Benro launches the Theta: World’s first auto-levelling tripod

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Well here's something we never thought we'd see - the world's first auto-levelling tripod.

Chinese camera accessory maker Benro has announced the Theta, a travel-sized tripod that features a battery-powered “one-key auto-levelling” system that can extend, retract and then lock each of its motorised legs to be perfectly level. 

“Level adjustment has always been a waste of valuable preparation time which is one of the typical shooting troubles when using a tripod,” the company says.

“The photographer has to readjust the tripod level according to the different terrain when relocating the sites. Theta’s one-key Auto Levelling function solves the biggest problem of traditional tripods in recent decades and brings real convenience to photographers.”

In addition to the self-levelling feature, Benro have also built a modular system into the Theta for managing the tripod's accessories. Four small electronic modules can be attached just below the head, between each leg section, and include the battery module that powers the auto-levelling feature, which can also work as a power bank.

In addition, there's a Camera control module ($99 USD/$140 AUD) which allows for control of the camera from a phone or tablet via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and will also let you view the camera's live view, or remotely download files from a memory card to a phone.

The GoLive module ($99) facilitates sharing to social media or YouTube via RTMP (Real-Time Messaging Protocol), and the Optical matrix sensor module ($50/$75 AUD) helps manage exposures in time-lapse shoots and attaches to your camera's hotshoe.

Image: Benro
Image: Benro

The Theta features a mix of carbon fibre legs with an aluminium alloy 360-degree ball head.

Benro says it plans to launch the Theta via Kickstarter sometime in late February, and will offer two versions, a 1.35kg standard version that packs to 42cm for $350 ($500 AUD) and a 1.5kg 'Max' version that packs to 45cm for $399 ($565 AUD). 

While you wait for the Kickstarter, you can read more about the Theta on the Benro website. 
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