Manfrotto XPRO Geared 3-way Head review

The Manfrotto XPRO Geared 3-way tripod head offers very fine and precise adjustments while driving down the weight and cost

Manfrotto XPRO Geared 3-way head
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

When you need the ultimate precision in lining up your camera for critical architectural, landscape and many and varied other shots, there’s no beating a geared tripod head. This one from Manfrotto is less expensive than most but offers a neat range of features and is dead easy to use. We mostly love it but, being made from plastic rather than metal, it’s not the sturdiest example around and a little prone to flexing.


  • +

    Lightweight build

  • +

    Ease of use

  • +

    Trigger-action clutches


  • -

    Made from ‘Technopolymer’ rather than metal

  • -

    Modest 4kg maximum load rating

  • -

    A little lacking in rigidity

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Compared with ball heads, the Manfrotto XPRO Geared 3-way head stays put after being adjusted. While ball heads enable the speed and ease of making adjustments in all three tilt, pan and swivel directions with a single locking knob, they typically tend to sag a bit after tightening the clamp and releasing your grip on the camera. You can experience the same kind of problem with a conventional 3-way head, albeit to a lesser extent.

(Image credit: Matthew Richards)

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.