Tripod Head: An Overview
Selecting a tripod head comes next after the tripod legs and that is expected. This equipment connects the camera to the tripod making it an important purchase.
Due diligence should be exercised when buying one. Clearly, buying a tripod head that does not fit your shooting style would be a waste of money.
Types of tripod heads
There are four common types of tripod heads. But it is not limited to them. Other tripod heads are available in the market. However, they are not as common as the ones mentioned here.
Pan and Tilt Head
The pan and tilt head is where every photographer has started. Cheap tripods with this type of head are usually given as giveaways or bundled with a camera kit.
This tripod has two mechanisms for adjustment. One for tilting and another one for panning. Beginners can easily practice how panning and tilting work with this head.
Experienced photographers may opt for a different type of head sooner. Meanwhile, other shooters may go for better pan and tilt head options from a reputable manufacturer.
The ball head is possible the best all-around type of tripod head. It provides freedom of movement with one turn of the knob. However, it has no true pan and tilt adjustment.
Luckily, the ProMediaGear BH1 Professional Ball Head is here. It has a separate panning knob while keeping the 360-degree adjustment.
If you are looking for an all-around head then this is a good choice. There is no specific usage as it is applicable to any type of photography.
The Gimbal Head is a niche product. It is often used by wildlife, sports, and bird photographers. The gimbal head supports large and heavy telephoto lenses. It also prevents the tripod from falling due to the camera's weight.
Basically, a gimbal head like the ProMediaGear GK Katana balances a camera setup at its center. Moreover, it supports the whole tripod while maintaining the freedom to move around.
The fluid head tripod head is a sub-category of the pan and tilt head. This type works by having a tiny hydraulic mechanism inside. This small chamber smoothens movement making it great for shooting videos.
Which tripod head should you use?
Choosing a tripod head depends on your needs.
For beginners who are stepping up from their flimsy giveaway tripod, a ball head tripod will do. It is the most versatile among the available tripod heads.
For videographers, the fluid head is obviously the best choice due to the smooth movement.
Gimbal heads are great for photographers who love shooting action. The great tracking ability provided by the gimbal is a no-brainer.
Ultimately, you should choose a tripod head depending on your needs. Maybe you even need multiple heads for different types of shoot.