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  1. #1
    heider's Avatar
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    Default The Skywatcher EQ6 Pro (Orion Atlas EQ-G) vs Celestron CGEM, Reloaded



    Ok, there might be 100 posts like this one, but itís always good to hear what people are thinking now, and not only then.

    I would like to buy "A" mount. I am getting this mount solely for astrophotography. I donít have a telescope. And I am going to use my cameras and lenses to shoot wide field astrophotography for now using this mount only. Later on, I will get a good telescope, a good auto guider and a CCD camera.

    Things I am looking for in this mount:

    1. A heavy duty, sturdy, accurate, and a versatile mount because later on I am going to shoot deep sky objects.
    2. Should serve for both for WF-AP & DSO-AP.
    3. Tracking accuracy is of a prime importance to me, pointing accuracy comes in second place.
    4. Must be capable of supporting tube assemblies that will allow me to shoot DSO. (The weight of a good telescope, auto guider, and piggy backed camera and other accessories).
    5. Should be able to use this mount 3 -5 years from now without the need of buying a new one.
    6. PC Connectivity and a computerized GoTo controller, I will be auto guiding later on
    7. Software compatibility.
    8. Should be able to use the mount in remote locations, but weight is not a major concern.

    I am thinking EQ-6 VS CGEM!

    Now, the The Celestron CGEM is on sell now for $1400 (was $1550) till shipment lasts (3 left).The Sky-Watcher EQ6 PRO is $1600. Saving that $200 is not a bad idea unless the EQ-6 is a better deal.

    From what Iíve read Ė on this and other forums - they are pretty much identical. Both manufactured by Synta. Also Iíve been told that for astrophotography the CGEM is better; however I donít know if that is true.

    I have read reports of 20min guided exposures with the EQ-6. Also it looks like CGEM firmware has a lot more features to offer than the EQ-6. Though, the EQMOD might give the EQ-6 an advantage for long exposure astrophotography and auto guiding (Iíve been told, but is that true).

    Another difference is stepper motors in the EQ-6, vs. servo in the CGEM; which system is better for astrophotography and more durable? I have No idea. Is it true that the atlas has higher quality control standards?Also they say that costumer support for the EQ-6 PRO is better.

    It looks like it's a very tight match and costumers of both systems are very satisfied. However, just like any Nikon vs. Canon debates, some people tend to forget this is not a religion or a cult, itís just a tool that you use, and there happens to be two very good manufacturers making a very similar product.

    Iíd really appreciate your help, Come on guys, this must be easy, you are experts on this subject now.

    Heider

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  3. #2
    jimt's Avatar
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    Default

    I just bought an Atlas EQG. Here are the reasons I went with it. First off I have read horror stories about Celestron and their customer service. I have also read a LOT of complaints with things going wrong with their EQ mounts. I know people that have used an atlas for years of trouble free service. I know people that get 4 to 5 mins unguided with the Atlas as well. There has been nothing but rave reviews about Orion's customer service as well. I'm not sure what the Cgem is rated as far as load, but the Atlas is 40 pounds not including the counter weights.

    I've only had my Atlas out twice so far, but both times it has been flawless. Its pretty portable and easy to set up, as is the cgem. I think it comes down to a personal preference as to which one you pick, but for me it was the proven track record, and the award wining customer service that swayed me.

    Either way you will get a great mount.

    Good luck on your choice.
    Jim
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    Now where did I put that clear sky button!

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  5. #3
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    Default

    I went with the Atlas some time ago for much the same reasons as Jim: proven track record, excellent customer service, adaptability (it is an easy mount to modify...ADM has some outstanding options), good guiding characteristics, it's rock steady, and IMO the only thing the Celestron software has over the Atlas is a polar alignment routine -- but the Atlas comes with an illuminated polar scope and set up is very simple. Finally, there is EQMOD (which I use on both my Atlas and Sirius mounts) and it levels the software playing field completely in my opinion. Until Celestron ups the quality control on their CGEM production (I personally know three people who have had to send theirs back to the factory) I would not even consider buying one. Many people have spoken highly of the CGEM on this and other forums, but I prefer the known quantity in this case. I mean, what are the odds of knowing three people with the same bum mount...really? Just my two cents worth...

    Clear Skies, Brian
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  7. #4
    heider's Avatar
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    Default

    OK, can you believe this! the Sky-Watcher EQ6 PRO is selling for 1749 CAD=1760 USD here in Toronto!

    Online its $1399 USD. Actually with todays exchange rates 1399 USD = 1390CAD! even less! I know its coasts money to ship and everything, but these are shipped from China in the first place, so I think our local relaters are getting them from the US and not China maybe and paying taxes and shipping and thats why they sell them at this price! That 25% more! 25%

    I don't know if I should be ordering one myself! Anyone here from Toronto or Canada with an advise?

  8. #5
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    Default

    I use the SW EQ6 Pro , more or less for same reasons above . The CGEM was only just out when I got my EQ though. Have not been disappointed with it yet , I cant say that about the weather, which tends to affect every manufacturer !

    Clear Skies

    Pete
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  9. #6
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    Default

    Both mounts are VERY similar. It really comes down to which hand controller you prefer, will you be using EQMOD, and the "ALL STAR" polar alignment feature of the CGEM, which is a unique feature of Celestron mounts.
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  10. #7
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    I recently purchased the cgem after much deliberations.
    I have not had a really meaty session with it yet but to date I am very impressed with its tracking, build and general sturdiness. It feels heavy (without weights) because it is.

    I too have heard horror stories about this mount, but have also heard great reviews from people using it. Pay your money and take your choice...
    Declan.
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  11. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heider View Post
    OK, can you believe this! the Sky-Watcher EQ6 PRO is selling for 1749 CAD=1760 USD here in Toronto!

    Online its $1399 USD. Actually with todays exchange rates 1399 USD = 1390CAD! even less! I know its coasts money to ship and everything, but these are shipped from China in the first place, so I think our local relaters are getting them from the US and not China maybe and paying taxes and shipping and thats why they sell them at this price! That 25% more! 25%

    I don't know if I should be ordering one myself! Anyone here from Toronto or Canada with an advise?
    I've noticed a price difference in most Canadian stores. But, Canadian Telescope has the NEQ6 mount for $1449. If you visit Montreal though you can go to La Maison de l'Astronomie and get an EQ6 for $1399
    Angelo

  12. #9
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    Default

    Cant speak for Celestron CGEM but I do have an EQ6.

    Here in the UK the CGEM is about $350 more expensive than the EQ6 so its obviously different your side of the pond with regards to price and obviously price always plays a part of any purchasing decision.

    I think one of the advantages of the EQ6 has to be the fact that so many poeple use it with the effect that theres more add on after market parts, more support and advice etc.

    Whether ANY current mount is supported into the future is anyones guess but I would suspect if anything gets supported it will be the EQ6 even if Synta stopped making it tomorrow there would be a huge amount of know how and secondary market spares available for them.

    Not sure I would agree QC is better on the EQ6, some of the older ones can be perishers but with that said I have never taken a CGEM to bits (happy to do it for anyone who has one if they are curious about what its like inside by the way ) possibly CGEM failures are related to new production. ANyone involved in production know that when a product is newish you will have glitches because of production issues - this is especially true in the far east. The firtys few batches can be a bit iffy untilo the factory settles down then they come out reliable as clockwork.
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