Manfrotto offer some of the most impressive camera accessories on the market that include tripods, monopods, gimbals and camera heads. When it comes to the camera heads there are many different types that have different functions, the Manfrotto MVH500AH and the Manfrotto MVH502AH are both fluid based camera heads for excellent balance and precision fine tuning for smooth shots for indie filmmakers and those who love capturing the world around them on film.
The Manfrotto MVH500AH camera head weighs 2lbs and has a load capacity of up to 11lbs. This particular Manfrotto head has been designed to work with HDSLR cameras as it comes with a wide platform to balance the different camera and lens combinations. The professional fluid cartridges that are featured as part of the Manfrotto MVH500AH camera head allow users to pan and tilt with smooth and precise movements that are needed to create professional frames and shots.
The Manfrotto MVH500AH camera head is a replacement for the Manfrotto701HDV and is a great improvement on the older head as it is faster and easier to use. This is due to the slide and lock system that has been introduced. This allows the camera you are using, and the quick release plate, to click quietly into place on the head from above. This means that there is no need for the camera and the head to be aligned or even slid in from the side.
The Manfrotto MVH500AH camera head is designed so that itcan be easily fitted to a hybrid video/photo tripod, a photo tripod, a monopod as well as gimbals. The bubble level that is built into the head allows you to make accurate adjustments. One of the big advantages of the Manfrotto MVH500AH camera head is the fact that there is no need for a secondary safety lock due to the way that the slide and lock system works.
The Manfrotto MVH500AH camera head comes with a pre-set counterbalance of 5.3lbs but this can be adjusted and customised to suit the camera that you are using. There is also a 3/8 inch connector that will allow for the attachment of an LCD monitor or other accessories that you want to use.
The Manfrotto MVH502AH camera head is the replacement unit for the Manfrotto MVH501HDV camera head and comes with variable fluid mechanisms that allow for extremely precise control when moving the camera head. This head unit is designed to fit both modern camcorders as well as HDSLR cameras. It weighs 3.5lbs and uses innovative “Bridge Architecture” tehcnology.
The Manfrotto MVH502AH camera head comes with an easy grip control handle that is comfortable to use for extended periods of time and operate the pan fluid drag system. The Manfrotto MVH502AH camera head has a panoramic rotation of 360 degrees and both a pan and tilt drag that is continuously adjustable without having to use tools. The camera head also has an independent pan lock and an independent tilt lock.
The top plate for the Manfrotto MVH502AH camera head is wider and longer than on previous models for increased stability and comes with a secondary safety system. The counterbalance for this unit is spring loaded and is pre-set for a camera weight of 8.8lbs.
The Manfrotto MVH502AH camera head has a load capacity of 13.2lbs meaning that it can support heavier camcorder and HDSLR camera and lens combinations. The front tilt ranges from -80 degrees to 90 degrees and can operate in temperatures between -20 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius making it ideal for filmmakers to use outdoors in a variety of conditions. The 3/8 inch female thread on the Manfrotto MVH502AH camera head means that it can be attached to a wide range of tripods, monopods and other camera equipment.
Both of these Manfrotto camera heads are excellent for obtaining smooth panning and tilt shots when filming no matter what type of camera is being used. The Manfrotto MVH502AH camera head is the more expensive of the two heads and is ideal for using in the outdoors, indoors and in extreme weather conditions, but is also able to handle a heavier weight capacity.
The Manfrotto MVH500AH camera head is much easier to use than the Manfrotto MVH502AH camera head so is a better choice for those who are experimenting with using fluid based camera heads and the lack of need for adjustment when the camera has been clicked into place.
The Final Verdict
Independent filmmakers with a smaller budget that are only working on a single project would be best served by purchasing the Manfrotto MVH500AH camera head as it can provide you with professional results when it comes to smooth panning and tilting and gives you the ability to attach an LCD monitor to the head.
If you are an independent filmmaker who is investing in new equipment for using on multiple projects, even with a restricted budget, the Manfrotto MVH502AH camera head is a much better choice due to its ability to perform in extreme weather conditions as well as its versatility when it comes to the stabilizing equipment that it can be attached to.