Best tripod head: 6 top models tested and rated

Best Tripod Heads: Giottos MH 1311-652

Best Tripod Heads: Manfrotto 494RC2

Best Tripod Heads: Manfrotto 494RC2

Price: £45, $72
Buy it:
Most of the heads in this group have a tripod mounting plate that’s about 60mm in diameter, which suits the majority of full-sized tripods.

However, this Manfrotto has a smaller, 38mm plate, making it an ideal match for smaller models. This might be beneficial for those looking to get some steady macro shots.

It has a sturdy quick-release mechanism and plate, plus an adjustable friction-damper. However, both heads lack a bubble level for precise positioning.

Compared with other ball heads in the group, the ball and socket on the 494RC2 are smaller.

While adjustments are quick and easy, there’s noticeable sag after you make positional adjustments and let go of the camera, especially with front-heavy setups – it doesn’t really have the strength to be used with weighty cameras and lenses, and particularly combinations of the two.

Weight: 320g
Max Height: 8.5cm
Max Load: 4kg
Pan-only Lock: No

WE SAY… Quick and simple to use, but the post-adjustment sag lets it down slightly.

Score: 3/5

PAGE 1: Benro BH2
PAGE 2: Giottos MH 1311-652
PAGE 3: Manfrotto 494RC2
PAGE 4: Manfrotto 496RC2
PAGE 5: Manfrotto 324RC2
PAGE 6: Vanguard SBH-100
PAGE 7: Five things to look for when choosing the best tripod head


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  • Edgar Foobar

    Giottos has the worst product and worst warranty service in my experience. Whwn you go for warranty service then they go by Danielle Inc, Omegabrandess etc.,