SkyWatcher AZ GTI vs Star Adventurer

Astrophotography is still a fairly unpopular hobby but for those who are interested in both astronomy and photography, it is almost like a must to capture what your telescope is viewing. Telescope is a must have for all astronomers and a camera with an ideal mounting is also a key for photographers. For those hobbyists, SkyWatcher AZ GTI Vs Star Adventurer will be two ideal options to stick your camera on but, before deciding to grab one, here you can see what they can offer.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • How to Choose a Mount for your Camera
  • What are SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer
  • What SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer Look Like
  • What SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer are used for
  • What SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer can offer
  • How are the Performance of SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer
  • SkyWatcher AZ GTI Vs Star Adventurer

Camera Mount for Astrophotography 

Astronomy is still an unpopular hobby among those many subjects that are currently trending today such as video games and high-technologies or smart devices but, it has long been a very interesting field to try especially for those who are interested in space or celestial objects. Those objects are worth observing as we will have a very little chance to explore it fully due to lots of limitations. For astronomers, a telescope is a must but for astrophotography the camera is crucial as well.

When you are interested in both astronomy and photography, the first to consider is the camera itself together with the lens as they are the main device we will be using but, many of us often forget about the mounting, just like when buying a telescope. A mounting is not only meant to stick to your main device whether it is a telescope or a camera but also to navigate the unit to follow its object and this becomes even more crucial as you are doing astrophotography.

This is because the process needs long exposure which is very difficult to be done just by hand. A tripod and its mounting will affect how good the image will result in since it needs to maintain focus under the low-light condition. While all tripods and mounting are useful in the application, not all of them will deliver the same performance which is why it is always best to follow what you need from the setup. Here are some factors you may want to consider when choosing a tripod or mounting.

  • Weight Limit is the first point we see in a tripod as it tells you the capacity they can sustain. The easiest way is to weigh the whole camera and its accessories together that need to be supported then see which model is capable of sustaining the whole load. This weight limit is also often called as payload and can be as low as 2kg or as high as 13kg depending on the model.
  • Material is something you want to consider as well because first, it is naturally related to the payload and sturdiness but also affecting how portable they are. We often look for those that are light enough to be easily transported but robust such as those made from aluminum and carbon fiber.
  • Versatility of movement is also very important because you will track an object that is always moving and hence, it is always great to find the one that can give you a 360-degree ball head so then we can pan the camera around and shots from difficult angles such as straight above or those near the horizon. Read also: Celestron CGEM Vs CGEM II.
 SkyWatcher AZ GTI Star Adventurer
Product Dimensions43.3 x 42.3 x 42.3 inches
25 x 18 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight8 pounds
4.45 pounds
Best offerCheck priceCheck price

About SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer

After you decide about which tripod to go or how they should be, now is the time to see what the market has to offer because there are quite the options out there which are often similar to each other. Depending on the model, some are more expensive as well but make sure to check what version or what’s included in the package because there are times when it is cheaper to buy the accessories separately than buying something in a set.

We recommend getting a favorite or those from popular names because they tend to be more reliable but if you don’t have any favorite brands yet, we can shop based on the budget or specific factor such as those listed above. When talking about camera mounting especially for astrophotography, one of the best brands to choose from is SkyWatcher. They are offering various models to fit your preference and price wise are also still considered affordable compared to many other brands.

For those who want to keep the budget low, the ideal options for tracking mount are SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer. Both of them are coming in the same price range for the cheaper package which is why many are comparing which one they should go with and in general both are equally amazing as well but quite different from the mechanism. Similar to any astrophotography, mounting these two will allow you to shoot sharp, long exposure images of celestial, mostly deep sky objects like large nebulas or clusters.

These mountings are made for your camera and telescope so we can use one mounting for either of them and this is one of the best things about SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer but not all. Specifically, they are pretty much the same when it comes to capability and product’s quality but since they are different from the mounting type itself, there might be some differences as well in application. However, in terms of technology, if you are looking for convenience we believe the AZ GTI will look more attractive.

SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer Design

As you can see from the sample picture above, these mounts are very much different from each other because the former is a one armed alt-azimuth type while the latter is an equatorial type. From the build quality wise, they are very robust and heavy as well which is great since they will need to sustain a certain weight and for the payload, these two are rated the same at 11 pounds. As for the Star Adventurer itself, this version is available in three versions.

The one we are talking about today is the Pro version while the two others are Astro and Photo pack. This is the one with a counterweight kit while the rest are the same alt-azimuth mount. The main mount is the same but the accessories that come with the unit are different and for this version you will have the most complete accessories and for those who plan to attach a small telescope or heavy lens, this version is the best choice if you don’t want to buy other accessories later. 

SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer Usage

SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer are almost at the same size for the motorized part but the former will pack almost everything for you to use the guider out of the box while with the latter you will still need a tripod but the bracket is self-supplied in AZ GTI. Let’s start from what these two can offer and as you may already know, without the counterweight Star Adventurer is used like any alt-azimuth mounting, so they are actually very much similar to each other.

There will be two pins on the motorized mounting that you can tighten or loosen to allow the camera/telescope moving for adjusting the altitude and the azimuth clutch to rotate and align it properly. For the usage you can fit a camera or telescope of different models but if you are choosing the Star Adventurer Astro or Photo pack, make sure to also purchase the counterweight kit especially for heavier scope.

SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer Features

Checking the motorized mount further, there are some features here and we do think this is what set these trackers apart the most. In AZ GTI, you will find few ports starting from hand control, a power plug, and a snap control port. On the other hand, the Star Adventurer only has this snap and small knob on the mount and this is used to control its mechanism. It has 7 different speeds and each mode to track stars and different objects.

This mount has no computer or hand controller that you can use to automatically find and track the object. What’s interesting is the convenience of AZ GTI especially for wi-fi ability and app that you can download from both main operating systems and this app works just like your controller, if you don’t use one since it is not included in the package. This app is very easy to use even for beginners and there is an alignment feature as well to automatically align your scope based on the brightest star or north level mode.

SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer Performance 

Moving to the performance part, SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer are pretty much reliable. You can mount either camera or a scope with the suitable bracket and they are capable of sustaining the weight very well too as long as you keep the whole camera+lens and telescope not near the upper weight limit. The adjustable speed makes tracking smoother and they do use AA battery or external battery if you have AZ GTI that can last for quite some time yet in comparison the latter will last a few times longer.

SkyWatcher AZ GTI vs Star Adventurer

These motorized mounts are good for the price and while they are not amazing or the best among similar units, these two are working as advertised. The only difference that matters in our opinion is about convenient and the mount ability to hold weight reliably because while AZ GTI is very much convenient especially with the control and wi-fi ability, this one is not very reliable when you mount something quite heavy which makes it less ideal for observation but around half the capacity it is running very good and stable.

- TRAVEL-SIZED GOTO MOUNT: Weighing just 8. 6 pounds, this computerized Alt-Az tracking mount is perfect for portable, on-the-go, mobile astronomy.
- 11-POUND PAYLOAD CAPACITY: With a payload capacity of 11 pounds, the AZ-GTi can support most available telescope tubes, as well as most DSLR cameras.
- WIFI-ENABLED, APP CONTROLLED: Generating its own proprietary WiFi signal, the AZ-GTi blends 21st century technology with Sky-Watcher’s innovative astronomy equipment, allowing users to control their telescope from a smartphone or tablet.
- FREEDOM FIND DUAL ENCODERS: Utilizing Sky-Watcher’s patented dual-encoder technology, Freedom Find allows for accurate tracking as well as manual slewing without losing alignment.
- PORTABLE NIGHTSCAPE TRACKING PLATFORM: Motorized portable tracking platform perfect for capturing incredible detail of the Milky Way, eclipses and other astronomical objects
- WIDE-FIELD -ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY: The unique, modular design allows for integration with existing photographic tripods. Wide-field astrophotography as well as time-laps video and telescopic use are all possible with the Star Adventurer.
- EQUATORIAL BASE: Deluxe equatorial base helps position the Star Adventurer at the perfect angle for polar alignment.
- BUILT-IN ILLUMINATED POLAR FINDERSCOPE: The included illuminated polar finderscope allows for easy and accurate alignment with Polaris.

Conclusion

Because SkyWatcher AZ GTI and Star Adventurer are an equally good option for your astrophotography and for low powered scope, we do recommend AZ GTI for its convenience but for a heavier zoom lens or scope, the Star Guide may offer a more stable and robust setup.

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