Benro Launches Theta, the World’s First Smart Modular Travel Tripod
The popular tripod company Benro today launched the Theta, a revolutionary new camera stabilization device that the brand calls “the world’s first smart modular travel tripod.”
The tripod, which was first teased back in January 2023, has “brains” to make life easier for photographers, and the smart modular design offers a degree of customizability and flexibility that isn’t normally seen in the world of tripods.
A Tripod That Levels Itself
One of the primary features that attracted the photo industry’s attention earlier this year is the fact that the Benro Theta has auto-leveling abilities.
The battery module of the tripod — yes, this tripod has its own battery — powers the built-in motor and gyroscopes, which intelligently extend and retract the three legs to level the camera in just three seconds.
With a single push of a button, the photographer can ensure that the resulting photo will be level and can therefore focus on more important matters such as framing, timing, and composition.
In addition to the primary auto-leveling feature, photographers can also use the Theta’s mobile app — yes, this tripod has its own app — to make fine-tuned adjustments to the level. This can be useful for situations such as extreme macro photos in which very precise adjustments need to be made (and when manual, physical adjustments may be difficult).
A Dual-Use Ball Head
The special ball head on the Theta tripod comes with a locking system that’s 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. And while in roll-locked mode, the photographer can continue to adjust pan and tilt movements to achieve the framing and composition they’re after.
Swappable Smart Modules
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.
Camera Control Module
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.
Optical Matrix Sensor Module
There’s also an optional optical matrix sensor module that’s 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 (e.g. YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms using RTMP URLs) directly from their camera. The creator will be able to capture high-resolution video as well as adjust focal length during streaming.
Other Features and Specs
In addition to 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 legs can be rapidly extended or retracted, and the locking mechanism holds their length firmly once adjustments are made.
And although the tripod is both relatively small and light, the carbon fiber round leg tubes provide both strength and stability for photographers who want to ensure sharp photos or shake-free footage.
Available in Two Sizes Starting Now
The Benro Theta comes in two different sizes that can both support standard DSLR and mirrorless cameras: the standard Theta, which is more lightweight and portable, and the Theta Max, which can support heavier equipment for things like studio use.
Benro launched the Theta on Kickstarter today, where it has already blown past the initial $50,000 crowdfunding goal. 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 you may want to hurry over to Kickstarter if you’re interested in securing one of the first units off the production line.
Full disclosure: This article was brought to you by Benro.