As a photographer, you know that having the right gear can sometimes make all the difference, and this includes tripods. With the launch of the Benro Theta, shooting just became more fun and easy. This revolutionary tripod combines portability, stability, and intelligence, making it one of the most essential tools for photographers on the go.
The Benro Theta is perhaps the world's first intelligent modular tripod, and I am quite excited about this product as it takes the idea of modularity further, allowing you to customize the rig to suit your needs perfectly. The introduction of smart modules, it creates a whole new definition of what a tripod is: it's a part of the camera system, not just some sticks. Modules you can put on the Benro Theta include auto-leveling, camera control, optical matrix sensor, and live streaming. This makes shooting very efficient and convenient for a lot of users.
The feature I found particularly impressive was auto-leveling. For the longest time, we relied on a spirit level in the tripod to tell us if the tripod is level. With the Benro Theta, this is done via motors and gyroscopes. With the battery module supplying power to the electronics inside the tripod, the leg adjustments can be made within 3 seconds. Essentially, this will prepare the tripod for shooting, save you time during setup, and let you focus on creating the perfect shot rather than balancing individual legs and finding the perfect spot.
To add to this, the Benro Theta has a fine-tune leveling feature that allows photographers to make the finest adjustments from the convenience of their smartphone. This is particularly useful when doing extremely close-up macro photography. In the past, you would have to bring special tripod heads made for this kind of photography. Now you can make the finest adjustments with incredible ease by using the Benro Theta.
The ball head of the Benro Theta has been completely redesigned and now includes a more advanced locking mechanism. The dual-use head can lock the roll movement, allowing the head to stay in one place and keep it aligned with the tripod at all times. This adds to the leveling ability of the tripod, as the mechanism ensures the camera is always level. The user can easily switch between roll lock and free mode with a simple turn of a knob. What I find useful is that while you can lock the roll movement, you can still adjust the pan and tilt of your camera, which increases the number of ways you can frame your images when using a tripod. This feature is comfortable and easy for people who may have struggled with keeping their camera level in the past.
If you want to add the camera control module to your tripod, you can do so with the Theta app. In the past, when I used to take landscape pictures, I would sometimes mess up some part of my composition by touching the camera and introducing unnecessary shake. Now, you can simply use the Theta App to control things such as the shutter and start and end recording. You can also set the number of exposures. With the add-on optical matrix sensor, you can make incredible time-lapses. It monitors the ambient light environment, transmits the data to the camera, and adjusts the exposure of the frame automatically. I only wish I had this functionality for time-lapse photography before.
As live streaming has become a necessity in the current climate, it is expected that companies will implement such features into their equipment. The GoLive module allows the user to stream directly from the camera's capture while also enabling higher resolution and better performance. It is somewhat unusual and at the same time exciting to use a smart tripod to stream to Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms via an RTMP output.
This all looks great, but Benro has also gone further and optimized the tripod's build quality and stability to ensure that the fundamentals of a great tripod are not forgotten. The Benro Theta serves as a portable, sturdy, and easy-to-operate tripod system. It comes in two sizes: standard for travel use and Max for studio use. Both tripods can support heavy equipment such as a full DSLR camera. The trigonous shape of the central column divides the traditional tripod shape into three equal concave parts, forming three inner arcs. This makes the tripod much more portable and decreases the negative space used up by your gear.
In conclusion, the Benro Theta is perhaps one of the world's first smart modular tripods, combining stability, portability, efficiency, and intelligence. For me, these innovative features mean convenience, less effort, and time spent with my gear, which lets me focus on what's important: creativity.
The tripod is available for pre-order on Kickstarter now. The early-bird price starts from $349, and you can save up to $250 by funding the project now.
The camera itself looks very interesting to me but I'm kinda back and forth about the optional camera control and matrix metering modules.
I'm not sure how much value they'll add for me to spend that money on them.