Surprisingly, considering its affordable price, the Velbon FHD-43M 2-Way Tripod Head has quite an innovative design that allows for smooth movement and stable handling. How? This head has a flat base with a 1/4"-20 tripod mount thread, and it supports up to 3.3 lb loads, great for compact cameras. That aside, the top portion of the head sits on a round component and moves very smoothly on top of it when you tilt. When you pan, the entire round component itself moves very smoothly.
Another special feature is that the pan and tilt lock knobs are both in the same place, on the same side of the head. One knob is simply smaller and within the other. The benefit of this is that you don't have to remove your other hand from the pan bar when using either or both locks.
The pan bar can be used in right-handed or left-handed position. A small knob on the front of the pan bar can be unscrewed and the pan bar removed completely and reinserted from the other side of the same slot. Then just spin the entire head around—as the front and back are the same—and the pan bar will be on the other side (and the pan/tilt locks will now be on the opposite side). Furthermore, the camera plate, which offers a 1/4"-20 mounting screw, can be inserted into place the standard way or sideways.
- Flat base with a 1/4"-20 tripod mount thread
- 3.3 lb payload
- Smooth tilt movement via innovative rounded ball design
- Smooth pan movement
- Pan and tilt lock knobs are both in the same place
- Right- or left-handed pan bar