Best Telescope Review: Meade vs Celestron vs Orion & More!

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Best Telescope for Astrophotography
Meade logo
Best Telescope
Under $200
Best Beginner Telescope
Best Telescope for Kids

Looking to gaze into the starry sky or explore other planets with a telescope of your choosing? You’ll be able to magnify the night sky with one of these telescopes. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover something unknown to man! No matter what your pleasure or purpose, we’re sure you’ll find yourself awestruck by the beauty you discover through the lens.

We’ve chosen four of the best telescopes on the market depending on your comfort level and what you’re interested in. Some might be looking for a new hobby to do with the kids whereas others might be more experienced stargazers who need a better tool in their arsenal. Either way, we’ve got put a lot of thought and research into picking the best product for each category so you can be confident in your decision.

But before we get into the winners for each of the best telescopes, some of you might be thinking you need a brief overview of the basic features first. Well, don’t worry because we have put together a complete list of telescope terms and definitions, so you have a better understanding of everything you need to know. Check out How Much Does a Good Telescope Cost. It provides background information on telescopes and what you should look for in one.

Now, let’s get to exploring the possibilities together by diving into this best telescopes review now, shall we?

Best for Astrophotography: Meade LX70 Maksutov, 6″ Telescope Review

Meade LX70 MaksutovView on Amazon

The Meade LX70 Maksutov (6″) combined with the Dual Axis Motor Kit is the best telescope for astrophotography (as in astronomy photography). This telescope has worm-gear drives on both axes to allow for smooth tracking performance as well as a built-in leveling bubble. This scope is designed for pinpoint star images and is great for deep sky exploration. It’s also reasonably priced for such an advanced telescope.

Pros

Cons

  • Slow motion controls
  • Comes with an accessory tray
  • None that we found

Price & Tech Specs

  • Telescope: $1,099.95
  • LX70 Dual Axis Motor Kit: $149.95
  • 1 year warranty
  • Dimensions: 45″ x 45″ x 70″
  • Weight: 49.4 pounds
  • Focal Length: 1800mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/12
  • Resolution (Dawes): 0.760 arsec
  • Clear Aperture: 150mm (6″)
  • Optical Design: Maksutov-Cassegrain
  • Mount: German Equatorial

Best Under $200: Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope Review

Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker TelescopeView on Amazon

We’ve chosen the Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope as the best telescope under $200. This telescope is best for terrestrial and astronomical use. It’s great for kids or adults and can be used all year round. It also comes with “The Sky” level 1 planetarium software with 10,000 object database. The biggest complaint we saw during our research was that people had unreasonable expectations for a telescope under $200. It’s important that you remember that this isn’t a $10,000 telescope, so if you decide to purchase it, make sure you have reasonable expectations.

Pros

Cons

  • No tools needed for setup
  • Slow motion controls
  • Enhanced image brightness and clarity
  • Comes with an accessory tray
  • Buyers complain that it’s not made of quality material

Price & Tech Specs

  • $119.99
  • 2 year warranty
  • Dimensions: 11″H x 17″W x 33″D
  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • 3x Barlow Lens
  • Mount: German Equatorial
  • Aperture: 127mm
  • Focal Length: 1000mm
  • Optical Design: Newtonian Reflector
  • Focal Ratio: 7.87
  • Limiting Stellar Magnitude: 13
  • Resolution (Rayleigh): 1.1 arsec
  • Resolution (Dawes): 0.91 arsec
  • Photographic Resolution: 254 line/mm
  • Light Gathering Power: 329 x
  • Angular Field of View: 0.8°
  • Linear Field of View (@1000 yards): 43ft
  • Secondary Mirror Obstruction: 1.6 in
  • Secondary Mirror Obstruction by Area: 10.2%
  • Secondary Mirror Obstruction by Diameter: 32%
  • Optical Tube Length: 20 in

Best for Beginner: Orion StarSeeker IV 130mm GoTo Reflector Telescope Review

Orion Starseeker 5View on Amazon

The Orion StarSeeker IV 130mm GoTo Reflector Telescope is our pick for best beginner telescope. This is a fully robotic telescope. All you have to do is punch in what you want to see on the keypad and the telescope will go to it, align and center it for you. You don’t have to find the object yourself which you may like or dislike. Orion is a well-known telescope manufacturer and the Starseeker is a line they have continuously updated. This is the best telescope for beginners.

Pros

Cons

  • Computerized reflector
  • See planets, nebulas, star clusters and more
  • Large GoTo database
  • Pricey

Price & Tech Specs

  • $549.99
  • 1 year warranty
  • Eyepieces: 10mm and 23mm
  • Focal Length: 650mm
  • Magnification 28x and 65x
  • Number of Objects in Database: 42,900
  • Weight: 21.5 pounds

Orion StarSeeker IV Video

Learn more about how to use this telescope by watching this video.

Best for Kids: TwinStar 60mm Compact Kids Refractor Telescope Review

Twinstar 60mm Compact Kids Refractor TelescopeView on Amazon

We’ve chosen the TwinStar 60mm Compact Kids Refractor Telescope as the best telescope for kids. The company says it’s so easy to assemble that they don’t even put instructions in it. It ships in 4 pieces, so it’d still be nice if there were instructions just to make sure parents and guardians are installing it correctly.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to assemble
  • Available in black, pink and silver
  • See 4 of Jupiter’s moons, Saturn’s rings, binary stars and more
  • No instructions

Price & Tech Specs

  • $49.99
  • Eyepiece: 6mm and 20mm
  • Magnifications: 15x and 50x
  • 2x Barlow Lens
  • 1.5x Erecting Eyepiece
  • Achromatic Objective Lens: 60mm
  • Focal Length: 300mm

What Can You See Through Your Telescope?

Some of these telescopes allow you to see more than others so you will want to choose wisely! The world’s largest telescope allows you to see 13.5 billion light years away. Unfortunately, none of the telescopes in this article allow for that type of exploration, but they still allow for excellent star gazing right from your own backyard. Or if you live in the city, it’s a great excuse to go camping. Learn more about stars and planets.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen in the planetary sky?

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Kimberly is always up for an adventure. She’s used to living out of a suitcase and travels consistently. Her first time out of the country was to Thailand, where she spent 4 1/2 months traveling throughout southeast Asia. Kimberly enjoys exploring new places and diving into new cultures. While Kimberly isn’t traveling you can find her trying a new recipe in the kitchen, spending time outside or just lounging at home.

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3 Comments on "Best Telescope Review: Meade vs Celestron vs Orion & More!"

avatar
Gary Sonnenberg
Gary Sonnenberg

Hi Kimberly, thanks for the brief look at these telescopes. It would be nice if we knew what kind of quality the Twinstar for kids had. Is it worth the price or would kids be dissatisfied with it and give up using it?

Kimberly Alt
Kimberly Alt

Great question Gary! Reviews we’ve read from customers say they are pleased with the quality and price point. If you have a youngster in your life who is interested in exploring the planets and stars this is a great telescope to start them out on.

Fred A
Fred A

I had a similar question as well, I’m looking for an inexpensive telescope for my kids and I was happy to see that Twin Star offers some “higher end” telescopes that seem to be rated well, that makes me feel that they are a good telescope manufacturer and don’t just make a cheap model for kids.

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