Tuesday, July 5, 2022
HomeCamera TechThe Astro Mount We've Been Waiting For

The Astro Mount We’ve Been Waiting For

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About a month has passed since Skywatcher officially announced the Star Adventurer GTi, the smallest and lightest purpose-built GoTo astrophotography mount. But is it actually any good? Like a lot of newly introduced electronics of late, this mount has been incredibly hard to get a hold of, and outside of a few favorable initial reviews from prominent influencers, in-depth evaluations have been seriously lacking. In this video, Teagan from High Point Scientific shares a comprehensive review of the Star Adventurer GTi, including a couple of performance tests on the mount’s tracking abilities.

At first glance the GTi looks very different from previous small tracking mounts, and it is, sort of. Skywatcher seems to have combined elements from the Star Adventurer 2i series, with the functionality of the AZ-GTi series. But I think it’s really just an official equatorial version of the AZ-GTi. Regardless of its pedigree, how does it perform for a sub-$1,000 mount? According to the field tests done in the video, performed with two different common focal lengths, the results were stunning to say the least. Teagan was able to get round stars after an impressive 15 minute (guided) single exposure, at both 250mm and 430mm. Unguided, using only proper balance, polar alignment, and the software included with the mount, he was able to achieve round stars with up to 5 minutes at 250mm. 

These results are impressive to say the least. This mount opens up so many doors for enthusiasts up and down the astrophotography spectrum. For amateurs with star trackers, tired of manually searching for suitable targets to shoot, this mount is capable of doing that automatically, unguided, with nearly the same amount of setup. For serious hobbyists looking for a smaller mount with equally capable GoTo, this mount can support the peripherals of their larger backyard setup. As someone who enjoys the experience of star tracker and GoTo mount alike, I am particularly excited about this mount. If you are even remotely interested in astronomy or astrophotography, you should be excited too, as innovative products like these are becoming more common and are helping to democratize the world of astrophotography.

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