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Version Question
I am thinking about taking the plunge and going ahead and getting ST prior to v4 coming out. I don't do astrophotography at this point (don't have a telescope for it anyway), so would ST3 Standard be the way to go? Is the only real difference between visual and imaging is that the latter is for those doing astrophotography?

You don't need a telescope for astrophotography. You can obtain excellent results with a good digital camera (DSLR or mirrorless) and a camera lens (wide angle to telephoto) plus a mount that compensates for the earth's rotation. The tracking mount allows you to take longer exposures without getting star trailing. ST4 Imaging can be used for this simpler type of imaging as well as imaging through a telescope. ST4 Imaging also supports the iTelescope network of remote controlled telescopes in Australia, Spain, Chile, New Mexico and California.

The ST4 Visual software is close to being released (see the notes about beta testing). If you purchase ST4 Imaging, you can familiarize yourself with the software and gain access to the excellent Interactive Atlas and object databases.

At one time, I think purchasers of ST3 got ST4 when it was released, but I'm not certain that that's still the case. I purchased ST2 then upgraded to ST3 Pro and now have ST4 Imaging. I've been very pleased with every version of the software and Greg Crinklaw (the developer) does a fine job communicating with the SkyTools community on this forum if you have a question or problem.

Phil S.

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