Hi everyone, my name is Kelly and I am extremely new to the whole telescope/astronomy field in general but I have always been interested in it. And I apologize if my type of question has been answered elsewhere, as through my research of this forum I have not found one. I am looking for a camera that will fit my needs of EAA.
So I recently landed a job that had an observatory that was being neglected and I have been the front runner to getting it into the 21st century. We now have an 18" Starmaster that we bought used but in great condition (it is 3 years old currently) that has Goto. I have been able to use it fairly easily being a novice myself but what I really want is a way that we can have large groups view what is being seen in the telescope. I am big into community outreach so being able to have either a live feed, or something close-to-live (maybe a constantly updating picture) that not only I can figure out/use but others who are novices as well to telescopes (and astronomy in general) will be able to navigate with a little teaching. This camera will also be advantageous for individuals who cannot make it up the steps to the telescope itself. We also recently got a 5” Celestron NexStar 127SLT (f/12).
In a perfect world I am looking for something that deals out a high quality image in color that I will be able to stream to a large HD Monitor for larger group viewing. If there is a possibility of no laptop/computer that needs to go along with it that would be great, but there is the whole issue of how simple and user friendly software is that needs to be addressed (which is something I did not even think about prior to scouring through these forums). Since the main focus for this camera would be education and outreach, being able to see deep sky objects as well as solar system objects would be ideal, but I do not know if that is even possible to have some sort of camera to do both.
I have been trying to navigate through the sea of different posts (and acronyms that go along with) to the best of my ability but I keep coming out frazzled and overwhelmed each time.
I had looked at the Mallicam HD-10 as a solution, but found reviews that the software can be super frustrating and you cant see deep sky objects almost at all. I have seen positive things for some sort of Atik with infinity color but everything was jargon heavy and hard to interpret, so might be above my learning curve capacity. And then there are a bunch of ZWOs, one of which might work for what I want is the ASI071MC Pro (color), but with so many options I don’t even know where to start making decisions.
So I am asking if anyone could help steer me in the right direction of the type of camera that will fulfill my needs.
1. High quality image in color
2 user friendly software (the simpler the better)
3. Ability to see solar system and deep space objects
4. Live feed (or close to it) to be able to plug into monitor/tv.
5. optional computer (not a big deal if I have to go through a laptop first but if I don’t have to that’s one less step)
I’m not looking for perfection, but something that I can use to showcase how amazing and awe-inspiring astronomy is and EAA sounds like just the right next step for outreach to groups of people as well as observing easy and accessible for people who cannot make it up steps to the telescope. I really appreciate any suggestions and input anyone has.