Reading
blue-triangle-element

Articles

PFRE is the original online resource for real estate and interior photographers. Since 2006, it has been a community hub where like-minded professionals from around the world gather to share information with a common goal of improving their work and advancing their business. With thousands of articles, covering hundreds of topics, PFRE offers the most robust collection of educational material in our field. The history of real estate photography has been documented within these pages.
All Articles
blue-triangle-element

Latest

Editing images on Lightroom

Lightroom is a comprehensive photo editing and image management software. It allows photographers to complete their photography workflow such as importing, processing, and exporting images. But how much is Lightroom? Is it worth the price? Although Lig ...

COMMUNITY
blue-triangle-element

Forum

The PFRE Community Forum is an online resource for discussing the art and business of Real Estate and Interior Photography.
Join The Discussion
blue-triangle-element

Latest

View Now
Contest
blue-triangle-element

OVERVIEW

For over a decade, photographers from around the world have participated in PFRE’s monthly photography contests, culminating in the year-end crowning of PFRE’s Photographer of the Year. With a new theme each month and commentary offered by some of the finest real estate & interior photographers anywhere, these contests offer a fun, competitive environment with rich learning opportunities. 

Contest Rules
blue-triangle-element

CURRENT CONTESTS

View / Submit
blue-triangle-element

PAST CONTESTS

View Archive
Resources
blue-triangle-element

Resources

PFRE prides itself on the depth and breadth of the information and professional development resources it makes available to our community. Our goal is to help real estate and interior photographers be successful while bringing the community together and elevating the industry as a whole.
blue-triangle-element

Conference News

No items found

Best Tripod Head for Video [2021 Review]

In: 
Published: 08/08/2021

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

While shooting real estate videos, you don’t want the limitations in a standard still photo tripod head. Rather, you want a high-quality tripod head with a smooth pan and tilt, one that is optimized for video applications. In this review, we will help you identify the best tripod head for video. 

Our Top Video Tripod Head Reviews

A tripod head for shooting professional-looking videos will have smooth tilt and pan movements and a pan bar for precise control.

Brand
Best Overall
Manfrotto Nitrotech
Best for the Money
Benro S8
Best Cheap Pick
Vanguard VEO 2
Product
Manfrotto Nitrotech Fluid Video Head 608 for DSLR,...
Benro S8 Video Head (S8)
Vanguard VEO 2 Pan Tripod Head, Gray (VEO 2 PH-25)
Maximum Weight Recommendation
6 Pounds
5.29 Pounds
8.8 Pounds
Compatible Devices
Camera
Camera
Camera
Best Overall
Brand
Manfrotto Nitrotech
Product
Manfrotto Nitrotech Fluid Video Head 608 for DSLR,...
Maximum Weight Recommendation
6 Pounds
Compatible Devices
Camera
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Benro S8
Product
Benro S8 Video Head (S8)
Maximum Weight Recommendation
5.29 Pounds
Compatible Devices
Camera
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Vanguard VEO 2
Product
Vanguard VEO 2 Pan Tripod Head, Gray (VEO 2 PH-25)
Maximum Weight Recommendation
8.8 Pounds
Compatible Devices
Camera
Price

Below, we focus on the best tripod head for video.

ProductMaximum Load Capacity (Pounds)Weight (Pounds)Dimensions (Inches)
Manfrotto 502 15.43.7415.7 x 5.8 x 8.5
Benro S8 8.85.295.9 x 5 x 5
Manfrotto Nitrotech66.059.45 x 9.45 x 5.9
Sirui AM-5V6.62.25.12 x 3.54 x 10.83
Benro S48.81.53.9 x 3 x 3
Vanguard VEO 2 8.80.66 x 2.5 x 3
Manfrotto MVH400AHUS8.81.51.1 x 1.1 x 54.9
Manfrotto MVH500AH112.055.8 x 5.8 x 14

Best Overall Tripod Head for Video: Manfrotto Nitrotech 

The Manfrotto Nitrotech is an exceptionally designed fluid video head that is versatile and suitable for application on varying projects by content creators. 

Manfrotto Nitrotech Fluid Video Head 608 for DSLR,...

It features a flat base design with a thread of ⅜-16 inches, allowing you to easily move it between monopods, tripods, sliders, and other compatible supporting gear. 

Unlike the other tripod heads in our list, the piston counterbalance uses Nitrogen gas, which enhances the consistent counterbalance adjustment. This continuous adjustment results in a better performance than the stepped adjustment in Benro S8. 

The advanced technology enhances the drag performance, enhancing judder-free and smooth tilt and pan movement. 

The Manfrotto Nitrotech improves flexibility by incorporating a side-lock mechanism on the camera plate system, facilitating safer and quicker mounting of the camera load and camera plate. However, it’s the heaviest on our list, making it less suitable for carrying in a camera bag or backpack. 

Pros

  • Unlike the others in our list, it uses a consistent counterbalance adjustment.
  • The weight makes it stable even with heavy cameras and lenses loaded
  • It has an impressive panning drag performance

Cons

  • It is the heaviest on our list, making it unsuitable for carrying in a backpack.
  • The maximum load capacity is less appealing compared to the Manfrotto 502.
Manfrotto Nitrotech Fluid Video Head 608 for DSLR,...
  • UNI Safety Payload means your gear is safer than ever. We updated how we measure payload for this...
  • COMPLETE CONTROL: Continuous counterbalance system for constant control despite the tilt degrees you...
  • MORE REALISTIC CINESTYLE FOOTAGE: Variable continuous fluid drag system powered by a fluid...

Best Video Tripod Head for the Money: Benro S8

The Benro S8 is a versatile video head that you can move efficiently between the monopods, sliders, tripods, and other compatible supporting gear. 

Benro S8 Video Head (S8)

It comes with independent tilt and pan locks, allowing you to adjust them individually for better tilt and pan control. The Benro S8 has a full 360 degrees pan range and +90 degrees to -70 degrees tilt range. 

Unlike the Manfrotto 502, it features 7+0 counterbalance steps which allow you to precisely adjust the counterbalance on the side using a knob. Benro S8 features high-quality construction, with some parts made of aluminum and other parts made of magnesium, contributing to its sturdy and portable nature. 

It incorporates a pan bar that can be attached to a rosette adapter on the right or left side making it convenient for both right and left-handed users. With a maximum load capacity of 8.8 pounds, it can hold the camera gear less reliably than the Manfrotto 502.

Pros

  • It allows precise adjustment of the counterbalance using a side knob.
  • The construction materials facilitate a portable and sturdy nature.
  • It is suitable for left and right-handed users.

Cons

  • The maximum load capacity is less impressive than the Manfrotto 502.
  • The stepped adjustment performance is less appealing than the Manfrotto Nitrotech continuous adjustment.
Benro S8 Video Head (S8)
  • The S8 is a video head capable of supporting cameras weighing up to 8.8 lbs.
  • Features a 360 degree panning rotation for smooth camera movements.
  • The sliding quick release plate moves forwards and backwards to effectively balance the camera.

Best Cheap Tripod Head for Video: Vanguard VEO 2

The Vanguard VEO 2 is impressively compact as you can fold the handle down when not in use, facilitating storage or carrying in a camera bag. It features a quick-release plate, enhancing effortless swapping between tripod and handheld shooting. 

Vanguard VEO 2 Pan Tripod Head, Gray (VEO 2 PH-25)

With a weight of 0.6 pounds, it’s the most lightweight on our list and most convenient for carrying in a backpack without exhaustion. It is equipped with a bubble level, which helps you level your horizontal tilt whenever you want. 

Despite the small weight, it can hold a camera gear of up to 8.8 pounds, like the Benro S4. Besides, it features a separate locking mechanism for the pan, which allows the head to achieve a 360 degrees rotation. 

However, the Vanguard VEO 2 uses a 2-way tilt and pan, which makes the shooting experience less impressive compared to the fluid heads featured by the other tripod heads in our list.

Pros

  • It enhances easy swapping between tripod and handheld capturing.
  • It is the most lightweight on our list, making it ideal for carrying in a camera bag.

Cons

  • The shooting experience is less appealing than fluid heads in the other tripods.
  • Unlike the Manfrotto Nitrotech, it lacks the piston counterbalance for enhanced counterbalance adjustment.
Vanguard VEO 2 Pan Tripod Head, Gray (VEO 2 PH-25)
  • Compact aluminum alloy 2-way pan head supports up to 8.8 pounds
  • Robust and lightweight for long lasting sessions of work or Play
  • Independent ergonomic knobs for pan and tilt operation and safety pin to keep gear in place and...

Best Video Tripod Head for Stability: Manfrotto 502

The Manfrotto 502 is designed to excellently implement cinematic moves, making it ideal for professional video shooting. It features a range of 3.7 inches balance plate which enhances the correction in case of uneven payloads resulting from DSLR rig configurations or matte boxes. 

Manfrotto Video Head with Flat Base and Fixed...

The bridging technology enhances intuitive pan friction control and makes the setting up straightforward. Also, this technology helps to protect against knocks. It features independent tilt and pan locks while facilitating drag for both of them, making them selectable from the minimum to the maximum level in a continuous range. 

Typically, this helps you operate the head in a smooth and confident manner using the pan bar. It comes with an impressive load capacity of 15.4 pounds, making it more reliable for heavy DSLRs than the Benro S4. 

Besides, to enhance the balance, Manfrotto 502 supports a counterbalance weight of around 8.8 pounds. However, with a weight of 3.74 pounds, it’s heavier than the Sirui AM-5V and unsuitable for use with tripods that have a lower weight rating.

Pros

  • The load capacity is appealing, making it more reliable for heavy DSLRs.
  • The balance plate enhances uneven payload correction. 

Cons

  • It is unsuitable to use with tripods of lower weight rating. 
  • Unlike the Benro S8, it lacks the counterbalance steps for precise balance adjustment.
Sale
Manfrotto Video Head with Flat Base and Fixed...
  • UNI Safety Payload means your gear is safer than ever. We updated how we measure payload for this...
  • PROFESSIONAL: The 502HD PRO video head has a robust construction and is equipped with patented...
  • COMPATIBILITY: The Manfrotto video head is designed for compact video cameras and DSLR cameras. The...

Best Flexible Tripod Head for Video: Sirui AM-5V

The Sirui AM-5V employs a fluid system that helps produce impressively smooth tilts and pans for compact video cameras and DSLRs. It comes with independent tilt and pan locks, allowing you to independently control the tilt and the pan for enhanced flexibility and a better shooting experience. 

SIRUI Fluid Video Head with Quick Release Plate...

Unlike the Manfrotto Nitrotech, it uses an internal counterbalance equipped with a spring assist to facilitate smooth tilts when using heavy cameras. The Sirui AM-5V features a balancing plate that enables both the backward and forward movement to enhance camera balance when attached to the head. 

Thanks to the head dual safety lock mechanism, the camera, and the plate can’t fall off after loosening the primary locking system. This protects the camera gear from getting detached accidentally.

Typically, if you want to completely release the plate, you will need to press the two release buttons. However, the maximum load capacity of 6.6 pounds is not suitable for heavy camera gear, unlike the Manfrotto 502.

Pros

  • It allows independent control of the tilt and pans for a better capturing experience.
  • The counterbalance facilitates smooth tilts when using heavy cameras.

Cons

  • The maximum load capacity is not convenient for heavy camera gears.
  • The counterbalance adjustment is not impressive like the Manfrotto Nitrotech.
SIRUI Fluid Video Head with Quick Release Plate...
  • material and craftsmanship: adopting durable high-density aluminum alloy and hard anodized forging...
  • superior balancing systemwith dynamic balancing system of 360° panorama panning friction adjustment...
  • "wide compatibility: am-5v is arca-swiss compatible. equipped with reversible 1/4" and 3/8" screw,...

Best Sturdy Tripod Head for Video: Benro S4

The Benro S4 features a high-quality construction of magnesium alloy, making it lightweight and sturdy. The flat base comes with a ⅜ inches mounting thread, which is compatible with many monopods, sliders, half ball adapters, tripods and other support gear. 

Benro S4 Video Head (Black)

Like the Manfrotto 502, it comes with an independent locking mechanism for both the tilt and the pan, making it effective in controlling the tilt and pan independently for a better shooting experience. 

Also, it features a tilt drag locking lever that allows you to set the controlling tension and then fully lock the rear to the front tilt axis. 

It comes with a quick-release plate for enhancing the attachment and detachment of cameras, particularly important when frequently switching between handheld and tripod shooting. It includes an interchangeable pan bar for enhanced angular adjustment, further facilitating user control. 

However, the 1.5 pounds weight is not proportionate to the maximum load capacity of 8.8 pounds and may compromise its reliability and durability. 

Pros

  • It offers effective independent control of the tilt and pans for better capturing experience
  • The release plates enhance camera detachment and attachment.
  • Its construction makes it sturdy and lightweight.

Cons

  • Its weight may affect its reliability when using a heavy camera.
  • The load capacity is less appealing compared to the Manfrotto 502.
Benro S4 Video Head (Black)
  • The S4 is a video head capable of supporting cameras weighing up to 8.8 lbs.
  • Features a 360 degree panning rotation for smooth camera movements.
  • The sliding quick release plate moves forwards and backwards to effectively balance the camera.

Best Compact Tripod Head for Video: Manfrotto MVH400AHUS

The Manfrotto MVH400AHUS design makes it suitable for a wide array of video shooting circumstances. It features a compact and minimalistic design which makes it ideal for carrying in a backpack or carrying case. 

Manfrotto MVH400AHUS Lightweight, Travel Friendly...

It comes with a ⅜-16 inches mounting thread, which makes it compatible with most DSLRs. Also, the flat base is 40mm wide, making it a better suit for the monopods and compact video tripods with the equivalent 40mm base. 

Like the Benro S8, it comes with two separate knobs for tilt and pan control, which enhances the drag-controlling experience. Although it comes with a pan bar, you can remove it to further improve portability. 

With a maximum load capacity of 8.8 pounds, it can securely hold heavier DSLRs than Sirui AM-5V. Even so, it weighs 1.4 pounds, making it the most lightweight on our list, and best for carrying. However, it’s not suitable for camera gear that has a base larger than 40mm.

Pros

  • The weight and compatibility make it convenient for carrying in a carrying case.
  • It has a removable pan bar which improves portability.
  • The maximum load capacity can hold heavy DSLRs more securely than Sirui AM-5V.

Cons

  • It is not convenient for camera gears with a base larger than 40mm 
  • It lacks the pan drag adjustment
Manfrotto MVH400AHUS Lightweight, Travel Friendly...
  • Compact and lightweight video fluid head
  • Smoother movement with Fluid Drag System
  • Compatible with the Be free family and 40mm disk diameter tripod

Best Versatile Tripod Head for Video: Manfrotto MVH500AH 

The Manfrotto MVH500AH is a versatile video head that can support multiple tripods and external accessories. It comes with a side lock mounting mechanism that blends an effortless release functionality with the sliding base plate mechanism for balance adjustment. 

Manfrotto MVH500AH, Lightweight Fluid Video Head...

The sliding base plate is longer than the standard one, which helps to offer an added balancing length. With a maximum load capacity of 11 pounds, it is able to securely hold a heavier camera gear than the Manfrotto Nitrotech. 

It comes with a loaded spring that has a pre-set counterbalance of 5.3 pounds, which helps maintain the weight balance for better stability. 

Despite the impressive payload, it weighs 2.05 pounds which is 3.24 pounds lighter than the Benro S8, making it ideal for traveling and carrying around in a carrying case. However, unlike the Manfrotto 502, it lacks friction control for an enhanced panning experience.

Pros

  • The loaded pre-set spring helps maintain the balance 
  • Although heavier than the Manfrotto MVH400AHUS, it’s still suitable for carrying in a bag.
  • The longer sliding plate helps add the balancing length.

Cons

  • Unlike the Manfrotto 502, it lacks the friction control that enhances panning.
  • The drag during panning can easily tip off the tripod.
Sale
Manfrotto MVH500AH, Lightweight Fluid Video Head...
  • UNI Safety Payload means your gear is safer than ever. We updated how we measure payload for this...
  • Professional fluid drag system on pan and tilt movements
  • Center of gravity: 55 mm and 2.4 kg pre-set counterbalance system on tilt movement

Conclusion

Tripod head

Even if you may want to equip yourself with a high-quality tripod video head, the many options in the market may confuse you. Although the best video head depends on the shooting conditions, any option from the above list will suit your videography needs.

PFRE Team
Latest posts by PFRE Team (see all)
magnifiercrossmenucross-circle