SVBONY 501P 70 portable telescope review

It's cheap and it's portable, but a lack of stability hamstrings this travel telescope

SVBONY 501P 70 telescope review
(Image: © Jamie Carter / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

At first glance the SVBONY 501P 70 appears to be a bargain telescope well suited to photographers. Using not an awkward astronomical mount, but a video tripod complete with a pan-and-tilt head to make small movements, this 2.75-inch refractor telescope is made for moving and even ships with a backpack. However, it’s got some serious issues that could leave it grounded.


  • +

    Very affordable

  • +

    Uses video tripod

  • +

    Easy to travel with

  • +

    Small and light


  • -

    Lacks stability

  • -

    Plastic build

  • -

    Basic tripod

  • -

    Underwhelming views

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The SVBONY 501P 70 telescope is a really simple product. A tube with a focal length of 400mm and a small finderscope on top to help you get celestial targets into its field of view, it comes mounted on a small aluminum tripod. Sadly it’s got plastic fixings and an all-around basic build quality. Optically this refractor comes with a 45º image diagonal that hosts a single 20mm eyepiece that achieves 20x magnification.

The telescope, fully kitted out, weighs a mere 1.89 lbs / 858 g while the tripod adds a further 1.96 lbs / 889 g. When it’s all packed up and ready to go in the backpack it weighs 4.6 lbs / 2.1kg. However, it’s important to note that packing it up does require the unscrewing of the eyepiece, image corrector and finderscope, which need to be screwed into place when you get to the destination (so take a flashlight). 

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Jamie Carter
Astrophotography expert

Jamie has been writing about all aspects of technology for over 14 years, producing content for sites like TechRadar, T3, Forbes, Mashable, MSN, South China Morning Post, and BBC Wildlife, BBC Focus and BBC Sky At Night magazines. 

As the editor for, he has a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise for all things astrophotography, from capturing the Perseid Meteor Shower, lunar eclipses and ring of fire eclipses, photographing the moon and blood moon and more.

He also brings a great deal of knowledge on action cameras, 360 cameras, AI cameras, camera backpacks, telescopes, gimbals, tripods and all manner of photography equipment.