My 8th grade student of a son is REALLY into stars and rocks. He loves to get offroad with me, and enjoys hitting the beach at night to watch the waves and gaze into the sky.
My wife isn't so much of an outdoor person, but she also loves going to the beach under a starry sky to enjoy the view. This is something we've done since I was stationed in Hawaii years ago and took advantage of North Shore nearly nightly.
For Christmas this year, I want to get them a telescope so we can expand our family enjoyment and make some memories. To the point: which one should I get? My wish is that I can find something reliable that I won't wish I bought the next model up everytime I use it. I'd like it to have a computer interface that is compatible with a MAC. I don't know if such an animal exists, but I'd like snapshot capability so they can save the view for playing around with in a digital editor. I'd like to keep cost to around $500 but am willing to spend more for the right equipment.
Can someone with experience please chime in and point me in the right direction?