Celestron Origin Review: The Best Smart Telescope Yet?

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celestron origin review

The Celestron Origin is a premium portable smart telescope which was announced in January 2024 to be released in April 2024.

In this Celestron Origin review we are going to assess just how good this model is and how it will compare to other smart telescopes on the market.

Key Points

  1. The Celestron Origin is Celestron’s first attempt at a smart telescope
  2. It features a 6-inch aperture RASA telescope with a fast f/2.2 focal ratio
  3. The built-in camera has a 6.4 MP resolution
  4. It utilizes the single fork-arm alt-azimuth mount from the Celestron NexStar Evolution telescopes
  5. The starting price is $3,999
  6. It is significantly heavier than any other smart telescope at 40 lbs (19 kg)
celestron origin review

Celestron Origin Review

The Celestron Origin is a smart telescope, which means:

  • it is a fully automated astrophotography telescope with a camera built-in
  • You control it via app on your smartphone and it takes images of astronomy objects for you at the press of a button and sends them to your phone.

At the time of writing it is not yet released but there is a lot that we can learn from looking at the key specifications and information given by Celestron.

In this review I will give my views on how it is likely to shape up based on the five criteria we use to assess smart telescopes:

  1. Ease of Use
  2. Portability
  3. Imaging Quality
  4. Value for Money
  5. Versatility

Ease of Use

The whole point of smart telescopes is that they are supposed to be very easy to use and allow you to bypass the months/years of building your own astrophotography telescope setup and learning to capture images.

The reality has been that some are easier than others, with the premium Unistellar and Vaonis models excelling in this regard.

We have to wait and see when the Celestron Origin is released just how seamlessly it will operate.

Celestron are likely to be able to nail this given their experience but their GOTO telescopes have been using the same technology that has been around for decades and so this is a step into the unknown for the company.

This could be a big factor in its initial reception for the Origin as the usability needs to be good or it will struggle to compete with other premium smart telescopes and the target market of users who are valuing convenience over saving money.

celestron origin app

Portability

Right from the off we can see that this is one of the downsides of the Celestron Origin – it weighs 41.6 lbs (18.9 kg), which is pretty much double that of the previous heaviest smart telescope (the Stellina).

It is also far more than the compact models like the Vespera / Vespera II / Vespera Pro and the Dwarf II and ZWO SeeStar S50.

It does far exceed all of these on the telescope specifications though and so this is the trade off.

Imaging Quality

Telescope

The key aspect of the Celestron Origin that sets it apart from the other smart telescopes on the market is actual telescope included:

  • It has 6-inch aperture, which is far more than any other smart telescope
  • It has a f/2.2 focal ratio and so should be much faster than other smart telescopes at capturing the light to create the images
  • It is a Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA), which is already proven to be a fantastic astrophotography telescope

Camera

With regards to the camera, it features a 6.4 MP Sony IMX178 sensor.

There have been grumblings about this since the announcement as many would have expected a newer and higher-spec camera in what is a premium product. In addition, it is uncooled and so may limit exposure times and image results.

However, the camera can be changed out and so offers the potential for individual upgrades and customizations.

Mount

Similarly the mount is that which comes with Celeston’s existing Nexstar Evolution telescopes. It’s not bad but it’s also not perfect for astrophotography given that it is an alt-az.

Again, some would have preferred an upgrade, but there is the option to add an equatorial wedge as an upgrade or even fully swap out the mount for an EQ model.

However this obviously adds cost and kind of conflicts with the point of a buying all-in-one smart telescope package over building your own astrophotography setup.

celestron origin smart telescope

Value for Money

The Origin is initially priced at $3,999. Whilst this is obviously not cheap it is in the ballpark of the other premium smart telescopes that it is competing with.

In addition, whilst some online mention the camera and mount not being ideal, what you are paying for is the convenience of getting an excellent Celestron RASA in an easy-to-use smart telescope package.

The tripod and most accessories are included, although not a backpack/carry case.

Versatility

The Celestron Origin doesn’t have the liveview eyepiece which is the selling point of the eVscope 2, nor is it usable for non-astronomical purposes.

celestron origin intelligent home observatory review

Celestron Origin: Pros and Cons

Celestron Origin Advantages

The pros of the Celestron Origin are:

  • Large 6-inch aperture telescope
  • RASA telescope type is proven for astrophotography
  • Fast f/2 focal ratio makes this the best light gathering smart telescope and we should see fantastic imaging results
  • Reliability of Celestron as a brand who have been delivering some of the best astronomy products for decades

Celestron Origin Disadvantages

In terms of the downsides:

  • It is heavy and not really a portable option. It is more for setting up at home, rather than travelling with
  • Currently unknown how well the app and system will work
  • Camera sensor (and mount) slightly below expectations
  • Fairly expensive, although comparable to other premium smart telescopes

Celestron Origin Alternatives

The main alternatives to the Celestron Origin are the Unistellar eVscope 2 and Unistellar eQuinox 2 premium smart telescopes.

See our overview of the Best Smart Telescopes to see how they all compare.

Celestron Origin Specifications

  • Aperture: 152 mm (6 inch)
  • Focal Length: 335 mm
  • Focal Ratio: F/2.2
  • Weight: 41.6 lbs (18.9 kg)
  • Height: 122 cm (fully assembled)
  • Sensor: Sony IMX178
  • Resolution: 6.4 MP (3096 x 2080 px)
  • Year of release: 2024

Our Verdict

The Celestron Origin has the potential to take the crown of the best smart telescope.

It certainly has the specs in terms of the OTA, although it already has its detractors with regards to the camera and mount (note though that these are not bad, and in fact very good compared to other smart telescopes, it’s just that expectations for this product are high given Celestron’s history and reputation.

This is a real astrophotography telescope and seems like a step in the direction of offering smart telescope setups that can genuinely compete with advanced astrophotography setups for imaging but without a lot of the work involved.

One thing to consider is the size and weight though. Most other smart telescopes are quite light and portable, but this is not what the Celestron Origin is going for. If you want portable check out an alternative option.

Buy Now
Celestron Origin Intelligent Home Observatory

Brand new smart telescope from Celestron in 2024

Pros:
  • Large 6-inch aperture RASA astrophotography telescope
  • Fast f/2.2 focal ratio
  • 6.4 MP camera
  • All-in-one package that takes astrophotography images for you at the press of a button from your smartphone
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Weighs over 40 lbs
Buy at Agena Astro Check All Stores

Sources and further information

How we reviewed the Celestron Origin

This Celestron Origin review is based on an assessment of its core specifications and comparison to existing models and the reviews of a number trusted experts:

Cuiv, The Lazy Geek

High Point Scientific

AbdurAstro

Submit Your Review of the Celestron Origin

If you own (or have used) a Celestron Origin, you can submit your review and ratings to us via this form to be incorporated in this review:

Celestron Origin Intelligent Home Observatory

Premium Smart Telescope / Home Observatory

Product Brand: Celestron

Pros

  • Large 6-inch aperture
  • RASA telescope type
  • Fast f/2 focal ratio
  • Reliability of Celestron as a brand

Cons

  • Heavy and not really a portable option
  • Camera sensor (and mount) slightly below expectations
  • Fairly expensive, although comparable to other premium smart telescopes

About the Author

Anthony Robinson is the founder and owner of Skies & Scopes, a publication and community focused on amateur astronomy and astrophotography. His work has been featured in publications such as Amateur Astrophotography, Forbes, the Guardian, DIY Photography, PetaPixel, and Digital Camera World - read more.

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