What are the Different Types of Tripod Heads?

Before buying a tripod head, you should first determine where and how you’ll use it. Here are four of the commonly used camera tripod heads and what they’re used for.

What are Gimbal Heads?

Gimbal heads are specifically intended for big, heavy cameras and long lenses. They are strong enough to carry a 400mm and other enormous telephoto lenses typically used for wildlife photography. Gimbal heads act as your hands, holding up the camera and swinging the lens to the direction you want without actually carrying the weight. This type of tripod head is used more for flexibility than to keep the camera still. Read more about choosing the right gimbal head.

What are Panoramic Heads?

As the name suggests, panoramic tripod heads let you take panoramic photos and continuous panning videos. They can have a simple design for quick setups, and they can also come as a complicated-looking system for extreme precision shots. Panoramic heads can be very useful when shooting time-lapses.

What are Ball Heads?

Perhaps the most popular type of tripod head is the ball head. It has a rotating sphere that lets you position the camera in any way you want, and then keep it in place with a locking screw.

Movo GH700 Gimbal Head

What are Pan and Tilt Heads?

A typical pan and tilt head looks like two tripod heads placed on top of each other. It has two axes that allow you to pan the camera left and right or tilt it up and down. Ordinary pan and tilt heads should be manually twisted and positioned for the camera to move, but motorized pan and tilt heads are great for action sequences and product close-ups.

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