Hi. I'm fairly new to imaging, although I've been doing a lot of research on the topic and I've been doing visual astronomy for a while. I'm looking to get my first "real" imaging mount, as so far I've only been strapping my canon 600d to the eq mount that came with my orion 130eq and using an eq motor to get up to ~1min exposures at 300mm with good polar alignment. While it's still fun and rewarding with this setup, I'd like to upgrade to something that will let me get some better quality images with a lot less frustration and tinkering.
In my research it seems the iOptron skyguider is a fairly common mount in this price range. Although a lot of people mention factory issues with it, it seems most are happy with the results they get. To start I'd really just be using my 600D with a kit lens and a cheap zoom lens that came with it, but I plan to upgrade to using a small fast refractor such as the WO RedCat 51. It seems a lot of people overload the thing with gear, and many have advised staying under 50% max load for imaging, but a combination of my 600D + the RedCat would still follow that rule it seems.
The main reason I think the skyguider is a good choice for me rather than saving up for a bigger and better mount is that I doubt I'd really ever grow out of it like I might grow out of the heavier mid-range mounts. I could buy a heavier mount in my budget, but I'll probably end up upgrading to something better if I did so, not to mention the fact I'd have to save up extra to buy a telescope to really take advantage of a large mount. The portability and ease of use of the skyguider, though, will make it an asset on vacations, camping trips, and on nights when I don't have much time to spend setting up. It'll also be nice for when I want to shoot wider stuff like milky way or constellation shots, which I intend to do quite a bit when I have the rare chance to escape my bortle 9 skies and visit my favorite dark sky spots.
I don't want to sound like a complete newbie, but is my reasoning solid? Are there other, better portable/light mounts? I don't mind shelling out the extra cash if necessary. To those who have skyguider, what are your setups like? How have your results been? Manual polar alignment or some sort of polar camera set up? Guided or unguided?