Ran into Jared and Ken at NEAF today. Nice booth and very glad to see you both at the show this year!
During our conversation I mentioned that I’d taken this image of M51 with very modest gear. This is 8.1 hours or (97 * 300 second subs) using an unmodified Canon T5i and a Sky-Watcher 100ED Pro @900mm/f9.0.
Basically gear that most beginners like myself can afford and yet with dedication and using great tools like SGP achieve some pleasing results.