Those in the market for a ‘smart’ tripod head have a new option thanks to a Kickstarter campaign dubbed Polaris. Think of every issue you’ve had with your tripod head, and Polaris aims to be the solution.
Already eclipsing $2 million in funding, the Polaris Smart Tripod Head has an extensive feature list.
The one that immediately grabs my attention is astrophotography. Aficionados of the hobby know it can be challenging to get all the necessary equatorial mounts to account for the Earth’s rotation.
Polaris uses the built-in GPS, compass, and astromaps to move the head precisely to prevent tailing or streaks when capturing the night sky. This feature will allow you to capture perfect shots of the Milky Way or your favorite constellations. Using the built-in features, you can also adjust your shooting angle at will.
Dubbed by Polaris as the holy grail of timelapses, the smart tripod head can hand day-tonight to night-today transitions with ease.
“Holy Grail” tackles this extremely technical and time-consuming scenario by automatically analyzing every photo and adjusting the exposure between every shot. Your camera can quickly get perfectly exposed and smooth transitions without any manual work.
Think of it as the ultimate easy button for your more technical timelapses.
Polaris’s technology comes with multiple exposure settings, including what the company is calling enhanced exposure, bracketing, and focus stacking.
Enhanced Exposure is basically like your HDR images. The tripod head takes multiple exposures and combines them into one image.
Bracketing and focus stacking are similar, with focus stacking allowing you to take vibrant night shots. Perfect for astrophotography.
It wouldn’t be a piece of smart technology without an app, and Polaris doesn’t disappoint. Where it does differ is through the use of both WiFi and cell signals. If you opt for the cellular-enabled Polaris head, you can work off your carrier’s network signal to control the smart tripod head.
One thing I love about companies is when they pay attention to the details. Polaris does this with a host of accessories. Need a battery bank for astrophotography? Check. How about a dew heater strap to prevent condensation? Done.
Price and Shipping
It’s a Kickstarter campaign, so standard disclaimers of knowing what you’re getting into apply. Pricing is reasonable, starting at $599 for the basic kit and hitting nearly $1000 for the pro version, including the cellular-enabled Polaris and all of its accessories.
Ship dates have been set for July 2021, which is mere months after the Kickstarter campaign ends. I’d probably give them a little wiggle room on shipping due to the pandemic and supply chain constraints. More than likely, they’ll hit the mark, but if the past year has taught us anything, it’s expecting the unexpected.
Head over to the Kickstarter campaign to read more about the Polaris smart tripod head.