Review of Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5, a hybrid head for both video and stills

While visiting PMA@CES 2012 expo in Las Vegas in mid-January, I noticed that several of the photography products manufacturers and distributors were not in the PMA section of CES but were several miles away in the Las Vegas Convention Center (the main area of CES). The PMA sector was in The Venetian casino complex, Hall D. The significantly larger expo those same days was CES, where Canon, Nikon, and Sony were.

Here in the CES halls (visited by over 150,000 people that week), I went to visit the Manfrotto Distribution booth to say hello to Kriss Brunngraber and to discuss tripods and tripod heads with Jodi Palm. I had gone with the intention of reviewing a ball head (which is the kind I like the most) but in the front of the exhibit they had a new model, a hybrid head for digital video and adaptable for still photography (both with a “35mm” digital DSLR camera that can so video, such as some Nikon and most Canon cameras).

So now the Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5 hybrid video-still photography head has arrived and we will take it to Parque Nacional Tikal, out in the jungles of northern Guatemala after I am back from lecturing in Dubai.




The Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5 head comes in a sturdy box

The box is labeled Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5 055 MG PHOTO MOVIE HEAD Q5. I call it the easier terms that Jodi used, a hybrid head for both HDSLR video and digital still photography.

The Manfrotto instruction book has instructions in all major international languages.


Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5 head has a 10 year warranty!

Any company who puts a 10 year warranty on their product is rare these days. I would rather have this 10-year product than cheap stuff with low-bid components which fall apart in a year or so.

 


Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5 Photo-Movie Tripod Head review

As you may know in FLAAR we specialize in nature photography that keeps us constantly in extreme situations with wild animals around us like cocodriles in swamps at remote areas of Guatemala.  Although we also do studio photography but always with plants and animals that are often extremely poisonous like snakes, frogs or insects.

For these significant reasons, we need a tripod head that fits to a style of photography that should be in a lot of movement but at the same time we need to have enough precicion in the takes of the photos for optimum results.

For years we tried all kinds of tripods heads, and each provided us the necessary support for specific tasks. For example, we have heads that are great for photography studio, that are precise and very stable, but the problem with these is that we have to deal with several locks that havas to be removed to set the next shot, and that is ok for studio photography, but not when you are out in the jungle and the must beautiful frog appers in front of you and you need to move your tripod as quik as you can to take the photo of you life and you dont want to waste time unlocking endless knobs.

Because of that we like to use a mono ball head for taks like going out in the jungle or swamps, and is because is easier to handle just one knob when you are surrounded of possible wonderful pictures; the trouble with this kind of heads, is that once a knob is unlocked the chamber falls rapidly and without control, the problem with that is that the movements are a little vague especially when it is stressed that the object is moving.

In this Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5 Photo-Movie Tripod Head we find, all this aspects covered, why?

First you have smooth movements, as you can have with a tripod for video, if you have use a tripod for video know what i´m talking about. So even you dont have the knob lock your camera it dosent fall of like an apple folling down from a tree.

Second and my favorite part is that you just need one movement to lose your camera in order to set the next shot.

Third the disign of the tripod head is the most ergonomic piece of equipment i never try before.

As if that were not enough, I can move with a simple click from photo to camera head and it actually works perfect.

All i have to discuss in relation to the design is the fact that the button for the change of functions from video to photo it moves very easily and some times the move to the left gets lock because of that, but you just have to be careful to dont toch the button

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most recently updated: March 1, 2012.
First posted: January 27, 2012.

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