Photography enthusiasts can now take their creativity to the next level with the launch of Benro Theta, the world’s first smart modular travel tripod. Benro, the popular tripod company, recently announced the release of the Theta, which boasts of auto-leveling abilities and a smart modular design that offers a degree of customizability and flexibility that is not commonly seen in the world of tripods.
One of the primary features that attracted the attention of the photography industry is the Benro Theta’s auto-leveling ability. The tripod has its own battery that powers the built-in motor and gyroscopes, which intelligently extend and retract the three legs to level the camera in just three seconds. This feature ensures that the resulting photo will be level, allowing the photographer to focus on other important matters, such as framing, timing, and composition.
Apart from the primary auto-leveling feature, photographers can also make fine-tuned adjustments to the level using the Theta’s mobile app. The app can be useful for situations such as extreme macro photos in which very precise adjustments need to be made.
The Benro Theta comes with a special ball head that has a locking system optimized for the tripod’s leveling abilities. By twisting a knob, the photographer can click the ball head into place and lock the roll movement, which keeps the head aligned with the tripod and leveled. While in roll-locked mode, the photographer can continue to adjust pan and tilt movements to achieve the framing and composition they’re after.
Another revolutionary feature of the Theta is the three waterproof ports at the top of the tripod’s legs that accept smart modules. In addition to the battery module, there are other special smart modules that open the door to additional features and abilities.
The optional camera control module allows the photographer to remotely adjust parameters and access a live view through the Theta app. As long as a compatible camera is paired with the tripod, the photographer will be able to remotely trigger the shutter, start/end video recording, and automatically capture a series of frames, all without a shutter cable or intervalometer.
There is also an optional optical matrix sensor module designed specifically for time-lapse photographers. The module detects ambient light levels in real-time and communicates its readings to the camera control module, allowing the app to automatically adjust exposure settings as lighting conditions change. An optical sensor module mounted to the camera’s hot shoe also allows the app to make level adjustments before each and every photo in a timelapse sequence.
Finally, an optional GoLive module allows users to livestream on social media directly from their camera. The creator will be able to capture high-resolution video as well as adjust focal length during streaming.
Apart from all the smart features built into the Benro Theta tripod and smart modules, the Theta also offers all the standard features and specs you would expect to find in a travel tripod. The trigonous central shaft of the tripod allows the three legs to be tucked seamlessly against it when the tripod is fully collapsed, with zero wasted space to ensure optimal compactness and portability.
The Benro Theta comes in two different sizes that can both support standard DSLR and mirrorless cameras. The standard Theta is more lightweight and portable, while the Theta Max can support heavier equipment for things like studio use.
Benro launched the Theta on Kickstarter, where it has already surpassed its initial $50,000 crowdfunding goal – collecting over $890,000 as of this writing. A pledge of $349 or more will get you an early bird Theta tripod that is scheduled to ship in June 2023, while a $399 pledge will get you a Theta Max in that same time frame. There is a limited number of early bird units for both models, so interested buyers may want to hurry over to Kickstarter to secure one of the first units off the production line.