Manfrotto Is Making One Crazy Looking Tripod Head

When deciding to buy tripods, ball heads, lightstands, and umbrella brackets, I quickly learned that it's worth it's weight in gold to buy the best there is out there, and the best is usually made by Manfrotto. So I was a little curious when I heard they were releasing a new tripod head that allows smooth pivoting found in a video fluid head with the quick versatility found in photo ball head. Drew Gardner got his hands on the new Manfrotto MH055 Photo-Movie tripod head, and I must say this thing looks like it was made by aliens or something. It should be interesting to see the reviews on this once it comes out in June. Nothing is more annoying than having to carry around two different tripod heads for stills and photos so maybe this could be our answer. Check out the video below for a demonstration on why photo heads can't be used for video and vice versa.

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21 Comments

Sorry, but this video is crap. I get that the head might be good. But this video explains nothing. Just that the photographer is bad in panning the shots. I want real examples. Half of the video shows us what other heads are not for and the it just shows various ways of moving the new head. ?!? Examples maybe again?

Patrick Hall's picture

 Have you guys ever tried to pan video with a ball head?  It's not really possible because there is nothing to keep you on axis.  I think it's a pretty good idea but it just looks kind of funky. 

sorida phan's picture

i agree he is bad at panning. could do better by hand

 hmm not so convinced about this. 

Not convinced either. This guy is also a bad salesman. I have a Benro B-3 Ball Head and have no problem panning or moving vertically. Smooth as ice. Buy a bubble level that attaches to your camera hot shoe($10) for your axis and adjust the ball head friction properly. Bob's your uncle:)

Patrick, most of the times you post good videos here but to state that the ball heads usually made by manfrotto are the best is just not true right? They produce great lightning supports and video heads but when you look at the ball heads they are good but usually average (even their most expensive ones) compared to RRS, Markins, Arca swiss and even Gitzo.
The ball head in this video, try it and compare to any of the ball head brands I stated above and you would probably not argue. It felt really plastic and not at all as stable as youd think looking at the size.
Thanks for a good site anyways!

Well if you want a hybrid what's wrong with the  Manfrotto141rc? Been around for ages I think... Granted I've never shot video with it but still. 

That´s the one i have and it´s not fluid/smooth for video, or maybe it´s just me...

Like I said I've never used it for video, but I think the problem might be that the bar i too short, but that should be easy to fix.

 Wait for 3 months and manfrotto will present a new improve/pro version of this tripod head. 

Its only the beginning. 

 Ok, so he explains why you can't use a ball head for video panning, why can't you use a fluid head for stills (I honestly don't know this one)?

Robert's picture

You can't practically flip most video heads into portrait mode.

Patrick Hall's picture

 yeah the fluid heads give you the X and Y axis rotation but not the Z....if you mount your telephoto to the tripod you can get all 3 but not if you mount your camera body to the tripod.  Trust me, if you have to do something like an architectural shoot on a fluid head you will not be a happy camper. 

interesting, but no videographers will need to buy this.. definitely marketed to still photogs, who maybe shoot video a little.  nothing wrong with that though, so maybe there'll be a few people out there that could use something like this. the first part of the video, where he was explaining how great it is to pan, reminded me of the first day of video production class in school

Nour El Refai's picture

Infact this is a good head, marketed to still photographers who want to shoot video from time to time (as David said) and actually this concept introduced by Manfrotto before but for small P&S cameras and handycams on the Modo small tripod

Why are we having such advertisement here? The video has no new information at all, apart from Manfrotto having a new product. I hope they paid well, because this would be the only reason to post this here (but next time tell us, that they paid for it)… 

Lee Morris's picture

Hah, I wish they had paid us for this  

Patrick Hall's picture

They didn't pay us for this post...I just thought it was an interesting product that might help those photographers who don't like carrying two heads (like me).  I'm not sure I'd necessarily jump on board with this but since we promote photos and video, I thought our readers might like it.   

sure you didn't get money from them but this video is made by manfrotto itself so it can't be objective at all. this video is in fact an advertisement!

 This is actually a dope tripod head. I am gonna need to pick one of these up, so much easier than what we are doing now lugging our 20lb video tripod around. 

I've been using my old Slik pan/tilt head for stills for a very long time.  In fact, I don't think ball heads were that popular back when I bought it decades ago.  The way I see it, when you shoot with a tripod, you're not going to be messing with the camera once you have it where you want it so I'm not convinced that a ball head is the way to go anyway.  Because you have so many degrees of freedom, it takes too long to get the thing level on every axis.  Whereas with a pan/tilt, you can lock one and still move the other two.  With a ball head, if I you want to change the azimuth, it's next to impossible to do it without throwing off the horizon level.

I'll admit that with a pan/tilt head, going from landscape to portrait is a pain because you end up turning the camera on the mount so you can use the arm to change perspective.  But I can live with that.