Anyone who has used a camera or video camera on a tripod knows that it is necessary to pay close attention to your surroundings and check whether or not the camera is set in the correct position to take “straight” pictures or videos. This often involves adjusting the tripod legs manually and using a spirit level, which is usually built into the tripod. But it seems that modern technology can eliminate these steps as well, with a fully motorized tripod, called the Benro Theta, that stabilizes itself.
The Theta tripod is modular and includes motorized legs
Theta is a tripod produced by photography accessory company Benro that includes fully motorized legs. So all you need to do is put your camera on the tripod and adjust it to the required height. Afterwards, to bring the camera into a straight position, aligned with the horizon, all you have to do is press a single button and the tripod will adjust itself, shrinking or extending the legs as needed.
The whole process takes just a few seconds, and for those who want more precise control, there’s also the option of making manual adjustments to the tripod position. Apparently there are also safety guards to ensure that the camera won’t fall during adjustments. For example, if you haven’t locked the leg extension locks before auto-levelling starts, the tripod will automatically lock them.
The tripod is made of carbon fiber for easy portability, and the ball head to which the machine attaches is made of aluminum. Other Benro accessories made specifically for the Theta can also be attached. The tripod is powered from a battery module, and those who choose to connect the camera via cable to the tripod can use the mobile app and Camera Control module for remote control from their smartphone. There’s also a livestreaming module, called GoLive, as well as a module called Optical Matrix Sensor, which can automatically adjust camera settings to match the light in the environment. Basically, this is a kind of enhanced “auto” mode, especially useful for timelapse.
The price won’t be “affordable”
Of course, the prices for such a tripod are not exactly affordable compared to non-powered models. The base model, the Theta in the travel version, starts at $349. A larger version, the Theta Max costs $399, and optional modules cost between $50 and $99 each. The battery, which costs $50, is not included, and must be purchased separately to allow for automatic leveling.
Benro is offering the first units via Kickstarter, at special prices. When they arrive in stores, prices will go up to $599 for the base version and $699 for the Theta Max.