Capturing photos of the current Neowise comet has inspired me into renewed interest in AP. I have an older Celestron 8 inch SCT on an equatorial wedge mount bought used in the early 90's. I have since modded it with encoders on both axes and star-hopped across the sky as well as (again many years ago) bought a small computer that enabled an object to be selected and then manually "gone-to". The rig has always a pain to align and although I have optics to flatten the field and add a camera, I have never even attempted to take photos. Now with new computerized Go-To mounts, better alignment equipment and even small (but no goto)ones like the Skyguider Pro and Star Adventurer I thought it time to reconsider AP. I've even become excited about the possibilities with the AZ-GTi GoTo and a DSLR. Besides the C8 I have a fair bit of Nikon gear (long zoom) including a 500 mm FL mirror lens and a Lumix GX-8 which I used with the mirror lens to shoot decent photos of neowise (see www.boulderwx.com/neowise.php)
So I have come to a fork in the road and could use some advice from those of you with experience... whether to go right and utilize the C-8 with new tripod and GoTo mount or left and get one of the camera-oriented mounts. There is appeal in getting a GoTo EQ mount that could be used for both the C8 and camera that would travel the skies with ease, take photos and really spend time enjoying viewing (albeit at a >>$1000 price tag), or just focus on AP and perhaps enter more tentatively and less costly using one of the iOptron or Sky Watcher mounts for the cameras. Although hopping around the night sky with a ball mount may be counter productive.That said, I would not hesitate to give up direct viewing since even with the C-8 dark sky objects do not exactly burn the retina. The GX-8 is surprisingly good at viewing dim objects like Neowise, but navigating with the GX-8 with a ball mount sounds like it might be frustrating, which is how I gave the whole thing up before. But maybe it's not so bad. I've watched a few of the YouTube videos on the Skyguider Pro and Star Adventurer and they do look appealing. See the problem???
Your advice and opinion would be most appreciated.