The ZWO SeeStar S50 has garnered quite a bit of attention for its innovative features and ease of use in astrophotography. This smart telescope integrates several components into a single, lightweight unit, making it an attractive choice for both beginners and experienced users in the field of astrophotography.
One of the key features of the SeeStar S50 is its ease of use. It eliminates the need for an alignment process, which is a significant advantage, especially for beginners. The telescope automatically uses plate-solving to align itself to the desired objects, making it very user-friendly. This feature is particularly impressive in urban settings with light pollution, as the telescope can still capture detailed images of deep-sky objects through its real-time image stacking and automatic exposure adjustment.
The telescope's design includes a professional-grade apochromatic triplet lens and is powered by the Sony 2.1 Megapixel IMX462 STARVIS CMOS sensor, which contributes to its ability to capture crisp and clear images with excellent control of chromatic aberration. Additionally, the built-in sensors aid in tripod levelling and, along with the smart device's GPS sensor, complete the system’s self-calibration and alignment process.
One limitation noted is the telescope's use of an alt-azimuth mount, as opposed to an equatorial mount. This affects the telescope's ability to capture long-exposure photographs due to field rotation, a phenomenon where objects appear to rotate in the sky over time. However, the telescope addresses this by stacking a series of short 10-second exposures, aligning them to counteract the rotation.
The SeeStar S50 also features various modes for different types of celestial observations, including stargazing, solar, lunar, and scenery modes. This flexibility adds to its appeal, allowing users to photograph a range of celestial and terrestrial objects. The dedicated mobile app enhances the user experience, offering a built-in star map and object suggestions based on time and location.
In summary, the ZWO SeeStar S50 is praised for its affordability, ease of setup, and user-friendly design, making it a great option for beginners in astrophotography. While it has some limitations in terms of exposure times and mount type, its innovative features and the quality of images it produces make it a highly recommended product for those interested in exploring the night sky