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6 Best Geared Tripod Heads Of 2022 (With Reviews)

best geared tripod head

The sole reason why we get a tripod is for the extra stability it offers us, but if the camera is not stable due to the tripod head, it all becomes pointless.

I have seen photographers struggling with the camera not being stable enough due to the wrong tripod head, or simply the set-up being too heavy and the head/tripod couldn’t support it. Even worse, I have seen situations where the head couldn’t hold the camera and ended up breaking it along with the lens. Ouch! That’s some emotional and financial damage, after those angry outbursts, I wasn’t sure if that photographer would have spent his money on new equipment or on a therapist.

Jokes aside, in today’s article I will be introducing the Best Geared Tripod Head in 2022, If none of the products on the list appeal to you, at the end you will be greeted by a buying guide, it will make finding a geared tripod head much easier.

Most Versatile
Benro GD3WH 3-Way Geared Head
Benro GD3WH 3-Way Geared Head
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Best Budget
Manfrotto MHXPRO-3WG
Manfrotto MHXPRO-3WG
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Best for Videography
SmallRig Video Head
SmallRig Video Head
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Best Value
Manfrotto Junior 410 Geared Head
Manfrotto Junior 410 Geared Head
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Best High-End
Arca Swiss D4
Arca Swiss D4
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Best Overall
Manfrotto 400
Manfrotto 400
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Top 6 Best Geared Tripod Heads

6. Benro GD3WH 3-Way Geared Head – Most Versatile

Benro GD3WH 3 Way Geared Head

Right off the bat, we start with a really “friendly” geared tripod head, the Benro GD3WH3.

Benro’s GD3WH is difficult to surpass when it comes to precision and versatility. This three-way geared head is ideal for any sort of photography, including landscape, architecture, and macro.

Even at such a low price, this geared head shows premium quality, thanks to its magnesium alloy construction. It weighs 1.9 pounds and can lift up to 6 kg (13.22 lbs) of payload. This is quite surprising when you take into consideration, its compact form factor.

As for mobility, the Benro GD3WH provides +90/-30 degrees horizontally and vertically. There are three bubble levels in three separate settings as well, ensuring that your camera remains in good working order.

Why Should You Buy It?

It is well-made with high-quality materials and is lighter than other heads on the market today; you can use it for almost everything.

5. Manfrotto MHXPRO-3WG – Best Budget

Manfrotto MHXPRO 3WG

Following that, we have a Manfrotto pick, so you know it has to be great, right?

If it has a Manfrotto logo on it, then it is good.

This 3-way tripod is constructed out of technopolymer, which gives it a light form, and the knobs have a rubber coating for a smooth experience so your hands don’t get damaged.

At only 750 grams, the MHXPRO is exceptionally light. However, don’t be fooled by it. It’s still a tough “boy” who can lift 8.8 pounds. Its weight capacity is pretty much enough to carry most cameras with their lenses on.

It comes with a quick-release system built by Manfrotto. It also has a built-in RC2 quick-release cam lock that can be unlocked by simply pushing the spring-loaded lever.

Why Should You Buy It?

In one word: the price.

While there is nothing revolutionary about this geared head, there is also nothing at fault.

4. SmallRig Video Head – Best for Videography

SmallRig Video Head

Next on the list is an intriguing choice, a ball head that isn’t exactly a geared one but performs nearly identically, including the knobs. If you’re a videographer, then this geared tripod head is for you.

SmallRig tripod video head is a device that is compatible with most cameras, DSLR, Mirrorless, Pocket Cameras, and much more.

This lightweight fluid head is built of high-density lightweight aluminum alloy and has a safe payload of 5kg. The product’s net weight is only 517g, making it an excellent camera head for vacation photography and 1/4″ threaded hole on the side can be used to connect monitors, microphones, video lights, and other accessories.

The pan head may be rotated at different angles thanks to the 360°panorama and +90°/-60° tilt system design.

The unique pan head can accommodate a wide range of video shooting requirements, no doubt that It is one of the best options for photographing, live broadcasting, and videography.

For videographers, this is definitely one of the best geared tripod heads out there.

Why Should You Buy It?

This one is extremely cheap and versatile, while its durability leaves so much to be desired, it still maintains a great video head that you should consider, especially if you are someone who records a lot of videos.

3. Manfrotto Junior 410 Geared Head – Best Value

Manfrotto Junior 410 Geared Head

Whether you’re a professional or simply a hobbyist who likes to take your tripod with you and take some pictures, the next ball head will satisfy no matter what. For the money, i can say that its one of the best geared heads out there.

Yet again, Manfrotto makes an appearance, this time with a highly valued geared head.

You won’t be able to get out of this geared tripod head once you’ve used it. The cost-benefit ratio is just unbeatable.

As expected, it is extremely well built. The aluminum body means that the 410 head weighs only 1.22 kg but can handle up to 5 kg of equipment, and the camera is mounted by a 410PL quick release plate.

Moreover, the camera can be rotated panoramically up to 360 degrees, with a lateral tilt of -90 to +30 degrees. The front tilt is downward at 90 degrees.

Why Should You Buy It?

Pretty much a geared head that ticks all the boxes a semi-pro and a hobbyist photographer needs, if you seek more professionalism, I would direct you towards the next options.

2. Arca Swiss D4 – Best High-End

Arca Swiss D4

I’m sure you’ll enjoy the next one; the upcoming geared head is a game-changer that dominates across the board. Yes, we adore this one, but we despise the price.

Being a premium head comes at a price that is difficult to swallow and hard to afford. Its capabilities, on the other hand, justify the hefty price tag.

The construction quality of the Arca Swiss geared tripod head is excellent, with all of the parts finely carved from anodized aluminum. It weighs 2.2 lbs making it reasonably portable.

The main selling feature is its incredible payload capacity of 75 pounds. Although no photographer will require that much, the amount of pressure this head can endure is incredible.

There are also two knobs, that help in controlling the head tension and allow you to move the head freely in any direction at 360º.

Why Should You Buy It?

All I can say is that if you can bypass the painful price, go for this geared tripod head as you won’t be disappointed, there will be only a hole in your pocket.

1. Manfrotto 400 – Best Overall

Manfrotto 400

Yeah, I’m not suprised either; Manfrotto tops the list for the third time, with a well-known geared head that checks all the criteria a photographer requires.

It’s a well-made head with dimensions of 11.42 x 9.84 x 8.82 inches and a weight of 5.73 pounds.

Manfrotto’s 400 3-Way Geared Pan-and-Tilt Head may be mounted to studio stands, tripods or other support systems with a 3/8″-16 screw mount and has a load capability of 22.1 pounds.

This geared tripod head rotates 360 degrees, tilts 90 degrees forward and 30 degrees backward, and tilts 7.5 degrees left or right. Each of these three movements has its own control knobs and operates independently of the others.

Why Should You Buy It?

If you’re looking for a great all-around geared tripod head, go no further than this Manfrotto model. Although the two Manfrotto models above are excellent, they do not compare to the 400 model, which is understandable given the price.

Definitely one of the best geared tripod heads out there.


Frequently Asked Questions:

panorama at sunset with a camera 2021 08 29 04 28 12 utc

What is a geared tripod head?

A geared tripod head, as the name suggests, can be adjusted carefully and precisely using gears. For example, with just three knobs, you can adjust the pan, tilt, and swerve the camera.

What is the difference between a traditional tripod head and a geared head one?

Compared to the regular ball and tilt-pan tripod heads, geared heads ones allow for stand-alone and step-by-step positioning of the camera. In addition, most geared heads have two or more spirit levels for that extra precision.

You can say that in a way geared ones are better, hence the painful price that they come with.

Can You Fit Any Camera on Any Tripod Head?

A 1/4 inch male thread on a tripod can be used to attach a camera, and all modern cameras include a 1/4 inch female thread on the bottom of the camera. This means that any camera can be mounted on any tripod.

What are the types of tripod heads?

The ball and tilt-pan heads are the standard heads, later they are followed by the Gimbal Head Fluid Head, Pistol Grip Head, Three-way Heads, and so on.

Final Words:

The tripod head is a simple device, yet complex.

That’s why you really need to know what you are purchasing. Do your homework first and see the true purpose of it. Later, you can start shopping for it.

Why am I saying this?

Well, you have noticed by now that the cheapest geared head costs at least $250. A high-end geared head can seriously hurt your wallet, especially if you make a purchase that won’t suit your camera/style.

On the other hand, you can’t constantly buy cheap, shoddy equipment because they are unreliable and will most likely cost you more in the long run.

My advice is to not be afraid to spend a lot of money on them, especially if you’re a professional photographer.

Good quality things come with a big price tag.

Further Reading:

If this article was helpful in deciding on a geared tripod head, I highly urge you to continue reading.

For example, if you own a Canon M50, you might check its best accessories that will prove really useful to you, or even if you need some lenses that provide a smooth and creamy bokeh effect, get them too. Perhaps, you did notice that lenses are expensive, if you want to know why exactly, check out my blog on why are they so expensive.

So you’re a YouTuber and a streamer, right? My articles on the best streaming lenses and the best lenses for vlogging will come in handy.

Check out sports mom cameras if you’re a mother who’s looking for a camera to capture her children while they’re participating in sports. However, if you are a dad who likes to hunt, you can check out some great cameras to film your hunts.

Well, this one will sound weird, but yes even for you ghost hunters out there, I have rounded up some terrific cameras for hunting ghosts.

If your kid behaved and you planning to buy him an action camera, I got you covered with some of the best GoPro for kids.

If you wonder why you look bad in photos, I have an answer for that, also if you want to know if the camera distorts your face.

This concludes today’s blog; keep tuned for future posts.