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  • Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Tripod Head with Flat Base w/ Fluid Pan & Drag System and with Built-In Counterbalance and a Bonus Quick Release Plate
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Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Tripod Head with Flat Base w/ Fluid Pan & Drag System and with Built-In Counterbalance and a Bonus Quick Release Plate


Price: $209.99 + $5.69 shipping
Only 8 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by RitzCamera.
New Version
  • Video Head Serves as Fluid Pan & Drag System w/Built-In Counterbalance
  • gives you full smoothness control while shooting, thanks to its variable fluid mechanisms
  • Works with camcorders and HDSLR cameras with external accessories
  • Ball-bearing drag for precise, smooth movements
  • 3/8" female thread for easy tripod or slider mounting


Product Description

Size: New Version

This head has been constructed from lightweight modern materials for the optimal balance of strength and size. It is a perfect showcase of Manfrotto's cuttingedge engineering in advancing an innovative "bridge architecture". A fluid pan and drag system offers more ergonomic operation, while a wider top plate and longer sliding plate add extra stability and balance. In addition, the head's super-rigid structure makes for maximum precision and improved responsiveness, and the counterbalance and ball bearing drag systems both offer reliable, smooth operation. Built-in easy link connectors offer extreme flexibility for accessory attachments.

Full smoothness control while shooting thanks to the variable fluid mechanisms. Ideal for latest camcorder and HDSLR cameras supplied with external accessories (4kg max capacity). The head can be combined with all photo tripods, thanks to the 3/8" female thread.

Attaches By: 1/4'' and 3/8'' attachment type
Attachment: 3/8'' female thread attachment type
Balance Control: one fix spring for 8.8lbs camera weight
Bubble Spirit Level: 1
Center Of Gravity: 2.16"
Counterbalanced Weight: 8.82 lbs
Front Tilt: -80° / +90° tilt range
Independent Pan Lock: yes
Independent Tilt Lock: yes
Maximum Working Temperature: 140 °F
Minimum Working Temperature: -4 °F
Pan Drag: continuously adjustable from 0 to max level
Panoramic Rotation: 360 degrees
Quick Release: 1 built-in and 1 replacement
Safety Payload Weight: 15.43 lbs
Secondary Safety System: yes

Product Details

Size: New Version
  • Shipping Information: View shipping rates and policies
  • ASIN: B00WVKA520
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: April 29, 2015

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By James J. Lee on September 14, 2009
Size: Old Version
I'm a professional photographer and videographer. This head is pretty good for small handycams, like my back-up Canon HV30. In fact, there are precious few well made fluid/friction heads for that class camcorder. With the small cam pan/tilts work fine as long as you're not trying too many zoomed in slow movements or diagonals. But I find it too light for prosumer models like my Sony V1u loaded down for any detailed movement. It is stable when locked down for interviews but limits the amount of tilts or panning I'd can comfortably do. I'd say this is one of the better heads available for small handycams, but one should be aware of it's limitations. Considering upgrading to the 501hdv or 503, if using a 4+lb. camera.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Artful Dodger on December 5, 2010
Size: Old Version Verified Purchase
After using this for some time during the summer months and into the fall I have to say I wish I bought this long ago.

Nice smooth action once you get use to it's behavior. I say this since it can be a bit of a snug feel when panning even after you use it for awhile which is fine that it has stayed nice and snug so I know it won't "wear out" too soon. The vertical adjustments are really nice and the long adjustable handle makes this function with little effort.

UPDATE: 2/2013

I have listed below what I have used with this Tripod video head in two sections, from October 2012 which is some new gear and then prior to this update which is what I have used since I first bought the 701.

I am now using a Sony NX70U and full XLR mics (10/2012). I have also used this 701 unit over 500 hrs., closer to 600 hrs. and it still feels like new. I am not one to toss around my gear and yet it has traveled with me for 18-26 weeks straight, two (2) years in a row and no issues. It has also held up in winter conditions filming different dogs in the snow and some winter rec vehicles as well. I have not been keeping track of my personal use hours with this 701 unit.

This up coming 2013 spring/summer I am planning on testing this 701 unit while mounting a new Shape Spider shoulder rig (about 3lbs) and the Sony NX70U (about 3lbs with largest battery, mic and lens hood) and seeing how it all balances out and how the 701 holds up with about a total of 5-7lbs balanced out (including a wireless mic receiver pack). So with all things considered this unit has held strong for small to mid size cameras and it will remain with me even if I need to upgrade purely because of weight additions for my gear requirements.
Read more ›
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By D. Lin on March 20, 2009
Size: Old Version
I have been using the Manfrotto 501(old style, non-HDV) fluid head with my 20X80 and 25X100mm binoculars since 2001. The 501 head works well with optics from ~3 lb to 10+ lbs.

I learned about the new 701 HDV in late 2008. I was looking for a more compact mount for field use. I liked the idea that the 701 HDV head use the same 501 PL quick release plate as the 501/503 fluid heads. All of my giant binoculars and spotting scopes have the 501 PL attached. Getting the 701 HDV head means I can swap optics on different mounts quickly. I ordered the 701 HDV from Amazon/Ace Photo Digital in early March 2009. Placed the order on a weekend. Received tracking info on Sunday. Arrived on Tuesday. (free shipping).

The 701 HDV is quite compact compared to my 501 head. I would estimate just over 1/2 the volume. Fluid motion is very smooth. Much better than the 728 digi tripod/head I purchased a few years back. Fixed counter balance spring works quite well for my 3.5 lb bino. I was not planning to use this head with my heavier optics but the 701 HDV works fine with bigger binoculars up to my 8.5 lb 25X100. ( to my surprise). The 501 Plate permits about 3 inch of fore and aft balance. Works much better than Bogen heads using the 3157 PL. This compact fluid head will be much easier to carry in the field in than the bigger 501 head (rated for 13.2 lbs). I plan to add a second pan handle to make panning even easier.

Highly recommended!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Randy Walker on February 11, 2012
Size: Old Version Verified Purchase
LOVE this!!! Not sure how I got along without this.. The motion is silky smooth. I love how you can adjust the tension to be able to pivot with as much (or as little) tension that you want.

For those saying that this doesnt work with DSLR's because the release switch hits the camera body, just unscrew the hex head bolt holding the switch in place, then adjust the tension to where you want it and then screw the plastic knob into a position that works for you. I basically just reversed it so that the switch is angled down, away from the body. It works great! My fingers are sort of large and I am able to release the plate with my fingers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By PS Jordan on March 4, 2013
Size: Old Version Verified Purchase
I've owned this head for about 18 months and have used it maybe 15-20 times. Last time out the bearing which controls the panning seized (I should mention here that I am in the bearing business, so yes, I'm certain of what happened and no, it is not locked down at the plate). A seized bearing is very difficult/impossible to turn. I have read others complaining (Anandtech forums) about the "stiffness" of the pan motion, and I'd wager it has to do with the panning bearing press fit. Luckily (or with foresight), the manufacturer designed this head with access to the bearing, so I will pop it out and fix it. I have noted a slight off-center location for the bearing and panning plate in my unit, which could have been the root of the problem.

However trivial to perform at my workplace, replacing the bearing is not a job I wanted nor is it a job the normal consumer would be willing to tackle (I have added five photos which show how to fix BTW).

I also own the Bogen Imaging Manfrotto 519 Pro Video Head for Cameras up to 22 pounds for my larger camera. The 519 is obviously in another league in performance, design, quality and price. However I like/need the footprint of the 701 for my small Sony camcorder, and for the time period it worked it did so fairly well with such a small load, so I do plan to get this unit working again.

UPDATE: After taking apart the panning bearing, cleaning out old grease, putting in new grease and re-assembly, this unit performs (pans) smooth as can be and feels brand new.
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