Choosing the Right Telescopes
When choosing which telescope to buy the first question is always “Who will be using the telescope?”. We have a large range of telescopes for every age from basic models for younger children to more advanced models that can open up the whole universe, some more complicated to use than others.
The second question is “What do you want to look at?” because while you can look at anything with any of our telescopes, they are all designed to be better at something in particular.
So if you answer is:
“Only or Mainly looking at the night sky” then you should be looking at a reflector or Newtonian telescope.
“Both stars and things on the ground”. Then you should be looking at an astronomical refractor telescope.
“Only looking at things on the ground”. Then you should be looking at either a terrestrial refractor or a spotting scope
Reflector telescopes use a concave mirror to reflect and focus light back from the “back” of the telescope onto a secondary flat mirror which then reflects the light to the side and into the eyepiece. The eyepiece then focuses and magnifies the image.
Reflector telescopes are characterized by the much larger diameters of the telescope tube which allows a lot more light to enter the telescope. Because of this they are best suited for astronomical use (star-gazing).
Reflector telescopes don’t normally have an objective lens however sometimes they do and are called “Catadioptric”. The additional lens at the front of the telescope allows for a more compact telescope design.
Refractor telescopes are the type of telescope that most people think of. They have an objective lens at the front of the telescope and the eyepiece at the back. As the light passes through the telescope it is bent or refracted, into a focal point. The eyepiece then magnifies the image for the eye to see.
There are three main types of Refractor telescopes:
- Astronomical Refractor Telescopes
These are the most popular type of telescopes that we have. The power or magnification is changed by inserting different eyepieces. As well they can be adapted so that an SLR camera can be attached to the telescope by using a ‘photo adaptor tube’ (available separately). Although the image is shown upside down and back to front, by inserting an ‘erecting eyepiece’ (supplied with the telescope) the image is “flipped” the right way round for when you wish to look at a terrestrial object such as a distant building. So an astronomical refractor can be “converted” to an terrestrial refractor quite easily.
- Spotting Scopes
Spotting scopes are a compact form of the ‘terrestrial refractor telescope’. They were originally designed for use by target shooters in competitions to enable them to “spot the target” or see where the shots had landed without moving from the firing position.
They are also used by both hunters and nature watchers who wish to “scan “ or keep a watch on an area. The spotting scope provides a much higher range of magnifications than binoculars can (up to 60x) and the comfort of using a tripod for extended periods.
The tripod for a spotting scope is usually only 30-45 cm high (12-18 in). Spotting scopes are available with either a “straight – through” eyepiece or with the eyepiece raised 45 degrees.
Their combination of excellent optics (clear view) and compact size has made them very popular with people who don’t have the space for a full size telescope and tripod but who, like hunters, want more power than binoculars can provide and the comfort of a tripod. A spotting scope on a table (such as a dining table) is an excellent alternative to a full size telescope.
When selecting a telescope, consider which target objects you plan to explore as well as your level of experience. For viewing most night sky objects, you’ll want a telescope with as much aperture as possible. Keep in mind that as the size of the objective lens or mirror increases, so does the size of the telescope. So be sure to select a telescope that isn’t too heavy to manage or too complicated for you to set up – especially if portability is a necessity.
Refractors: Refractors are less affected by atmospheric instabilities making them perfect for observing the Moon and planets. Perfect for first-time novice astronomers, small refractors are lightweight, portable and require very little maintenance. And, if you’re interested in viewing both land and celestial objects, refractors are equipped for both uses.
Reflectors: Reflectors feature larger apertures for a wide range of viewing at an affordable price. Designed with the eyepiece located at the top of the tube, reflectors are more comfortable to use for viewing night-sky objects such as nebulae, the Moon, planets and galaxies. Reflectors tend to be heavier and larger than refractors.
Eyepieces: Lower power eyepieces provide a wider field-of-view and a brighter image making them ideal for viewing the full Moon and planets, star clusters, nebulae and the constellations. To focus in on the finer details of the Moon and planets such as mountains, ridges and craters, use an eyepiece with higher magnification.
Mounts: There are two basic types of telescope mounts, the altitude-azimuth (or altaz) and the equatorial. Altaz mounts are the easiest to maneuver and are ideal for first-time astronomers. Dobsonian type telescopes are an example of the altaz mount. Equipped with a manual control or motor drive that allows you to follow the movement of objects across the night sky, equatorial mounts are ideal for more experienced astronomers.
Phillips Digital Photo Frame
This attractive, white frame is sure to brighten up and enhance any room. Its high density 640 x 480 pixel assures your photos will be displayed in a clear, crisp manner. It is among one of the highest density photo screens in the industry and it displays more pixels per square inch than most other frames it size, and even more than some larger frames.
Its 4:3 aspect ratio is ideal for a distortion-free display of your pictures to give you the best viewing experience and it will automatically fit your photos into either a landscape or portrait mode via a sensor on its auto photo orientation feature.
This frame allows you to organize and manage your photos in an efficient fashion by creating albums and slideshows for you and you can search and locate photos quickly by using its thumbnail display feature.
You can manage and display many photos on this digital photo frame either on memory cards or its large 32MB internal memory. This item can even read two different memory cards at the same time for fast and efficient photo transfer and display and its Smart copy software can copy your photos from one memory card to the other and it will even resize your photos to enable you to store the maximum photos possible.
The Photo Effect Wizard feature is state-of-the-art and enables you to crop, rotate, zoom-in and adjust the color tones of your photos.
Included along with the photo frame in your purchase are; a start guide, stand to place the frame on any desktop, an AC-DC adapter, PC/MAC software CD, USB cable, and a user manual.
The actual dimensions of this stylish digital photo frame is 9.8 inches x 7.9 inches x 5.4 inches.
Let’s look at some of the noted PROS and CONS of Phillips 5.6 Inch Digital Photo Frame
Several people who purchased this frame felt it was competitively priced and a great buy for the money. There are many features that were complimented in quite a few reviews. The slideshow feature of this frame has a great menu with a variety of selections and choices that allows you to control and manage your slideshow.
Its memory card slot is compatible with many different types of cards such as CF, SD, MS, MMC and XD.
The timer option it offers was also complimented by some people and they liked the ability to be able to select the time you want to turn the frame on and off in order to conserve electricity and energy.
The menu on this digital photo frame is intuitive and it makes it easy to upload your photos and in addition to the slideshow feature you can display your photos in a collage fashion if you choose.
Besides being stylish and attractive the frame is also a “perfect size for any desk”.
Some of the negative comments from people who reviewed this product centered around its inability to load any photos other than JPEG photos. They were also disappointed that there is no music or video option and while there is a USB port to easily connect the frame to your computer there is not one to connect to a flash drive.
The frame only comes in white so it may not match your decor. Phillips does offer larger frames in different colors however that are of comparable quality to this digital photo frame.
AVERAGE RATING based on Amazon is 4.0 stars out of 5.0 stars. We have also rated this item as “Best in Size” and a worthwhile purchase for the price.