This is my first CN post and I am a basically a newbie to both astronomy and EAA. I received a Nexstar 6se for Christmas and initially I was only interested in visual, but while reading some posts on the 6se I came across the RI2 which piqued my interest. I am not really interested in going into AP, but living in a typical light polluted suburban area (Southeast Mesa, AZ Bortle 6/7 for now), I am quickly seeing the potential benefit of EAA. I have in-laws that live a couple hours away in Northern AZ with Bortle 3 skies, but I would like to take full advantage of observing in my own backyard to see more than just planets.
In searching for more information on R2 and EAA in general, I learned that unless you were trying to avoid using a laptop, most on here advise to skip the RI2 analog and pick up a CMOS/CDD camera, with the ZWO ASI 224 MC being a popular entry level recommendation. I had already ordered the Celestron f/6.3 reducer which I am waiting for (backordered) and some better EPs for visual, and it looks like the 6.3 is helpful for EAA as well, though I have seen recommendations to use the 0.5 FR from Highpoint especially with the 6se stock mount. I also have read about Hyperstar which looks intriguing to me (though pricey, and I'm not 100% sure it is compatible with the 6se), and have seen recommendations for more advanced (and costly) cameras. So after reading various threads on here, I am considering the following approaches:
1) Get the ZWO ASI 224 MC and see if I can swap out the 6.3 for the 0.5 FR - this seems to be the least expensive approach to get me up and running and give me good planet views and still perform fairly well with DSO. Is there any other equipment I would need for this approach?
2) Purchase the Hyperstar 6 and a better camera (probably the ZWO ASI183MC Pro which is used in the pictures on Starzona's website) - this approach is quite a bit more costly, but the camera purchase at least would be more future proof and I think I'd be able to get great views of Andromeda and M42. Is this overkill though for the 6se?
I am open to other recommendations though. Appreciate the help in advance.
Edited by jjbetts, 12 January 2021 - 06:17 PM.