Australian Dylan O'Donnell's over-the-top astrophotography adventure videos often introduce us to new equipment. But his "HOTTEST New Astrophotography Products in 2022" video caught my eye. At the very least, it's a bit presumptuous to think that the hottest products come out in the first half of the year!
What really got my attention is the just-announced Sky Watcher Star Adventurer GTi. This could be the holy grail in my lifetime search to find a portable astrophotography mount.
Despite the fact that its name "Star Adventurer" implies that it's the latest in Sky Watcher's line of star trackers, it's actually a true astronomical mount designed for astrophotography and more closely related to its big brothers in the Sky Watcher EQ series of astronomical mounts. Highlights that make it so are:
- Dual-axis tracking
- Computerized go-to object pointing (smart phone controlled via Wi-Fi)
- Integrated altitude and azimuth adjustments
- Counterweight included
And all of this crammed into a compact package that is only a little larger than its star tracker (single-axis) siblings, allowing true (airline) travel astrophotography to be possible. If production units live up to quality of its previous tracker products, it should be a fine addition to satisfy our GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) urges. I've got mine on preorder and will report back on it!
More info (including detailed review videos) can be found at Sky Watcher's official product page. This product appears to be available from specialty astronomical shops and not yet generally available via the large photo retailers such as B&H Photo.
Other new products from Dylan's video include the QHY 533M monochrome, square format camera, and a dew heater ring and automatic controller from Celestron designed specifically for the Celestron line of Schmidt-Cassegrain and RASA scopes. The latter's clean design should appeal to astrophotographers who are a bit OCD about their equipment appearance.
I would love to be able to enjoy equipment like this someday.