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  • Manfrotto introduced the new 502 professional video heads into their family of products. The 502 heads are designed to provide videographers and photographers with the ideal camera support for the latest equipment and setups.

    This 502 head series is available in two models: the MVH502A and the MVH502AH, both compatible with the latest digital video camcorders and hybrid DSLR cameras with medium/long lenses. The MVH502A is equipped with a 75mm ball base, while the MVH502AH comes with a flat base with 3/8-inch thread. The company says the 502 series is guaranteed to offer the “same dynamic performance” that Manfrotto products are known for, thanks to the brand’s patented bridge architecture.




    http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-502-Video-Head-MVH502AH/dp/B005ZMWSGC
  • 37 Replies sorted by
  • I like the look of this head a lot. UK prices are a bit silly, but will get better as a few more retailers get hold of them.
  • Thanks for the reminder Vitaliy. I just ordered the kit.
  • I took this out to the Ocean for a quick test. This is my first high quality head. I don't have real-world experience with others but i have tried out a Sachtler and Miller DS10/DS20 at a trade show. I think the feel of the 502 reminded me of the Miller when you have it dialed in. You have to get used to the pan and tilt main knobs (easy). Once you have it dialed, the incremental dials (with the red colors) is very handy for fine-tuning pan/tilt. They call this 'bridging technology'. The weight is good but i wish to get carbon legs now. ;) I think this is the ideal head for dSLR form-factor. I can't vouch for something like an AF100 or C300 type of body. Here's a short clip at one of the widest views of the Pacific. It was pretty easy to maneuver and nice feel. I wasn't so 'careful' and panned for almost 2 minutes.

    http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/21021204_SjdNvX#!i=1671112945&k=T93SFc7&lb=1&s=A

  • I picked up this head (flat head) this week and have shot several times with it since. I love it. It can handle any dslr and any number of accessories (I've been using a slider on top of it with a light) without flinching. You can really dial in the pan/tilt.

  • @pvjame and @kevinTraywick are both of you using this 502HD head for your GH2?

  • @apix: Yes, i'm glad i bought it. I compared it with the Sachtler Ace and i prefer the 502 cause you have better fine-tune control over the incremental steps of the Ace. Good thing of the Ace is that it is light weight but it is 'plasticky'.

  • How does this compare to Weifeng/Fancier?

  • How does this compare to Weifeng/Fancier?

    It depends with that head you'll compare. As it is alternative to 717-718 heads.
    It is not alternative to FC-04H (FC-HDSLR) .

  • @pyjames Thank for the quick response, I am looking to get the manfrotto 701, but I may spend a little more to get this, got any pics with your gh2 and the 502hd by any chance? Thanks

  • Anyone had luck with counterbalancing it?

  • i haven't tried the 701 but i kind of lump that in with the 501 (earlier gen). You might like this better. Here are a few pics.

    http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/21021204_SjdNvX#!i=1723973502&k=7GhfDdw

  • Vitaliy--the weifeng 717 is $150 at Amazon, is the Manfrotto worth the extra $$? Thanks.

  • @pvjames thanks for the picture, the 502hd seems bigger than the gh2 haha I may actually go with the 502hd =)

  • Basically, I need a second tripod and I have the 717 but would be happy to upgrade to something better if it is not too much more.

  • I think the 502hd is around $199, any recommendation on a good tripod to go with this? :)

  • If you run-gun, try to get carbon-fiber with the 502.

  • @pvjames Thanks, I'll look into it =)

  • pvjames - Still happy with the 501 head? I need to get a head for my GH2. Any issues that you've run into this the 502?

  • @davidp158: I'm very happy with the 502. You might have issue with the weight. GH2 is really light for that head. 502 can also handle heavier cams but i don't consider the weight a prob to me and i've been hiking alot with it.

  • @pvjames

    Thanks for your comments. BTW, I bought a basic rig (rails, handles, shoulder pad) though this forum, and added my Tascam DR-40 recorder to it. The combined weight of the rig and camera is probably close 5 pounds. Do you think this weight range is still too light for the 502 head?

  • @pvjames Did you know or tried if the 501PL plates fits on the 502? Thx.

  • @david158: I will guess the weight should be great. Spec says it can handle up to 8.8lbs. So thats good.

    @Kihlian: Not sure. I have not tried the 501PL. They give you the 504 long plate when you buy the 502. Spec says 2" wide but it looks smaller to me. They advertise 501PL for 501/503 on BH. Maybe not...give them a call.

  • I picked up a 502 head at Glazer Camera's Photo Festival today. The 502 seems to work fine with the GH2's limited weight, and the pans and tilts are sweet. The release plate is a bit tricky to slide into place, and the knob that secures it is in an awkward place (hits bottom of the camera body), but otherwise, I am very pleased with the 502.

  • @davidp158 have you tried pulling the knob outwards, away from the head and rotating it? On my miller DS10, which is of similar design, this allows you to adjust the angle at which the knob is positioned.

  • kavadni - Aha! My bad for not paying closer attention to the manual. Sure enough, the knob pulls outward which completely eliminates the issue I was struggling with. Thanks for your reply!