I'm sure many of you already know about this particular Velbon fluid head. It's been a hit for a while now, and I thought it was finally time for me to test one out. As much as possible I love shooting with smaller cameras, and this fluid head was a great surprise. Works great as a spare head on the Konova slider instead of using the static Ball Head (and cheaper too).
If you're just starting out with a GH2, Olympus Pen, or Sony NEX-5n camera you'll get some truly fluid movements with this sub $30 dollar fluid head. It's no wonder this fluid head gets rave reviews over at Amazon and B&HPhoto websites. Best bang for the buck no doubt. Here's a few things to keep in mind about the Velbon. It's plastic, all plastic (except for a bit of metal on the pan bar). Although it doesn't feel fragile to break in under your camera, it's not designed to be thrown underneath all your other heavy equipment or to be tossed around.
Size Comparison (Left) Manfrotto 701HDV (Right) Velbon Fluid Head
Don't get the bundled tripods as i've heard nothing but horror stories. You'd be better off buying another one like the 190XDB from Manfrotto (found here). Don't overload the thing. I used a Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 100mm Macro F/2.8 which worked well, but the head does not have a 'balance' feature so it wanted to tilt forward with the heavy lens. It's too bad the build quality comes in short, because the performance is truly amazing for such a cheap head. Often you'll find the head on sale as low as $26 dollars, and for a spare head on your DSLR video slider, track dolly, or even one for your Monopod it's a deal. You can find them on sale at B&H (click here)
Here's my Panasonic GH2 with the Canon 85mm F/1.2L FD lens. Yeah I posted it for sale - didn't meet my reserve price so I didn't sell it. After just using it on the GH2 again, it's here to stay. This lens is just beautiful and focuses much smoother than those damn Panasonic lenses that need to rotate a million times. Sorry enough ranting....moving on.
Ok, just got my hands on the 700RC2 fluid head many have been asking about. It's one of the cheapest Video Fluid heads you can buy, but keep in mind it only supports just over 5 lbs. The head is using the RC2 plate system, so you can find many quick release adapters for this for your sliders, jibs, dollies, etc. It's a true fluid video head, not for photography since there's no vertical (portrait) flip available. The Pan and Tilt are very smooth for cameras under 6lbs. There's no real drag adjustment on here like the more expensive heads, it's either locked in place or loosened.
It's placed on Manfrotto's 190XDB 3 section aluminum tripod which looks very similar to my very expensive Carbon Fiber tripod, with the exception of quick release locks. This 190XDB is all aluminum so it's still pretty light weight. It's rated to support up to 11 lbs, so plenty for this type of camera. The legs can be adjusted to a FULL 90 degrees, so it can lay completely flat on the ground (with the exception of the neck). This is not just a 'video' tripod, as the neck can be flipped upside down normally used for very low Macro (flowers, bugs) type photography. You can also use this upside down feature for video and then just flip it in post.
Although you can purchase these items seperately, this is one of the cheapest special bundles over at B&HPhotoVideo.com