Manfrotto 504HD vs Sachtler Ace Review

Maybe you’re making a movie, maybe you’re filming your kid’s play. A fluid head mounted on a strong tripod makes your video shoot smooth. Here are two tripods from big-name companies. Both tripods are good enough for the pros. Let’s see which one will help you shoot the next cinematic masterpiece.

Manfrotto 504HD
Manfrotto 504HD
Sachtler Ace
Sachtler Ace









Manfrotto 504HD,546BK Video Tripod Kit with 504HD Head and 546 Tripod – Black

This is the Manfrotto 504HD fluid head combined with the 546B tripod. The 504HD head can counterbalance DSLR cameras and video camcorders up to 16.5 pounds. The tripod without the head can handle up to 44 pounds. All together this setup reaches a maximum of 65.94 inches, or about 5-1/2 feet in height. Its minimum height is 17.32 inches.

Let’s look at the 504HD head first. It’s got a ball-bearing drag system for smooth movements. So far it looks like very few people have complained about bounce back or fading.The pan axis rotates 360 degrees. The tilt ranges from -60 to +90 degrees. They have independent locks. The backlit bubble level runs on a CR1220 battery and shuts off automatically. The counterbalance system has only four steps, but it has presets for 5.5, 11, and 16.3 pounds to make it faster to set up. There are threads for ¼” and 3/8” screws, as well as a sliding plate for quick removal and insertion of your camera.

The 546B tripod is made of aluminum. The legs have two stages and a spreader.The spreader is removable. The tripod feet are articulated and have spikes covered with rubber overshoes. All this means it’s very stable and rigid and good for most surfaces, from carpet to hard floors, concrete or grass. The legs have quick lever locks. A few users have said the locks aren’t as quick or easy as they’d like them to be so setup is slow. Once in a while you might need to use an Allen wrench to adjust the legs’ tension.

More features of the Manfrotto 504HD head and 546B tripod

  • The total setup weighs 13.6 pounds
  • Folded length is 33.3 inches
  • Manfrotto includes a padded carrying bag
  • There is a two-year warranty, extendable to 3 more years with registration

Sachtler Ace L TT 75/2 CF Carbon Fiber Tripod with Ace L Fluid Head

Sachtler is another well-known brand of photographic equipment. This tripod and head combination is primarily made for videography with camcorders but can also be used with DSLR cameras for still shots too.

The Sachtler Ace L fluid head can support up to 13.3 pounds. It’s got a 7-step counterbalance system for more precise movement than the Manfrotto 504HD head. The Ace L’s tilt range is larger too, from -75 to +90 degrees. The pan rotates 360 degrees. Drag goes horizontally, vertically, and on the level. The head has a quick-release wedge plate so you can slide your camera on and off without messing with screws. And of course there’s also an illuminated bubble level.

The Ace L TT 75/2 CF tripod is made of carbon fiber so it’s very light and very strong. The whole setup, head and tripod together, weighs 9 pounds, considerably less than the Manfrotto system described above.

The tripod’s legs have thumb screws, not quite so convenient as the flip locks on the Manfrotto 546B. There are three sections with spiked retractable feet and rubber overshoes. When the head is mounted and the legs are fully extended, the tripod reaches 73.2 inches in height, about eight inches higher than the Manfrotto. Its minimum height is 16.9 inches, less than the Manfrotto. Overall, the Sachtler has more pro features than the Manfrotto.

More features of the SachtlerAce L TT 75/2 CF and Ace L fluid head

  • Optimal operating temperature range is 22 to 140°F
  • Folded length is 35 inches, slightly longer than the Manfrotto
  • 1-year limited warranty, extends to 2 years once you register
  • Sachtler includes a padded carrying bag


The Sachtler Ace L has a lot going for it, without a doubt. It’s made of carbon fiber and is lighter in weight. It’s taller when extended and also has a lower minimum height. The head has a larger range of adjustments available. If you need the more precise options, or the portability, this is the tripod to get. There are lots of positive reviews out there saying the same thing.

Manfrotto’s 546B tripod and 504HD head are not out of the running. The Manfrotto head can handle more weight than the Ace L can even though it doesn’t have as many features. The Manfrotto tripod is heavier but it’s also more rigid with the spreader. Think about that for a windy day. If you’re doing outdoor work and weight isn’t a problem, consider this tripod system. Manfrotto says it will work in any temperature with a full load.

Click here to Check out Manfrotto 504HD Price on Amazon!

Click here to Check out Sachtler Ace Price on Amazon!


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