Benro has launched Polaris, a quite remarkable tripod head. It’s electronic and smart, allowing you to shoot timelapse, track stars, focus stack, and much, much more. It seems so awesome that the backers have already pledged nearly $2 million, and the campaign isn’t even over yet. So, let’s see what’s so special about this revolutionary product.
Honestly, when I read Polaris’ description and started writing the article, I didn’t know where to start. This tripod head offers so many options that it’s no wonder it raised nearly $2 million already. But I think another factor is trust since Benro is a company most of us have at least heard of.
Anyways, let’s get to the main features. When shooting at famous landmarks, Polaris’ Scene Retouching feature lets you remove people from your shots. You need to take several photos of the same scene from the tripod, and Polaris will automatically remove tourists or any other unwanted moving objects from the final shot.
Astrophotographers, Benro had you in mind as well when making Polaris. Since the stars appear as streaks at long exposures, you need an equatorial mount to keep them sharp when shooting the night sky. Well, now your tripod head can replace it. Polaris uses the built-in GPS, compass, and astro maps to move the head precisely to prevent tailing or streaks. To be honest, they got me at this, but there’s more.
Polaris also allows you to shoot timelapse. Furthermore, its Holy Grail mode lets you shoot day-to-night or vice versa. This mode tweaks the settings for you so you don’t have to adjust the exposure. And if you’re photographing a sunrise or a sunset, you can pre-program Polaris to take photos at the time you determine. You can simulate the sun’s movement through the accelerometer, camera, and AI in the phone app and send the data to the tripod head.
For landscape photographers, there’s also Focus Stacking and Enhanced Exposure. I believe that these features are self-explanatory, and Polaris does them on its own so you don’t have to. In addition, it also shoots fully automatic panoramas, but you can customize them to your desire.
Polaris is equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can control everything through the dedicated app you need to install on your phone. And since we live in the era of social media and fast sharing, you can also use the app to share your photos or videos with your followers right after shooting.
At the moment of writing this, almost 2,500 backers raised $1,781,581 out of ~$25,800 goal, which is pretty impressive. there are three weeks still to go, so I’m sure Polaris will have even more backers until the end of the campaign.
Anyways, Polaris is Benro’s latest project and on paper, it really seems awesome.
If you’d like to make a pledge, you can do it on Kickstarter, where you’ll also find plenty more information. The prices go from $600 up to $1,000, depending on the version you choose: Timelapse, Astro, Premium, or Pro.