What’s most impressive about the Powerseeker 70az is without a doubt its low price point. Celestron has managed to make a product that comes with all the features and the performance amateur stargazers need at a price that is hard to compete with.
This low-cost telescope is designed to provide amateurs, families, and children with an affordable and appealing way to step into the fascinating world of exploration that the nighttime sky brings. Despite being an affordable option, this scope still manages to offer a wide variety of eyepieces and magnifications.
You will be able to get a very detailed view of celestial objects and the simplicity of the product makes setup very straightforward so that even those who have never used a telescope before can enjoy using this nifty choice.
The scope does not require any tools or assembly and the instruction manual is very easy to understand so that you can get this option ready to use in no time. Overall, what you get is a telescope that offers everything that a beginner needs to enjoy stargazing and it is a very intuitive and affordable design that is accessible to anyone.
The performance this model offers is not always stellar and there are a few areas where it could use some improvements. While this may seem like a big disadvantage, once we take into account the low price point of the product and the target audience which in this case refers to beginners, this ends up being less of an issue.
With that said, this aspect is still worth mentioning, especially if there are some intermediate stargazers who are considering purchasing this option. The Celestron telescope has a rather small aperture and that limits the amount of the night’s sky that you can observe to just the Moon, planets, double stars and the brightest deep-sky objects.
For beginner and even intermediate use, the performance is more than acceptable. If you’re looking for a product capable of looking outside our solar system, then, unfortunately, this option is not for you. The small size of the telescope and the lack of an adequate finder scope makes it incapable of delivering crisp images of even the brightest extrasolar objects.
There’s no need to worry though since as a beginner our solar system has a lot to offer and this instrument will still give you plenty of hours of fun by yourself or with your family.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($159.95)
Main features explained
Quality optics and construction
The images that this scope provides are particularly good, especially for a product that comes at a price as low as this one. This is achieved mainly by the decent eyepieces that will let you get perfect views of any celestial object in our solar system. There is a bit of chromatic aberration but nothing that will affect the quality of the image in a meaningful way.
The Powerseeker 70az comes with a 20mm Kellner eyepiece, a 3x Barlow and a 4mm Ramsden eyepiece. The 20mm eyepiece is very decent and it provides a magnification of 45x. The 4mm Ramsden provides a magnification of 175x which we don’t expect you to use too much since it is a bit overkill for a 70mm telescope.
Celestron has chosen to employ a mostly plastic construction for this model and this is by no means a bad thing. The plastic used here is of good quality and there are still metal parts in the areas where they are needed the most.
Switching to a plastic construction has helped Celestron keep manufacturing costs down without affecting the sturdiness and durability of the product itself.
Ease of use and versatility
This telescope makes locating celestial objects a breeze thanks to the manual Alt-Azimuth mount with a clutch for smooth and accurate pointing. The mount is very intuitive to use even by those who lack experience. Furthermore, the product comes out of the box with a sturdy, full-height steel tripod that is fully adjustable and easy to install.
The mount works perfectly for both astronomical and terrestrial purposes. The tension of the mount can be adjusted effortlessly using the small knobs. For amateur users, the Alt-Azimuth mount is very easy to master since it includes only the key features to make the entire operating process more straightforward.
As a bonus, with each purchase, you’ll also get completely free access to the Starry Night Basic Edition astronomy software which is compatible with both PC and Mac. The software includes interactive sky simulation and printable sky maps to help you learn more about the night sky.
With thousands of celestial objects that you can research, you can use the software to plan your next observing session meticulously. The software is perfect for kids since it comes with plenty of eye-popping images that will make them want to experience the night’s sky with their own eyes.
The grab and go design of this option makes it extremely portable so that you can take it with you on camping trips, star parties, or any impromptu backyard observing sessions. It’s very easy to transport and you’ll be able to turn the entire family into stargazing enthusiasts.
The included tripod is designed for portability as well and it features small and thin legs that are adequate enough to support the weight of the whole scope. The tripod is made of aluminum which is a great choice seeing as it is very durable and lightweight.
Once assembled, the unit will weigh only around 18 pounds, which is light enough even for small kids to use and adjust without needing assistance from adults. Storing the unit when not in use is also very easy since it comes with a deluxe accessory tray that you can use to store all the delicate accessories of the telescope.
All in all, the Celestron Powerseeker 70az is a portable beginner telescope that stands out thanks to its affordable price that puts it well within the reach of even occasional night time observers. You also get plenty of useful accessories and the benefit of a durable construction that will last you for years.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($159.95)