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Seestar S50 telescope: test / review

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Seestar S50 telescope: test / review

Published on: 27-12-2023 / Modified: 26-02-2024

When I was a child, I dreamed of traveling across the galaxy like the heroes of my favorite cartoons (Albator, Captain Flam,...). The Internet didn't exist and all I had on hand was an old pair of binoculars for stargazing during summer vacation. In the early 2000s, I started working and decided to buy a telescope to get closer to the stars.

At that time, everything was manual and setting up the telescope was not something that could be improvised, I lived in a city and the possibilities for just going out were quite limited...and yet, I remember very well the night when I first saw Jupiter with its moons casting their shadows on the planet. I remember the big brown spot which was clearly visible too. It was a bit like everything we said about space suddenly became a reality. I then did a little astrophotography but the lack of time put an end to this time-consuming passion.

In the 2020s, smart telescopes appeared on the market, notably Vaonis, but this product was way too expensive. It was only during a crowdfunding campaign that I bought the Dwarf II telescope manufactured by Dwarf Labs to reconnect with my old passion for the stars. I've had a mixed experience with the Dwarf II, not too much because of the telescope itself because it works well but it was the application controlling the telescope was catastrophic.

Today I have the opportunity to test the Seestar S50 which on paper should sweep away all the maturity errors of the Dwarf II and allow me to finally do astrophotography without having to worry about setting up, collimation, calibration and everything that makes star observation more complex... not to mention that in Belgium, finding a piece of unpolluted sky is already a challenge of its own.

Where to buy?

The Seestar S50 telescope is currently only available on the official website:
Seestar S50 / site official


Zwo is the company that sells the Seestar S50, the name leaves no doubt about its Chinese origin but that is not a bad thing, quite the contrary! I mainly test Chinese products because in a few years they have managed to produce quality products without requiring you to donate a kidney to be able to buy them. Dwarf II was an interesting first attempt in the world of cheap intelligent telescopes, this Seestar S50 raises the level without blowing up the price.

Zwo is not a new company, it specializes in the selling of astrophotography cameras, so this telescope is not their first product. You can also consult their catalog on the official website:
Zwo official website


telescope SeeStar S50 test review avis recensione prueba opinion beoordeling 5%20

The Seestar S50 telescope is extremely well packaged and when I say extremely, I am not exaggerating. The telescope arrived in a brown cardboard box like most products. In this cardboard box, the telescope was packaged in another cardboard box with this time an image of the product and in this cardboard box, there was a foam case to protect the telescope from any shocks it might suffer coming from China.

In the foam case you'll find the telescope with a power cable (no charger), a manual, a large tripod (as large as the telescope) and a solar filter. The tripod seems really solid, it is equipped with clamping screws everywhere. We'll see if it will be as stable as it looks later in this test but the first impression is rather good.


telescope SeeStar S50 test review avis recensione prueba opinion beoordeling 11

The Seestar S50 telescope is quite large, measuring 24 cm by 14 cm and 12 cm. It is nevertheless light enough to be lifted with one hand, it weighs 2.3kg. Its format reminds me a little of the Vaonis telescope and I think that it is undoubtedly the most effective format for this type of product. The construction of the Dwarf II is very different but has the direct consequence that the focal length is much smaller.

The projector is essentially made of plastic materials but with a good level of finish giving an impression of solidity. The plastic does not deform when I press on it as is sometimes the case with entry-level products.

telescope SeeStar S50 test review avis recensione prueba opinion beoordeling 14

To turn it on, you must press the button on the back once and then directly press the button again for several seconds. You will then hear a voice in English (or one of the many supported languages) confirming that it is on. At this stage you cannot yet do anything with the projector, you will have to pair it with the application but I will come back to this point in the next section of this review.

telescope SeeStar S50 test review avis recensione prueba opinion beoordeling 20

Once deployed, the telescope tube can point towards the sky and orient itself on the horizontal and vertical axis using the application.

telescope SeeStar S50 test review avis recensione prueba opinion beoordeling 27

The opening is quite large, the entrance measures 4 cm which should allow more light to enter than the Dwarf II. This is obviously very little compared to a classic telescope, mine has an opening of 150 mm but the on-board electronics of this Seestar will perhaps allow me to get to the same result more quickly.

telescope SeeStar S50 test review avis recensione prueba opinion beoordeling 18

Below the telescope you'll find a tightening screw for the tripod as well as the motorized axis which will allow the telescope to orient itself on the horizontal axis. This rotation mechanism will not create a gap between the telescope and its base as it was the case with the Dwarf II.


To use the Seestar S50 telescope you must download the Seestar application from the Play Store / AppStore. This application is completely free and will allow you to control the telescope without any hassle. When you first start it, you will have to pair the application with the telescope through wifi. It's quite common for this type of device, I had the same thing with the Dwarf II and it's the same with robot vacuum cleaners. The only problem with this type of connection is that while your phone is connected to the telescope via wifi, you can't use your home wifi anymore.

After the first connection, the application will download a software update and install it. This will also have the effect of configuring the telescope in relation to your location. I was surprised to see, for example, that the voice of the telescope had been changed to French.


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The application is very complete and very easy to use, it's really "select & shoot" concept where you choose what you want to observe, the telescope determines its position and if the chosen object is available, it will point it completely independently. You of course have the possibility to manually point out objects in the sky using a sky map directly integrated into the application.

The application is divided into several sections, first there is the configuration of the telescope, then the weather information for your area, the categories of objects available in the catalog, then a selection of what you can observe and some recommendations .

For each configuration, the telescope will point to the right place in the sky but can also be controlled manually. I will go into a little more detail as soon as the sky allows me.


It had been weeks since I had seen the sun and Iwas wondering how much longer I would have to wait before being able to test the telescope to observe the sun. I was lucky enough to have a sunny day the day after unpacking the telescope.

seestar s50 sun observation 3

Setting up the telescope is super simple, just put it on a flat surface. Remember to look at the tripod level before attaching the telescope because once placed, you will no longer see the bubble. For observing the sun, you absolutely must place the filter to avoid burning the telescope. In the application you just need to select the sun and the Seestar S50 will head towards it on its own, focus and engage automatic tracking. For this first attempt it took more or less a minute for the telescope to position itself in the right position and focus.

Once locked on the position of the sun, the Seestar will compensate Earth's rotation automatically, I noticed no deviation over the 10 to 15 minutes of observation. I took the opportunity to take a few photos at different exposure levels, I also took a few videos.

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The telescope records videos in 1920x1080 pixels with 16 frames per second. We see here quite clearly that the telescope manages without problems to keep the sun in the center of the image, some small movements are perceptible but they do not hinder the observation. The video is of fairly good quality, I did not modify the exposure or focus settings, this is the result obtained without doing anything in automatic mode.

Here are some photos taken at the same time and without modification in the settings. I took these photos in mid-December around 10 a.m., the sun is quite low and this position is not ideal to taking good quality photos because of the atmospheric pollution. Despite unfavorable conditions, the Seestar S50 did really well. I still have to test the possibility of capturing the sun in raw format (RAW) to see if I can find details that are not directly visible in the JPG photo but that will be for later.

Deep Sky

Observing the sky represents a real challenge in Belgium because the number of starry nights is quite limited and when the stars are present, light and atmospheric pollution make observation more complicated. Belgium is in the world top 5 for population density and even if I live in the countryside, it's still Belgium and finding a corner of the sky without light pollution is a challenge. Belgium is known for its public lights burning through the night, there aren't many places with pure dark sky. I was still lucky enough to be able to test the telescope the day after receiving it for a first series of photos.

To start this first observation, I aimed the telescope towards M42 because it was very well oriented in relation to my garden, I could see the 3 stars quite clearly with the naked eye. In less than a minute, the telescope positioned itself in the right location and began tracking. M42 appeared on my screen very quickly and I was really impressed by the sharpness of the image from the first few seconds. I had already observed M42 through a normal telescope and then with the Dwarf II, I never achieved such a result so quickly.

Here is what I got after 3 minutes of observation:

The result is simply stunning. Anyone can get this kind of shot with just a few clicks.

I made a few other observations including M31, M45, M1:

The result is less convincing than with M42 but I have not yet explored the possibilities of stacking the images to obtain better results.

Here is a new video showing all the steps to observe M42 in just a few minutes:
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This telescope is not designed for planetary observation; a larger focal length is required to obtain good results. However, you can observe nearby planets such as Jupiter which is visible to the naked eye. The telescope allows you to point Jupiter and compensate for Earth's rotation. Jupiter appears as a very bright white ball with several other smaller white spheres on a horizontal axis, these are some of Jupiter's moons which are clearly visible with this type of telescope. You won't see anything more and there isn't much else to do here. I tried to reduce the exposure time to reduce the brightness of the planet but I was not able to obtain a sharper image that would have allowed us to see Jupiter's great storm. I think that with this kind of telescope it will be very difficult. I had already been able to observe the spot with a 750mm telescope but ideally an even longer tube is needed.


The weather was again not very good but I was lucky to be able to observe the moon for about ten minutes before the clouds came to cover it. Pointing towards the moon was done quite quickly, as was focusing, and in less than a minute the moon was displayed very clearly on my screen.

Here is the final result:
telescope SeeStar S50 test review avis recensione prueba opinion beoordeling 100%20

And some intermediate photos

The result is once again quite stunning. I could obviously get better photos with my Orion telescope but for an electronic telescope and with such a small focal length, the result to be really good.

I also made a video to show that the tracking is just as good:
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The resolution is also limited here to 1920x1080 but this is more than sufficient for most screens.


Not yet tested


First test: I had about 40% battery left when I started the observation, I pointed the telescope at a nebula and let it follow it to capture more details. The telescope lasted approximately 1h30. To recharge the completely empty battery, it took me about 1 hour 20 minutes.

My experience/opinion

When I bought the Dwarf II, I was very excited to test it. The sky and the weather conditions complicated this first test, it's the same thing for the Seestar S50 and it's even more frustrating because I quickly realized that this telescope has an enormous potential. I still look forward to starry nights but I was able to test this telescope enough to give you a detailed opinion.

The first positive thing to say about this telescope is its format and its ease of installation. The Seestar S50 is quite imposing in terms of size and bulk but it is extremely well designed and I think that this kind of format (like the Vaonis) will become the standard for other products of this type. Simply attach the optical unit to the tripod, place it somewhere and off you go. Installation is super easy and accessible to everyone. I would just add a small downside regarding the tripod, it is equipped with a bubble level which allows you to check if it is placed on a flat surface. This is great except that once the telescope is installed, you no longer see the bubble. As separating the tripod from the telescope each time it is used is not very practical, I recommend using an independent level to check if the telescope is really flat.

seestar s50 level level 2

Once installed, you must associate the telescope with the Seestar application. This app is much better designed than the one used for Dwarf II (at the time of writing). It allows you to quickly connect to the telescope and choose your subject. The application will automatically calculate your position to first show you the objects visible where you are, you choose your target and the telescope will then automatically position itself in the right place. Unlike other telescopes, you don't have to worry about anything, there is no setting up, calibration, etc. Everything is done automatically but depending on the subject, it can sometimes take several minutes to get the first image. The Dwarf II has a second optic which allows you to search for an object visually to save time, the Seestar does not have this, the only way to get there is through the application.

The catalog of objects to observe is enormous, there are undoubtedly many more objects than you will actually be able to observe. It will take months before I can explore all the objects available in my sky. For each object, there is an image, a description (only in English), the possibility of directing the telescope towards the object and start tracking. You make your choice from the menu and the telescope does the rest!

When you track an object, you will have the option to track it in video (for nearby objects like the moon) or start image stacking. This last technique makes it possible to combine several images to gradually improve the capture of the object, it is the basis of astrophotography. Stacking images is not a simple process because you usually need to stack a large number of images to get a detailed view of a deep-sky object. The Seestar S50 allows you to stack images in packs of 10. I still need to explore this point further because I would like to be able to manipulate the raw images to manually improve the rendering. In automatic mode, you can limit yourself to a few minutes of stacking to get a nice photo of a bright object like M42. The quality of the tracking is absolutely essential to be able to stack the images correctly, the Seestar is very efficient because I've had very few failures or recalibrations during observation.

Here are the results of two observations (3 min and 4 min) of the M42 nebula:

The result is quite stunning and easy to obtain. The sky where I live is very polluted, yet it is possible to get really interesting photos. Unless you live in a very densily populated (and polluted) city, you'll get better results than this.

When you record photos or videos, they are stored in the projector's memory. This means that if you want to retrieve them, you must be connected to the projector, there is no memory card to remove to read it on a computer. While it's practical but I would have liked to have a synchronisation feature to get all the images on my phone automatically. For raw format, you need to download them outside the gallery because this format cannot be read by the phone. This is a point that could be quite easily improved in the application.

If your battery is dying because you have been observing the sky a lot, you will have to wait for the battery to recharge to recover your images. What also annoys me in this way of working is that there is no direct link from the application to all the photos you have taken. Unless I missed something, you have to go through observation mode, it's not very practical.

The battery life is really good because I tested this telescope in bad conditions, it was -6°C outside for my last observation and at this temperature, the batteries are less efficient, yet I was able to accumulate more of 40 minutes of observation while staying warm at home. The telescope was about ten meters from where I was and the signal to control it was still good enough.

I think I've covered the basic features, I'll now delve into stacking as soon as time allows.

Image gallery

The sky in Belgium isn't the best for stargazing. Fortunately other Seestar users enjoy better conditions and I've included a few examples below that will surely make you want to do the same.


I think you will have understood from reading this article that I am happy with this product. I obviously don't have many points of comparison because this is my second electronic telescope but I also have a few years of experience with a manual telescope, I'm not starting from scratch. This telescope is your passport to the stars without the hassle. You don't need any special skills to use it, the Seestar S50 makes astrophotography accessible to everyone at an affordable price. Compared to the Dwarf II, there should be no hesitation, the Seestar is a better and more complete telescope.

Those who have done astrophotography in the past might also be tempted by this product as it saves a lot of time. The target audience is therefore quite broad, I think that only astrophotography experts might not be interested in this product. Those who practice astrophotography with a high-resolution camera might feel limited with the Seestar as the resolution is limited to 1080x1920 pixels and if you know how to use a real telescope, the end result will be better anyway.

I have a fairly polluted sky at home and yet this telescope managed to take photos that I was unable to obtain with the Dwarf II, the optical quality is much better and the automatic stacking processing is much more efficient. The application allows you to control this telescope as if you were watching television and switching from one channel to another. If your sky is clear, the wow effect is guaranteed.

This telescope is more comfortable with observing the deep sky because the focal length is too small for observing planets, only the sun and the moon will be perfectly observable but without being able to zoom in on details as a telescope could do. For deep sky, on the other hand, you will find what you are looking for in the immense catalog of objects available.


Ease of use
Practical and well-designed application
Optical quality
Quality of monitoring
Calibration, setup
Stable and efficient tripod


Access to photos
Resolution limited to 1080p
Bubble level hidden once installed

Head of myself on this blog

I share my passions on my blog in my free time since 2006, I prefer that to watching nonsense on TV or on social networks. I work alone, I am undoubtedly one of the last survivors of the world of blogs and personal sites.

My speciality? Digital in all its forms. I have spent the last 25 years working for multinationals where I managed digital teams and generated revenues of over €500 million per year. I have expertise in telecoms, media, aviation, travel and tourism.
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