Benro Theta: The World’s First Smart Modular Travel Tripod
Benro is now launching a new tripod in two variants that offer intelligent stability features inside a compact, light build that’s optimized for field use.
As the company explains, the Benro Theta and its Theta Max version are designed to make shooting more efficient and convenient. Benro achieves this by giving the Theta tremendous design durability lightness and a system of swappable smart modules for different shooting features.
These modules let the Benro Theta and its larger variant the Theta Max handle auto-leveling, camera control, live streaming and even optical matrix sensing technology. Here’s a breakdown of what all this means.
Benro calls this one of the most “revolutionary” features in its Theta tripods. With Auto-leveling, the Theta’s internal battery module drives power to a built-in motor and gyroscope combination that automatically adjusts the legs of the tripod to keep a camera level on almost any kind of terrain.
This feature does its job quickly too and can level out the tripod within just 3 seconds with a single press of the control button.
The technology is entirely battery-powered too, with no need for external cables or electrical sources. This battery module can also be removed without causing the Theta to slip out of whatever level it’s in.
Fine-Tune Leveling and Dual Ball Head
For more specific and precise manual level adjustments, users can adjust additional Fine-Tune leveling features via Benro’s phone app to change a camera’s position without having to manually move Theta’s ball head locking system.
The dual-use ball head in the Theta is a redesign of previous Benro tripod mechanisms and features a locking system for firmly locking roll movement.
Users can do this by switching between roll lock mode and free mode with a built-in knob. Both modes let a camera stay exactly as placed for the sake of freely framing and composing shots.
Camera Control Features
Benro also includes a camera control manual with its Theta tripod. This lets users remotely modify composition and shooting parameters with a constant live view to see what they’re doing via the Theta app.
The camera control module in the Benro Theta gives users shoot control options without having to use shutter cables or intervalometers. These include being able to remotely control shutter use, recording times, and the number of shots taken.
On the other hand, the camera control module is only compatible with certain camera brands and models, which Benro has conveniently listed for users here.
Optical Matrix Sensor
Another cool aspect of the Benro Theta self-adjusting smart tripod is its optical matrix sensor. This is a fancy term for a sensory module that can help users with time-lapse photography.
The optical matrix sensor can be mounted to a camera’s hot shoe and works by detecting ambient light levels in real-time and transmitting these readings to a tripod-mounted camera.
The camera module on the Theta tripod can then automatically adjust precise exposure settings for a consistently smooth series of time-lapsed shots as lighting changes.
Streaming Live in the Field
Another noteworthy feature of the Benro Theta is its live-streaming functionality. This works through what Benro calls the GoLive module and it lets photographers stream live directly from their camera as its records on top of the Theta.
GoLive also improves video stream resolution and lets a user modify focal length during streaming. It can then send live video recordings to major social media platforms like Facebook or YouTube through RTMP URLs via cellular network connectivity.
The Benro Theta comes packed with features, unique smart functionality and offers impressive self-correcting and leveling power through its internal gyroscopic and motorized controls. For these alone, it’s worth trying.
However, aside from its fancy electronic and electrical technology, the tripod’s standard and Theta Max editions are also well-built.
Benro has designed the Theta for maximal portability by designing it to fold down with no interior negative space for a very compact retracted form factor of just 44cm, or 17.3 inches. In the case of the Theta Max, it compresses down to 53cm or 20.8 inches.
Weight-wise, the Theta and Theta Max are also extremely light at just 1.25kg, or 2.7 lbs and 1.65kg, or 3.6 lbs respectively, despite their sturdiness and internal components.
When fully extended, the standard-sized Theta comes to a maximum height of 155cm, or 61 inches and the Theta Max beefs this up further with a max height of 170cm, or 67 inches.
This makes both of them ideally flexible photo and video platforms for their respective field and studio uses.
This latter version of the tripod has all the same features as the standard Theta but in addition to its greater height range, can also support a heavier camera load.
The Benro Theta smart tripod is now available through Benro’s Kickstarter page for a unique one-time discount of $250 dollars off its regular price.
This special offer is a one-time thing and will disappear shortly after the Theta and Theta Max go live for sales and shipping.
To sweeten the above deal even further, Benro is also extending the warranty of the tripods for Kickstarter backers from the planned 3 years to 6 years.
If you’re interested in giving either the Benro Theta or the Theta Max a try as your go-to self-adjusting travel tripod, it’s available as of April 7th only on Benro’s Kickstarter page.