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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.
A tripod head for shooting professional-looking videos will have smooth tilt and pan movements and a pan bar for precise control.
Below, we focus on the best tripod head for video.
|Product||Maximum Load Capacity (Pounds)||Weight (Pounds)||Dimensions (Inches)|
|Manfrotto 502||15.4||3.74||15.7 x 5.8 x 8.5|
|Benro S8||8.8||5.29||5.9 x 5 x 5|
|Manfrotto Nitrotech||6||6.05||9.45 x 9.45 x 5.9|
|Sirui AM-5V||6.6||2.2||5.12 x 3.54 x 10.83|
|Benro S4||8.8||1.5||3.9 x 3 x 3|
|Vanguard VEO 2||8.8||0.6||6 x 2.5 x 3|
|Manfrotto MVH400AHUS||8.8||1.5||1.1 x 1.1 x 54.9|
|Manfrotto MVH500AH||11||2.05||5.8 x 5.8 x 14|
The Manfrotto Nitrotech is an exceptionally designed fluid video head that is versatile and suitable for application on varying projects by content creators.
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.
The Benro S8 is a versatile video head that you can move efficiently between the monopods, sliders, tripods, and other compatible supporting gear.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.