The Sky-Watcher AZ EQ5 mount is two mounts in one. It can be used as an altazimuth mount, and an equatorial mount. This design gives astronomers the best of both worlds.
The combination of altazimuth and equatorial means an astronomer can set up in the configuration which best suits their goals for the night.
Allows precise tracking of the night sky, including field rotation correction for astrophotography. The RA+/- and DEC+/- controls move the scope along the lines of right ascension and declination, which provide a more realistic movement against the night sky, as it follows the flow of movement. Polar alignment is required, which may add 2 to 20 minutes to the overall setup, depending on accuracy required.
Some astronomers prefer altazimuth mounts because they are generally simpler to operate. Their left/right, up/down controls move the scope the same way people would generally point their finger. They do not require polar alignment, which means the initial setup is shorter.
One convenience the altazimuth mode brings is the ability to mount two telescopes at the same time. One scope mounts in the traditional way, and the second can be attached to the auxiliary saddle, which securely attaches to the counterweight shaft. This mode is great when multiple scopes are required for viewing comparisons, or to enable more guests to view the same object simultaneously.
At the heart of the mount is the drive system, which has been newly designed, employing hybrid stepper drives, a belt-drive coupling the motor/gear assembly to the worm gear, and new motor controllers. The AZ EQ5 delivers more torque and accuracy, with a super smooth periodic error curve, low backlash, and is silent when slewing.
Many computerized mounts on the market literally get lost when the mount gets pushed around. This is because encoders are not used to provide feedback to the computer.
The Sky-Watcher AZ EQ5 employs encoders on both axes, so the astronomer can manually push the scope to new locations, with no impact to tracking, or goto positional accuracy. Astronomers now have total freedom over the mount, and convenience.