I'm also probably going to do some astrophotography so what would this require from the telescope? A motor to compensate for earth's movement? I don't really need a computer to find objects in the sky though because I think doing that manually is half the fun. Considering my requirements can you get a decent scope for about 500$?
Not really much of an option in a scope without a computer at that price that still has the other features that you want. To get the portability, you will need a fork or single arm mount, not an equatorial, and to get one with a drive, only options are scopes with computers. I would strongly suggest a Meade ETX-90 as your best option at that general price.
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