Benro Polaris Astro Edition star-tracker review

Benro Polaris Astro Edition star-tracker review


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 (opens in new tab) 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. 

The basic two-axis version of the Benro Polaris spits out a WiFi network and can also be operated remotely if you insert a SIM card. That’s a unique proposition in itself and it’s largely for creating time-lapses, motion time-lapses. HDR, focus stacking, panoramas, and sunset/sunrise tracking. 

Benro Polaris Wi-Fi Astro Pack Edition – what’s in the box (Image credit: Jamie Carter/Digital Camera World)

What we’re reviewing here is the Benro Polaris Astro Edition ($1,149/£1,100), which adds an angled azimuth module that attaches to the main device’s quick-release clamp, making it a three-axis head to enable star tracking. It’s also available as a slightly more affordable version that lacks cellular connectivity. Both versions make images of the night sky possible, from automated stacks of short exposures to Milky Way panoramas.