Wow. I had no idea I'd receive that much feedback.
Since this is in the vein of this thread......
Which of, if any of these programs listed can plate solve natively? I've used Astronomy.net online solver and it's good, just a little laggy, but expected. It's just another step with another thing to do. And it wouldn't work in the "field" unless I tether to my phone.
I'd like something that I can take a shot......and tell me where I'm pointed. "Manually" (using hand controller) adjust my mount, because it's awful on goto, take a shot....tell me where I'm aiming. Repeat.
I took shots last night while trying to find the Ring Nebula which is all but directly overhead and I swung around it and gave up. (Plate solved today to see how close I was)
I gotta believe the database would be enormous however. But I have a 2TB external HDD I can use.
I downloaded the install tool for AstroTortilla but didn't know which database to download....I didn't have a lot of time at that point so I abandoned it for the time.
I don't know if this is a "thing" but after the plate solving, lets say I'm looking for the Ring Nebula, I would be able to scrub around the image and see or somehow know which way I need to move. My mount can't be directed by a computer, at least that I know of, so that would be a big help.
Like the SkyWalk app on my phone. There's an on screen arrow pointing which direction I need to look.
N.I.N.A. I like free.
APT is pretty cheap at 20 bucks.
If it's SGP for 100....That might be something I would consider. As I don't want to get frustrated with what little time I get outside at night with clear skies. Trying to star hop my way around won't happen overnight. As you all know.
Cooled vs uncooled camera debate.....I've read a lot on these forums about cameras. And obviously a cooled camera is the high end way to go.
But I've seen some incredible images with non-cooled, and DSLR.
I also believe that until I get a SIGNIFICANTLY better mount, I won't be taking 4min+ exposures. Just not going to happen.
With an 18month old at home, unless someone want's to give me a smoking deal on an Atlas or HEQ5, I'll be 1min exposures for a while, and that's OK. With an F/4 scope I can do A LOT with 30sec or less subs. While I'm know cooled will still be a benefit here, I'm guessing not as significant.
I could keep my dslr but the added weight isn't helping my mount at all. Not to mention my cheesy focuser that doesn't like the added weight, which is causing some misalignment issues on my images. "So change the focuser." More weight and still using the DSLR=weight.
The ability to adjust a ZWO from the computer has it benefits.
The fact that it won't have the filter in front of the sensor like my T7i also has it's obvious benefits.
Planetary work with the frame rate would be beneficial as well.
From where I sit, I can't justify spending 4x the cost of a 224. Or 10x that of a 120 for cooled, yet.
As Steven Crowder would say..... "change my mind"