Manfrotto’s Xpro video head promises portability, versatility and convenience for budding DSLR movie-makers. Andy Westlake takes a closer look at what it offers
Manfrotto XPRO Fluid Head at a glance:
- Fluid video head for DSLRs
- Weighs 760g
- Supports up to 4kg
- Fluidity selector control
- Uses 200 PL plates
- Price: £119.95
- Website: www.manfrotto.co.uk
Manfrotto’s Xpro video head is aimed at DSLR users who are starting to explore movie-making. Offering pan-and-tilt movements, it is designed to support up to 4kg.
The head is constructed mainly of aluminium and Adapto Technopolymer, which combines rigidity with light weight. It attaches to the tripod using a standard 3/8in thread, and accepts 200 PL quick-release plates, which are shared with many other RC2 Manfrotto heads.
The fluid head design allows smooth camera movement during video recording. A large dual-position dial stiffens the tilt mechanism to help stop the camera tipping backwards or forwards when using a heavy lens, and the pan-and-tilt movements can be separately locked.
Manfrotto XPRO Fluid Head – key features
The quick-release platform uses readily available 200 PL plates and has a large safety interlock lever.
A bubble level at the base of the head helps when setting it up for straight panning.
The pan handle can be placed on either side. Its angle can be adjusted, and it can be folded right down when not in use.
Manfrotto XPRO Fluid Head – verdict
This is a well-made head that’s easy to set up and use. I tested the two stiffness settings using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 bridge camera and the bulkier Canon EOS 7D DSLR with 100-400mm lens, and found it provides smooth tilt and panning movements with both.
I was also impressed by how the head allows precise positioning of long telephoto lenses for stills work. The repositionable pan handle is a nice touch, too.
SCORE: 4 out of 5
You may also wish to consider:
Composite Video Head
Manfrotto’s entry-level fluid head is lighter and cheaper than the XPRO, but it lacks the repositionable pan handle and friction control. It can’t handle so much weight, either.
Pro Video Head Flat Base
This professional video head offers variable friction control for both pan and tilt, and a sliding camera plate for better balancing of heavier loads.
Photo/Video Pan and Tilt Head
This basic, inexpensive aluminium pan-and-tilt head lacks the fluid movement of true video heads. However, it allows the camera to be flipped vertically for portrait-format stills.