BINTEL AT NEAF 2024 – latest telescope and accessory news

Members of the BINTEL crew have been attending NEAF 2024 in the USA  –the world’s largest expo of telescopes and astronomy gear!

Here’s some of latest product news and releases

Please note that all the products listed are from suppliers that we currently represent and will be heading to BINTEL this year

Sunday 21st April 2023 –

ZWO again lead the way, showing the move to integrated astrophotography equipment.

As any astrophotographer would know, there’s a lot more than simply attaching a camera to a telescope to take photos. There’s other gear (and cables) needed to locate astro objects in the night sky, control the mount, guide long exposures, focus and more.  There’s been a move in recent years to merge a lot of these control requirements into a single device like the ZWO ASIAIR.

Announced at NEAF 2024 is the new ZWO ASI260MC Air

This remarkable new camera includes a built-in ZWO ASI Air that, a guide camera all controlled over Wi-Fi via an app on your phone or iPad/tablet. (Please note any prices shown are in USD$, not the Australian price).

It’s no doubt going to simplify the astrophotography process. More time capturing ancient star light and less time setting up and managing equipment!

At NEAF 2023, the ZWO SeeStar S50 was launched.  This has been a super popular astronomy product over the last 12 months, with many hundreds of them finding a new home among our customers. While no new Smart Telescope hardware was shown by ZWO, they did remind folks of the near continuous feature upgrades that have been delivered to all SeeStar S50 owners via software and firmware updates.

They did however highlight future upgrades to the SeeStar lineup aimed at both the new astronomer and those with more experience requiring more advanced features. Watch this Space!

Always good to catch up with friends – Memory Li from ZWO and Clare Mills from BINTEL earlier today.

Sky-Watcher has joined the Harmonic Drive/strain wave mount family with the release of their new WAVE 100i and 150i telescope mounts.

Based on what we saw of the mounts themselves and the specifications, they’re going to be a very compelling option for astro imagers and even visual observers. You can also use the Sky-Watcher Wave mounts in both Equatorial and Alt-Az mode as can be seen in this video. More on these soon.

Pegasus Astro had on display their new SmartEye “Smart Eyepiece” and running a simulation of the view from it.  This is one of the more interesting gizmos shown and is yet another example of tech making astronomy and astrophotography easier and more open to everyone.

Rather than being an entire system like other Smart Telescopes like the ZWO SeeStar S50 or the Vaonis Vespera, the SmartEye is used in place of a tradition eyepiece on a telescope. The view through the SmartEye is of what the telescope is seeing, except automatically and quickly electronically enhanced.  It has a swag of other functions including traditional astrophotography features and object assistance via Wi-Fi.

We’re quite excited by the SmartEye.  We posted a video  of the view through a SmartEye and it’s stunning! You can find it here. This an ideal way to upgrade a serious telescope and likely to breath new life into larger ones like Dobsonians.  Availability will be later in the year. Pricing is likely to be around that of a mid-range Smart Telescope.

Optec Inc. showed their Aquila-88 high-torque focuser and camera rotator.

This has a full 88mm clear aperture (hence the name) and apart from camera rotation, can handle field de-rotation for Alt-Az mounts, image composition and guide star acquisition for the more high end astrophotography setups.

The Celestron Origin continues to attract attention ahead of its widespread availability later in the year.

Celestron Origin shown with optional table top tripod.

The Origin currently has the best specifications among Smart Telescopes and we’re expecting some fantastic images to be come out of this device and  can’t wait to get it into the hands of our BINTEL customers. Celestron have been taking the time to explain how much of the hardware that goes into the Origin, including the RASA optical system, has been incorporated and field-proven in other Celestron products.


Earl White



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