Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5 055 MAG Photo-Movie Head Features Review

by Vu Bui on May 5, 2011

Manfrotto Photo-Movie Head by Drew Gardner from Manfrotto on Vimeo.

Last year we headed to London to shoot behind the scenes of the epic fashion zebra photo shoot for Drew Gardner. While we were there we all decided to make the best of our time and Drew hired us to shoot his tutorial set and this video reviewing the features and benefits of the new Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5 MAG Photo-Movie Head.

We ended up having to rush to shoot the video the night before we left… losing the light as we shot and as you might be able to tell from the video… having to do some major adjustments in post. Of course we shot on DSLRs which made it actually possible considering the high ISOs we had to use. We shot it with a Canon 5D mark II and a Canon T2i using the natural light coming in through the window of Drew’s flat, and a giant reflector for a tiny bit of fill. I think the whole video was shot in about 45 minutes (including some running down the stairs and to the park to shoot the outdoor scenes).

The Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5 MAG Photo-Movie Head is actually extremely useful. We used it during the zebra photo shoot… mostly as a video head… which is really the part you’d want to put to the test. It’s relatively easy to make a functional photo head, but making a smooth video head takes quite a bit more effort. The Magnesium construction of the Photo-Movie head seems to me to be about as tough as you need it to be.

I’ve tried using video heads as photo heads before… and it is FRUSTRATING. Not having that 3rd axis of movement completely limits what you’re able to do (which is why people use ball heads for photo). The few times (those terrible, unfortunate, anger-inducing times) I’ve tried to use a photo ball head for shooting video weren’t very fun either. It’s damn near impossible to execute a smooth move with a photo head… which shouldn’t be surprising as they weren’t designed that way.

While we didn’t get a chance to do a proper review of the Manfrotto Photo-Movie Head since we were too busy shooting the awesomeness of Drew’s photo shoot that day… we got to use it enough to know it’s awesome… and the video above gives you a great overview of the features and benefits of why you’d want it. Besides, of course, the obvious money and WEIGHT savings of being able to buy just one head for both photo and video.

Now that we shoot both photo AND video on DSLR cameras it only made sense to make a tripod head that worked for both as well.

  • Matthew Miller

    Hey guys… what equipment were you using to do your dolly shots? Very nice video. Than you for sharing the details. very informative in many way. 

    • http://vubui.com Vu Bui

      We were using a Kessler Pocket Dolly of those shots. It’s great!

  • Matthew Miller

    Hey guys… what equipment were you using to do your dolly shots? Very nice video. Than you for sharing the details. very informative in many way. 

  • Peter.

    Thx, precisely the info I was looking for. Well shot too.
    Grtz, Peter.

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