Where do I start?
One important thing to remember when choosing a tripod head is that, as with tripod legs they have a maximum load capacity. You should therefore check whether the kit you are going to use it with falls within that capacity. There are several types of tripod head, each having their own strengths and weaknesses. We'll walk you through the most common types below. Generally speaking a good old ball head should be great for your first foray into the world of tripods, albeit a 3 way head may be more stable for heavier kit.
Buying Options and Advice
A ball head works on the same principal as the ball and socket joint in your shoulder, giving you a fluid movement in all directions. You can adjust the amount of friction applied to the joint, allowing you easier movement v stability.
A ball head is a great piece of kit to start with - as it is probably the easiest to use. If you have particularly heavy kit you might want to look at a 3 way or gimbal head.
Choose a head which has the right load capacity for your kit. The sturdier they get the heavier they will get, so we don't recommend going over the top.
Three Way/Pan Tilt Heads
A three way head allows a bit more stability than a comparable ball head, but it is more complicated to use. You can lock the head in one direction e.g. up/down, and use it to pan sideways - or vice versa. That functionality gives you more options and more control, once you have mastered how to use it (which really isn't that difficult). We really like the stability and control these heads offer.
We don't recommend buying a three way head without the levers that stick out to the sides. This is because it's really hard to get your hands in to tighten the mechanism unless you're twistng a lever rather tha a small cap. Also the lever is really handy for moving yout kit around when it's mounted.
These are great pieces of kit, and we prefer them to ball heads.
This piece of kit is a great for heavy duty lens kit.
A traditional gimbal allows you to move the camera easily and fluidly in any direction. The go to brand here is generally Wimberley, but they are quite high end.
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