One thing that causes anxiety when you first start using a tripod setup is the tripod head. You put your $10,000 camera setup on it, start shooting and then you realize that you have to go get something from your bag. Just as you walk away, your camera because of all its weight and lopsided assembly tips forward. You see it happening in slow motion, and you rush towards it. Sometimes you get there quick enough to catch it before it falls. Other times you hear that dreadful sound of your lens hitting the side of your tripod, causing you to have a mini heart attack.

And that is why I got this, Manfrotto Nitrotech N8 Fluid Video Head. It uses nitrogen pistons to counterbalance the weight of your camera. If setup up correctly, your camera will stay in the position you left it.

I trust this feature so much that I often leave my entire camera on this tripod head overnight and over weekends at Lost Boys. And when I come into the studio, the next day or at the start of the week, it is exactly in the position I left it.

Having the ability to use a VCT Plate on the Manfrotto N8 definitely added to the versatility of my setup. My camera setup allows me to go from tripod to shoulder mount to a handheld.

Did I mention it is super smooth and sturdy? Well, it is. One of the most overlooked features on a video head is resistance. The push back you get when you pan and tilt. It doesn’t fight you but provide enough resistance to get a natural-looking camera move. On cheaper video head, this is often mistaken for tightening. The other feature I love is how big the mechanism is for tightening and loosening all the controls. These control knobs are huge and are easy to grab and use.

I own exactly one video head and I don’t see myself needing another one. It does everything it was designed to do it.

Price – $559.99