There are a lot of different tripod heads out there. You’ve got ball heads, 3-way heads, Wimberley gimbal heads, geared heads, fluid video heads, and on and on. Lots of different designs that have been around now for decades.
Well, the Quick Precision Tripod Head (back here) is a new take on the tripod head that’s come to Kickstarter. It combines the best of ball heads and three-way heads for a very unique result.
If three-way heads and ball heads had a baby
The goal of the Quick Precision Tripod Head is to be both accurate and quick while also being easy to adjust.
The creator, Arnt Inge Hodne, says that ball heads often lack the precision needed to line up your shot, which is true. Ball heads, once unlocked, let you rotate freely in 360º on every axis. Great for speed but not great if you want to make a tweak to one axis and unlocking it throws off the other two.
The three-way head, on the other hand, provides great accuracy, but the pivot point ends up quite far from the camera sometimes, adding unwanted parallax and movements when adjusting the angle of the tilt or roll.
The Quick Precision Tripod Head solves this by providing individual axis control in a size very similar to small ball heads. This brings both the accuracy and the speed photographers so desperately want!
Quick Precision Tripod Head features
The unique design and appearance of the Quick Precision Tripod Head offer some interesting features and controls. Essentially, the head moves by sliding along a circular metal rail. You unlock an axis, swing it along the rail until it points in the direction you want, then lock it off. Then, a little dial unlocks the other axis, letting you adjust that exactly where you need it, separately from the other.
As I said, interesting and unique. It’s a fascinating way of moving a tripod head. It offers a decent range of motion, going from a full left to a full right lean for vertical shooting in either orientation, as well as tilting all the way forward for a top-down look and all the way back for shooting up into the sky.
It accepts either a 1/4-20″ or 3/8-16″ tripod thread underneath and screws straight into the 1/4-20″ socket at the bottom of your camera. Yes, this unfortunately means that there’s no quick-release plate system.
But, all you have to do is spin a dial and it spins the screw that locks itself into the tripod mount underneath your camera. So, it’s not a massive hassle to swap it out, just a little bit more of one than using a quick release plate.
Concerns, and who’s it even for?
While I love the concept of the Quick Precision Tripod Head, one of the concerns I have is the load capacity. The actual weight limit is not specified on the Kickstarter page and all of the images show the head in use with compact cameras like the Sony RX100 series or smartphones.
There are no DSLRs or interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras shown anywhere. So, whether or not it’s capable of handling those sorts of weights is unknown. I’m going to assume, however, given the design, that it’s not intended for fully loaded cinema rigs with motorised follow focus units, field monitors, etc.
So, if it can’t handle big DSLRs and mirrorless cameras with large lenses, then who’s it for?
Primarily, I think this is aimed more towards the social media photographer or filmmaker. That and individuals who want an easier time documenting their travels with their smartphone or compact digital camera.
The load capacity isn’t mentioned in the Kickstarter campaign. DIYP has reached out to its creator for clarification and will update this post when we receive a response. For now, though, I’d keep the phrase “light duty” in mind.
Update: DIYP has received a response from Arnt. There isn’t a specific maximum load capacity available as of right now, stating simply that “we have chosen to make the first version for small cameras and mobile phones as this will allow the tripod head to be used by a large number of people”. So, for now, yes, it’s designed for use with smartphones and compact cameras. Arnt says he hasn’t tried a mirrorless camera on it, but would not recommend it.
I have to admit – even if the potential concerns I mentioned above are real – I still think I’d like to add a couple of these to my camera gear pile at some point. I certainly wouldn’t be using them every time I want to shoot from a tripod – or even most of the time – but there are definitely times when such a head could be very heady.
I could see this becoming a popular favourite for those shooting with action cameras, for example. If not being worn, I usually put action cameras on some kind of tripod, a head like this would make setup and levelling a lot quicker out in the wilderness.
Price and Availability
The Quick Precision Tripod Head is currently running on Kickstarter. It has 29 days to go with pledges currently starting at 640 Norwegian Krone – or, around US$62. It’s scheduled to go into production in October, with delivery commencing in February 2024.
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