Orion StarShoot Compact Astro Tracker

The Orion StarShoot Compact Astro Tracker provides the opportunity to shoot long-exposure and nightscape astrophotos and create daytime and nighttime time-lapse videos. The palm-sized, precision camera tracking module houses a right ascension DC servo motor with all metal gears and offers selectable sidereal, solar, and lunar tracking rates.

Orion StarShoot Compact Astro TrackerPop it on a tripod, attach your DSLR or mirrorless camera and you are ready to go – no experience necessary. The Orion StarShoot Compact Astro Tracker is Wi-Fi enabled and controlled wirelessly from your smartphone or tablet with the free Orion Tracker Console app for Android and iOS platforms.

With a payload capacity of 6.6 lbs. (increases to 8.8 lbs. with the optional Declination Bracket accessory), the Orion StarShoot Compact Astro Tracker can support small telescopes for astronomical observing or cameras with even large telephoto lenses for astrophotography.

With sidereal tracking, deep-space exposures can be extended to several minutes while still maintaining pinpoint stars, which would trail badly without tracking. Wide-field Milky Way portraits are no longer constrained to 30 seconds or less due to star trailing. Longer exposures mean you can use lower ISO values to reduce noise in your images. There is a 0.5x sidereal speed that minimizes blurring of the foreground in tracked nightscape shots.

Polar alignment for tracked nightscape or celestial photography is simple with the included illuminated polar scope, which works in both northern and southern hemispheres. The optional Equatorial Base is recommended to set the correct angle of the StarShoot Compact Astro Tracker for polar alignment and tracking.

The free Tracker Console app lets you control the StarShoot Compact Astro Tracker from your smartphone or tablet. A local Wi-Fi network is established between the tracker and your phone – no internet connection is needed. Just choose the photographic or time-lapse mode you want and set the parameters of your exposure(s). Then tap Run to start the automated sequence (requires optional remote shutter cable for your particular camera to connect it to the tracker).

The optional aluminum Declination Bracket slides into the StarShoot Compact Astro Tracker’s saddle and is secured with a lock knob. Your camera attaches to the Dec Platform of the bracket via the captive ¼”-20 threaded post. You can also remove the Dec Platform to reveal a 3/8″ mounting post to which you can attach a ball head mount and camera if you want more freedom of positioning than is afforded by the Declination Platform. Or leave the Dec Platform in place and attach a ball head mount to it via its ¼”-20 post. (A 3/16″-to-1/4″ adapter would be needed for attachment.)

The tracker comes standard with a panoramic ball head camera mount to give you maximum freedom in aiming your camera and framing your shots. Optional accessories include the Orion StarBlast AutoTracker Tripod and the Counterweight & Shaft kit, which is used with the optional Declination Bracket to help balance heavier loads.

Small and lightweight enough to tuck into your camera bag or backpack, the StarShoot Compact Astro Tracker is perfect for the mobile photographer. It is powered by two user-supplied AA batteries, which provide 24 hours of operation, or an external 5V USB power source. Weighs 22 oz.

You can learn more here.

Another “mini” new imaging product from Orion is the new StarShoot Mini cameras in color and monochrome which are now available. Orion has utilized technology from their popular large format series cameras like the G10 and G16 and miniaturized them for affordability and convenience.

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