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Is ZWO becoming the Apple of the Astro World?

astrophotography equipment imaging
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#1 Seaquel47

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 06:20 PM

I recently had the good fortune to acquire a CEM40 from a local club member who had upgraded his mount.  I really wasn't in the market but this was the direction I wanted to take when the time came.  Up to now, most of my imaging has been done on a Sky Guider Pro which has a fairly high aggravation index with regard to target acquisition/framing and retaining polar alignment when moving the scope around.  (BTW, it's a great mount to throw into a backpack and hit the trail).  Since I already had the ASIAir Pro I set it up with the CEM40 and ASI294MC Pro and WOW, what a change!  Polar alignment, goto, plate solving, sequence control, automated display options, what else could you want?  I'll admit, after 30 years of working with Windows, at home I switched to Apple and thoroughly enjoyed the fact that it just works.  Yes, Excel is superior but it's not a big necessity anymore.  My first forays into EAA with an Infinity camera were frustrating to get set up.  Once working it was ok.  Updates and bloat are a pain.

 

So I guess if you are happy with ZWO gear, it doesn't get much easier than this.

 

 

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#2 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 06:32 PM

Maybe. They are certainly building a nice ecosystem of products (previous thoughts, here).


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#3 happylimpet

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 06:42 PM

While I cant claim to be familiar with Apple products, I know one key difference. ZWO products are very reasonably priced.....


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#4 rkinnett

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 07:19 PM

The Apple model would be more like Stellina.. a fully-integrated product with mount, optics, the whole works, well figured for what it does, but not very user configurable.


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#5 Wei

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 07:19 PM

Did you say that because it is red?

 

Apple is getting worst these days without Steve Job. 

 

The only common thing I would say is don't upgrade your firmware if it is working.  I am getting guiding problems after 1.5. In the end I have to use st4 port to guide because ioptron drivers don't work some how.


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#6 alphatripleplus

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 07:30 PM

I'm one of the few people that are not happy with Apple gear (remember the old Newton? lol.gif ), but ZWO seems to be well placed in the astro community and moderately priced relative to its competitors. I don't see them in the same light as I see Apple. Just my 2 cents.smile.gif


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#7 pinzmann

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 08:17 PM

Trying to figure out if this is about ZWO or Apple. I have all ZWO gear and control it with an iPad. Was using NINA, PHD2, laptop, etc. worked fine but Asiair on a tablet is so much easier. Occasionally I would have trouble guiding in Asiair but then I remember many a time when PHD2 would go wacko. Only time I use a laptop now is to do PA on my iPolar equipped CEM40 mount. Faster than using the PA in Asiair. I think Asiair is especially beneficial to imagers who are not computer savvy like myself. 


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#8 Jarno

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 01:54 AM

Yes it just works - until it doesn't. A few months ago the polar alignment routine of my Asiair suddely stopped working after a software update. I've submitted several tickets and so far ZWO's "support" has been a standard message "we'll have someone look into it." followed by absolute silence. I've found several reports from other people with totally different mounts so the issue is definitely with the Asiair. And then there's the persistant guiding issues lots of people have been having since the 1.5 update. I'm seriously considering ditching my Asiair and going back to a laptop. Yes, that won't always just work but at least if it doesn't, I can fix it myself.

 

Jarno


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#9 skybsd

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 02:12 AM

I'm one of the few people that are not happy with Apple gear ...

You and me both! waytogo.gif

 

Best.., 

 

skybsd 


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#10 philinbris

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 02:32 AM

<Warning - Rant time>

I would hate to compare ZWO to Apple. To me (and its very subjective) that is like saying get what everyone else has even though it not as good. There must be 2 or 3 people at work that whinge about IPhones yet they still get new ones because they use face time or would miss something. Then there is the odd firmware update that causes issues (remember the famous IOS13 bug where a text that could crash them). But they are sexy according to some judge.

<End Rant>

Looking forward to getting a ZWO 533 cam soon when the household accountant lets me.

Cheers


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#11 luxo II

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 04:24 AM

Heck no. More like Microsoft:

 

1. quality is OK, though not perfect;

2. they're undercutting the other manufacturers on price,

3. they're doing deals with any and every reseller, though I doubt there's much in it for the resellers.

 

I have an ASI533, and yes I like it, for astro it is vastly better than my M4/3 camera.


Edited by luxo II, 26 January 2021 - 04:33 AM.

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#12 alphatripleplus

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 09:07 AM

Well, if they open a ZWO store next to the Apple store at the local upscale mall, I guess life will get easier for anyone with the occasional ZWO camera problem. Plus you would be able to play with the latest ZWO cameras .... yes in my dreams, I know. lol.gif


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#13 Starlancer

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 09:45 AM

No because ZWO products don't have to be used together, you can mix and match. It's only the ASIair that locks you in, plus they are usually cheaper then other brands not more.



#14 davidparks

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 09:56 AM

With the exception of the ASIAIR, I do not see any correlation between ZWO products and Apple.  Their cams, focuser, filter wheels, etc are all made to work with many of the common hardware fits, finishes, sizes, and software platforms... in other words, they play very well with others...

 

The ASIAIR of course, will only work with their products, in the category that they make, meaning their cams, focuser, filter wheels...  they don’t make mounts, and the ASIAIR is compatible with most mounts on the market. They don’t make DSLR’s and the list of DSLR compatibility keeps growing...  but for those categories where ZWO competes, the AIR only works with ZWO.   Maybe that is why some people compare them to Apple?

 

There is only one other ZWO/Apple similarity I can think of, and this is where I think Apple would love to be more like the ZWO ASIAIR Pro.  I think Apple wants to convince us that their products provide a certain unique “experience” that you don’t get anywhere else... and that may be true for some folks.  It is definitely true for some folks that the ASIAIR Pro offers a unique user experience that is not found anywhere else....

 

ASIAIR Pro is often compared, and rightly so, with other “controllers”, or “brain” type products, like, for example; Stellarmate, Astroberry, NUC’s, Raspberry Pi’s, Laptops with Windows, Mini Stick PC’s and so forth.  ASIAIR’s abilities, like auto-focus, sequencing, GoTo, and Live Stacking are compared with software like SGP, NINA, Sharpcap, and PHD2.  ASIAIR brings to the table certain connectivity and other desires, such as “i want to be wireless”, “I want to be remote”, “I don’t want cable spaghetti”, and so get’s compared to both hardware and software that aim to address these same desires, like Pocket Powerbox, VNC/TeamViewer, etc.

 

Whether in form, or function, different aspects of the ASIAIR gets compared with a great deal of other things... and rightly so.  However, the ASIAIR is “more” than all these other things, because it brings all these aspects together in one place, elegantly, reliably, and simply. It delivers a user experience like no other product.  Even the interface, which is easily touched on the screen does not bring the micro-pixel-chasing mouse driven drop downs, lift-click, or was that right-click, oh wait maybe it was double-click?...  no, the interface is clutter free  and easy to use, which just adds to that overall experience.

 

Room for improvement? Certainly, but I think the ASIAIR Pro actually delivers what Apple boasts about (whether Apple delivers or not is certainly in question),  a unique user experience that no other product I know of does.  Kudos ZWO.


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#15 kbastro

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 09:16 PM

YES it is!!!!

 

I haven't given a $0.01 to apple in 20 years and the same to ZWO for how ever long they been around,,,

 

to be fair,,, I would get more use out of a ZWO than any crappy apple stuff.....

 

 

 

kb



#16 NoDarkSkies

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 10:34 PM

Is this a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?
If so then what Astro Brand would be the PC?


Edited by NoDarkSkies, 26 January 2021 - 10:35 PM.


#17 tjay

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Posted 26 January 2021 - 10:54 PM

You and me both! waytogo.gif

Best..,

skybsd

Me three! Apple = Locked down, poor user experience, bugs galore, and expensive.

Sent from my SM-T720 using Tapatalk


Edited by tjay, 27 January 2021 - 11:52 AM.

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#18 Robindonne

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 11:42 AM

More like Samsung. Qhy is the luxury brand

#19 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 12:09 PM

More like Samsung. Qhy is the luxury brand

I know it's a bit off topic, and not to dispute but I'd be interested in the thoughts behind this.


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#20 NoDarkSkies

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 12:57 PM

More like Samsung. Qhy is the luxury brand

So you are saying that Qhy is the PC side to ZWO being the Apple Side then?
 



#21 AhBok

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 11:38 PM

Another COVID 19 induced thread, LOL!

#22 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 11:41 PM

Me three! Apple = Locked down, poor user experience, bugs galore, and expensive.

lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif

 

You sound like one of those IT guys who has been predicting the End Of Apple every financial quarter since the Super Bowl Ad of 1984. And wrong every single time.

 

Soldering wires and setting DIP switches to make something work might be fine for the IT crowd, but I buy a device to make my life easier, not spend a week configuring it.

 

You say Apple is expensive, I say Time is the most valuable commodity in the universe and living in the Apple ecosystem I don't waste my time with all that Monkey Work. An hour or two extra at my job easily covers the price delta between Windoze and Apple.

 

Were it not for Steve Jobs having the smarts to commercialize something Xerox lacked the imagination to see, in 2021 I would still be greeted by that evil C prompt every time I turned on my computer.

 

I purchased Bracken's Astrophotography Primer last year but have not gotten started yet for all of the hassle of using a PC in the field. But now that ASIAir is on my radar screen, perhaps it is the breakthrough I have been looking for. 


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#23 luxo II

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 12:10 AM

Apples revenue last quarter was $100B so they must be doing something right.

Edited by luxo II, 28 January 2021 - 12:10 AM.


#24 philinbris

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 02:36 AM

Apples revenue last quarter was $100B so they must be doing something right.

Yeah, they sure are fantastic at marketing



#25 DS INC

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 11:40 AM

Apples revenue last quarter was $100B so they must be doing something right.

Yep, collecting a dollar from everyone they can.




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