly, running on an HP-mini 1001 "Hackintosh". Some heart stopping moments for us on Hikueru Atoll (rained on us 20 minutes pre-totality) so I was very grateful for SEM to take control when the clouds parted and totality arrived because my hands were shaking too much to operate a camera manually! What a marvelous piece of software. Constantinos E., Thessaloniki, Greece
I’m just trying the two Canon 5Ds that are gonna be working with Maestro and they both run smoothly with no problems. I think that the software runs much faster than other eclipse like software. The response is ultra fast with no lags! The results are visible there for the solar corona and here for the Baily’s beads.
Philip H., Melbourne, Australia
The cameras used with the telescopes were automated with Solar Eclipse Maestro on Mac (#1)…
So popular that this can happen, so don’t wait until the last minute!