Tripods

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Now that Manfrotto has released a new and slightly different MVH500AH Video Fluid Head, there's been a few questions about compatibility - especially for those who want to pick up or upgrade to this new video head and have invested in a bunch of QR plates. For a bit more information on the actual video head, check out this earlier article on the MVH500AH (here).

First, Does the Manfrotto quick release plate from the 577 QR Adapter or common 501PL plate fit on the new Manfrotto MVH500AH video fluid head? Secondly, Does the new Manfrotto MVH500AH quick release plate fit on the older 701HDV, 501, 502HD Video Fluid heads? Hopefully the video below answers some of those questions.

So the new MVH500AH seems to accept the 501PL plates or the quick release plates from the 577 adapter (with 501PL) pretty easily, but it will not be compatible with the 504 plates. Also, the MVH500AH quick release plate will not work with the older Manfrotto Video fluid heads such as the 701HDV or the 502HD.

IMG_310567Manfrotto 500 Fluid HeadManfrotto Bridging Technology Fluid Head
find-price-button Manfrotto MVH500AH Video Fluid Head, Tripod, Monopod - Amazon

Manfrotto 755 Aluminum TripodManfrotto 755 Carbon Fiber
find-price-button Manfrotto MVH500AH Video Fluid Head, Tripod, Monopod - B&HPhotoVideo

The Manfrotto MVH500AH will also be available as the MVH500A which will be a 60mm half bowl fluid head (found here).

MVH500A Fluid Head 60mm Half BallManfrotto Fluid Head MVH500A
find-price-button Manfrotto MVH500A 60mm Half Ball Fluid Head

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This year at NAB 2013, Manfrotto announced the new MVH500AH Video Fluid Head which sits as an entry level product in their Bridging Technology line of Video heads. The new video head may be the most affordable Video Head that uses actual ball bearings and fluid cartridges to provide smooth pan / tilt operation. One small change i'm excited to see is the ability to drop in the quick release plate (instead of sliding). This makes it easier when working with video rigs instead of leaving additional clearance required for sliding quick release systems.

In my video I mention that it may only be available with a standard flat base mount, but I stand corrected. The MVH500AH will also be available as the MVH500A which will be a 60mm half bowl fluid head (found here).

MVH500A Fluid Head 60mm Half BallManfrotto Fluid Head MVH500A
find-price-button Manfrotto MVH500A 60mm Half Ball Fluid Head

The MVH500A & MVH500AH Video Fluid Heads will be available separately (Head Only), bundled with a 755 Half Ball Video Tripod (carbon fiber or aluminum), and even available with a Fluid Foot Video Monopod (replacing the popular 561BHDV). Check out the new MVH500AH Video Fluid Head following the links below.

IMG_310567Manfrotto 500 Fluid HeadManfrotto Bridging Technology Fluid Head
find-price-button Manfrotto MVH500AH Video Fluid Head, Tripod, Monopod - Amazon

Manfrotto 755 Aluminum TripodManfrotto 755 Carbon Fiber
find-price-button Manfrotto MVH500AH Video Fluid Head, Tripod, Monopod - B&HPhotoVideo

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Over at WPPI Benro displayed some of their new Benro Video Tripods along with their new S2, S4, and S6 video fluid heads. The unique bit about each video tripod is a half bowl leveling base that sits above the center column. Much like a bowl mount tripod, this gives you the ability to quickly level your shots without bending over and fussing with individual legs. This feature is much appreciated when you have a heavy rig thrown on your tripod. The benefit to the Benro design of course is to still retain the raised center column that gives you extra height without adding overall length when the tripods are folded up.

Benro Leveling Tripod KitBenro Leveling Tripod Fluid HeadBenro S2 video tripod

These new Benro leveling tripods look pretty good, but unfortunately according to Benro the new Video Tripods come as a kit and can't be purchased separately from the heads. Of course, if you wanted to achieve this leveling base with your existing tripod, you could add on this Manfrotto 438 compact leveling base (found here).

The new Benro Video Tripods are already available in both Aluminum or Carbon Fiber legs found via B&H (click here).

fluid head video tripods benro s2 s4 s6
find-price-button Benro Leveling Tripods with S2, S4, S6 Video Fluid Head


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The video above shows off the features of the Manfrotto 561BHDV (available here via Amazon). The tripod-like foot is a huge advantage when it comes to stability during video capture. Now Benro is opening up new options with a few video monopods that are designed specifically for video shooters (as seen below). The stable foot design is similar to the popular 561BHDV, but not quite exactly the same. The video below explains some of those differences between the video head and tripod foot.

The 561BHDV is a much heavier and longer unit and offers a fluid cartridge at the base. You can opt in for a head on the 561BHDV, but the head that is included does not have a pan feature (left/right) to be used as a normal video head. The new Benro systems on the other hand are being bundled with a variety of different monopods in aluminum and carbon fiber and your choice of S2 or S4 video head. The Benro S2 or S4 are not the most professional, but they are actual functioning video heads with a full panning feature to be used with any video tripod (or with any Video Slider or camera Crane).

Benro S2 Fluid HeadBenro S4 Video Head
find-price-button Benro S2 and S4 Video Heads

Quality wise, the 561BHDV feels like the heavier more robust unit, but the new Benro video monopods are a good alternative with it's lightweight carbon fiber option and collapses down a bit shorter than the Manfrotto. Even at the shorter minimum collapsed length, my 4 section carbon fiber Benro can telescope to the same height as the Manfrotto up to 6.5' feet.

[UPDATE]: I've seen these Benro Monopods online for several weeks and finally decided to purchase them from overseas for my trip to WPPI. Turns out when these Benro Monopods finally hit the US distribution, they may only be available in Aluminum (no carbon fiber) and will be offered with both 'flip lock' and 'twist lock' styles. The base foot is said to also include a fluid panning base (similar to the Manfrotto).[UPDATE]:

I had purchased my set of Benro Video Monopods with ball socket tripod foot via eBay (Click Here).

Benro Carbon Fiber MonopodCarbon Fiber Video Fluid Head Benro
find-price-button Benro Aluminum / Carbon Fiber Video Monopods S2 / S4 Fluid Head

Manfrotto-561BHDV
find-price-button Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Fluid Video Monopod with Head

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HDSLRNow.com wanted to share this review on this Sirui portable Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod + G10 Ball Head that can fold down to just 15" inches, but can extend to over 51" inches. 15" can just about fit in a decent backpack and would be great for keeping a still camera steady for photos. This setup is not something you would use for fluid video movements, but it's possible to lock off a shot with this if you're just doing a static video angle.

I've heard of the brand Sirui before, but i'm personally not familiar with this exact model Tripod + G10 Ball Head. It seems like a pretty decent unit and popular system that one seller has already sold 79 units of even at a price of $270+. Here's the link to the exact product via eBay (Click Here)

Sirui Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod G10 Ball Head
find-price-button Sirui Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod with G10 Ball Head

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If you're looking for a lightweight Carbon Fiber Monopod, here's a great deal. This Rokinon Carbon Fiber 5 section monopod is selling for just $39 + FREE SHIPPING (USA domestic). If you want to throw a monopod into your airline carry on bag, 21" is about the max length you should be looking for. This Rokinon is perfect since it can collapse down to just 18", yet extends to a max height of 65" inches. I've looked around for other deals, but could not find this type of minimum-maximum range in another Carbon Fiber Monopod at this price. It's worth taking a look at. Includes: carrying case for easy hands free transporting. Check it out via eBay (Click here).

Rokinon Carbon Fiber Monopod
find-price-button Rokinon 65" Carbon Fiber Monopod with Carrying Case

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Two excellent and fairly popular Manfrotto tripods among DSLR video shooters are currently discounted. Choose either the 701HDV Fluid Head mounted to set of MVT502AM + Travel Bag or the larger Mvh502A Fluid head on a the 546B sticks + Travel Bag. Aside from the discounts, there's also an additional Mail-In-Rebate to throw in some additional savings. Sale ends in 3 days so check out the products via the links (below).

701HDV fluid head tripod
find-price-button Manfrotto 701HDV Fluid Head MVT502AM Tripod

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find-price-button Manfrotto Mvh502A Fluid Head 546B Tripod

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YouTube member Arthur Woo writes in and shares his thoughts on the Gitzo 1542T Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod. [Thanks Arthur]. At $550 dollars (without ball head) it's pretty darn expensive, but it's actually one of Gitzo's least expensive travel tripods. For those with that have been looking towards the Gitzo Carbon Fiber systems, you can find the 1542T via Amazon (click here).

Gitzo Travel Tripod
find-price-button Gitzo 1542T Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod

There's also a number of them listed on eBay auctions (brand new) which might land you a better deal at one of these high priced traveler tripods (click here).

Gitzo 1542T Travel Carbon
find-price-button Gitzo Carbon Fiber 1542T Travel Tripod - via eBay

If you're looking for another option for a decent quality travel tripod, you can look to Benro. Not quite as tall, Benro recently released a new series of mefoto travel tripods found via B&H (Click Here).

Benro-Travel-TripodBenro-Travel-MeFoto-TripodBenro-Travel-Bag-MeFoto-Tripod
find-price-button Benro MeFoto Compact Folding Travel Tripods

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Benro-MeFoto-Tripod

Benro has available a new line of compact folding travel tripods perfect for the light weight photographer. These new colorful MeFoto Tripods fold down to just over 12" and weigh in at around 2.6 lbs, and extend to over 4' max height supporting 8.8 lbs. The ballhead offers separate head and pan locks, a 360° pan index, and an integral bubble level.

An Arca-Swiss style quick release plate is included. The tripod's legs can be spread independently, with two position leg angle stops. A spring-loaded hook is located in a recess at the bottom of the center column, allowing you to hang weights from it for additional stability. A durable carry case with a shoulder strap is provided for storage and transport. Priced at around $139, they can already be found over at B&H (Click Here).

Benro-Travel-TripodBenro-Travel-MeFoto-TripodBenro-Travel-Bag-MeFoto-Tripod
find-price-button Benro MeFoto Compact Folding Travel Tripods