New Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ5 Mount

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Skywatcher AZ-EQ5Sky-Watcher recently introduced the AZ-EQ5 Mount that has generated a lot of interest for it’s low price and very small stated periodic error of only ±5 arc seconds. That’s a native periodic error you would expect to find in a class of mounts more than double the AZ-EQ5’s size and price. That means this mount may wind up being a bargain option for astrophotographers at just $1350.

Skywatcher AZ-EQ5 Belt DrivePart of the reason for this mount’s accuracy is the belt drive in place of the typical worm gear. This was first introduced in the larger Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6 mount, which in the US is marketed by Orion as the Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G. Both mounts also support usage in either alt-az (useful for visual and outreach activities) and EQ modes (for astrophotography). Stated load capacity for the Orion Atlas Pro is 40 lbs, and for the Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6, 30 lbs. Keep in mind that the practical weight capacity for astrophotography is probably about 1/2 to 2/3rds of that stated capacity for each mount.


Below text is from the Sky-Watcher Product description:

Quick Overview

  • Multi-purpose GoTo mount
  • Alt-Az, equatorial or dual-OTA configurations
  • 30 pound payload capacity
  • SynScan hand controller with 42,000 object database
  • Counterweight shaft extension
  • Two 7.5 pound counterweights
  • Secondary mounting saddle for dual-OTA configuration
  • Steel tripod
  • DC power cord

The Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ5 gives optimal stability and pointing accuracy for a wide variety of professional photo and video equipment. It is a hybrid mount with alt-azimuth capability for general use, equatorial capability for astrophotography use and dual-OTA mode perfect for outreach. Stable, accurate, versatile and very portable –weighing only 33 pounds – the AZ-EQ5 is the perfect field mount. Supplied with a SynScan handset with dual AZ/EQ firmware, it can automatically find and track 42,900+ celestial objects from its database.


  • German Equatorial/Alt-Az/dual OTA mode.
  • Permanent periodic error correction (PPEC). PPEC can be trained with autoguider or PC.
  • Belt drive – Super smooth PE curve. Low backlash, silent slewing.
  • +/- 5 arc seconds native periodic error.
  • Dual shutter release control for batch exposures of astrophotography.
  • Motor controller with high torque and accuracy.
  • Includes two V-style saddles for mounting dual OTAs
  • Secure-fit power supply connections.
  • Polar alignment with optional polarscope.
  • Primary axis encoder tracks the mounts position. Users can push the mount at any time without worrying about losing the mount’s alignment.
  • Counterweight extension bar included.
  • Retractable counterweight bar.
  • Includes two 7.5 pound counterweights.

Order the Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ5 now from B&H – $1350

Order the Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G from Orion – $1999

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