What is a Gimbal Head?
Gimbal Head is a type of tripod head that is widely used in shooting action photography. Wildlife, sports, and bird photographers use this to balance a camera setup while keeping fluid movement.
Having a gimbal is better than a ball head on certain occasions. It lowers the center of gravity compared to a ball head. This results in a more stable setup with smooth panning capabilities.
How to choose a gimbal head?
Vertical adjustment is not a necessity. But it is a good feature to have. It adds variety to the height making it a more versatile setup.
This is a crucial part you should check out. Poor build quality leads to a disastrous outcome. You would not want to break your thousand-dollar setup because of a gimbal head.
Precision engineering determines an excellent build. You should opt for a model that has great tolerances between its clamps, knobs, and other crucial parts. If possible, check reviews regarding a product's build quality.
Photographers sometimes choose stylish accessories. Such is the case when buying a gimbal head and that is not a bad thought. Gimbals are large accessories and are eye-catching. However, style should no be the focus when buying one. You should focus on ergonomics first before choosing a stylish head. It would be a pain to shoot for long hours with an unergonomic head.
Gimbal Head Mount style
Arca-swiss heads are becoming the standard. But there are companies that create their own proprietary tripod head. It depends on your preference and your photography eco-system on what style to pick up. If you have a lot of Arca-compatible accessories, then it is a no-brainer to purchase an Arca-type head.
Gimbals are heavy and so are the camera setups mounted to them. Having flimsy tripod legs is counter-productive. No matter how good your gimbals are, it does not matter if the tripod legs are not sturdy. Trying to balance a heavy setup on thin legs is a disaster waiting to happen. Besides, having a sturdy tripod adds to the whole stability of the setup. Or else, one sudden gust could topple your equipment.
Why buy a ProMediaGear Gimbal Head?
ProMediaGear Gimbal Heads such as the GKJr Katana Pro are lightweight and durable. It can handle heavy camera setups without any problem. For larger setups, the regular GK Katana works better. Both of them are made of aircraft-grade aluminum making them the perfect choice for any setup.
Besides, all models tick the specifications mentioned earlier. The build quality is phenomenal. You can adjust it easily. Plus, the gimbal heads are very ergonomic without sacrificing style. The Katana Jr, in particular, looks like a piece of weapon. Other gimbals could not compare to its design.
For professional photography accessories, ProMediaGear nailed it with these gimbal heads.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do ProMediaGear Gimbal Heads include an Arca-Plate?
Yes, the GKJR Katana Pro and GK Katana Gimbal Head comes with PX6 camera plate.
However, you'll likely need a longer plate if you have long lenses and a lightweight body.
The GKJr. comes complete with a FREE PX6 Lens Balancing Plate that is Arca-compatible. For example, it can quickly balance heavy 400mm lenses on it.
Can I shoot portrait and landscape photos with this gimbal head?
If you are using a lens with a lens foot, typically the lens collar allows you to rotate around the lens. Yes, you would be able to quickly roll the camera over from landscape to portrait.
However, if you are using a shorter lens or a lens that doesn't feature a rotation lens collar, then NO.
If not, ProMediaGear manufactures the PXC2 Lens Plate that will clamp onto your Arca Compatible tripod plate mounted onto the camera body rather than the lens.
But to rotate to portraits with this configuration, you would require an L-bracket.
Is the Promediagear GKjr. arca clamp compatible with kirk lens plates and other lens plates?
The GKJr. Gimbal cradle clamp is Arca Compatible. Kirk lens plates are too. Should be good to go!
Is it possible to convert the Katana Jr Gimbal Head to a side arm version?
Yes, you would need to have the A14 pins and C60 clamp to convert and special screws.
SET: A36 Conversion Kit for Sidemount for Katana GKJR, Includes Clamp, Screw, Wrench and Anti-Rotation Pins
What is the difference between the Tomahawk and the Katana?
Tomahawk has to be used as a Monopod head (it provides tilt), or attachment to ball head with panning base to build a full gimbal head.
The Katana has both the tilt and panning and can be mounted to tripods without the need of a panning base (ball head).
Ball head vs Gimbal Head
The GK Katana is an absolute tank and maybe more stable with heavy lenses. It is a heavy-duty Professional Gimbal that will hold the 800mm firmly and securely. We have tested and held the Sigma Monster and other long telephoto lenses.
The GK is a tank and comes complete with an Arca Compatible Lens Balance Plate. The gimbal can be used for macro as well, especially when you shoot with longer lenses. The drag is adjustable and when the camera/lens are balanced, it is easier to use than a ball head.
Ball heads such as the BH1 is the ideal head for still photography. But it does also pan and tilt forward, while moving side to side. The big knob on the ball head allows you to swing it side to side so that any position can be achieved. However, for vertical panning, the GK Katana is more suitable. It is due to the defined vertical axis that will keep it aligned with zero movement.