Best tripod head: 6 top models tested and rated

Best Tripod Heads: Giottos MH 1311-652

Best Tripod Heads: Manfrotto 496RC2

Best Tripod Heads: Manfrotto 496RC2

Price: £55, $89
Buy it:
The predecessor to this head was the Manfrotto 486RC2, which was a firm favourite with many photographers.

The 496RC2 adds an adjustable friction-damper and a refined safety lock for the quick-release plate, which is spring-loaded so it can’t remain in the unlocked position.

Fancy frills such as a pan-only locking knob and bubble level are lacking, but the overall stability of the head is superb.

Unlike the smaller Manfrotto 494RC2, there’s practically no sagging after you adjust the camera position, and a dual cutout in the ball’s socket enables quick and easy tilting of your D-SLR in either direction.

The friction and lock levers move easily and are simple to use, as is the quick release.

While a bubble level is always good for peace of mind, what this head lacks in extras it makes up for in ease and speed of use, along with rock-solid performance.

Weight: 420g
Max Height: 10cm
Max Load: 6kg
Pan-only Lock: No

WE SAY… It’s efficient and easy to use, but the lack of a bubble level reduces reliability.

Score: 4/5

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.,