Professional filmmakers call for bespoke filming methods for different situations and environments. One of the best ways to tailor your shots and get a perfect camera angle is by utilizing a fluid head tripod.
Fluid heads are the sub-variety of tripods with a pan/tilt head. They provide a hydraulic damping system that offers smoother, steadier, and more stable shots.
Like tripods for photography, buying fluid heads for your videography can be tricky. For instance, you have to check the base plate, the balance shaft, the right counterbalance, and many other things.
This is where our research comes in handy. After reviewing countless tripods for both videos and still photos, here’s our guide to the best fluid head tripod you can buy.
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Buying Guide of Fluid Head Tripod
Before you go and splurge on a new gadget, it is always better to learn a few dynamics of how it works and if it supports your current equipment or not. For buying a tripod, you have to check the minimum and maximum payload, the weight of the product, how smooth you want the videos, and if you want any compact equipment or not.
Also, you almost always never buy a tripod that only lasts for one camera + lens combination. A good tripod will last you for at least 4-5 cameras and can be utilized in a variety of other ways.
For this reason, consider the following options when buying your next fluid head tripod system:
- Pan and Tilt
The first thing you want to look for is to check how modified the pan/tilt heads are. See if they can move 360 degrees and tilt at 90 degrees because that’s the industry standard. In addition, look for how many options they have. Do they offer drag control? Is there any motion smoother in the mechanics? Remember, the more options in the Pan/tilt head, the better.
- Balanced Camera Plate
This is the thing that will last you for 4-5 cameras+lens. Most good camera plates are supported with the head mount and come with a quick detach mechanism. Unless you’re on a very limited budget, this option is available on almost all tripods.
- Bubble Level
This determines the level of the camera to your head. It helps to set up a nice angle, giving you better results for your shoots. Not all tripods include this feature, but if your model has it, it’s going to be perfect.
A counterbalance makes the head easier to operate and control. It lowers the weight of resistance, helping you better operate the camera. Also, try to find a counterbalance that weighs less – The more agile they are, the better.
- Friction vs Fluid
The last thing to check for is friction vs Fluid compatibility. Friction heads aren’t as good as fluid heads. They don’t offer the same performance as a fluid head, so make sure the product you buy either uses a mixture of both or at least what you’re paying for.
Our first contender on the list is the Magnus VT-4000, a state-of-the-art tripod that features two-way fluid head motion control. The VT-4000’s unique design allows this tripod to easily adjust a height from 27.6 to 59 inches. The counterbalance of the tripod is 3.3 pounds, allowing you to quickly hover around your camera for smooth and quick shots.
The Magnus VT-4000 comes with ground spikes and retractable rubbers. Both of these options are great for indoor and outdoor shooting. You can easily attach a camera to the slide plate using the 1/4-inch screw. What’s more, it has a 360-degree full pan and a tilt angle of +90 degrees to -60 degrees. And best of all, this tripod can hold 8.8 pounds while weighing 7.9 pounds.
- Smooth panning and vertical/horizontal shoots
- Quick and easy connect
- Decent carry case
- A monster in size
- Priced for intermediate videographers
|Tripod Head||Fluid Head|
|Weight Limit||8.8 pounds|
|Item weight||3.5 KG|
|Title Angle||+90’ / -60’|
As the name suggests, the Neewer 2-in-1 tripod is designed for heavy camera setup. It comes with a Tripod with a Folded dimension of 18 inches/45/7cm as well as a Monopod with a fluid head. Speaking of this, the fluid head can adjust 20” to 56.7” of flexible camera positioning, ideal for low-angle shots. It also allows 360 degrees panning and tilting anywhere from +90 to -70 degrees.
This tripod is constructed from a high-quality aluminum alloy casing that is durable for the demanding condition while still remaining lightweight to travel. Neewer also provides a carrying bag for each of its tripod lineups so you can easily take it out on adventures.
- Up and down tilt is smooth
- Quick-release plate
- Monopod is portable, versatile, and flexible
- Hook for adding weight
- Carry bag included
- Left to right panning is a bit sharp
- Legs don’t lock
|Material||Aluminum & Plastic|
|Tripod Head||Fluid Drag, Pan Head|
|Weight Limit||26.5 pounds|
|Item Weight||1.44 KG|
|Tilt Angle||90’ / -70’|
Our next contender on the list is the Ravelli AVTP Professional 55” camera tripod. For its price and considering what it offers, it packs a punch of excitement for videographers. For one, it can handle heavy cameras easily. By heavy, approximately 27 lbs of weight.
Second, it is made of sturdy metal material, that offers both premium and professional looks. And that’s not all, the tripod head supports 360 degrees of drag which makes the pan and tilt motion very smoothly. The only thing we could point out is the 3-segment legs, but it doesn’t mean that the tripod is not all hale and hearty. It is still very steady and leads the market in terms of its Aluminum build quality.
- Pointy feet to stick everywhere
- Lightweight design
- Good for larger cameras
- 3-Segment legs
- The ball mount needs to tighten up
|Material||Rubber, Aluminum, Plastic|
|Tripod Head||Dual fluid head|
|Weight Limit||27 lbs|
|Item Weight||10.80 lbs|
|Tilt Angle||180 degrees|
Another great all-rounder choice, a quick favorite of many YouTubers – the Coman Heavy Duty tripod features 360 degrees pan, a 90 degrees to -75 degrees tilt, aluminum build material, and a spreader to hold the tripod on uneven ground. The tripod features a 1/4-inch screw and a spare 3/8-inch screw that fits most cameras of today.
There’s also a safety button on the side to protect your equipment from falling down. The tripod only weighs around 13 pounds and can easily adjust the 10 pounds of weight. All of these features make it a perfect companion for outdoor, indoor, wedding, and interview shoots. In short, the Coman tripod packs a sweet taste for all types of users, no matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or professional.
- Sturdy design
- 2 types of screws are available
- Easy to use and mount
- Average tilt smoothness
- 3 Legs
|Tripod Head||Fluid Head|
|Weight Limit||13.2 pounds|
|Item Weight||9 pounds|
|Tilt Angle||-75’ to +90’|
A bit expensive on the list but definitely a worthwhile contender. Benro offers a number of options in their S-series video heads, from the least expensive S2 to the best on the list, S8. The one we recommend is the middle one, that although won’t provide the same sophistication as the expensive one, but is definitely way ahead of the cheaper product.
One of the most notable features is its weight capacity. The S6 Be Free can easily support a maximum of 6 KG, offering 50% more payload than all the above-mentioned tripods. Furthermore, it has a 360 degrees fluid bar, as well as a pan bar for smooth motion control.
The S6 also offers a quick release plate as well as a balancing shaft that protects your gear while you’re on a trip. All of this is backed by a three-year limited warranty.
It might not be the best for professionals, but definitely, a worthwhile consideration if you’re just starting and need a solid vlogging or internet video streamer partner.
- Fluid damping is buttery smooth
- Best for vlogging and streaming
- A good amount of weight support
- Easy to use and install
- Need to buy the legs separately
- Not ideal for professional usage
|Tripod Head||Fluid head|
|Weight Limit||2.6 pounds|
|Item Weight||13.2 pounds|