Benro Polaris Astro Edition star-tracker review

The first smart electric tripod head also works as a star-tracker for astrophotography

Benro Polaris Wi-Fi Astro Pack Edition
(Image: © Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

This unique and ambitious motorized star-tracker impresses for autonomous night-scapes, but its excellent hardware is let down by an app that lacks polish.

Pros

  • +

    Outstanding build quality

  • +

    Easy to align

  • +

    Tracks accurately at wide-angle

  • +

    Micro SD slot for onboard media storage

  • +

    Automates complex tasks

Cons

  • -

    Lacks plate-solving

  • -

    Can’t point at the zenith

  • -

    App is a work in progress

  • -

    Ineffective auto-focus

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Astrophotography is a time-consuming business, with the need to track objects in the night sky – be they stars, nebulae or galaxies – while taking exposures making it complex, fiddly and not as fun as it should be. The best star trackers help, but many are basic, buggy devices with as many cons as pros. 

Cue the Benro Polaris smart electric tripod head ($899/£900), which offers camera interface control (if you wire up your camera to it via a mess of cables in the box) and pre-programming. It allows users to set up a camera on a tripod – with the Polaris in between – and tweak the ISO, aperture, shutter speed (and much more) from a smartphone. 

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Jamie Carter
Astrophotography expert

Jamie has been writing about all aspects of technology for over 14 years, producing content for sites like TechRadar, T3, Forbes, Mashable, MSN, South China Morning Post, and BBC Wildlife, BBC Focus and BBC Sky At Night magazines. 


As the editor for www.WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com, he has a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise for all things astrophotography, from capturing the Perseid Meteor Shower, lunar eclipses and ring of fire eclipses, photographing the moon and blood moon and more.


He also brings a great deal of knowledge on action cameras, 360 cameras, AI cameras, camera backpacks, telescopes, gimbals, tripods and all manner of photography equipment.