Lightweight, Fluid Video Head

Manfrotto's recently released 500 fluid video head (MVH500AH and MVH500A) replaces their popular 701HDV head. It boasts several key improvements that are targeted for the lighter payload and smaller footprint requirements of compact camcorders and HDSLR cameras. The head has been redesigned with a wider, longer, top plate that better accommodates HDSLR and interchangeable lens camcorders; a longer quick-release (QR) plate to ensure fast, accurate balance with long lenses; a drop-in QR plate design for easy use with shoulder rigs; and a side lock to make transitioning from tripod to handheld shooting quick and easy.

Manfrotto's signature Bridging Technology provides a lightweight (2.5 lbs) solution that sacrifices none of the strength, stability, and precision fluid control they're known for. Supporting up to 11 lbs of equipment, the 500 includes a 3/8″ thread Easy Link connector for mounting accessory equipment, and left and right pan bar connections.

Available in two versions: The flat-based MVH500AH, which is perfect for sliders, mini-jibs, and photo tripods; and the 60mm half-ball based MVH500A for use with video tripods that have a 60mm receiving bowl. The half-ball based head, along with its built-in leveling bubble, makes setting up shots quick and easy. Heads are sold individually or as part of single- or twin-tube leg tripod/head kits, each with a padded carrying bag (included). Single-tube leg tripod kits come in aluminum or lightweight carbon fiber, and are available in both flat- or ball-based versions. The aluminum twin-tube leg tripod, compatible solely with ball-based heads, sports a middle spreader for added stability. Additionally, a modified version of the MVH500AH head is included in Manfrotto's updated fluid monopod and head combo MVH500A—popular with DSLR shooters on the go.

Company: Manfrotto
Price: Starting at $190
Rating: 4.5
Hot:  Precise smooth control; lightweight; improved QR plate design
Not: QR plate not backward compatible