The HEQ5 will do great. I image with full payloads filling the 30lb capacity and it tracks and images fine. But I'm pier mounted, and it behaves much differently than tripod-mounted.
Personally I would not bother using your Canon super teles, if you plan on ever using them for terrestrial work too. Pretty much a pain to setup and tear down each time. I too have big Canons but I don't bother putting them on the mount, as I use them during the day and tear-down and setup is a pain. A simple small refractor will do the job and cost virtually nothing compared to the big Canons with AF mechanisms and stabilization and stuff that you won't be able to use. A decent triplet APO will cost very little and do the same job.
I recommend you put a pier in your yard somewhere and get a mounting plate. These mounts perform even better on a pier than a little tripod. The tripod is virtually always the weak point.
If you get the HEQ5, I can recommend you always pair a laptop with it and setup EQMod with it. Pick your planetarium software (I like Stellarium) and operate your mount and scopes with the laptop in a lush planetarium environment. It's just bliss!
Thanks for the reply Marty.
Good news on the HEQ5-Pro, at the moment I have nothing that will get close to the max load capacity so I should be ok.
I am keen to try the camera lenses (that I already have and seldom use), mostly because of the work that Robert Clark has done with similar lenses. But that can come later, I would love to compare a top end lens with a telescope.
Having said that I am happy to get a refractor as it will be the easiest/quickest way to get imaging. Unfortunately none of the decent refractors that are available locally are OTA's only, that was why I was hoping to get one with a decent mount. If I purchase the HEQ5-Pro and a scope I would most likely end up buying a scope with a mount and then not using the mount. Maybe I can use the mount for some light work with short (14-200mm) camera lenses.
The cost impact is fortunately not that bad so I am happy to do that. I am hoping to go and look at some of the telescopes this coming week and then buy one and the HEQ5-Pro.
I have also looked at a guide scope and camera, what is available is the Orion Mini 50mm Guide Scope and the Orion Starshoot Autoguider camera. I am hoping it will do the job else I will have to import.
Something else I need to consider is mounting the camera to the scope but I am hoping the adapters that I have that fits the 1.25" eye pieces on my microscopes will work, some of them were advertised as telescope/microscope adapters. I have them for Canon and Nikon mounts so it will allow me to try different camera bodies from Canon/Nikon/Sony that I have.
A pier is definitely planned but it will be at my new (dark) location so it is a few months in the future. I would most likely build be a small observatory that can then also house the dedicated computer equipment with a network link to the house for winter comfort. It is going to be fun (and hard work) to setup the new property for my hobbies, it will also include masts for antennas (amateur radio) and a hangar + short runway.
I have already installed and played with Stellarium and I like it. I am enjoying all the new software, DSS I have used before, Pixinsight looks like it is really powerful, will spend more time on it. At least 35+ years in IT helps.
Thanks for the advice!