Want to get a taste of the mysteries that the universe holds for us? Get the best star tracker camera mounts for astrophotography and delve into the magical world of stars! Star tracker camera mounts are essential for astrophotography.
The star tracker mounts capture stars with clarity and without blur and star trailing. You might be wondering why cannot we just capture stars with a good quality camera. Due to the movement of the earth, we move too, and stars appear moving to us. In this case, it is hard to get clear pictures of the stars, and these pictures may appear as blurry photos.
Star tracker camera mounts, when aligned along the north celestial pole, track the movement of the star. It is placed between the tripod stand and camera. In this way, the mount rotates the camera according to the rotation of the earth.
Hence stars appear to be still for cameras, and capturing them becomes easy. Alignment of the mount is according to your hemisphere, i.e., if you are in the northern hemisphere, you will align it with the north celestial pole; otherwise, the alignment will be accordingly.
To make your buying process easy, we have reviewed the top 10 best star tracker camera mounts so that you can buy a reliable mount and set it with your camera and tripod.
Let’s get started!
Best Star Tracker Camera Mounts Based on User Reviews
Let's take a look at the top products on the market, based on the average rating by real customers just like you.
Best Star Tracker Camera Mounts for Astrophotography: A Complete Review
If you've made it this far into the reviews then you must be serious about your buying choice.
Now that we've covered the quick list of products, let's break down each of them to see why they have been chosen.
In this section we'll cover the pro's and con's of each and give you some ideas of who each product is most suitable for.
If you are tired of carrying a heavy bag, then it is the best portable and compact mount for you. Sky Watcher Star Adventurer is a portable tracking mount. You can easily carry it around. It has a motor for its operation.
The mount comprises the best features. It captures the details of the milky way, eclipses, and other divine astronomical objects. The mount has Wi-Fi control through a smartphone. You can download a SynScan app and control the mount from your smartphone.
The mount is compatible with both iOS and Android. A Ball-head adapter can be attached to any ball-head easily. The gears of the mount are made of aluminum and brass. That is why they are scratch proof and have smooth motion.
The built-in AA battery chamber is reliable and provides power to the mount 24/7. The mount supports the majority of cameras and can be stored in a backpack for traveling. You can also provide external power through a mini 5 Volt USB port. The unique design allows wide-field astrophotography.
Computerized mounts are becoming famous over time as they are way easier to operate and understand. Sky Watcher EQM-35 is a GoTo German fully computerized mount for astrophotography. You can also control the mount manually.
It has the incredible power to observe over 42,000 divine celestial objects. The modern and innovative design is top-notch and can beat any high-end mount available. It is lightweight, portable, and compact.
The Dec Bracket (sold separately) can make it a perfect grab-and-go telescope mount for star tracking. The all-metal construction makes the mount hold any camera easily. Its payload capacity is 22-pounds.
The mount has polar scope for alignment. It gives a better and precise vision of celestial objects. The SynScan hand controller gives a great opportunity to astronomers for unlimited observations. The mount has external and internal battery power.
The batter chamber makes it travel-friendly. It needs a 13V external power supply. The massive 180-tooth RA Gear on the mount makes the tracking smooth and accurate. You can also capture long exposures without distortion.
The innovative design allows easy switching between a GoTo Mount to tracking astrophotography mount anytime.
Nowadays, innovative and modern mounts are famous among astronomers. Orion is quite famous for making durable and exclusive mounts. These are used for star tracking by astrophotographers. The mount tracks the stars automatically and other divine celestial objects.
You just have to push the button, and the mount does the rest of the work. The mount has great built-in GPS, and the camera makes the tracking easy. It has a vixen style sleek and elegant cradle for easy attachment of telescopes.
The focus knob is slightly complex to set. It will get better with practice. The mount needs about 9 Volt of power supply for working. It supports the solar observing telescope up to 7 pounds. Make sure to attach the solar filter for secure observation.
Sky-Watcher mounts are quite durable and work perfectly for travel purposes. The mount has incredible features and amazing construction design. The mount has a portable and compact night tracking platform.
Motorized tracking is amazing for capturing details of the milky way and observing distant stars. The built-in finderscope is illuminated. It captures bright and visible pictures. The Alignment through the polar scope is easy and accurate.
Moreover, the mount has ragged brass and aluminum gears. These gears provide smooth, shock-proof, and motorized tracking at night. They are big contributors in the night and eclipse astrophotography.
The AA battery chamber in the mount makes it travel-friendly. You can buy the battery whenever the old one runs out. In this way, the star tracking will not be stopped or interrupted. These AA batteries provide power to the mount up to 72-hours.
You can also give external 5 Volt power to the mount through a mini USB port. The mount weighs 2.4 pounds, which means it is lightweight, compact, and best for travel star tracking. You can easily store it in your backpack and will not feel heavy and unbearable. The mount can hold about 11 pounds of payload.
The mount is a basic yet very innovative version of the same company’s SkyGuider Pro mount. It has all the incredible features that will make your sky tracking journey amazing. It has a built-in battery that lasts up to 24 hours.
You can recharge it through a micro USB port or an external battery. The mount has fantastic polar alignment through the finderscope. It tracks the stars and other divine celestial objects easily through the finderscope.
It is compatible with both iOS and Android polar Finder. The SkyTracker Pro mount has to offer four tracking rates: stars, ½ speed, lunar, and solar. You can also use the mount for capturing the photographs of Moon and solar eclipses.
You are interested in working with wide-angle lenses. Vixen Optics Polarie Star Tracker will manage to capture the vast starfield and milky way galaxy. The mount has a built-in compass for easy navigation and latitude meter.
It will illuminate and give red indicator light in the set-up at night. The latitude measure will help in finding the celestial pole through the polar scope. You can also operate it via a smartphone app. The app is compatible with both iOS and Android.
Vixen Optics works the same way as iOptron to track the sun, stars, and Moon. It has a ½ speed of motion time-lapse. The best thing about this is travel-friendly. It has a battery chamber for an AA battery. You can also charge the mount through an external power supply or from a portable battery. It has a limited payload capacity that is 6.5kg. It can be used easily with 200mm+ lenses.
A portable star tracker is best for a traveler. Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer is a portable and compact mount. It has a motorized tracking platform for capturing the vast night sky and milky way. People also use it to observe eclipses and other celestial objects.
The mount has an excellent equatorial base that will help the user to position the mount at the perfect angle. The alignment of the mount is precise and accurate. The illuminated finder scope is a built-in feature. It means the Sky-Watcher pro pack is not less than any high-end mount.
The illuminated polar scope will help in easy alignment with Polaris. It has rugged aluminum and brass gears. These gears will provide a smooth and shock-proof working environment. The mount has an AA battery chamber that will provide power for about 72 hours.
However, you can use an external % Volt mini USB port for power supply. The latitude base meter of the mount allows an easy equatorial alignment. The load of the mount is not much as you can carry it in your bag pack easily.
Sky-watcher mount is one of the famous star tracking mounts available on the market. It has a compact and portable design. The mount has a professional finish and all the high-end features. It is a motorized tracking platform for viewing and capturing divine celestial objects.
You can easily mount any ball-head for photography using the ball-head adapter. The mount has exceptional design that allows integration with existing photography tripods. It allows the user to record time-lapse and do wide-field astrophotography.
You can control the mount using a remote control. It has a built-in illuminated finderscope. The finder scope allows easy and precise alignment with Polaris. Mount has amazing and rugged brass and aluminum gears for smoothing running.
These gears make tracking easy at night and also eclipse photography. The best thing about the mount is the AA battery chamber. However, you can also use an external power supply. It has a mini 5 Volt USB port for charging.
The new iOptron German Equatorial mount has amazing features. It is the next generation innovative mount with all the required features. The mount has a stepper motor and high gear ratio for more smooth tracking.
The mount has several visible changes as compared to the old model. It has to offer innovative technology. The built-in GPS is a spectacular feature for locating stars and other celestial objects. It has a splendid payload capacity, which is 45 lbs.
The great thing is it comes with a tripod. You can easily observe and capture a star at night. The illuminated finder scope helps a lot in navigation. The tripod is made from stainless-steel and has an amazing finish.
You can also fix other mounts with this particular tripod. In short, it is the best mount for professional and moderate level astrophotographers.
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The SkyGuider is a simple yet classic mount. It has a simple assembling. You have to attach the mount with a tripod and attach your camera to the mount. The ball-head is used to balance the camera on the mount.
Align the mount towards the pole star using illuminated finder scope and smartphone app. The app is available on both iOS and Android. Aim your camera or telescope towards the sky and observe sacred celestial objects.
The tracking speed must be the same as the speed of earth rotation. It has exceptional gears that will allow smooth running and meshing mechanism. The SkyGuider keeps the camera in motion and avoids shaking.
You can achieve amazing long-exposure and time-lapse with this mount. The Built-in guide support makes your tracking easier.
Star Tracker Camera Mounts for Astrophotography Buyer's Guide
Buying a star tracker mount without basic knowledge is a wastage of money. While choosing a star tracker, one must consider its specifications. Let’s see what you should look for in a good and efficient star tracker.
The Payload Capacity of the mount should be given priority. You will only be able to do astrophotography if your mount can bear the load of your camera. Make sure that the mount you are going to buy is compatible with your camera.
Some mounts can bear a load of all cameras while some have a low load-bearing capacity. If the star tracker mount cannot work with your equipment load, it would be of no use.
Battery powers are of various types, and the user may choose the type according to the compatibility and use. Usually, there are four types of power storage in mounts. In an in-built battery source, the battery is fitted inside the mount.
For these kinds of batteries, there is a benefit that makes the device compact, and you do not have to give separate care to the battery. It is always enclosed in the mount so you would not forget to take it with you.
Then there are mounts with a battery compartment. These batteries have the advantage that you can change them with new ones when required. These batteries may require special care. Sometimes mounts also come with an external power source.
In this case, you have to plug the mount with an external power supply with the help of a wire and plug. These kinds of batteries have the limitation that power supply may not be available to you every time you do astrophotography.
Some manual mounts work with mechanical clockwork. In these mounts, the manual spring winder rotates to keep compatibility between equipment and stars. These mounts lack accuracy and preciseness.
From the above-listed power source, the in-built battery sources are best because you do not need to take much care of them. Once charged, these mounts can work for you for the whole day long. The other power sources can be chosen depending upon their suitability.
The weight of the star tracker mounts is important because heavyweight mounts are hard to carry. Heavyweight mounts may cause wear and tear in your tripod stand. Especially the weight matters a lot if the user is a traveler.
In that case, it is hard for the traveler to take the mount everywhere he goes. Whereas lightweight mount having a compact size is portable. You can carry it in your backpack wherever you want.
So while choosing a mount, make sure that mount has a compact design, lightweight, and is portable.
Ease of Alignment of the Mount
Due to the earth’s constant rotation, it is difficult to capture stars clearly with details. Because of the rotation of the earth, the stars may appear blurred or with trails. Poor alignment of the mount may result in blurry photos too.
So while choosing the mount, keep its alignment in mind. Some mounts come with an easy auto-alignment, which can be done by connecting them with the phone. At the same time, some come with manual operation. Choose a mount with which you can work easily and efficiently.
Mobile-Phone Supported Mounts
Some mounts come with smartphone application support. In these mounts, alignment is very easy because it is all digital. Buying these kinds of mounts means getting rid of the issue of inaccurate alignment.
These mounts have the feature of Wi-Fi in them. All you have to do is to download the application on your mobile phone and connect it with your mount. Then you can align the mounts with the required pole easily.
Useful Focal Length
The focal length is important if you are concerned deeply with stars and the Milky Way. If your star tracker cannot handle the focal length of your photo lens, then it is of no use. So before buying a star tracker mount, you must know the focal length it supports.
Usually, the star tracker mounts do not support a much higher focal length. Make sure that your mount can support a focal length of at least 300mm.
Built-in Polar Scope
A polar scope provides you necessary magnification and helps in the precise placement of Polaris. In this way, the built-in polar scope helps you to deal with the mount and its alignment. So go for the mount, which has an in-built polar scope with good magnification. Now usually, the polar scope comes with an illuminator, which makes the task at night easy.
While buying a mount, one more thing that you should consider is what is the working time of your mount. The higher the working time is, the better mount is. If you are the kind of person who travels a lot, then you need the mount with more battery timings than ordinary ones.
So before buying, make sure that the mount works long enough to support your astrophotography and traveling side by side.
Some mounts come with the hemisphere switch. If you live in the northern hemisphere, then you do not need to worry about the hemisphere switch. Because usually, all the mounts work in the northern hemisphere. In other cases, the mounts with hemisphere switch, i.e., which can work both in the northern and southern hemispheres, are suggested. These kinds of mounts also support you for traveling purposes.
Compatibility with Tripods
Your mount should be compatible with your camera and tripod stand. It should not be too heavy to cause wear and tear in the tripod. The quality of a good mount is that along with all other specifications, it also fits with the simple tripod.
So before buying, check out if the mount fits with your camera tripod stand so that you do not have to buy another tripod stand.
Mounts with Alarms
It is usually favorable to buy mounts with alarms. These mounts ring before they stop tracking the stars. In this way, they make you aware of the working and stop time of the mount. This will prevent disturbance due to a sudden stop in star tracking.
Size of the Mount
The size of the mount should be reasonable. It should not be too large that it may cause difficulty for you to carry it. It should have a size that can fit in your camera backpack.
Before buying the star tracker mount, consider its precision and accuracy too. The more precise the star tracker mount is, the more detailed and clear your photographs will be.
One more thing to be considered while buying the star tracker mount is its durability. It would help if you were sure that for the mount you are going to spend money, it is durable and will last long. It should ensure that you will not have to spend money for the purpose again and again.
With all the specifications mentioned above, you must consider the affordability of the star tracker mount. So while buying a star tracker mount for your camera, make sure that the mount has a reasonable price and is not much costly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Best Star Tracker Camera Mounts – Final Word
Star tracker mounts are necessary to track and capture stars and without trails. So if you are interested in stars, Milky Way, and other celestial objects, you must buy the star tracker mount for longer exposure.
So that stars may still appear to your equipment, providing you with an opportunity of capturing maximum and clear details, avoiding the problem due to the rotation of the earth and movement of stars.
Star tracker mounts can make your astrophotography much fun if you choose the right mount for your equipment. Choose the mounts with the right and appropriate features and explore the space objects.
The mounts with in-built batteries are most suitable. Other features one must consider buying the perfect star tracker mount are portability, ease in alignment, durability, exposure, focal length, and affordability. The best star tracker mounts for astrophotography with all these specifications will work efficiently and will be reliable.
Happy Star Tracking, Folks!