A tripod is something that every photographer needs. While the majority of tripods on the market tend to come with a pre-installed head, these often do not provide the appropriate level of functionality to match the creativeness of the photographer.
By switching the default option out for a new and upgraded tripod head, you can explore new angles and heights. Some tripod heads even include a bubble level to make sure that your photos line up with the horizon.
The problem that comes to mind now is the fact that there are just too many tripod heads on the market. Since they are not all equal in terms of smoothness and adding better stability to your shots, you need to think carefully about which particular one you will end up buying. After thorough research, we have compiled a list of the best tripod heads currently on the market.
1. Benro Carbon Fiber Gimbal Head with PL100LW Plate (Overall Winner)
After extensive research and considering the many tripod heads out there, we recommend you start your search with the Benro Carbon Fiber Gimbal Head with PL100LW Plate. This product is a gimbal-type head that fits the majority of quality tripods. You will be able to use the majority of cameras with this system including DSLR options.
While the price is not the cheapest on the market, the product itself is made from a carbon fiber material, which is lightweight and exceptionally strong. While the head itself only weighs 2.4 pounds, it has a load capacity of up to 66 pounds.
Induro Tripods’ GHB2C is another excellent gimbal head option that you might want to consider, especially if you have a larger budget for this particular type of product as this is one of the more expensive tripod heads on our list.
The overall construction and the functionality of the GHB2C do, however, make this product worth the money. The head features a quintaxial, or 5-way, positioning system and is made from a carbon fiber material. The purchase of this product includes a PU100 Arca-Swiss style plate and a quick release system.
Next, we have a considerably more affordable option which is the IFOOTAGE Video Tripod Head Fluid Drag Pan Head. This one comes at a mid-range price point and utilizes a fluid drag pan system for providing the most accurate position of your camera while also enhancing the overall stability of the photos that you will be shooting.
This IFOOTAGE tripod fits the majority of digital cameras and features a 360-degree pan, as well as a tilt function. There is a camera safety lock for added security as well.
The Manfrotto MVH500AH is another drag pan option that carries a similar price tag. There are different models available, however, allowing you to obtain a product that is best suited for your specific needs.
This fluid head option from Manfrotto is a perfect tripod head for heavy DSLR camera bodies. It comes with a sliding QR plate that helps to improve the balance of your camera, while also providing a quick release system at the same time. The product is made from carbon fiber and aluminum materials.
The Benro Aluminum 2 Series Gimbal Head features a quality design, compared with a price that is quite reasonable for these types of tripod heads. This product uses aluminum as its primary material.
It has a specialized clamp that provides a quick release system for your camera, while also making the attachment of your equipment faster and easier. There is an Arca-Swiss QR system installed in this gimbal head that offers universal compatibility, ensuring you can use almost any kind of digital camera with this particular tripod head.
6. Avella V501
The Avella V501 Video Camera Tripod Fluid Drag Pan Head is definitely one of the more affordable tripod heads on our list. This product features a universal compatibility system and is ideal for Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Olympus, and Nikon DSLR cameras.
The Avella V501 provides compatibility with different types of tripods and offers a fixed drag system, along with a spring balancing mechanism. There is a separate pan attached to the head, and it has the ability to provide you with specific tilts for positioning your camera.
The Koolehaoda Gimbal Tripod Head is another affordable gimbal-type tripod head. The product has a 100mm Quick Release Plate and even features an included carry bag, which is not something we see with a lot of these products.
The Koolehaoda’s tripod head has a pan system that offers a 360-degree rotational angle, allowing you to take Panoramic images. The Koolehaoda gimbal head is available in a variety of colors, including red, blue, and a standard black option.
If you’d prefer a gimbal head, but money is an issue, then the Neewer Professional Gimbal Tripod Head is an option you want to take a closer look at. While this product does not provide some of the more advanced features we have seen in a couple of alternative options, you do get a gimbal tripod head for cheap.
Neewer’s gimbal head has a universal compatibility Arca-Swiss style quick release plate. It is compatible with a large variety of DSLR cameras and features a maximum load weight of 30 pounds. There is a 360-degree rotation system, which allows for capturing panoramic images.
Next, we have the Benro 3-Way Geared Head. As the name suggests, this is a three-way head that provides multipurpose functionality during your photography session. The three bubble levels can greatly improve the overall accuracy that you are able to achieve when positioning your camera.
Furthermore, since Benro’s 3-way head has release controls that work individually, you get larger movements for your camera at the same time. There is a QR plate that is Arca-Swiss compatible, allowing for quick release of your camera. This is definitely a positive feature that can become useful in many scenarios.
10. Pergear TH3 (Budget Winner)
Our budget pick in this post is the Pergear TH3 Pro DSLR Camera Tripod Ball Head. This is a ball-type tripod head – even though criticized by some, this type of head still has the ability to provide exceptional performance and a great level of improvement in the stability of your photographs.
This Pergear tripod head is the most affordable option you can find without sacrificing too much quality. The head is able to provide support for a loading capacity of up to 17.6 pounds, which means you should be safe adding your camera and additional lenses on top of this tripod head.
Choosing Tripod Heads
Equipping your tripod with an upgraded head is definitely a useful way to add an additional level of stability to the photos that you take, while also making the experience during photography sessions smoother.
Choosing one of the best tripod heads, however, can be difficult. We shared some top options that are out there on the market at the moment to make the process of finding the one that suits your needs easier.