Best Equatorial Mount For DSLR Astrophotography

A telescope wouldn’t be really useful without something to hold it steady. Today we are going to present to you a list of the 5 best equatorial mount for DSLR astrophotography.

  • Sky Watcher EQ6-R Equatorial Telescope Mount.
  • Orion Sky-View Pro Equatorial Telescope Mount.
  • Celestron CG-4 German Equatorial Mount.
  • Sky Watcher HEQ5 Equatorial Telescope Mount.
  • Orion 9055 Min-EQ Tabletop Equatorial Telescope Mount.

Sky Watcher EQ6-R (Most Advanced)

Being able to carry up to 44 pounds, the bulky Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro is the ideal Equatorial Mount for aspiring stargazers who want to up their game and get the best experience possible.

Comes with a ST4 auto guider port, this mount features Sky-Watchers Synscan hand controller that offers more than 40,000 object databases, an error correction system, backlash compensation, and assist with polar alignment thanks to the build-in polar scope.

It also includes two 11 pounds counterweights, a thread-on power cable, a Canon EOS trigger cable, a dual saddle plate, and a carry handle near the polar scope to make carrying the mount and setting it up much more convenient.

The included tripod is solid & well-built tripod, with 2” diameter stainless steel legs. It has a spreader plate for eyepiece storage, and tripod feet that help increase the friction which in result make the mount more stable.

Final word, This is a very heavy mount with an extremely accurate guiding. If you don’t mind the premium price and the extra weight, The EQ6-R is easily the best in this list in terms of performance.

Pros:

  • Fully Computerized 
  • Extremely Accurate Guiding.
  • 44-Pound Payload Capacity.
  • Very Stable Mount.

Cons:

  • No Built-In GPS.
  • Very Heavy (about 55 pounds).

Orion Sky-View Pro

If you are looking for something more affordable, lightweight, and still does the job perfectly, The Orion Sky-View Pro Mount is definitely something to keep in mind.

In terms of build quality, This mount is very solid and can endure a lot of abuse & rough handling. The included tripod is also pretty sturdy and provides a good, stable base for the telescope. This makes the manual tracking with the control knobs simple & straightforward.

The mount can be moved in both axes, and the accessory drive motors has a pretty accurate tracking. The manual motion control is also quite responsive which allows for a smoother transition and results in a better celestial experience.

The Sky-View Pro can handle up to 20 pounds, Not as much as some people may want, But still impressive when looking at how small this thing actually is. It includes two plates (4 and 7.5 pounds) resulting in a total weight of 35 pounds.

Overall, This mount is an incredible tool to have in your arsenal. Aimed more towards amateurs wanting something that works properly but doesn’t break the bank.

Pros:

  • Very Affordable.
  • Smooth Motion Control.
  • 20-Pounds Payload Capacity.
  • Relatively Lightweight.

Cons:

  • Not for advanced users.

Celestron CG-4 German

Very similar to the last one, The Celestron CG-4 is an amazing starter mount for novices & newcomers who are looking for something minimalistic, affordable, and amateur friendly.

Weighting around 33.5 pounds, This mount comes with two counterweights (one 7 and the other 4 pounds) that can be locked in place with a hand-tighten thumbscrew. This makes it much easier to find the right balance every time you add a new accessory to the mount.

It uses precision ball-bearings in both the right ascension and declination axes in addition to slow motion controls to keep tracking as smooth as possible and assures a hitch-free motion of your scope across the night sky.

The Celestron CG-4 also has very large easy grip knobs to make adjusting the telescope’s position as error-free as possible, and features a built-in non-powered setting circles with a vernier scale so you can keep track of your adjustments more easily.

The included tripod has stainless steel legs that are 1.75 inch in diameter, and a center leg brace that locks them in place. This helps with vibration-damping and increase the overall strength and rigidity of the tripod.

Finally, The CG-4 mount is protected by the Celestron 2-year warranty. This means you’ll have full assistance from the support team in case anything unexpected happens during that time.

Pros:

  • Fast & Easy Setup.
  • 20-Pound Payload Capacity.
  • Very Sturdy Tripod.
  • 2-Years Warranty.

Cons:

  • Not for advanced users.

Sky Watcher HEQ5 (Best Overall)

More suitable for people who already have a couple of years under their belt, The Sky-Watcher HEQ5 is a premium equatorial mount that has been time tested by many astrophotographers of all skill levels. And thanks to that, has gained a lot of supporters over the last few years.

Similar to its relative (EQ6), The HEQ5 is also computerized. It comes with built-in illuminated Polar finder scope, SynScan hand controller with 42,000 object databases, two 11lb counterweights, an 8-inch Dovetail bar and a DC power cable.

The SynScan hand controller can be connected to your computer. This allows you to fully control the mount using only your laptop with the help of a specific software.

Thanks to the sturdy all metal construction, This mount can carry up to 30 pounds with ease. the package comes with a relatively solid tripod which has stainless steel legs that are 1.75 inch in diameter.

The HEQ5 comes with a 2-year warranty that gives you full support during that timeline. This is always a good thing to have, especially when you are starting out since you may end up wasting a lot of time trying to fix something that can be solved easily with the help of the support team.

Pros:

  • Portable & Lightweight.
  • Fully Computerized.
  • 30-Pound Payload Capacity.
  • 2-Years Warranty.

Cons:

  • No manual slow motion controls.
  • GPS isn’t included.

Orion 9055 Min-EQ (Great For Beginners)

Ending the list with easily the smallest and most convenient equatorial mount you can have for astrophotography. The Orion 9055 Min-EQ is immediately distinguishable from the rest simply because of how small it looks compared to its competitors.

Being this compact means some features had to be sacrificed, this includes the payload capacity which can only go up to 7 pounds. This may or may not be a game breaker for you depending on your specific goals in a mount.

It only weighs around 10 pounds and cost less than $100, So if you are more of a hobbyist who just has a DSLR camera but still want to take pictures you can brag about, This might be just the thing you’re looking for.

The build quality is quite nice, Everything is made with solid metal except the tripod which has three aluminum legs with a plastic finish on each end.

It features dual slow-motion control cables for manual tracking, latitude adjustment, and threaded 1/4 inch adapter. Plus includes a 4.8 pound counterweight. Nothing out of the ordinary for a mount this size.

Pros:

  • Extremely Affordable.
  • Small & Compact.
  • Slow-Motion Control Cables.
  • One-Year Warranty.

Cons:

  • Can only handle up to 7 pounds.
  • Tripod is a little flimsy.

Conclusion: Best Equatorial Mount For DSLR Astrophotography

We hope you enjoyed our quick buyers guide on the Best Equatorial Mount For DSLR Astrophotography.

If you have anything you would like to see in this list such as a product you think deserves to be here, make sure to leave a comment about it down below.

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