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Skywatcher EQ5 PRO GOTO or Skywatcher Star adventurer 2i?

Astrophotography Mount DSLR
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#1 zaxarias

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Posted 16 May 2024 - 03:35 AM

Hey all,

 

So I recently got into astrophotography with a dslr, a telephoto lens and a tripod. I've been wanting to upgrade to a tracking mount and have been recommended the Skywatcher star adventurer 2i.

Considering that in the future i also want to upgrade to an actual telescope should I instead go with a Skywatcher EQ5 PRO GOTO mount? Is it going to be as accurate as the star adventurer?

I have heard that dslr cameras work best with dedicated star trackers and not full-blown telescope mounts. Is it true?

 

Looking forward to hearing about your thoughts on the matter!



#2 Tapio

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Posted 16 May 2024 - 03:48 AM

Skywatcher EQ5 PRO GOTO is a well known mount and it tracks better than a star tracker.

But SA 2i is portable and that is its strong point.

Many imagers have two mounts, one more permanent setup and one for travel.



#3 SpaceOddities

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Posted 16 May 2024 - 04:15 AM

I have heard that dslr cameras work best with dedicated star trackers and not full-blown telescope mounts. Is it true?

 

Not really, no. Any camera works with any mount. I think star trackers are often recommended because they're easy to use, cheap, and can be used with equipment people already have (DSLR, tripod, etc). But some people also use them with a $2000 telescope, $2000 camera and $1000 worth of filters and accessories, as you can see here :  https://www.cloudyni...ble/?p=11945970

 

And some others still use their good old $300 DSLR on a setup that cost more than a car, like shown here: https://www.cloudyni...-and-canon-t6i/

 

I mean, some still image planets with 20 year old webcams, so there's no rule really!

 

 

Star Adventurer: very portable, easy to use. Great for anything under 200mm in focal length and < 2-3kg in weight. The downside is that you have to manually point to your target, which is a good way to learn the sky, but can be very frustrating when you can't find that faint nebula you want to photograph.

 

EQ5: much more robust, has go-to functionality (it will point by itself to what you want to photograph), will allow you to mount a bigger scope or a scope with a high focal length (like a Maksutov telescope, to do planetary imaging), get into observing too. So, very versatile. The downside is that if you want to take it with you, you need a car. It doesn't fit in a backpack like the StarAdventurer. The tripod is made of steel, it's heavy (but stable). 

 

An in-between alternative you haven't mentioned, but that is worth considering IMO: the StarAdventurer GTi. It has the advantage of both mounts above, without some of their drawbacks. In simple terms, it has the portability and the payload capacity of the StarAdventurer 2i, but the functionalities of the EQ5 (go-to). Which means that it will work well with a small telescope or telephoto lens (~400mm focal length). It's slightly bigger than a StarAdventurer 2i (you can't take the wedge apart), but still rather portable.

 

 

So, what to choose?

  • if ultimate portability is your prime concern, i.e. small lenses < 200mm, photo tripod, everything fitting in a photo backpack for air travel, go for the StarAdventurer 2i (or an iOptron SkyGuider, they're very similar). You'll feel limited by the mount at some point, and probably will end up with a beefier one. In that case, that mount can become a travel or secondary rig. Good investment in any case.
  • if you want a more sedentary and versatile setup for your garden, with occasional star parties or trips to the country side with your car: get the EQ5 or similar (HEQ5 is better for astrophotography, but more expensive and heavier). With additional accessories (auto guiding) and small telescopes, you'll be able to dive into planetary observing/photography, narrowband imaging, etc. So it's a more future-proof option, but less portable.
  • if you are not sure or need both portability and functionalities, then the StarAdventurer GTi might be the best option in that budget range

 

Hope that helps!


Edited by SpaceOddities, 16 May 2024 - 04:24 AM.

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