At Skies & Scopes, we produce buying guides and product reviews to help readers find the products and equipment that are right for them.
With buying guides, we do not believe it is necessary (or even possible) to have hands-on experience with every product in the field.
For example, it is not possible to own hundreds of different cameras and take them out together on a single night and try to compare them objectively for astrophotography. Even if you had all these cameras you cannot necessarily make like-for-like comparisons as different cameras use different lenses and the night sky conditions change with every minute.
What we therefore aim for is to conduct unique and objective research that enables us to make recommendations on the best products.
For example, in our guide to the Best Cameras for Astrophotography we analyzed nearly 700 images shortlisted for the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. This enables us to say what cameras are being used most successfully by the best astrophotographers in the world rather than basing recommendations on individual experience, anecdote, or by just comparing key product specifications.
This approach can be seen in other buying guides like:
- Best Telescopes for Astrophotography
- Best Mounts for Astrophotography
- Best Lenses for Astrophotography
We only review individual products if we have them in our hands and can provide genuine feedback and experience, as well as unique images of us with the gear.
This approach can be seen in reviews like:
Guidelines and Principles
In general, with regards to reviews and buying guides, we do:
- Make recommendations regardless of affiliate relationships, sponsorships, or partnerships to ensure they are completely unbiased.
- Seek the input of expert reviewers in the fields of astrophotography and astronomy
- Extensively scour through user reviews and feedback on other platforms to see if their are things that we did not notice ourselves but others have raised (either positive or negative)
- Study the product line and brand history. There are many great brands in the astrophotography and astronomy equipment sphere. But then there are also new challengers, as well as those producing cheap rubbish. It is our job to see through this and recommend gear from manufacturers that provide exceptional support for their customers.
- Look at the availability and delivery options. It doesn’t help our readers to recommend a product if it is not available to buy. If it is the best but unavailable we will explain this and provide the best alternative.
We do not:
- Accept incentives from brands to recommend their products or move them higher on a buying guide. Our recommendations are unbiased.
- Publish anything without thorough research and a unique angle that differentiates the guide from others available and makes the internet a better place.
- Recommend low quality products just because they will make us money. We can see, for example, which telescopes sell best on Amazon because they are being promoted in sales but we will only recommend them if we are confident in their quality.