Money talks

Portable mounts are even more popular than ever as more of us try to escape the scourge of light pollution and seek out darker skies. It is no surprise therefore that mount manufacturers continue to look at – and improve – their portable range of mounting solutions. Certainly it seems whatever your financial state there is something out there for you to consider when parting with your hard-earned cash. You can find such mounts ranging in price from several thousand pounds, such as Software Bisque’s Paramout MX, down to something more affordable like iOptron’s iEQ30 and SmartEQ mounts, all recent entries in the market place. Ease of use, accuracy of tracking and a decent equipment load in order to take camera and other imaging accessories all come into play when dealing with something that needs to be portable, so it’s good therefore to see companies paying attention to our needs!

The telescope itself is not being forgotten by manufacturers either, as demonstrated by the extra-dispersion ‘ED’ refractors like the StarWave 102ED – being reviewed in our July issue. Short focal-length refractors seem to be getting the attention at the moment: these and a light and portable mount are ideal for taking abroad to those special sky events, such as the recent transit of Venus. Solar eclipse chasers especially relish taking as much of their equipment with them as possible, so they must feel like it’s heaven at the moment.

Also in the reviews section this month, and we’re really pleased to be able to bring you a world exclusive – the first hands-on review of Canon’s latest astronomy-adapted DSLR, the 60Da. Ideal for normal imaging but also enhanced to bring out the detail in those deep-sky nebulae you want to capture as well. Make sure you get your copy of the July issue!


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