When photographing real estate properties, you must use the right tripod to support your gear and try various shooting settings while eliminating motion shake. One of the most important parts of a tripod is the head, and that's why we're going to compare the ones from Benro vs Manfrotto.
After a long time of shooting, you may have worn out your tripod heads and are looking for a new one. Read on to see comparisons and features to get the best tripod head you can modify for your real estate photography needs.
Tripods are tools that enable you to keep cameras steady while using small apertures and slow shutter speeds, giving you a maximum depth of field. While Benro and Manfrotto are both carbon fiber tripods and have quality heads, they still use varying components and differ in some aspects.
Real estate photographers love Benro because of its solid, secure, and smooth-controlled tripods. On the other hand, Manfrotto is a well-trusted brand in the photography industry because of its quality and cost-effective items. In general, both brands provide these benefits:
The wrong head can drain your patience when it limits your creativity and shooting time. However, choosing a tripod head for real estate photography depends on a number of factors.
If you're looking for a really good replacement, here's a glance into the tripod head component comparison of Benro and Manfrotto.
|Weight||0.74 kg||1.2 to 1.6 kg|
|Plate Weight||0.04 kg||0.09 kg|
|Max Load||6 kg||5 to 7.5 kg|
|Front and Lateral Tilt||-30 / +90 degrees||-30 / +90 degrees|
Using a lightweight tripod is one of the first things you need to consider, particularly if you have to move around properties for shoots or you have to travel around with it. The right weight can improve your overall shooting experience.
If you're only looking for a tripod head, Manfrotto is lighter than Benro. However, if you love using a whole setup, Benro is more lightweight, although Manfrotto's extra weight allows it to better support heavier cameras and lenses.
As for the max payload, these two can support the average camera setup of 17 pounds. Moreover, the total weight doesn't impact the balance, even if you have to add a battery grip or longer lens.
Both tripod legs are pretty much similar. However, Benro has bulkier heads, adding a bit of height to the whole system. Hence, Benro has the overall height advantage.
As for the complete system, most tripods have legs that extend from 50 to 63 inches, with some having three or five legs. The leg is a tripod's main support system, which consequently affects the head's stability.
Both brands offer single-section, as well as collapsible and telescopic legs. Basically, the more leg sections, the shorter you can retract them. On the downside, having more legs tends to make the setup shakier.
Benro contains a 3-way geared head, which is a traditional type of tripod head. With three arms for control, you can move the Benro head one axis at a time: panning, horizontal, and vertical. You can do this by twisting and loosening the arms, then repositioning and re-tightening the arm.
While Benro's 3-head has a really great rotation system, Manfrotto's head contains a plastic or metal apparatus on top of a tripod that creates a more accurate rotation.
The kind of job is also one of the first things you also need to consider. If you're more into real estate stills, the 3-way head of a Benro tripod is a really good pick. Manfrotto's ball head is more suitable if you think you would eventually venture into videography.
Benro incorporates an Arca-Swiss quick-release with bubble level, consisting of a plate connected to the camera or a lens and a clamp or mounting base to secure the plate.
The advantage is that you can freely swap most Benro head clamps and camera plates with Arca-Swiss, making this the right purchase if you have multiple tripods.
Meanwhile, Manfrotto utilizes a Top Lock system that enhances insertion and stability while still being compatible with various locks. As opposed to Benro's sliding from the side, the clamp mechanism enables you to position cameras from above. It also has safety pins that prevent the plate and camera from slipping.
The weight, locking system, construction determine stability and flexibility. Both tripods have secure yet quick-release locking systems, keeping your camera and lens stable even during long periods of shooting. However, the 3-way arms of Benro deliver a better locking mechanism than Manfrotto.
While these two tripods have tilting and rotating systems, Manfrotto has better adjustability because the ball head has more wiggle room than Benro.
However, the legs can boost the head's stability. Both tripods can go down to ground perspective without shaking, thanks to their weight and material. When shooting low-light interiors, you must look for the right tripod head to support wide open apertures.
Like when choosing a camera, the cost also plays a role in determining a tripod's value. While these two brands offer reasonable prices for their products, Benro tends to be less expensive than Manfrotto. Whichever you purchase, you can gain back your investment once you have a steady stream of real estate photography clients.
Choosing between a Manfrotto and Benro tripod head can be an overwhelming experience, given there are many kinds and features. For a fair comparison, we're going to present the factors to consider.
Weight is a significant factor when choosing between Manfrotto and Benro. When moving around real estate properties, you wouldn't like to drag around something heavy, yet it's also not ideal to bring a flimsy one.
It would be best to purchase a carbon fiber tripod, which is a lightweight yet solid buy, in comparison to cheap, heavy aluminum tripods.
While you may love the rust-free material, it also comes with a high price tag. Stainless steel tripods are also durable, although they are too heavy for regular use.
The tripod head is the most vital part of a tripod setup because it's responsible for securing equipment. Since the head usually controls movement, it's also the most used part. These are the common available types.
Most modern cameras come with a thread on the bottom for easy attaching on a tripod. You need to look for a good tripod head that secures the thread without limiting the camera's movements.
If you think a threaded system would not make an efficient shooting experience, you can get the plated mechanisms of Benro and Manfrotto. These removable plates also have threads, although this means you won't have to attach your shooting gear on the tripod directly.
These plates use a quick-release system that you can permanently place on a camera's bottom, then slide it freely.
Almost all tripod manufacturers now feature multiple locking systems. Although the locking style is more of a personal preference, it's crucial that you also understand the differences between the most common styles.
A Benro tripod that has a 3-way gear usually contains a twist lock, whereas a Manfrotto ball-head typically uses a flip lock.
Regardless of the niche, it would be best to get a tripod that matches your height. With that said, you can ensure that you have an eye level view of a space. Whenever you look at the viewfinder, you should never stoop down to the wrong height.
While you can always adjust the legs to be shorter, it can sometimes consume much of your time when you constantly change height levels during a shoot.
One of the mistakes you can make as a real estate photographer is buying a tripod that can only support a few pounds. Make sure to think about the accessories, lenses, battery pack, and flash you must use.
Aside from that, there might also be unconscious moments where you would rest your hands on the setup and apply pressure on the tripod. For these reasons, try to keep the tripod head weight under 4 pounds. Fortunately, carbon fiber systems from Manfrotto or Benro are typically light.
A heavy weight doesn't automatically mean it's stable, especially when a tripod lacks the mechanism to stabilize. It's important that your cameras and lenses balance on the tripod head, not lean towards one direction. Otherwise, you would damage the equipment, or everything will fall on the ground.
Tripods come with a support system that boosts stability and flexibility.
While the price is a major deciding factor, it's essential that you weigh in if the cost can give you the expected working quality for at least three years of use before the thread and locks wear out. Meanwhile, there's a chance that cheap tripods might only last for months.
The good thing is that many tripods nowadays have a solid construction that is worth the purchase. You can also get used or secondhand tripods if it's not possible to buy a brand new tripod at this time.
You can rent used tripods from studios or other photographers, which is a great choice if you like to try and see many tripods before settling on one. After that, you can buy your preferred tripod from shops. Another option is to swap used tripods at photography fairs.
Gitzo comes from the same group as Manfrotto, which means it almost has the same quality. Gitzo is a really great buy if you like to enhance your current setup. However, Benro is a much more affordable option.
Induro tripods have nearly the same features as Gitzo, yet at a more affordable price. They do work well, although not in comparison to the convenience of Manfrotto or Gitzo. Also, Induro tripods never fit their carrying cases.
Monopods and Gorillapods aren't particularly designed for shooting real estate. Unlike tripods, monopods only come with one leg, whereas Gorillapods have bendable arms. While these are really good and quality options for traveling and compact cameras, they aren't suitable for photoshoots where you require a movable tripod head.
A tripod is a long-term investment for working, as this accessory supports creative endeavors and gets the job done every time. You may like Benro heads best if you're after height, stability, and affordability. Meanwhile, Manfrotto tripod heads are better options if you value head weight, rotation, and flexibility.
Does anyone have any feedback or comments? Are there any readers using the Benro head that can compare it to Manfrotto?