SeeStar S50 Smart Telescope… Kind of a Review… Just Get One…

I believe that any telescope can be a good telescope if you have the right expectations of it’s capabilities. I often get asked “What kind of telescope should I get?” My usual answer is get the best one you can afford for what you want to accomplish, and more importantly get a telescope that you will use. Often people buy a bunch of expensive gear where getting things setup and working is very complex, the resulting views are not what they expected (ie what is shown on the side of the box), they spent a lot of money, and get frustrated to the point of giving up. Today if you ask me “What kind of telescope should I get?”, my answer is going to most likely be… get a SeeStar S50. It’s not just hype… this simple little affordable smart telescope is absolutely AWESOME!

The Seestar S50 is a portable, easy-to-use, smart telescope which allows even someone new to the amateur astronomy hobby, with little or no knowledge of the sky or equipment, to quickly begin exploring the night sky (and the day sky too!). This is definitely a great option for anyone looking to do some observing but does not want to make the significant investment, of money or time, required for a full on EAA or Astrophotography set up: OTA, mount, camera, guidescope, guide camera, reducers, dew heaters, filters, cables, etc, etc, etc… The SeeStar is everything you need to get to observing in one, nice, portable package easily controlled using your phone or tablet.

I really LOVE this smart telescope. The views of interesting deep sky objects after live stacking, or enhancing as the app calls it, a few 10 second frames are fantastic. This is just a quick list of a few of my favorite features and functions that really make the SeeStar S50 an enjoyable amateur astronomy instrument:
SeeStar S50 Smart Telescope

  1. Comes with everything you need… protective case, smart telescope, tripod, charging cable, and a solar filter!
  2. Light weight, weighs a bit more than 6 lbs including the tripod and case.
  3. Easy to setup and easy to use. Takes about 5 minutes to setup! Less time setting up means more time enjoying the views.
  4. Built-in Anti-Dew function, very nice feature to have with humidity here in Southeastern VA.
  5. Autofocus and Manual Focus
  6. Built-in filters: an IR Cut Filter and a Duo-Band Light Pollution Filter
  7. Wireless, no cables required for observing.
  8. Good battery life, portable battery can increase observing time and it can also be charged while observing.
  9. The SeeStar app is very easy to use. A nice Sky Atlas, live stacking, and advanced configuration features.
  10. Affordable and simple providing truly AMAZING views for the price.
  11. It is a whole lot of FUN!

I have had my Seestar S50 for a little over a month now. I have done several EAA observing sessions with it. I even took the Seestar S50 on a work trip with me to do a bit of observing while traveling (unfortunately the skies did not cooperate). Nebulas, galaxies, open clusters, globular clusters, the Moon, and the Sun have all been observed and captured through the triplet lens of this little smart telescope. SeeStar continues to improve the app and the SeeStar itself. There has been at least one app release and two firmware releases since I received my SeeStar. The firmware releases provide new features and bug fixes. These updates have loaded pretty quick without any issues.

Update Look at this picture of the Moon from 6/17/2024. No stack, just autofocus and a single capture.
Moon - SeeStar - 06/17/2024
Just amazing detail. I love this little gadget.

In the past month I have only had skies worth the time (no clouds/no Moon) of my main setup for just one night (A Sunflower on Mother’s Day). I have had the Seestar S50 out a few times – since it is so easy to set up and get to observing I am more likely to set it up even when the conditions are less than optimal. These are some post from my other observing session with the SeeStar S50:

You can get some amazing results right on you tablet or phone screen. There is also the option to post process the SeeStar images. You can save individual frames from the SeeStar live stack and process them with the software of your choice.

The results of the live stack are amazing but if you want to tinker with some post processing SeeStar live stacks are saved as FITS files. You can also save individual collected frames to stack in your software of choice. Here I took the SeeStar live stack FITS of 120 x 10 second exposures of the Crab Nebula and processed it using GraXpert and Siril.
M1, Crab Nebula, 120 x 10 seconds SeeStar Live Stack, processed with GraXpert and Siril
Can you expect the same thing from the SeeStar S50 as you get out of a MUCH more expensive EAA rig? Um, no, maybe, kind of, depends ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I know for sure that with the SeeStar S50 you can have a lot of fun observing far away light from a long time ago – quick, easy, and for a fraction of the cost.

If you are interested in the amateur astronomy hobby and looking for a telescope which is easy to use that will enable you to quickly start observing and learning the night sky… get a SeeStar S50, IMHO it is well worth the investment.

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